Hirt-Giovengo Connection Boosts Linsly
Tandem Hooks Up For 4 Touchdowns
WHEELING — Linsly coach B.J. Depew knows the tests are going to get harder, beginning next week. Westinghouse gave the Cadets a good tune up for half, and now it’s on to powerful Mogadore.
Wyatt Hirt completed 11 of 17 passes for 303 yards and five touchdowns — four to Jules Giovengo — while Eli Petho eclipsed the 100-yard mark on the ground and the defense was its usual nasty self as Linsly (2-0) pulled away from the Bulldogs (0-3) for a 41-14 victory Saturday at Fawcett Field inside Lockhart Alumni Stadium.
”We didn’t feel great at halftime, honestly,” Depew said. ”We had a lot more trouble with Westinghouse than the score would indicate.
”We couldn’t really get things going offensively the way we wanted to. We scored on some big plays, which our team is very capable of that.
”Jules just seemed to make most of them.”
Did he ever.
Giovengo hauled in five passes for 207 yards, including touchdowns of 62, 63, 45 and 27 yards. He scored a fifth touchdown on an 8-yard run in the first half.
”Since sixth grade,” Giovengo said of how long he and Hirt have been playing together. ”The message at halftime was that we needed to pick it up.
”We had a couple speeches from the coaches, and we’re going to face tougher challenges this year. The guys — the leaders — really made sure we picked it up.”
Linsly took a 21-7 lead into the half, thanks to a 62-yard connection between Hirt and Giovengo, the run by the latter and perhaps the effort of the day just one play after Westinghouse had cut the margin to 14-7 with its lone offensive score. Hirt operated with a two-step drop, quickly getting the ball to Giovengo on the right side. He stiff-armed a defender to the ground and went 63 yards to the end zone.
”Oh my God,” Giovengo said of the play. ”I honestly can’t describe it in words.
”Scoring in general is amazing, but football just clears your mind.
”Being able to do that with these guys is unbelievable.”
Depew said that play gave the Cadets momentum.
”He’s not going to back down from anybody,” the coach said of Giovengo.
The Bulldogs were marching on the opening drive of the second half before a fumble was jumped on by Petho, who rushed for 103 yards on 14 carries, at the Linsly 34. Three plays later Giovengo was in the end zone again, this time from 45 yards to make it 28-7.
A three-and-out authored by a hard-hitting Linsly defense gave the ball back to Hirt and company. A six-play, 65-yard drive concluded when Hirt hit Giovengo in the flat and he took it the final 27 yards.
That defense made life difficult for the Bulldogs, limiting them to 191 yards of total offense. Westinghouse’s final touchdown was the result of a fake punt, where Mike Massey surprised everyone and took the ball 74 yards for a touchdown.
”It’s competitive to get on the field for us defensively,” Depew said. ”We really feel comfortable with our first 22 guys.
”We feel really good about the second string, so to speak. A lot of those guys could slot in at any moment.”
With the heat bearing down all afternoon and the Bulldogs limited in terms of numbers, the bigger and stronger Cadets began to wear their opponent down. That was by design.
Another three-and-out led to Linsly’s final touchdown. After running on five straight plays, Hirt dropped back and found a wide-open Joe Zaccirey down the sideline for a 27-yard score and a 41-7 advantage.
”(Hirt) has always had a good control of our offense, but now that his physical stature has grown into what he is … he was always very small,” Depew said. ”We haven’t had a quarterback go through our program that has worked at it quite like he has — all year.
”There’s no doubt he has almost a little cockiness to him, but he’s not a cocky person. It comes from the confidence he has in himself and the guys around him.
”That calms everybody a little bit.”
Linsly 41, Westinghouse 14
Westinghouse 0 7 0 7 — 14
Linsly 7 14 14 6 — 41
L — Giovengo 62 pass from Hirt (Ney kick), 5:59
L — Giovengo 8 run (Ney kick), 8:09
W — Jones 1 run (Amberwa kick), 3:40
L — Giovengo 63 pass from Hirt (Ney kick), 3:13
L — Giovengo 45 pass from Hirt (Ney kick), 9:20
L — Giovengo 27 pass from Hirt (Ney kick), 5:59
L — Zaccirey 27 pass from Hirt (kick failed), 8:36
W — Massey 74 run (Amberwa kick), 6:11
Rushing: Westinghouse 37-162-2td (Massey 9-95-td, Jones 11-36-td, Burgess 9-30, Peterson 3-4, Team 1-0, Moore 1-(-3). Linsly 36-175-td (Petho 14-103, Ney 8-35, Gill 5-16, Simmons 4-9, Giovengo 1-8-td, Gehrer 1-5, C.Hill 1-1, Hirt 1-(-1), Team 1-(-1).
Passing: Westinghouse 3-10-29 (Jones 2-5-18, Faison 1-2-11, Bruce 0-3). Linsly 11-17-303-5td (all by Hirt).
Receiving: Westinghouse 3-29 (Johnson 2-18, Peterson 1-11). Linsly 11-303-5td (Giovengo 5-207-4td, Tush 3-39, Zaccirey 1-27-td, Kelley 1-14, K.Hill 1-(-10).
First Downs: Westinghouse 10, Linsly 20.
Penalties: Westinghouse 8-55, Linsly 6-58.
Fumbles: Westinghouse 4-1, Linsly 3-2.