Hartley at DeSales: Hawks, Stallions to meet in key CCL contest
The plan for stopping the DeSales football team seems obvious to its coach, Ryan Wiggins.
When the Stallions play host to Hartley on Friday, Sept. 11, Wiggins expects to see a defense focused on slowing down senior running back Quintell Quinn and keeping his team’s rushing attack in check.
That’s why varying that approach — and how the Hawks respond when Quinn doesn’t have the ball — could be just as important in determining the final outcome.
“Quinn is a really good player,” Hartley coach Brad Burchfield said. “He’s a big, strong, physical kid. But when they have the sophomore quarterback in the game, it poses a ton of problems. It’s obvious that he gives them a dimension that makes them difficult to defend. We’ll have our hands full.
“I don’t really know how we match up, but I think they’re really good on the lines as well. (DeSales senior offensive lineman Billy Cain IV) is a really good player. They have a really good team.”
The sophomore quarterback Burchfield was referring to is Nicky Pentello, who passed for only 14 yards but rushed for 101 and two touchdowns on 23 carries to complement Quinn’s 180-yard, two-touchdown performance on 15 rushes during a 35-12 win over Mansfield Senior on Sept. 4.
Pentello also added an interception on defense, as did Ayan Comedy.
That win improved the Stallions to 2-0 while the Hawks improved to 1-1 with a 28-21 win Sept. 4 over Watterson in their CCL opener.
Hartley has won the last three matchups against the Stallions, who beat the Eagles 28-22 in overtime Aug. 28 to start a season in which those three programs are playing a home-and-home series while also facing St. Charles one time apiece.
That left room on the six-game schedule for DeSales, Hartley and Watterson for one non-league opponent apiece, and the Hawks opened with a 34-17 loss Aug. 28 to Cincinnati Moeller.
Mansfield and Moeller weren’t on either teams’ original schedule until St. Charles delayed the beginning of its season to Sept. 18, when it will face the Hawks.
“We did a pretty good job, mostly in the second half, running option (against Mansfield), taking what they were giving us, and Nicky did a good job with his feet, made some huge plays and he did a good job in the second half,” Wiggins said. “We’ve played a lot of different types of teams. You get experiences that are unique and different. I think Arlin Field (where Mansfield plays its home games) is one of the best places in Ohio.
“Mansfield was really active. They were bringing multiple fronts and multiple pressures. The big thing is that it’s frustrating to get the ball in the red zone and move back.”
DeSales trailed 6-0 at halftime before Pentello and Quinn each ran for third-quarter touchdowns. Quinn added another score early in the fourth to make it 21-6.
Both the Hawks and Stallions rallied from first-half deficits to defeat Watterson.
Hartley gave up 310 yards of offense to Watterson but tied it at 14 late in the third quarter on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Underwood to Trey Saunders.
Saunders then ran for a 67-yard touchdown with 1 minute, 23 seconds to go in the third for a 21-14 lead. Watterson tied it early in the fourth, but Hartley’s Nyal Johnson scored on a 5-yard run for the winning points with 3:39 to go.
Underwood went 5-for-7 passing for 86 yards, Saunders had 15 rushes for 116 yards and one touchdown and Johnson had 22 carries for 92 yards and two scores.
Richard Kenny added two catches for 68 yards.
“Nyal, Trey and Peyton are all three young players that are only getting better every single week,” Burchfield said. “We’re asking all three of them to do a lot for us. They’re learning and growing and it’s exciting to see. All three of them have shown great flashes and helped us win. They’re just scratching the surface of how good they’re going to help us be.”
HARTLEY at DeSALES
•When: 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11
•Last meeting: 2019, Hartley 20-13
•Hartley (1-1 overall, 1-0 in CCL) to date: Lost to Cincinnati Moeller 34-17; defeated Watterson 28-21
•DeSales (2-0 overall, 1-0 in CCL) to date: Def. Watterson 28-22 (OT); def. Mansfield Senior 35-12
•Top Hawks: James Crenshaw (OL/DL), Richard Kenny (WR/DB), Sumo Kesselly (RB/LB), Marcelis Parker (RB/LB), Trey Saunders (RB/DB), Kason Sunderland (WR/DB), Tony Thivener (OL/LB), Daniel Tooson (TE/DL) and Peyton Underwood (QB)
•Top Stallions: Nathan Barber (WR/DB), Billy Cain IV (OL/DL), Jordan Johnson (WR/DB), Jackson Hartman (OL/DL), Nicky Pentello (DB/QB), Quintell Quinn (RB/LB), Matthew Stewart (TE/DL/LS), Jonathan Thompson (RB/LB) and Jason Velazquez II (WR/LB)