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Football Lookahead: Big Red Faces Another Challenge in Ursuline

October 4, 2012
By TRACY WATSON , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

STEUBENVILLE - Having to make unexpected last-minute changes to the lineup heading into the regular season, there were plenty of questions about the 2012 Steubenville football team.

Most of those questions were answered following a 4-0 start to the season, but a Week-5 loss at Massillon threw another question forward - how was Big Red going to respond?

Last Friday night that question was answered with an outstanding performance against Pittsburgh Westinghouse.

"I am very glad for the way everyone played," Saccoccia said. "A lot of kids made some key plays and got big minutes and it was just a very good win for the whole team. We needed a little break like that."

However, another big challenge lies ahead this week as the Big Red Machine welcomes a Youngstown Ursuline squad with a deceiving 3-3 record.

First-year Coach Larry Kempe watched his team jump to a 3-0 record only to lose the last three to teams with a combined 17-0 record. Ursuline is coming off a 47-7 pounding at the hands at powerhouse Erie Cathedral Prep, Pa.

The Fighting Irish, who are currently sitting in the No. 8 spot in Ohio Division V, Region 17, outscored their opponents by a 124-37 margin the first three weeks, but have been outscored by a 123-52 overall score since.

Meanwhile, Steubenville not only played its best offensive game of the season against Westinghouse, it also recorded one of its best defensive efforts.

Big Red rolled up 415 total stripes, in a very balanced effort with 209 rushing and 206 passing, while limiting their guests to just 69 overall yards, including negative six rushing.

Senior quarterback Corey Stinson had one of his best games, throwing for 206 yards and a pair of scores and has nearly 900 yards through the air on the season with seven touchdowns.

Matt Petrella has become Stinson's favorite target and hauled in six grabs for 102 yards and a score last week while Evan Westlake added two catches for 62 and a score.

Steubenville has a stable of capable running backs, along with Stinson's ability to take off, with Teshawn Luke coming off an eight-carry, 80-yard and a score performance.

Fighting Irish quarterback Chris Durkin is a Division I prospect and has a very capable receiver in Shawn Cole. Ursuline also has a two-headed rushing monster in Tramain Thigpen and Jermaine Williams who provide a nice 1-2 punch.

"Ursuline has a brutal schedule and all three of their losses have come to unbeaten teams," Saccoccia added. "This is going to be a great challenge for us and we are very anxious to see which group of players arise to the challenge. That is something that we will have the opportunity to figure out this week."

The teams have split a pair of games over the previous two seasons with Big Red winning on the road, 22-17, last season and Ursuline picking up a 24-3 victory at Harding Stadium in 2010.

 
 

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