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Football: Crusaders Put Rocks Away Early

October 12, 2013
By KIM NORTH, For The Intelligencer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

BARNESVILLE - The crowning point in Friday night's game for Barnesville was when Shelby Wells selected the odd-colored rose at halftime in earning Homecoming Queen honors.

It was that bad for the Shamrocks as state-ranked Steubenville Catholic steamrolled its way to a convincing 56-0 victory before a nice crowd at Shamrock Stadium.

"They are head and shoulders above where we are right now," Barnesville coach Matt Johnson said of the Crusaders. "That's where we want to eventually get some day. We keep plugging away and we will get there. We just have to stay positive and keep working hard."

The Crusaders (7-0) scored touchdowns on eight of their nine first-half possessions, the lone exception being the only incomplete pass by senior Brenton Colabella, an interception by David Stewart.

Colabella accounted for five of the touchdowns with four through the air, where he was a sizzling 12-for-13 for 158 yards. He also ran one in from 4 yards outs, all those statistics coming in the first half.

"The kids came out a did what we asked them to do," Steubenville Catholic coach Steve Daly said. "We told them we wanted to get off to a fast start, and we were able to do that."

Indeed Steubenville Catholic, ranked third in Division VII, Region 25 and sixth in the latest Associated Press poll, did as it reached the end zone twice in the first 1:51 to take a 14-0 lead.

Khalil Jones took a pitch right and zig-zagged his way in from 62 yards out on the second snap of the game.

On the Shamrocks' second play from scrimmage, Kyle Fletcher picked off an Austin Hannahs' pass, returning it 31 yards to the Barnesville 1.

On the next play, Colabella, after a nifty play-fake, found Jones all alone in the end zone.

After Barnesville (1-6) turned it over on downs, Steubenville Catholic gave the ball right back as Colabella was looking deep for a receiver when Stewart went high into the air to make a leaping interception.

"The kid made a good play on the ball," Daly noted. "He went up and got it at its highest point. Brenton's been efficient all year. He did a nice job."

Three plays later, Jones showed his defensive skills when he intercepted a Hannahs pass. It took the Crusaders seven plays to reach the end zone as Colabella's pass to Fletcher turned into a 45-yard scoring connection for a 21-0 reading.

Things got worse for the hosts as the ensuing kickoff was fumbled and Steubenville Catholic's Jacob Borden pounced on it at the Shamrocks 26. Colabella called his own number from the 4 three plays later.

Colabella tossed a pair of second-quarter TDs. He found Fletcher all alone in the right corner of the end zone from 5 yards out, and then delivered a strike to Johnny DiCarlantonio down the middle of the field from 29 yards out.

Sandwiched in between was a 37-yard ramble by fullback Storm Romano.

Tony Barber concluded the scorefest with an 11-yard sprint up the middle on fourth-and-6 late in the first half.

Neither team threw a pass in the second half, which was rapidly played.

Steubenville Catholic piled up 407 total yards, with 374 of that coming before the intermission break. Jones amassed 151 yards on six carries. Fletcher and Luke Potenzini each caught three passes.

Barnesville received a career-high 88 yards on 20 carries from sophomore Daniel Brown, with 67 of those coming in the second half.

Louis Fallon also picked off a pass for the Crusaders, who forced seven turnovers.

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