Canton McKinley 28 - Hoover 21
September 12, 2014
McKinley holds off Hoover for first win
Mike Popovich, Canton Repository
CANTON It took longer than they hoped and probably more time than others expected.
The McKinley Bulldogs could finally rest easy Friday night. For the first time this season, they walked off the field as winners.
Touchdown runs from Eric Glover-Williams and Chance Young and interceptions by Ja’Quan Young and Steve Roberson in the fourth quarter helped McKinley hold off Hoover 28-21 at Fawcett Stadium. A week after a 48-point loss at Dublin Coffman, the Bulldogs celebrated their first victory in their Federal League opener.
A heavy weight has been lifted off their shoulders.
“It’s huge,” said Thom McDaniels, who picked up his first victory as McKinley head coach since the 1997 Division I state championship game. “I’m so happy for the kids. They needed this desperately, it was hard-earned.
“It wasn’t always pretty, but as I told them, ‘It’s ours now.’ We have to take the outcome, be critical of the things that need to be corrected and get a lot better in a short period of time.”
McDaniels and the Bulldogs could breathe a little easier when Roberson picked off Hoover quarterback Nicholas Binnie at the McKinley 29 with 2:03 left. Binnie’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Zach Johnson on the previous drive cut the Vikings’ deficit in half.
With Hoover out of timeouts, the Bulldogs ran out the clock.
“Coach told us to go out there and make a stop,” said Roberson, a junior linebacker. “… I tried to do what I had to do, read my keys and the pick came to me.
“It felt great. We finally got a win after three tough losses.”
Hoover carried a 14-13 halftime lead into the fourth quarter. However, a shanked punt out of the end zone by the Vikings traveled just 3 yards and pushed momentum McKinley’s way.
Glover-Williams scored his second touchdown two plays later, and Chance Young added the conversion to give McKinley a 21-14 lead. Ja’Quan Young’s interception on the next Hoover drive set up Chance Young’s 17-yard TD run.
A 14-13 lead quickly turned into a 28-14 deficit for Hoover (2-2, 0-1).
“Give McKinley credit,” Vikings head coach Don Hertler Jr. said. “They made a lot of big plays, explosive plays, and we lost some opportunities.”
Binnie was making his start after the Vikings learned late Thursday they would be without Cameron Mayle, who suffered an undisclosed fracture. The sophomore finished 22-of-38 passing for 287 yards and two touchdowns.
Glover-Williams ran for 117 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns. Vinnie Serapiglia had seven catches for 108 yards and a TD for Hoover.
The Bulldogs needed just two plays and 39 seconds to score their first points in two weeks. Glover-Williams ran the opening handoff 11 yards for a first down, then raced 65 yards for his fifth touchdown of the season.
Hoover quickly regrouped and launched an impressive drive.
Fourth down completions from Binnie to Serapiglia and Kyle Braucher gave the Vikings a first-and-goal at the McKinley 7. On fourth down from the 2, Braucher lined up behind center, took the snap and scored on a 2-yard run to help Hoover tie the score at 7-7.
McKinley’s second scoring drive also took just two plays.
A penalty forced the Bulldogs into a second-and-20 from their own 16. That was no problem for Chance Young. He hit Sherron Jackson down the near sideline for an 84-yard touchdown completion and a 13-7 McKinley lead.
Binnie led the Vikings back on top. He hit Serapiglia for a 39-yard completion to the McKinley 17 and found Serapiglia again for a 26-yard completion on third-and-13. Eric Sarbaugh’s extra point gave Hoover a 14-13 lead.