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Irish hold off Chaney, 27-26

YOUNGSTOWN — It wasn’t clean, nor pretty.

But in the end, it was exciting for Ursuline and excruciating for Chaney as the Irish made enough plays to pull off a 27-26 win over the Cowboys in a Steel Valley Conference matchup at Stambaugh Stadium on Saturday.

“I am so proud of these guys because it would’ve been easy to tap out there in the third or fourth quarter,” Ursuline coach Dan Reardon said. “Nothing was going our way, and we were down 26-14, and we lost two more starters today in addition to the three or four other starters who were injured earlier and weren’t playing. So for us to find a way to pull out our first victory is special and shows what type of heart these young men have.”

The Irish improved to 1-5 overall and 1-1 in the SVC, while Chaney is 3-3 and 0-2 in the league.

“We gave this one away and it hurts,” Chaney coach Chris Amill said. “Turnovers were the story of the game. We fumbled at our own 1-yard line and (Ursuline) scored a touchdown, and we threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

“We just shot ourselves in the foot way too many times with turnovers. You can’t do that and win.”

Chaney held a 26-14 lead early in the fourth quarter. However, the Irish used a 53-yard punt from Matt Reardon to pin Chaney down on its 1-yard line. Andrew Barkett recovered a Cowboys’ fumble in the end zone for a touchdown on the next play, and Taylor Tomlinson’s extra-pont kick pulled Ursuline within 26-21 with 9:25 remaining.

Matt Reardon, who threw an interception in the third quarter after replacing injured quarterback Brady Shannon, made his biggest play of the day a few minutes later. Facing a third-and-10 at Chaney’s 39, he connected with James Phillips down the left seam on a 34-yard pass play.

Trent Hill scored on a 2-yard run two plays later with 5:21 left to set the final score.

Chaney had two more possessions and both ended with interceptions.

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