Hoover 28 - Canton GlenOak 0
October 6, 2006
Hoover shuts out GlenOak
CANTON – This has been a trying season for the Hoover High School football team. Injuries, illness and some subpar efforts from a defense that is traditionally one of Stark County’s best have left the Vikings on the outside of both the Federal League race and the state playoff chase.
A 28-0 win over GlenOak on Friday night at Fawcett Stadium may go a long way toward building some momentum for the final push.
“We really needed to come out with some intensity and get back on track,” said senior defensive tackle Kenny Staudinger, who had one of Hoover’s five sacks as the Vikings held GlenOak’s offense to just 90 total yards.
“We all just got it going together.”
To accomodate a rash of injuries and an ineffective run defense in the middle the past three weeks, Hoover made a defensive adjustment at linebacker.
Senior OLB Jordan Bucar, leading tackler through six weeks, moved to MLB for the GlenOak game. Bucar also led the Vikings in tackles last year as a junior from his MLB position. “We need his toughness in the middle,” Hoover head coach Don Hertler Jr. said. “We know he can play sideline to sideleine,” Hertler added.
A week after tailback Anthony Smith and quarterback Justin Szink combined to run for 300 yards, Hoover held the GlenOak tandem to just 30 yards on 26 carries. Led by Bucar, who had nineteen tackles, six for loss and an interception, Hoover effectively shut down GlenOak’s offense. The decision to move Bucar to MLB from his OLB position proved to be very successful. “He had an outstanding game,” Hoover defensive coordinator Glen Cummings said of Bucar.
Staudinger, Greg Tischler, Kyle Hennis and Neil Michaels all had at least one sack as Hoover (5-2, 2-2) filled the box with eight or nine defenders on every snap and flooded GlenOak’s backfield.
“We played a little harder tonight than we had, a little more consistent,” said Hoover head coach Don Hertler Jr., who was without five starters but added: “These are too good of kids and too much of a team not to keep working through it.”
GlenOak’s deepest penetration came on its first possession as Szink and Smith found some early holes and moved the ball to the Hoover 39. Smith then went around right end, broke two tackles and was dragged down at the Hoover 1.
A holding call brought the play back, and Hoover linebacker Jordan Bucar picked off a tipped ball on the next play returning it 17 yards to the GlenOak 27 yard line.
“We were moving the ball well on the first drive, but first the penalty, then the interception…” said GlenOak head coach Jack Rose, whose Golden Eagles (2-4, 0-4) remain winless in league play. “It all went downhill from there…They beat us in every phase of the game.”
Hoover scored on the first play of the second quarter as junior quarterback Jared Wackerly found Seth Allman on a curl route right in front of the goal line for an 8-yard touchdown.
Wackerly was just 9-of-21 for 136 yards but had four passes dropped — two by standout receiver Matt Wakulchik.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior made up for the lapses, though, with some fearless punt returning and by hauling in three jump balls deep in GlenOak territory that set up short touchdown runs. Wakulchik finished with four catches for 90 yards and just shy of 100 yards in returns.
“Matt dropped the easy ones and caught the tough ones,” Hertler said. “But he went up and caught them when we really needed him to.”
A 17-yarder from Wackerly to Wakulchik to the GlenOak 1 set up the first of Kevin Dahl’s three TDs to give Hoover a 14-0 lead 4:54 before halftime.
Wackerly and Wakulchik hooked up again for 31 yards to the Eagles 2, as Dahl then scored again with 16 seconds left in the third.
The final one, this time a 36-yarder, put the ball again at the GlenOak 1 for Dahl to finish off.
Dahl had 24 tough yards on nine carries, while freshman Erik Howard led the Vikings with 71 yards on 17 runs. Scott Gnau and Allman added 23 yards each on the ground.
It was more than the Vikings’ defense needed as Hoover held GlenOak to just two first downs during the final three quarters. Thanks in part to OLB Scott Gnau who was credited with 9 stops.
“We played really well tonight,” said Michaels, a senior defensive end. “We just had fun out there and came out fired up. “It’s been tough this year (with all the injuries), but we’ve fought through it and — I think — come through it little better than we went in.”