WEIRTON - Steubenville Catholic Central, seemingly scoring at will, piled up 40 first-half points and coasted to its fifth victory in a row by 53-8 Friday night over Weir High.
The homestanding Red Riders could muster a meager 32 total yards of offense in the first half against Central's first-team defense. With nine freshmen in the starting lineup, Weir High managed to finish with 187 total yards against Crusader reserves in the second half.
"We wanted to get out to a quick start and we accomplished that," said Crusaders coach Steve Daley, whose team was winning its sixth game in eight starts and fifth in a row.
CELEBRATION — Steubenville Catholic Central’s Kyle Laukert (4) is hugged by teammate Geno Taglione after a first-quarter touchdown catch by Laukert during Friday’s 53-8 win over Weir High at Jimmy Carey Stadium.
"And then we got some good, quality playing time out of some of our kids that don't normally get to play in a varsity contest. It was good team win for us."
Daley's quick start resulted in 19 first-quarter points. Playing with the rapid style, no-huddle offense that a lot of college teams are employing today, the Crusaders scored on all six of its first half possessions.
Senior Doug Maslowski rumbled for three of the first-half touchdowns with runs of 17, 15 and 31 yards. Maslowski, who didn't carry the ball in the second half, piled up 140 rushing yards before the intermission.
Catholic Central 53, Weir 8
Catholic Central 19 21 7 6 - 53
Weir 0 0 8 0 - 8
CC: Maslowski 17 run (kick failed)
CC: Laukert 18 pass from Colabella (pass failed)
CC: Harrington 16 pass from Colabella (Romano kick)
CC: Maslowski 15 run (romano kick)
CC: Maslowski 31 run (Romano kick)
CC: Potenzini 2 run (Romano kick)
W: Baldwin 48 pass from Wypasak (Piatt run)
CC: Jones 92 kickoff return (Maslowski kick)
CC: Parise 23 run (knee)
RUSHING: Catholic Central 33-208-3 (Maslowski 9-140-3, Colabella 3-18, Romano 8-8, Laukert 3-18, Fletcher 2-13, Erickson 2-7, Potenzini 3-8-1, Jones 2-5, Parise 2-23). Weir: 46-131 (Davis 27-72, Wypasek 5-15, Piatt 12-66, Rice 2-(-22).
PASSING: Catholic Central 9-11-143-2-1x (Colabella 9-10-143-2-0, Laukers 0-1-0-1x); Weir 3-5-59-1-1x (all by Wypasek).
RECEIVING: Catholic Central (Herrington 3-72-1, Laukert 3-37-1, Fletcher 1-12, DiCarlantonio 1-12, Jones 1-8); Weir Baldwin 3-59-1.
FIRST DOWNS: Catholic Central 11; Weir 10
PENALTIES: Catholic Central 2-15; Weir 1-5
FUMBLES: Catholic Central 0-0; Weir 4-4.
"Doug has developed into a good running back for us," said Daley. "We feel that's going to keep defenses honest so we can continue to pass effectively. He's a track guy, but he's a physical guy. He's not small either. He's about 200 pounds and he uses all of it."
Star junior quarterback, Brenton Colabella, lived up to his reputation. He was nearly flawless connecting on 9 of 10 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns. He tossed scoring passes of 19 yards to Kyle Laukert and 16 yards to Zach Herrington, both in the first quarter.
The Crusaders spoiled the Red Rider senior night where five football players and other fall sports athletes as well as cheerleaders and band members were honored before the final home game of the season.
"They're better than us," said Weir High head coach Tony Filberto, whose team lost its eighth game of the season and 35 game in the last three years. "It is men against boys at this point. We started nine freshmen tonight, but that's not an excuse. It is what it is.
"We had the opportunity to make plays and we didn't make them tonight. So this is probably the first time that I've been truly disappointed in our performance. I think we're capable of better play than what we showed tonight, so we'll just regroup and begin to get ready Monday to play Brooke next week."
One of a couple of the areas that Filberto was disappointed in was the tackling by his Red Rider defense and offensive turnovers. Weir High lost four of six fumbles and freshman quarterback, Jake Wypasek, was intercepted twice.
However, Wypasek, who became the starter a week ago after sophomore William Larch's season ended with a knee injury, threw the first touchdown pass of his varsity career to keep the Red Riders from being shut out.
With the Crusaders ahead by 40-0 in the third quarter, Red Rider senior Matt Barnes intercepted a Kyle Laukert pass at his own 25-yard line. Laukert, a senior who starts as a wide out and earlier caught a touchdown pass, replaced Colabella at quarterback when the Crusaders came out of the locker room at halftime.
The Riders put on a drive and got inside Crusader territory for the first time in the game with fourth down and seven at the Central 48. Wypasek rolled to his left and found senior Daren Baldwin open in the middle of the field at the Central 30. The husky tackle turned fullback, pulled in the pass, shook off a Crusader defender and rumbled into the end zone. Another senior, Eric Piatt, blasted over for the two-point conversion to cut Central's lead to 40-8.
It was short lived, however, as Baldwin's kickoff was scooped up at the Crusader 8-yard line by junior Khalil Jones, who somehow eluded the first wave of Weir High defenders. Suddenly, Jones emerged for the scrum and raced 92 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown. Maslowski booted the extra point to make it 47-8.
Maslowski, who kicks off for the Crusaders, got to kick the extra point in place of sophomore Stone Romano, who was successful kicking four of Central's six extra point tries in the first half.
"Our defense played well," Daley added. "Our defense has been playing pretty solid for a few weeks now and they're doing things we're asking them to do. That is play their responsibilities. We preach every player, every play and that's what we got out of them tonight."
The Crusaders scored the lone touchdown of the fourth quarter when freshman Cedro Parise found a hole over right tackle, cut to his right and raced to the end zone from 23 yards out.
The other Red Rider seniors honored before the game were tackle James Owens and guard Austin Wolverton. Wolverton did not play in the game as he is another of the many Red Riders on the injury list.
Weir High travels to Brooke for the annual back yard rivalry game next Friday while the Crusaders return home to Harding Stadium to entertain Weirton's other high school football team, once beaten and state-ranked Madonna on Oct. 20.