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Lexington 10 - Hoover 7

September 10, 2010

Lexington loses QB, pounds out win over Hoover

Walt Doerschuk, Canton Repository

NORTH CANTON  After a stellar first half of defensive football by Hoover, Lexington’s ground game took too much out of the Vikings.

Lexington, a Division II school from the Mansfield area,  earned a 10-7 high school football win in front of a packed house at Memorial Stadium.

“They had 237 yards rushing and a lot of third-down conversions in the second half,” Hoover head coach Don Hertler Jr. said. “They outplayed us and deserved to win. We’re a young team and we’ll grow from this.”

The Minutemen opened the fourth quarter Friday night with a 26-yard field goal by C.J. Hassman for what turned out to be the game’s deciding score.

Lexington (3-0) overcame a huge loss with five minutes left in the opening quarter when junior Collin Michael went out with an injury. The 6-foot-5 quarterback, who sports a cannon arm and strong scrambling ability, has been scouted by Division I colleges.

He was hit just after a 45-yard strike to Troy Wolf.

“The only thing we know, it’s an ACL injury,” Lexington head coach B.J. Payne said. “He’ll get an MRI tomorrow or Monday and we’ll know the extent of it from there.”

A.J. Beddow replaced Michael at quarterback and provided a spark as a runner. The 5-foot-11 senior rushed for 114 yards and threw a touchdown pass.

Payne was more impressed by Lexington’s ability to stop the Vikings.

“I can’t say enough about our defense,” he said. “Every week, I talk to my coaching staff about the number of points we need to score. I told them I didn’t think we could hold a quality opponent to seven points.”

Lexington tied the game with 8:54 to play in the third quarter. Beddow found Derek Gallik for an 8-yard touchdown pass down the right side to make it 7-7.

Hoover aroused an anxious crowd shortly before halftime.

Junior quarterback Austin Appleby found Junior wideout Stephen Denissoff open in the middle of the field. Denissoff sped past a Lexington defender for an 85-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Hoover lead.  Appleby finished 11-of-24 passing for 180 yards.

It was a Stark County homecoming for Payne, who was a standout player at Massillon and Mount Union.

“It was unbelievable,” he said. “I have to utmost respect for coach Hertler. He’s been a great mentor to me.”

Payne spent some time as a pro wrestler before coaching football, and he brought some showmanship to the sideline. After the Minutemen tied the game in the third, Payne and his coaching staff faced the visiting crowd and raised their arms, trying to get the Lexington fans into the game.

The Vikings travel to Perry next week as they open Federal League play.

“We’ve been 2-1 before,” Hertler said. “It’s a new season next week and we’ve got to get better in practice.”

“We’ll see what we’re made of this week.”

Source: fridaynightohio.com