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Big plays, turnovers lead Mathews to first loss of year

September 14, 2013
By KAYLA HANUSCHAK - Tribune Chronicle correspondent ( , Underthelights

VIENNA - With 3:14 left in the game, a 66-yard touchdown from junior Trent Ferry cemented the 33-16 win for Leetonia over Mathews, breaking the Mustangs 2-0 record, at Booster Stadium on Friday night.

"Nothing was going through my head," Ferry said. "It was a complete blank. I just trusted my blockers to make good plays and I did the rest."

Leetonia coach Matt Altomare was happy with his team's performance.

"It's great to get a win," Altomare said. "They are a good football team. They are going to get a lot of wins. To come here on their own field and get a victory, it feels really good."

It was Leetonia that put up the first points of the night. Senior Zack Van Giesen rushed for 3 yards, earning the Bears their first touchdown.

From there, Mathews stepped up and took over the rest of the first quarter by scoring two touchdowns, both from junior quarterback Cobie Pratt. Pratt finished the game throwing for 92 yards. By the end of the first quarter, the score was 13-6. Senior running back Austin Arnal led the Mustangs rushing through defenders for 112 yards.

Once the second half commenced, the Bears outscored the Mustangs 13-3. The last two touchdowns for Leetonia were rushed for 109 yards combined. At the 7:46 mark, junior Colton Gudat rushed for 43 yards, along with Ferry's 66-yards, to finish the game. Gudat finished with seven carries for 155 yards on the night. Ferry completed five of seven passes for 48 yards.

"The kids came out and had some adversity at first," Alromare said. "We were down 13-6 and we really couldn't stop them at all in the beginning part of the first half. They responded, they executed and I think that it was key that we got that other touchdown before the end of the half."

Mathews coach Mike Palumbo accounts the loss to Leetonia's big plays and turnovers.

"It's a tough one," Palumbo said. "Leetonia has a good team. I think they are one of the toughest teams on our schedule. Big plays are what happened tonight. You can't afford to turnover the ball against a good team like Leetonia. We just have to capitalize and not let them get those big plays. Big plays killed us tonight.

"I think that we are going to work on what we are good at like running the ball. We are going to look at film tomorrow. We are going to correct our mistakes. We are going at it like we are 0-0. Every week that is our mentality. Every game we tell the kids that we can think about our loss, learn from our mistakes in films and next week we are just going to be 0-0. We have Western Reserve Academy on the mind."

Just because the Bears won and took Mathews undefeated season away from them, does not mean that they will be able to slack off in practice tomorrow.

"There are some things we need to work on," Altomore said. "We are going into our league next week and there are some things that we need to work on and get ready. We are going to tell them about the good things they did but of course there are some things we need to correct, it was a little bit sloppy out there."

Ferry agrees with what his coach said.

"We knew that we needed to step up, we didn't play Leetonia Bear football," Ferry said. "We had to come out and play harder. We have to keep this momentum going and carry this into the league. It's a tough league."

Next week, Leetonia will go up against Wellsville and Mathews will take on Western Reserve Academy.