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September 25, 2010

Hoover bounces back, wins battle over Lake

Josh Weir, Canton Repository

NORTH CANTON  Friday night went deeper than adjustments and X’s and O’s for the Hoover High School football team.

“Whenever you get beat real bad, it’s kind of embarrassing,” Hoover senior receiver-defensive back Joey Housos said. “We wanted to show what we were made of.

We wanted to show we could play.”

Mission accomplished. The Vikings outhit, outblocked and outplayed Lake in a 24-10 Homecoming Night win at Memorial Stadium.

Lake, which entered ranked 12th in the state in Division II, has earned the reputation of a big, physical team that will pound the football on offense and blow up ballcarriers on defense, while avoiding costly mistakes.

But it was Hoover that owned the clock (27:26-20:34), won the rushing battle (102-95 yards) and played more efficient football to gets its first Federal League win.

This performance comes on the heels of last week’s humbling 56-19 loss to Perry, which beat up the Vikings physically.

“We haven’t played the kind of football with heart and passion we want to in two weeks,”

Hoover head coach Don Hertler Jr. said. “This league is nuts. Anything can happen all year.

I’m just happy for our guys that fought back after giving up (56) last week. And it could’ve been 60.”

The night could not have gone much worse for Lake (4-1, 2-1), which turned the ball over five times, including four fumbles.

The Blue Streaks started the game without their leading rusher (Jim Luther) and receiver (Logan Wartman). Midway through the third quarter, the leading tackler was gone.

Linebacker Corey Paulino was carted off on a stretcher after a helmet-to-helmet hit while tackling Housos. Paulino had feeling and movement in all his extremities.

As Paulino was attended to, Luther — out for the year with a knee injury — gathered his teammates on the sidelines and challenged them to respond. But this just wasn’t Lake’s night. On the next play, Hoover quarterback Austin Appleby found Housos for a 14-yard TD pass and a 24-3 lead.

Housos caught six passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Appleby completed 11 of 21 passes for 202 yards, three touchdowns and no picks.

The Vikings found some balance with Ryan Choong (80 yards on 20 carries) as the Hoover line had its best performance of the season.

Hoover (3-2, 1-1) took the opening kickoff and marched down the field in the I-formation, with Choong doing the heavy lifting. After Hoover picked up fourth-down conversions via a Lake penalty and Housos reception, Appleby found Jon Nutt for a 5-yard TD to cap a 16-play drive.

“They set a tone, and we made way too many mistakes to answer the call,” Lake head coach Jeff Durbin said. “I thought we responded and played hard. But you can’t play mistake-prone football (with) touchdowns called back, fumbles and everything else because they’re still Hoover.”

The ultimate mistake happened late in the first half.

Lake failed to cover Housos, who signaled to Appleby just before the snap. Appleby fired quickly to Housos, who went untouched for a 60-yard touchdown with 1:59 left. Eric LePage’s conversion run made it 14-3 Hoover.

“What happened was our safety misread the signal that was sent in and we had a major breakdown in coverage,” Durbin said. “… It was just another of the possible things you could do wrong.”

Lake saw a potential 37-yard Jon Spohn TD run negated because of a holding penalty in the second quarter. Three plays later, Hoover’s Ryan Sarbaugh jumped on a Lake fumble, leading to the Appleby-to-Housos touchdown.

Hoover safety Shamus Johnson led a spirited effort by the Vikings defense.

“He was unbelievable filling the alley tonight,” Hertler said. “I think he changed the game defensively.”

John Zucal, Sam Woods and Todd Beavers each registered sacks for the Vikings, while Austin Feinberg picked off a pass.

Source: fridaynightohio.com