Raiders roll

WGH shuts out Rhodes

Tribune Chronicle / John Vargo Warren G. Harding’s Isaiah Cayson (28) and Kay’Ron Adams celebrate an Adams’ touchdown Friday.

WARREN — Steve Arnold didn’t like what he saw in Week 1 against Canton McKinley.

Mistakes were made. Opportunities missed. It wasn’t the opener the Warren G. Harding football coach or his team envisioned.

They regrouped for Friday’s game against Cleveland Rhodes.

“This game wasn’t about Rhodes,” Arnold said. “It was about ourselves. We needed to clean up some of the things we didn’t do well against McKinley. This game was about Warren G. Harding, not about Cleveland Rhodes.”

Harding (1-1) proved to itself it can play good football inside Mollenkopf Stadium with a 40-0 victory.

Tribune Chronicle / John Vargo Warren G. Harding’s Kay’Ron Adams, middle, races past defenders on his way to the end zone for a first-half touchdown Friday in Warren.

Kay’Ron Adams had 14 carries for 143 yards and three touchdowns. He had 99 yards and three scores in the first half.

Harding had some holding calls in the second quarter that took away about 50 yards of offense.

“Got to eliminate the holding calls,” Arnold said. “You want to see it on tape. Couple times our receivers said they had hands inside. They made the calls, so it’s a penalty.

“We teach our receivers to be aggressive when we’re blocking. We’ve got to correct it. We will. The o-line did a great job and Kay’Ron is his usual self. Couple of his runs were pretty dynamic.”

Adams went for 24, 18 and 9 yards on his scores, but Harding’s defense held Rhodes (0-2) to minus-5 yards rushing at halftime — giving Harding a couple of possessions on the Rams’ side of the field. Rhodes was held to 37 yards on 26 carries.

A couple of Harding drives resulted in three-and-outs, but the others were Adams scores. Harding also got a perfect balance with Elijah Jackson going 9 of 14 passing for 90 yards. Brandon Arnold came in the fourth quarter and was 1 of 2 for 17 yards.

It’s an important part of the Raiders’ offense.

“We’re getting better and better throwing the football,” Steve Arnold said. “Some teams can put nine, 10 guys in the box and say we’re going to shut down Kay’Ron. We have to be able to throw the football, even if it’s three-step or quick stuff or being able to go deep. There has to be a viable threat to throw the ball deep or to throw the ball period. That opens up lanes for Kay’Ron.”

That leads into an important Week 3 matchup next Friday at Massillon (2-0). The Tigers beat Harding last year in Warren, but a yeoman’s effort by University of Kentucky sophomore and former WGH standout Lynn Bowden handed Massillon a loss two seasons ago in Massillon.

There’s not much love loss between the two towns.

“There’s a history between Warren and Massillon,” Arnold said. “You have to play a darn-near perfect game when you go down to Massillon. I told them this week is going to be different type of practice in preparation for Massillon. We’ll be totally focused when we prepare for Massillon down there.”

Adams knows what Week 3 means.

“That’s a big rivalry right there,” he said. “We don’t like them. They don’t like us. Got to get them back.

“I’m giving it all I got.”

Friday’s win is great, but making six penalties for 65 yards isn’t what Harding needs as it heads into Tiger country.

“We played well, but we have to eliminate the mistakes,” Arnold said. “The penalties, we won’t be able to do that next week. Unequivocally we won’t be able to do that next week.”