Reserve RB rushes to school records
Mathews shuts down 4th-straight opponent
To suggest Western Reserve senior running back David Altiere made the most of his carries Friday night is an understatement.
Altiere carried the ball just 17 times in the Blue Devils’ 56-22 home win against Sebring. In the process, Altiere also set three school records.
Altiere rushed for 338 yards and six touchdowns — both single-game school records. Altiere broke the previous single-game rushing record of 318 held by Adam Gatrell.
Altiere also became Western Reserve’s all-time career leader in points scored (278), surpassing Jack Cappabianca’s mark of 274. His 32 career rushing touchdowns is four shy of a school record.
“It was a great night; it’s definitely something to remember,” Altiere said. “I had a couple of big runs to start the game. I knew going into halftime that I had over 200, and it felt good knowing I was on my way to a big night.
“We’re battling for the playoffs. I knew this could be my last-ever home game. We were coming off a loss. As a team we had every reason in the world to go out and have a huge game. I just wanted to do my part.”
Western Reserve, ranked 11th in Division VI, Region 21, currently does not have a Week 10 opponent on the schedule.
“We’re hoping to find an opponent, we want to head into the playoffs with momentum,” Altiere said. “But either way we finished strong and I think we’re capable of making a run.”
On the season, Altiere has rushed for 1,565 yards, making him 435 yards short of another goal he set back in August.
“I really wanted to get to 2,000 yards this year. I knew that with the offensive line I get to run behind it was a possibility,” Altiere said. “It would be great to get there because it would probably mean that we’re a couple games into the playoffs.”
Between 2018 and 2020, Mathews won a total of just six games.
Heading into the 10th week of the 2021 season, the Mustangs own a 6-2 record.
Mathews picked up its latest win Friday with a 42-0 victory at Windham. It marked the fourth-straight win for the Mustangs — all shutouts. In the same span, the Mustangs are averaging 38 points per game.
Mathews hasn’t allowed a point in its last 18 quarters. The Mustangs surrendered their last points on Sept. 17 in the first half of a 14-6 loss at Madonna (West Virginia).
“Our biggest asset this year is our numbers; they’re way up from what they were last year,” Mathews first-year coach Bill Bohren said. “Coming in, I really didn’t know what we had in terms of strengths and weaknesses. I just knew that we had to increase our roster.”
Mathews also pitched a shutout in its season-opener against Steubenville Catholic Central.
“We lost maybe our best defensive player in Austin Barnes early this season with a broken finger,” Bohren said. “Since then, we’ve had a number of younger players step up. We have a lot of impact players.
“Logan Corson and (freshman) Tim Gregorino are outstanding linebackers. We have a really good down tackle in Levi Bearfield. Corey Lilley is outstanding in the backfield, and Dom Toto is just a freshman and is a really good young corner.”
Mathews closes its regular season at Pymatuning Valley (5-3). Both teams are 3-0 in the Northeastern Athletic Conference.
“Pymatuning Valley came into the season the league favorite; they’re still the team to beat,” Bohren said. “But it’s great for our program that we’re playing for a league title and we’re heading to the playoffs.”
LIGHTING UP THE SCOREBOARD
West Branch is averaging 52.6 points per game through nine games. At their current pace, the Warriors have the 13th-best points-per-game average in state history. Tops on the list is the 1912 Fostoria team, which averaged 74.4 points per game in an eight-game schedule.
The most-recent addition to the Top 10 is the 2014 The Plains Athens team, which averaged 57.4 points per game over 15 games. Athens advanced to the Division III state title game, where it lost to Toledo Central Catholic, 56-52.
Athens accomplished the feat the same year that the running clock rule was implemented in Ohio, utilizing a nonstop second half clock when a team leads by 30 or more points.
This past Friday West Branch scored 56 first-half points en route to a 77-0 win over Minerva.