Canton McKinley 27 - Hoover 24
September 15, 2012
A wild night at Fawcett Stadium filled with big plays and costly penalties came down to a late field goal, which gave McKinley Bulldogs a 27-24 win over Hoover in the Federal League opener for each team before an estimated crowd of 12,000. McKinley stayed unbeaten, at 3-0, while Hoover suffered its first loss, falling to 3-1.
Austin Shaheen’s 23-yard field late in the game was the difference in a game featuring 21 penalties.
Early on, the game didn’t look like it would come down to a late kick.
The Bulldogs took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, but could’ve been up by more. Twice, they had the ball inside the Hoover 10 only to have penalties ruin their drives.
Leading 7-0 after Jeff Richardson’s 30-yard TD catch from Eric Glover-Williams, McKinley then forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. The Bulldogs recovered inside the Hoover 5, but they were soon moving backwards and missed a field goal.
When the Bulldogs got the ball back, they again had good field position and quickly drove inside the Hoover 10. Again, penalties destroyed the drive, but this time the Bulldogs salvaged points out of it on a Shaheen 25-yard field goal.
Hoover finally settled in at that point and tied the game 10-10 by halftime. Dom Iero threw a 34-yard TD pass to Alex Shingleton to get the Vikings on the scoreboard.
Andrew Zalewski ended the half with a 34-yard field goal to tie the game.
The running of Glover-Williams helped the Bulldogs regain control in the third quarter. His running set up his own 2-yard TD run midway through the third quarter. Shaheen’s PAT made it 17-10.
The legs of Glover-Williams keyed another scoring drive on McKinley’s next possession, which ended with him scoring from a yard out. He finished with 110 yards on 28 carries.
Hoover, though, wasn’t about to go away despite being down 24-10.
Xavier Hogan took the ensuing kick off back 99 yards for a touchdown and the Vikings were right back in the game.
Not long after that, Hoover tied it back up. Iero hit Austin Feinberg with a 38-yard TD pass and Zalewski’s PAT tied the game by the middle of the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs, though, were able to get into field position late in the game, setting up Shaheen’s game-winning 23-yard field goal. The drove 49 yards in 12 plays to set up the kick.
Hoover tried to pull off another comeback in the final minutes.
The Vikings converted fourth-and-29 in the final 90 seconds to keep their hopes alive. Iero hit Feinberg down the sideline for 37 yards. That set up the Vikings at the McKinley 30 with 1:18 left.
But on the next play, McKinley’s Tavontae’ Norwood intercepted Iero at the 15 to seal the victory.
Iero finished the game 10-of-24 passing for 213 yards, with the two TDs. Feinberg had five catches for 103 yards, while Sam Woods totaled 54 yards on two catches.
The Vikings, though, rushed for only 28 yards on 22 tries.
McKinley rolled up 221 yards rushing on 54 attempts. Jarrod Smith led the Bulldogs with 97 yards on 22 carries. Glover-Williams was 5-for-8 passing for 86 yards.
The Bulldogs hurt themselves with 13 penalties costing them 113 yards. The Vikings had their share of penalties, too, committing eight for 84 yards.
McKinley did offset some of that damage by being plus-2 in turnovers.