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Hoover 50 - Green 20

October 14, 2022

Interception by North Canton Hoover’s Zach Braucher sets tone in Federal League football win

Cliff Hickman, Canton Repository

NORTH CANTON — It took less than a minute for the Hoover High School football team to race out to the lead on Friday night. The Vikings never took their foot off the gas on the way to an impressive 50-20 win over visiting Green.

Hoover sophomore Zach Braucher started the party by returning an interception 40 yards for a touchdown on just the second play from scrimmage.

“They were in a five-wide receiver set,” Braucher said. “I recognized the break the receiver was making and I just kind of knew the quarterback was going to look in that direction. My eyes lit up when I saw him make the throw. I knew I had a great chance of intercepting it. When I came down with it, I was determined to not let anybody catch me.”

Nobody did. Hoover ultimately forced three Green turnovers and sacked Bulldog quarterback Robby Klockner three times. It was enough to keep Green off balance and out of rhythm, especially in the second half.

“We felt our defense could compete with them,” Hoover head coach Brian Baum said. “(Green) Coach (Mark) Geis has a great football mind. I always like to say that they are the Perry of the pass in the Federal League. They are just a pain to prepare for. I think holding them to 20 points was a hell of an accomplishment for our defense.”

While the defense did enough to make Klockner uncomfortable, the Hoover offense seemed to move the ball at will. Viking quarterback Carson Dyrlund orchestrated an option attack that produced 25 first downs and 396 rushing yards. Dyrlund ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw a 24-yard TD pass to Braucher.

“He made a lot of good decisions for us tonight,” Baum said. “There are a couple of throws that he felt he missed he was upset about, but I felt like he played a really good game for us.”

The highlight of Dyrlund’s performance was a 76-yard TD run in the second quarter. He burst past the secondary untouched as the large Hoover student section erupted in the stands.

“I have to give the credit to our our offensive line,” Dyrlund said. “They played a tremendous game and I could not have had the night I did without them. This is just a great feeling and a great team win.”

Drylund and running backs Luke Roach, Cooper Westfall and Christian Friel made life miserable all night for the Green defense. Westfall added two TD runs in the second half while Friel put an exclamation point on the game with a 2-yard touchdown run down the stretch.

“We have worked on the run-pass option all offseason,” Dyrlund said. “I’m really comfortable in the system and I think that helps a great deal.”

Westfall was the leading rusher of the three running backs with 117 yards on 17 carries in the second half. There was some concern when Roach did not play after halftime as Hoover was closing out the game. It turns out his absence was precautionary.

“I had someone take his helmet at halftime,” Baum said. “He came to me looking for it. He has been battling some ankle issues and I just wanted to keep him as healthy as possible and give him some rest.”

It wasn’t just the Hoover defense that disrupted the Green offense. The Bulldogs lost one of their most potent playmakers in the second quarter when sophomore Antonio Martin went down with an injury. Martin was on crutches after returning to the sideline. He had a 1-yard rushing touchdown and a 23-yard TD catch prior to exiting.

“I think that really shook us up,” Geis said. “He’s a special kid and a special player and I think that really got to us mentally. It’s a tough situation and we struggled to put that behind us.”

The extent of Martin’s injury is not yet known. “We hope to know more about it next week,” Geis said. “We are going to have him evaluated as soon as we can.”

Green managed just seven points for the remainder of the game after Martin exited. Wide receiver Zach Baglia led the Bulldog offense with 12 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown.

“We just got outplayed in all three phases of the game tonight,” Geis said. “We came out and started well for the first quarter or so. We just couldn’t get anything going in the second half.”

Green – 13 – 0 – 0 – 7 — 20

Hoover – 14 – 14 – 3 – 19 — 50 

H—Braucher 40 interception return (Kish kick)

G—Martin 1 run (Noirot kick)

H—Braucher 24 pass from Dyrlund (Kish kick)

G—Martin 23 pass from Klockner (kick failed)

H—Dyrlund 2 run (Kish kick)

H—Dyrlund 76 run (Kish kick)

H—FG Kish 30

H—Westfall 4 run (kick failed)

H—Westfall 2 run (kick failed)

G—Baglia 7 pass from Klockner (Noirot kick)

H—Friel 2 run (Kish kick)


                     G     —      H

First downs — 16     —      25

Rushes-Yards — 16-44     —      51-396

Comp-Att-Int — 24-40-2     —      7-13-0

Passing Yards — 227     —      110

Fumbles-Lost — 2-1     —      1-0

Penalties-Yards — 4-20     —      4-45

Total yards — 281     —      506

Records — 4-5, 2-3     —      6-3, 3-2

Source: Canton Repository