Defensive struggle

Mahoning team wins 12-7 on fourth-quarter kickoff return

Lakeview's #15 Zach Rogers points downfield to his receivers during 1st half action of the Jack Arvin Football Classic...by R. Michael Semple

CANFIELD — In the 34th annual Jack Arvin Football Classic held at Canfield Cardinal Stadium, Mahoning County defeated Trumbull County, 12-7. The Mahoning Valley Coaches Association and ScoutingOhio.com presented the game.

In the first half, neither offense put too much together. Trumbull County got close to a score in the second quarter. Lakeview quarterback Zach Rogers along with Brookfield running back Alex Clark, marched the Trumbull County squad down the field all the way to the 7-yard line before Rogers was intercepted by Youngstown East’s Greg Lincoln to preserve the first-half shutout.

Clark ran for 34 of his team-high 107 yards in that drive alone.

“I wasn’t expecting to get too many carries today. It worked out that I got a lot. It felt like a normal game like most of our (Brookfield’s) games,” Clark said. “It was pretty fun to play this game and get a lot of carries. It felt like a normal game with my dad coaching me. It was a good last game to play in.”

Clark’s dad, Randy, was Brookfield’s coach and was the head coach for the Trumbull County squad this year.

Trumbull County All-Star Team Head Coach Randy Clark from Brookfield, right, instructs his team during a time-out during 1st half action...by R. Michael Semple

Neither team found points in the first half.

In the second half, Mahoning County struck first. They got the ball first in the second half and didn’t waste any time.

Boardman quarterback Domhonic Jennings helped move the offense with a couple of solid runs before airing it out.

After Jennings hit Canfield’s Will Dawson for an 11-yard strike for a first down, he hit Valley Christian’s Jamynk Jackson for a 40-yard touchdown down the left sideline to give Mahoning a 6-0 lead as the extra point was blocked.

Trumbull would respond though. After starting its drive in the third, they would score in the fourth.

Lakeview's #22 Evan Adair tries to break the tackle of Youngstown East's Greg Lincoln during 1st half action of the Jack Arvin Football Classic...by R. Michael Semple

After using the rush to move the chains, Liberty’s Dra Rushton punched it in from two yards out to give Trumbull a 7-6 lead after a made extra point by Lakeview’s Noah Busefink.

Mahoning immediately responded as Jackson caught the ensuing kickoff at the 3-yard line and returned it 97 yards for the game-winning score with about nine minutes left.

“I really had to create it. I had some seal blocks but as a skill player, you have to create your block. So you hit the hole with a move and then head the opposite way,” Jackson said on his returned kickoff. “After I bounced out, I knew I had it. I love running track and I love football so it was cool to do all this now.”

Trumbull was unable to respond after that, breaking a two-game winning streak for the County in the game.

Liberty's #1 Dra Rushton looks for running room as Ursuline's #33 Dan McCarthy goes for the tackle during 1st half action of the Jack Arvin Football Classic Thursday evening...by R. Michael Semple

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