The DeSales High School football team got a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to put itself in position to win Sept. 7 at Youngstown Mooney but didn’t get the payoff it was looking for.
On Friday, Sept. 14, the Stallions will attempt to get back on track following a 19-18 loss to the Cardinals when they play host to Dayton Belmont for the first meeting between the programs.
The Stallions are 2-1, while the Bison lost to Sidney 38-6 on Sept. 7 to fall to 0-3 a season after going 9-1 and making the Division II, Region 8 playoffs.
“The Dayton public schools had some open holes in their schedule,” coach Ryan Wiggins said. “They’re playing us and they’re playing Hartley (Oct. 6). They went 9-1 last year and lost a shootout game in the playoffs (46-33 in the first round to Sidney).”
Against Mooney, DeSales trailed 19-6 at halftime with its first score coming on a 2-yard run by Reno Godfrey.
The Stallions cut their deficit to 19-12 on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Godfrey to Chris Karras with 11 minutes, 28 seconds remaining but missed the extra-point attempt for the second time in the game.
Then with 2:47 to go, Anthony Sciarroni returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown, but DeSales again missed the extra point.
“We made enough other mistakes (in addition to the missed extra points),” Wiggins said. “We fumbled on the one-inch line in the fourth quarter and we gave up a (29-yard) touchdown pass on third down (in the second quarter). Obviously, you can’t afford so many mistakes against good teams. You can only overcome so many.”
DeSales outgained Mooney 317-289 in total yards, with Godfrey completing 10 of 15 passes for 114 yards and one touchdown and rushing 12 times for 47 yards and Joey Velazquez rushing for 142 yards on 26 carries and making three receptions for 26 yards to lead the way.
Sciarroni also had three catches for 26 yards.
Mooney quarterback John Murphy attempted just six passes, completing three for 52 yards and one touchdown, but Jason Santisi rushed 23 times for 132 yards and one touchdown and Chris Gruber had 16 carries for 51 yards and one score.
“On a positive note, there’s something to be said for getting stronger in the fourth quarter, which is what we did,” Wiggins said. “We fought back in the second half and were in position to tie the football game with two minutes to go. We threw an interception before the half and they were running the football on us just enough to keep us off balanced, but I thought we got that corrected at halftime and put points on the board.”