Tigers tamed by Spartans

Correspondent photo / Michael Taylor Howland's Gavin Campbell (7) scores at touchdown against Boardman.

HOWLAND — Going into Friday’s game against Howland, the Boardman Spartans had only scored 43 points on the season. They surpassed that total in one game, beating the Tigers 54-19.

While some teams may have given up after a rough start to the season, Spartans coach Joe Ignazio praised his team and staff for not backing down and getting the win.

“We’re demanding of our kids to continue to show up and get better, and they finally responded and put together what we thought they were capable of tonight,” Ignazio said. “I’m extremely proud of my staff. Some teams would give up in situations like we’re dealing with, but our guys show up every day and they coach their butts off and don’t give up until the last whistle and our kids see that.

“We’ve had conversations about it, and our word this week was ‘dependable.’ We told every kid that we have to depend on each other and now it’s time to go.”

The Boardman offense took center stage Friday evening, tallying 572 yards of total offense. Boardman quarterback Terence Thomas was the primary architect of that success, accounting for six touchdowns, three rushing and three passing, 204 yards on the ground and another 143 through the air.

Correspondent photo / Michael Taylor Howland's Eric Babinchak (29) scores a TD as Boardman's Nate Fleming defends.

When Boardman got the ball, the Spartans wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, with multiple possessions lasting five or less plays.

“We had something like 24 offensive (plays) to their 44 for the first half, which just speaks to how quick we were scoring, and they had to sustain drives,” Ignazio said.

In a 54-point game, the attention is going to be on the offensive side of the ball, but Boardman’s defense held strong, limiting Tigers quarterback David Burman III to 99 passing yards and a completion percentage of 38 percent. Burman had two touchdowns on the night.

Eric Babinchak led Howland with 196 yards on the ground and a touchdown. Babinchak also had 47 yards through the air and another touchdown.

Going into the game, Ignazio was worried about Howland’s size up front, but he was glad to see his team’s physicality win out.

Correspondent photo / Michael Taylor Nicolas Leasure (9) of Howland runs past Boardman's Sean O'Horo (6).

“They’re big up front, and that’s something that we worried about early on this week when we saw them on film,” he said. “I thought they matched the physicality… We’re still not where we need to be there, did some things differently and we’ll get back at it. We’ve got to shore some things up against the run and our guys were competing, but we want to continue to get better there.”


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