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St. Vincent-St. Mary too much for Hubbard

November 23, 2013
By MIKE McLAIN - Tribune Chronicle ( , Underthelights

RAVENNA - To have any chance of defeating Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, Hubbard Eagles coach Brian Hoffman figured it would be good to get in the first punch.

When the Fighting Irish landed a couple of blows early in the first quarter, an order that was tall to begin with grew to the size of a mountain that the Eagles weren't able to scale.

The Eagles struggled to contain speedy running back Parris Campbell Jr., who rushed for 209 yards and scored three touchdowns to power the Irish to a 40-7 win Friday in the Division III, Region 7 title game at Portage Community Bank Stadium.

Article Photos

Hubbard’s George Hill (4) rushes for yardage as SVSM’s Aaron Adkins (41) gets a hold on him to make the tackle during second quarter action Friday night. Hubbard’s season came to an end with a 40-7 defeat on the Ravenna field. Tribune Chronicle/R. Michael Semple

"I knew going in this week we needed to start fast," Hoffman said. "We needed something good to happen early for us. Not saying we haven't come back from adverse situations during the year, but this magnitude of a game we needed to start quickly. When we got behind a little bit and had the big injury; that was a little bit of a deflation."

The Eagles finished the season with a 12-1 record. The Irish advance with a 13-0 record.

The injury Hoffman referred to was suffered by junior lineman Matt Jones, who is a big part of the defensive front. Jones struggled getting off the field late in the first half and didn't return. Also injured for the Eagles was quarterback-safety Brennan Wassil and linebacker Alex Mosora.

By the time Jones was hurt the Irish had opened a 17-7 lead. Campbell, who's given Ohio State an oral commitment, scored on a 35-yard run on the second play of the Irish's first possession. Evan Cunningham then took advantage of a strong tail wind to kick a 43-yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-0.

The Eagles drove 80 yards on 11 plays to score on a trick play in which receiver Cole Bencetic took a pitch from running back Larry Scott and then threw a pass to Wassil, who ran the distance on a 25-yard play.

Campbell stretched the advantage to 17-7 when he went 77 yards on a toss sweep around the right side.

Campbell's most damaging run to the Eagles came when he reversed the field on a toss sweep and ran 59 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the third quarter. The extra point kick by Cunningham gave the Irish a 24-7 lead.

"I feel that run kind of put the nail in them," Campbell said. "Our goal in the second half was to come out and keep putting it on them, and that's what we did."

It was a physical game that saw players on both teams remain on the ground after plays or walk off the field under less than full power. Irish running back Vince Lockett was the victim of the game's hardest hit, delivered by Brandan Rivers. Lockett fumbled when he flew backwards several yards. Tyler Taafe recovered for Hubbard at its 35.

"The tone we wanted to set was that we were going to come tonight and play physical," Hoffman said. "I really believe that we were. We played a physical game with them. We made some mistakes at key points, and they got off to the fast start."

The Irish took a 31-7 lead late in the third quarter when Lockett scored on a 7-yard run. The 52-yard drive began after Scott was stopped for no gain on a fourth-and-2 call from the Irish 48.

The Irish added a safety when a snap flew over the head of Bencetic and rolled beyond the end zone. Aaron Bushner threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Tyrece Speaight to close out the scoring.

Irish coach Dan Boarman spoke highly of Campbell's performance.

"I think you see how explosive he is," Boarman said. "Did you see how physical he is? He's able to run over them, too."

St. Vincent-St. Mary will play Columbus Marion-Franklin in the state semifinals on Friday. Last year, Columbus Marion Franklin advanced to the regional finals in Division II.