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Youngstown Christian stays perfect on season with win

September 8, 2012
By RICH KELLY - Special to Tribune Chronicle ( , Underthelights

ANDOVER - The final numbers on the scoreboard showed the visiting Youngstown Christian Eagles with 30 points and host Pymatuning Valley Lakers 0. Those numbers did not tell the whole story as Youngstown Christian used big plays on offense and a stout defense to subdue the Lakers, and both coaches knew it.

"We appeared to be a bit on the rusty side tonight," Eagles coach Brian Marrow said. "You absolutely have to credit a good, tough Pymatuning Valley team with causing much of that. They were tough all night."

It took big plays on both sides of the ball for the Eagles to put points on the board and also to avoid having PV putting points on it, as well. A pair of interceptions and a lost fumble that the Lakers smothered, all in the first quarter, had the Eagles on their heels early, but their defense thwarted the PV offense. The Eagles finally broke through to score in the second period in a big way.

Starting from their own 44 after a Laker punt, Ryan Grier, ran for 14 yards and was brought down by a grab of his facemask, adding another 15 yards to the play. On fourth down, Emmett Underwood found Darien Townsend over the middle for a 21-yard touchdown.

After a Grant Nowakowskin 10-yard run gained a first down, two consecutive penalties set the Lakers back into a long situation, and a Nowakowski pass was picked off by Grier and returned to the end zone from the 45.

The Eagles (3-0) moved into Vargo range on their next drive, and the talented senior drilled a 32-yard field goal to end the first-half scoring.

Underwood hit Townsend again on the first play of the fourth period from the 8, and sophomore speedster Nairu Morgan broke through a pair of tackles and dashed 72 yards with 3:05 to play in the game for the final points of the night.

Grier paced the attack for the Eagles with 151 yards on 17 carries, and Underwood passed for 87 yards with five completions in 12 attempts.

J.T. Willis bulled his way to 62 yards on 11 carries, and Kyle Conger added 27 tough yards on 12 tries for the Lakers (0-3).

"They're a very good team," PV coach Neal Croston said. "They went deep into the playoffs last year and have a bunch of kids back from that team. They are very big up front and have great speed in the backfield.