Chaney blasts Howland to get on track
YOUNGSTOWN — After spending the last five weeks on the road, including three games outside of the Mahoning Valley, the Chaney Cowboys were ready to come home to Rayen Stadium.
Chaney faced a red-hot Howland squad that won four out of its last five contests and looked to keep its playoff hopes alive.
The Cowboys had other plans for the Tigers as they made a statement by defeating Howland in Chaney’s first homecoming game since the program’s rebirth this season, 36-0.
Cowboys coach Chris Amill was happy to be home.
“It’s great,” he said. “Our away games, most of them have been in Cleveland — the different travels and playing in the afternoons and things like that. It’s been different. It’s been rough, just getting back to the norm and coming here and playing in front of the home crowd. I mean, it’s huge.”
Chaney had several big offensive plays that helped them outgain the Tigers in total yards, 447-160. The Cowboys began their scoring midway through the first quarter when senior Key-Shaun Davis sprinted downfield for a 59-yard touchdown, although the PAT was blocked.
Davis reached the end zone again on a 28-yard run in the opening minutes of the second quarter to increase Chaney’s lead to 12-0 after a failed two-point conversion.
Later in the quarter, senior Marshall Herron broke off a 55-yard touchdown run to make it 18-0.
Then junior Delshawn Petrosky launched a pass to senior Deron Gilbert, who made a spectacular catch for a 21-yard touchdown as the lead ballooned to 24-0 in the closing moments of the second quarter.
With 2:40 left in the third quarter, senior Migel Burgess struck from 12 yards out as the rushing touchdown made it 30-0.
Howland (4-4) finally created a spark offensively early in the fourth quarter after David Burman III launched a 44-yard pass to Ja’Wahn Dean to set the Tigers up the 2-yard line, but Chaney’s defense stood tall on fourth down to prevent Howland.
The Cowboys took full advantage of the defensive stand, as Herron took off like a rocket for a 98-yard touchdown to seal the deal.
Herron ended with 168 yards rushing and a pair of scored on only five carries.
“Man, (the 98-yard touchdown run) felt great, but our line, I owe it all to the line,” Herron said. “I wouldn’t be able to make any yards without the linemen. They came out and played great, and we’ve been asking them for that since Week 1, and they did what we’ve been asking. I owe it all to them.
Chaney dropped the previous two contests.
“We should have been playing like this day 1, but, I mean, it is what it is,” Herron said. “God puts you in so many places that you’ve got to figure out, come out and do stuff like this I guess.”
Davis, who had 93 yards rushing on six carries, said it was important to score early.
“We set the tone from the beginning, and we kept going from there,” he said. That motivated us.”
Both teams coughed the ball up on their opening possessions and had turnover issues throughout, but Amill felt his team did a good job of converting Howland turnovers into points.
“We have a lot of athletes, and (we’re) just trying to get those guys the ball in space, so having those turnovers makes the defense kind of guess what we’re going to do,” he said. “We took a couple shots after some turnovers, and we got some big runs after turnovers, so just keeping them off balance and just getting the ball in the hands our playmakers was the key.”
Chaney is set to play its last two games at home, and Amill feels his team has some energy after the big win.
“We knew Howland was probably one of the more physical teams we will play on the schedule, but just having that confidence going into these last two weeks will be great for us. We talked with our seniors about setting the foundation for this program for the future and they came out and they gave everything they had.
“So this is definitely going to catapult us into these last two games, and give us a lot of confidence and pick up our spirits and pride, and we know we get to play at home in front of our crowd the next two weeks.”