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Football: Opic’s Return Not a Sign of Things to Come for St. John

October 20, 2013
By RICK THORP , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

BELLAIRE - When Cameron Opic returned Saturday's opening kickoff 75 yards for a score it looked like it was going to be a good day for the folks on the home side at the Irish Youth Sports Athletic Complex.

But it wasn't to be.

Sciotoville Community scored 42 unanswered points en route to a 48-21 triumph against St. John on a rainy Senior Day along Ohio 7 in the Irish's home finale.

"We're a team that continues to struggle with getting things right and being consistent," St. John coach Jeff Paolina said after watching his team fall to 0-8.

"We'll go back to the drawing board Monday and start getting ready for Cameron."

The Irish face the Dragons at 7 p.m. Friday before finishing the season the following Friday at Beallsville.

"Our goal is to come out and try and win the last two games," Paolina said.

Jordan Bowen rushed for 127 yards and three touchdowns and Akia Brown tacked on 98 yards and a score as the Portsmouth-based school racked up 501 yards of offense, including 392 on the ground.

The East Tartans scored all of their touchdowns on the ground. The only time they didn't score a TD was the first time they scored - a safety at the 8:54 mark of the first quarter when they tackled an Irish runner in the end zone that made the score 7-2.

Four plays after St. John punted the ball back to the East Tartans, the visitors took the lead for good when Brown scored his only touchdown, a 12-yard scamper. Bowen's pass from Michael Stiltner made the score 10-7.

The East Tartans (2-6) ran the ball at will and scored on all but two of their first-half possessions.

Meanwhile, St. John struggled offensively. The Irish had six first-half possessions. One ended with the safety, one ended with a fumble, two ended on punts, one ended on a blocked punt and the final one ended with the half.

All told, the Irish garnered 104 yards of offense, with the bulk of that coming late in the game with the second-string in.

"We got our younger guys in and they did a nice job off the rainy bench," Paolina said. "They've worked hard all year and I'm glad to see them get a chance to get in the game and have an opportunity to make some things happen."

Bowen followed Brown's TD jaunt with scoring runs of 20, 1 and 8 yards to give Sciotoville a commanding 28-7 advantage early in the second half.

Stiltner, guided by a stout offensive line, got into the act with a 37-yard TD run with 1:34 showing in the third quarter to make the score 34-7.

Kyle Coppa scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns for St. John.

The first came on a 76-yard kickoff return - the team's second of the day - and brought the Irish to within 42-13 with 11:04 left.

With 6:47 remaining, his 40-yard jaunt helped make the score 42-21.

But Sciotoville added an insurance score with 3:30 left when DeShawn Martin scored from a yard out.

Opic paced St. John with 52 yards rushing and a 14-yard catch.

 
 
 

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