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Stow football starts slow, but gets big win at Twinsburg

by Michael Leonard Sports Editor Published: October 9, 2016 12:00 AM
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In the first half, Twinsburg football gave undefeated Stow-Munroe Falls everything it could handle.

The Tigers had stymied the Bulldogs offense a bit and went into halftime tied at 14-14, hoping to hand Stow its first regular-season loss since 2014.

In the second half, however, the Bulldogs asserted themselves.

Tied 14-14 at the half, Stow put up 28 unanswered points to score a 42-14 win over Twinsburg Sept. 30 at Tiger Stadium.

Stow improved to 6-0, 3-0 in the Suburban League National Conference, while Twinsburg dropped to 1-5, 0-3 in the National Conference.

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Twinsburg coach Mike Bell was happy with the way his team came out, but noted the Tigers needed to play 48 minutes of flawless football to beat the Bulldogs.

"I'm happy with the overall effort, particularly in the first half," Bell said. "We made a couple critical mistakes in the kicking game. You can't make mistakes against a team that good. It's hard to play from behind, especially against a team like that."

Stow coach Mark Nori said his team did an excellent job rallying at halftime.

"We just told them we needed to execute better," Nori said. "It unraveled a bit on us in the second quarter. We made some mistakes. We told them we could either come together or fall apart and we came together."

Both offenses got off to slow starts, as both teams turned the ball over on downs in the opponent's territory.

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After a scoreless first quarter, Stow finally got rolling with a nine-play, 91-yard drive early in the second.

Following a 41-yard bomb from quarterback Kyle Vantrease to wide receiver Joe Andrassy, running back Joe Gobble ran in a 10-yard touchdown.

Gobble rushed 18 times for 81 yards and two touchdowns on the night. Stow kicker Austin Burnham went 6-of-6 on extra points.

After a nice kickoff return, Twinsburg would answer by mixing up its play calling.

Quarterback Adam Van de Motter ran in a 25-yard quarterback draw for a touchdown with 3:46 left in the half. Following a pair of Stow penalties, Twinsburg went for the two-point conversion and Jared Eaton plunged in to make it 8-7.

Stow had a quick response. Terrian Wray nearly returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, but tripped at the Tiger 38.

Four plays later, Wray finished the job, running eight yards up the middle for a touchdown to make it 14-8.

Stow was driving again late in the half when Twinsburg pulled its biggest play of the night.

Tiger linebacker Isaiah Savitt jumped a screen pass, picked the ball off and ran untouched 61 yards for a touchdown. Stow blocked the extra point, keeping it tied at 14-14.

It nearly got worse for Stow, as the Bulldogs muffed the ensuing kickoff and Twinsburg recovered at the Stow 30.

However, Twinsburg's threat ended when Jared Wright intercepted Van de Motter in the end zone to end the half.

Twinsburg seemed to have the momentum, but the third quarter belonged to the Bulldogs.

After stopping Twinsburg's first drive, a shanked punt set Stow up at the Twinsburg 41.

After converting a fourth-and-two situation with a six-yard run, Wray turned a sweep left into a 26-yard touchdown with 8:05 left in the third quarter.

Another short punt set Stow up at its own 46. Four plays later, Vantrease threw his lone touchdown of the night on a 28-yard go route to Wright with 5:20 left in the third quarter.

Vantrease had a solid night, going 15-of-27 for 189 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Andrassy led the Bulldogs with seven catches for 99 yards.

Stow found the end zone for the third time in the third quarter, as Gobble ran in a seven-yard sweep with 21 seconds left.

Down 35-14, Twinsburg had one chance to get back in the game when it recovered a fumble by Gobble on the Stow 7.

However, Stow's defense intercepted its second pass of the night in the end zone. This time, Andrassy picked off Jalen Tucker and returned it to the 18.

The ensuing drive erased all doubt, as Wray scored his third touchdown of the night on a nine-yard run up the middle.

Wray led the Bulldogs with 113 yards on 17 carries with three touchdowns.

Nori noted it was a big deal to have two capable running backs available.

"Especially when Joe is playing both ways, we need to know we can rely on both of them," Nori said. "They both bring a lot to the team."

Van de Motter went 6-of-7 for 57 yards and an interception, while Tucker went 4-of-14 for 34 yards and a pick. Van de Motter also led Twinsburg with seven rushes for 39 yards, as Stow dominated the rushing battle 290-59.

Stow was set Oct. 7 for one of the biggest game of the season when it traveled to Hudson, but results were not available at press time.

"Every year, Hudson's a big game, regardless of what they have and what we have," Nori said. "We have to be ready to play and it's at Hudson this year."

On Oct. 14, Stow will welcome rival Cuyahoga Falls to Bulldog Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

Facebook: MLeonardRPC

Twitter:@MLeonard_RPC


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