Red Knights Blank Bulldogs

Photo by Kristin Mazgaj Toronto’s Brendan Matyas knocks away a pass intended for Bridgeport’s Izaac Jozwiak during Friday’s game in St. Clairsville

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — It took a week longer than he would have liked but Josh Franke has his first win at his alma mater.

Franke witnessed his Toronto Red Knights dominate both lines of scrimmage while taking advantage of several Bridgeport miscues en route to a 36-0 triumph at St. Clairsville on Friday night.

The Knights dropped their season opener against Steubenville Catholic.

“This means the world to me. Being the head coach at my alma mater and getting my first win, I couldn’t be any more excited,” Franke said. “Toronto means the world to me, so (Friday night) is very special for me.”

Bridgeport, meanwhile, dropped to 0-2. Coach Fred Ray’s young Bulldogs dropped a last-second heartbreaker to Weirton Madonna last week.

Bridgeport was its own worst enemy, turning the ball over five times, three coming on interceptions. The Bulldogs had several scoring chances in the first half only to be stymied by repeated mistakes.

“We competed well in the first half. We had chances to score but kept making mistakes,” Ray said.

The first crucial mistake came in the later stages of the first quarter. The Bulldogs were looking to punt, only to have the snap sail over the punter’s head with the Red Knights covering the ball at the Bridgeport 35. It took Toronto all of seven snaps to reach paydirt, coming on a 5-yard sweep by Kobe Herrick. Caleb Leasure ran in the bonus points for an 8-0 lighting with 2:31 showing in the opening quarter.

Bridgeport advanced to the Toronto 10 in the early stages of the second only to turn it over downs.

Later in the second quarter, Toronto set up shop at its 22 following a Bulldogs punt. The Red Knights mounted a quick-striking six-play scoring drive, capped by a 24-yard pass from Leasure to Jess Fulton. The conversion run came up short, leaving Toronto on top 14-0 with 5:41 left before halftime.

The entire second half was all Red Knights, much of which was played under the OHSAA mercy rule.

Herrick’s 5-yard scoring run and Leasure’s conversion pass to Zach Stackhouse made it 22-0 Red Knights.

Minutes later, Leasure scored from 10 yards out and then speared A.J. Clegg for the conversion and a 30-0 count.

The Red Knight added its final score on the game’s last snap on a 32-yard run by JoJo Savage.

“We made a lot of improvement from last week. We had some issues at quarterback after losing Nate (Karaffa),” Franke said. “Our lines did a superb job and our defense really stepped up.

Karaffa was the Red Knights senior QB dandy felled in the first scrimmage. He is headed to Ohio State on a baseball scholarship.

Toronto used seven ballcarriers to amass 206 yards. Leasure acquitted himself nicely in his first start, completing 5 of 10 passes for 55 yards.

Bridgeport standout quarterback Tino Kusic operated under heavy Red Knights pressure the majority of the evening. He competed 7 of 18 passes for 138 yards.

The Bulldogs gained 48 yards on the ground.

“I told the kids that I am not upset with them. We are a work in progress,” Ray said. “You don’t change a culture overnight. We will get things turned around.”

Bridgeport returns to action a week from today when it entertains Clarksburg Notre Dame at the Dave Bruney Football Complex in Martins Ferry.

Fort Frye 37

Northridge 6

JOHNSTOWN — Tate Engle threw for 239 yards and two touchdown passes to Brian Adkins as Fort Frye improve to 2-0 with a rout of Northridge.

Adkins also added a rushing score. Dre Turner ran in two touchdowns.

Brady Schilling caught six passes for 97 yards.

Shadyside 55

Monroe Central

SHADYSIDE — Shadyside amassed a little more than 500 yards in total offense as senior quarterback Anthony Coggins lit the Seminoles (0-2) up for 309 yards and two touchdowns on 10 of 16 in the first half.

Connor Banco carried 12 times for 96 yards and three touchdowns for the Tigers (1-1), while catching three passes for 64 yards and a score.

Martins Ferry 38

Nelsonville-York 0

NELSONVILLE — Jacob Probst threw for 180 yards and touchdown passes to Mason Goddard and Caleb Olson as Martins Ferry topped Nelsonville-York.

Logan DiLoretta rushed for a 2-yard touchdown and returned an interception 12 yards for a score. Logan Smith added a 17-yard touchdown run.

The Purple Riders defense held their opponents to 88 yards and seven first downs.

Edison 36, Wellsville 7

RICHMOND–Edison racked up 329 yards of total offense in route of a convincing win over visiting Wellsville.

Anthony Sinicropi rushed for 96 yards and a score, while throwing for 87 yards and a touchdown.

Kaleb Waggoner turned in 98 yards and a pair of scores on the ground and Noah Woods took an interception for a score to lead the Wildcats (1-1).

Frontier 61, Beallsville 6

NEW MATAMORAS–Dakota Phillips threw for 73 yards and rushed for 22 but Beallsville ultimately fell to host Frontier.

James Schnegg collected 78 yards and one touchdown grab for the Blue Devils.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)