STEUBENVILLE - One score came via an interception and a second following a fake field goal as Big Red held off Buffalo Bishop Timon-St. Jude 21-7 at Harding Stadium on Friday.
Reno Saccoccia's club, winners of 15 straight regular-season contests, is 3-0 and will entertain Brooke next week in the seventh Battle of the Bridge.
Senior defensive back Tajuan Lawson electrified the home crowd when he stepped in front of a Derick Simpson pass and returned it 62 yards for a third-quarter score. His interception was one of three recorded by the Big Red defense (Bryan Pierro and Michael Jett had the others).
Steubenville’s Matt Petrella heads into the end zone for a touchdown Friday night against Bishop Timon at Harding Stadium.
The score off the fake field goal came late in the second quarter. Taking over at its 28, Steubenville moved to the Tigers 15 where the drive appeared to stall. Saccoccia sent senior kicker Luke Smith in for what would have been a 32-yard attempt.
Instead, Evan Westlake, the holder, turned quarterback and found fellow senior Matt Petrella for six points. The 13-play march included a fourth-down conversion, senior quarterback Corey Stinson hitting Petrella for 13 yards. The ball was spotted at the Big Red 34 when Saccoccia decided to roll the dice.
The game's initial touchdown came in the first quarter when senior TeShawn Luke traveled 7 yards on one of Big Red's patented stretch plays. His run capped a 12-play, 54-yard drive. Westlake's grab of a tipped Stinson pass gave Saccoccia's crew a key first down just two plays before Luke found the end zone.
Bishop Timon (1-1) got its score in the fourth quarter on a 13-yard pass from Tom Giola to Demone Harris.
Giola, who also handled all the kicking duties for the Tigers, was one of four quarterbacks used by coach Charlie Comerford.
Simpson got the start in place of Ryan Dougherty, who went down with an ACL injury in Week 1. Simpson was knocked out in the third quarter, Giola taking over. J.D. Recor and Jackson Brown also took snaps for the Tigers.
Comerford's squad appeared to have a touchdown in the third quarter when Recor sprinted 95 yards with a Smith kick following Lawson's interception. That score was nullified, however by a penalty, giving the Tigers a first down at the Big Red 30. Bishop Timon moved to the Steubenville 5 before the defense stiffened and the drive stalled.
For the game, Big Red managed 267 yards in offense (173 on the ground and 94 through the air). Redman bulled his way for 86 rushing stripes and Hayden added 55. Westlake had five receptions for 41 and Petrella four for 49.
''I didn't coach well and our coaches didn't coach well,'' Saccoccia said. ''Our seniors didn't lead and our team didn't play well.
''It was a win against a good football team. (Today) we'll go to work on what we need to fix and we'll continue working to be a better football team.''