Tigers rout Sailors, 40-0, in season-opener - Titusville Herald: Sports

Tigers rout Sailors, 40-0, in season-opener

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Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2019 9:00 pm

 GUYS MILLS — Maplewood put its explosive offense on display by scoring on its first four possessions of the game while the defense limited Lakeview to 70 total yards of offense as the Tigers blanked the Sailors, 40-0, to open up the regular season, Friday.

As they did in 2018, the Tigers started off the year with a bang at the expense of the Sailors. After defeating Lakeview on its home field, 56-7, in last year’s opener, Maplewood proved to be no match again for its non-region opponent.

Unlike last year, however, Maplewood was down four starters heading into the contest — three due to ejections from last year’s District 10 playoff loss against Reynolds and one due to injury. Fortunately for the home team, it didn’t slow down a Tigers offense that amassed 340 yards on Friday.

“I was a little nervous with those four starters out on offense and defense,” Maplewood head coach Bryan Borkovich said. “We looked good. There are definitely things we need to work on, but our offense came out and played the way I know they’re capable of.”

Maplewood won the opening toss and immediately drove the ball down to the end zone on a 9-play, 84-yard drive that concluded with quarterback JD McFadden crossing the goal line on a 1-yard scramble. McFadden also ran in the two-point try.

After the Tigers defense forced the Sailors to go three-and-out, the legs of McFadden and Kaleb Donor were key in a 6-play, 60-yard trip down the field. Donor capped the drive with a 3-yard rush into the end zone.

Before the first quarter came to a close, Maplewood found itself ahead, 22-0, when Clay Cox tallied his first varsity touchdown reception, after taking the previous two years off, on a 78-yard pass from McFadden. Donor then converted the two-pointer on the ground.

To close out the first half, the Tigers reached the end zone two more times. McFadden ran it in from two yards out for his second rushing touchdown of the game before Donor scored for the second time on a 25-yard dash. Maplewood headed into the locker room with a 34-0 advantage.

From that point on, the Maplewood defense kept Lakeview at bay and held onto the shutout. Donor recorded two sacks of Sailors quarterback Gavin Murdock, while McFadden added one of his own. 

In Lakeview’s first drive of the second half, McFadden picked off Murdock when stepped in front of a Sailors receiver at the Lakeview 35 yard line on a 3rd-and-20 pass play, and took it the distance. 

Lakeview only reached the red zone on one occasion throughout the night. Midway through the second quarter, the Sailors had the ball 4 yards out with a 1st-and-goal opportunity. Two false starts and a pair of incomplete passes forced a 3rd-and-goal chance at the Maplewood 14 yard line. On the play, the Tigers forced Sailors ball carrier Kendall Crocker to fumble the ball, and Matt Niedbala collected the loose pigskin for Maplewood.

“Last year, we gave up all those points in the second half because we got tired,” Borkovich said. “We’ve been getting on the kids (telling them) that they have to dig deep and not let them score. I was glad we had that one stand down (in the red zone). We have good guys out there. We just have to make sure we are flying around.”

Next man up

With four starters out on each side of the football, many younger players made the most of their opportunity on Friday. Borkovich praised “Austin Parker, Lucas Kennedy, Ben Gilberto and those guys filling in” for their parts in the victory.

Gilberto had four carries for 16 yards and made a handful of stops on defense. Parker hauled in two passes for six yards, while Connor Palmiero had a 15-yard reception.

“I thought we did a good job with those (younger) guys getting experience,” he said.

Donor, who has taken over the starting running back role, injured his left ankle on his first carry of the contest. Working through the injury, Donor ran for 71 yards on seven carries and two scores, but he was forced to leave the game for good in the waning moments of the third quarter.

In his place, Sam Wright provided a spark at times for the offense. Although he fumbled the ball once, Wright rushed for 57 yards on 11 carries. Wright was a wide receiver last season for the Tigers, but moved to the backfield for his sophomore campaign.

“We knew we were a little thin at running back coming in so we moved him,” Borkovich said. “He ran scout team running back for us last year. He’s going to be good, and he’s getting the hang of it. He runs hard. You don’t want to put the ball on the ground, but he definitely stepped up.”

Approaching history

McFadden needed only 263 passing yards to set the Crawford County all-time passing record. The senior quarterback went 7 for 13 passing for 112 yards on Friday, and is now just 151 yards away from breaking the record.

Up next

Maplewood (1-0) will travel to Cochranton next week for the Tigers’ first Region 2 contest of the season.



Maplewood 40, Lakeview 0

Lakeview 0 0 0 0—0

Maplewood 22 12 6 0—40

First Quarter

M — JD McFadden 1-yard run (McFadden run), 8:49.

M — Kaleb Donor 3-yard run (run failed), 4:06.

M — Clay Cox 78-yard pass from McFadden (Donor run), 1:13.

Second Quarter

M — McFadden 2-yard run (run failed), 8:42.

M — Donor 25-yard run (run failed), 1:40.

Third Quarter

M — McFadden 35-yard interception return (run failed), 9:58.


PASSING — L, Gavin Murdock 3-12, 40 yards, 1 INT. M, McFadden 7-13, 112 yards, 1 TD.

RUSHING — L, Kendall Crocker 4-41; Rufus Byler 2-4; Logan McFadden 2-(-4); Murdock 22-(-5); Domanic Leonard 2-(-6). M, McFadden 11-85, 2 TD; Donor 7-71, TD; Sam Wright 11-57; Ben Gilberto 4-16; Clay Cox 1-2; TEAM 1-(-13).

RECEIVING — L, Byler 1-27; Kiefer Guthrie 1-14; Crocker 1-(-1). M, Cox 4-96, TD; Connor Palmiero 1-15; Austin Parker 2-6.

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