Massillon Perry 35 - Hoover 21
October 15, 2005
Practice make perfect during Perry’s victory
Jim Thomas, Canton Repository
PERRY TWP. – Some Hoover High School football fans likely thought 2-5 Perry would be practice fodder Friday night, the better to prepare for next week’s huge home game against unbeaten McKinley.
Turns out it was the Panthers who practiced.
“We had a great week of practice,” Panthers senior captain Ryan Clokey said. “We knew we could come out here and beat them.”
Beat the Vikings they did, 35-21, handing them their first Federal League loss and leaving McKinley alone atop the conference. But it was the way the Panthers did it, and the way that Hoover didn’t, that was most stunning.
The Vikings, 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the league, bolted to a 7-0 lead in just two possessions. Then whatever momentum they had, disappeared. Perry, the lowest scoring team in the Federal League, scored the next 28 points.
“They got the lead, and we got mad,” Clokey said.
Clokey had a diving interception of a tipped ball, and Perry quarterback Mike Fach, also a senior captain, had an interception to help turn the tide. Fach also fired a touchdown pass to Clokey to put the Panthers ahead 14-7 at halftime.
“We started out hot,” Hoover head coach Don Hertler Jr., said.
“Then they turned around and kicked our butts in every phase of the game for three quarters.
“You’ve got to come out every week in this league, and we had some guys who didn’t practice real well. We didn’t play real emotionally, and they played extremely well.”
“It’s a credit to our kids because they’ve worked so hard every day in practice,” Perry head coach John Miller said after his team improved to 2-3 in the league. “We push them and push them, and they don’t ease up. It’s a tribute to them.”
Perry shoved a normally stout Hoover defense all over the field after the first quarter. Running backs Tony DiCicco (108 yards) and Aaron Morris (98) slammed back Viking defenders off the line of scrimmage behind the blocking of senior linemen Shaun McDonald, Mike Ferguson and Jason Rohr and juniors Mark Toole and Cody Radsick.
Perry outgained Hoover, 189-2, on the ground in the second half, and that dominance forced Hoover quarterback Josh Nettleton to throw 44 passes, 34 in the second half. Fach also ran the wing-T efficiently, and when he got hurt making a tackle in the third quarter, sophomore Matthew Vick came in, and the team never missed a beat.
Fach fired a 29-yard touchdown to Bryan Dobina for Perry’s first score. In the third quarter Vick stepped away from a blitz on his first pass of the game to complete an 8-yard touchdown to wingback Clokey for a 21-7 advantage.
“We didn’t want to put him in the shotgun,” Miller said of Vick. “We wanted him to be comfortable under center. He’s just a tough kid.”
Vick had a 13-yard sack of Nettleton in the second quarter that swung the game Perry’s way. But the entire Panthers’ defense was tremendous, Miller said.
“They played really well,” he said. “North Canton’s a very good team. Anytime our defense gets turnovers and capitalizes, it’s a plus.”
Hoover senior QB, Josh Nettleton completed 21 on 44 attempts for 173 passing yards with 2 interceptions. Nettleton threw touchdown passes to both junior Seth Allman ( 4 yards) and sophomore Matt Wakulchik (25 yards).
Hoover sophomore RB, Andrew Dahl had a one yard touchdown run.
Junior LB Jordan Bucar led all Hoover defenders with fifteen tackles, a sack and one forced fumble.