Boardman 16 - Hoover 7
October 2, 2009
Boardman bottles up Hoover, 16-7
Todd Porter, Canton Repository
YOUNGSTOWN Under a bright full moon, a dreary night and on a soggy field, Hoover got a scare.
And that was just halftime.
By the time Boardman’s sideline erupted on the final play — a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown — Hoover’s season was turned on end. The Spartans upset the defending Federal League champions, 16-7, on Friday night, handing Hoover High School it first league loss in two years.
This was the first regular-season loss for the Vikings outside of Stark County since 2004.
Field conditions made for a sloppy game. The two teams combined for eight turnovers. Hoover turned it over five times, including four interceptions.
During one odd series of plays in the fourth quarter, Boardman and Hoover combined for four turnovers in five plays.
“It was very muddy and very sloppy for both teams,” Hoover head coach Don Hertler Jr. said. “Our kids fought well in the second half, but we didn’t play inspired in the first half. By the time we got it going, it was a little late.”
The Vikings didn’t score until there was 4:04 left in the game. By that time, they were down, 10-0, and in somewhat of a hurry-up offense.
Erick Howard, bottled up most of the night, finally broke free. He bit into the Spartans for 22 yards to the Boardman 24 and three plays later he scored on a 24-yard TD run.
“I finally figured out the right play to call,” Hertler said.
Howard gained 76 yards on 20 carries. Until that scoring drive, the Vikings had just five first downs. Howard only touched the ball six times in the Vikings’ first three possessions stretching into the second quarter.
“We tried to mix it up a little bit, and we did,” Hertler said. “They’re very good against the run.”
Hoover’s offense looked out of synch much of the night. Boardman’s offense wasn’t much better, but the Spartans didn’t seem to lack confidence.
Boardman came out in a five wide, spread set in the second quarter. Quarterback Rob Boyd carried on the first two plays on direct snaps for 17 yards to the Hoover 43. A well-timed bubble screen to Chase Hammond went for 15 yards, then Boyd found Kenny Jones for 15 more to the Hoover 14.
Boardman settled for a 25-yard field goal by Trevor Ragan. It seemed it might be enough on this soppy night.
Running back Nick Buonavolonta hit Hoovers’ defense between the eyes a couple of times. His first carry of the game went for 43 yards, and he finished with 171.
It was his first carry of the fourth quarter that put the game away. Buonavolonta hit the Vikings for 56 yards to the Hoover 18. Two plays later, the first play of the fourth, he scored to give Boardman a 10-0 lead.
Hoover’s final gasp ended when Brett Tulodzieski’s desperation pass was picked off by Buonavolonta. Ogilve yelled for Buonavolonta to get down. He kept trucking to the end zone. It was the cleanest play of the night.
“The field had nothing to do with it,” Hertler said. “We were beaten by a very good team. … I was worried about this because maybe things have been too easy for us the last couple of weeks.”