4.12.14 FOOTBALL: Maroon Edges White 21-20 in Spring Game
(NORTH CANTON, Ohio) - For spring football games, Walsh’s split squad exhibition was about as exciting a game as you could get as the Maroon team defeated the White team by score of 21-20 at Vasco Field. The game came down to the final minutes as Team White scored a touchdown with just over a minute left, but a two-point conversion for the win failed as Team Maroon took a knee.
Team White struck first as its defense stuffed Team Maroon on its first drive and forced a punt. On the punt, Kyler Lacy (So., 6-1, Ashland, OH/HS) busted through the line, blocked the attempted kick, picked up the ball and walked into the end zone from just a few yards out for a quick 7-0 lead.
Team Maroon answered quickly as Aaron Male (R-Fr., 5-11, Akron, OH/Ellet) returned the ensuing kickoff 72 yards to the 28-yard line. Just a few plays later, Byron King (R-Fr., 5-9, Brooklyn, NY/Hudson Catholic/Bridgton Academy) punched the ball across the goal line from a yard out to notch the game back up at 7-7.
It didn’t take Team White long to regain the lead as it marched 56 yards for its first offensive score on a touchdown pass to Evan Mayle (Jr., 6-1, Canton, OH/GlenOak) from Jason Fracassa (Sr., 5-9, Sterling Heights, MI/Utica Stevenson/Northwood) from four yards out to make the score 14-7. Team White had an opportunity to increase its lead, but Pat White (Sr., 6-1, Cambridge, OH/Pickerington Central) intercepted a Kyler White (R-Fr., 6-2, Indianapolis, IN/Franklin Central) pass to prevent further damage. The turnover allowed Team Maroon to tie the game just before the half. Marcus Smith (R-Fr., 5-7, Hepheibah, GA/HS) scored the tying touchdown on a 13-yard strike from Paul Kempe (Sr., 6-1, Girard, OH/Ursuline) to lock the score at 14-14 as both teams headed into the break.
Scoring was limited in the second half as each team scored once. Team White threatened again early, but an interception in the end zone plus a big return set up Team Maroon nicely. They cashed in on the momentum swing as Jarious Smith (So., 5-7, Delray Beach, FL/Pope John Paul II) caught an easy touchdown pass from Brody Tonn (So., 6-0, Massillon, OH/Washington) six yards out to go up 21-14.
Team White didn’t turn away as Luke Lloyd (So., 5-8, Zanesville, OH/Bishop Rosecrans) scored on a 5-yard run to make the score 21-20 with 1:16 left in the game. They opted to go for the win, but a fake field goal run by Michael Dudics (Sr., 5-10, Doylestown, OH/Chippewa) was shut down by Pat White. Team Maroon recovered the onside kick and took a knee to end the game.
Kempe finished the game with 11-of-17 completed for 64 yards and a touchdown. His Team Maroon counterpart Tonn was 4-of-4 for 31 yards and a score of his own. Sage Pope (R-Fr., 6-3, West Middlesex, OH/HS) was the leading receiver for Team Maroon with three caught for 33 yards.
Team White was paced by the quarterback play of Kyler White who finished the game with 6-of-9 completed for 100 yards. Matt Mattuska (R-Fr., 6-0, Akron, St. Vincent-St. Mary) caught three passes to lead the Maroon wide-outs with 48 yards. Lloyd was the leader in rushing yards for Team White with 25 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
The game was played in a traditional style with four 15-minute running quarters with the clock allowed to be stopped during the last two minutes of each quarter.
The Cavaliers will open up the 2014 season when they host Tiffin on Saturday, Sept. 6. Kickoff is currently set for 12 p.m. at Fawcett Stadium.