July 23, 2016

Mostly clear

Colts remain perfect

LORAIN — Cloverleaf’s football team used a dominating running attack to win its first two games.

That running game wasn’t there for the Colts on Friday in their non-league game against Lorain Southview, but the defense did more than pick up the slack leading Cloverleaf to a 31-7 win at George Daniel Field.

Cloverleaf (3-0) came into the game averaging 344.5 yards per game on the ground and was limited to just 108 in the win.

“I think (Southview) did a good job getting their up-front guys ready to play,” Cloverleaf coach Kevin Gault said. “They did a great job defending and scheming against the things we do.”

Leading rusher Cody Roberts, who had a team-best 227 yards rushing, totaled minus-6 yards for the game, but did score a pair of touchdowns.

The Colt air game had just as much difficulty getting things going as Roberts completed just two passes — one a 15 yard touchdown pass to Kyle Juszczyk in the first quarter.

The Colt “D” forced four turnovers that led directly to 24 points in a game that was marred by sloppy play and ineffective offenses.

“The defense came out here ready to play,” Gault said. “I was real impressed with them. I think they came out here and played real hard.”

Junior defensive back Russ Piper was in the thick of things for the Colts with a pair of interceptions. The first was returned 33 yards for the Colts second touchdown of the game and staked his team to a 14-0 lead.

“I was just reading the keys,” Piper said. “The coaching staff did a good job telling us where to be and that’s what put me in the position to make the play.”

After a fumble on the Saints (0-3) next possession first-year kicker Dustin Connor booted a 42-yard field goal to send the Colts into the locker room up 17-0.

“I was feeling pretty confident — not cocky,” Connor said. “I was confident I had a great line and good hold. I have confidence in them and it gives me the confidence.”

The kick was the fourth longest in school history, behind just three kicks by Ross Brunello (1989).

His next pick came when a bad snap by Southview went of the hands of punter Joshua Gonzales who scooped up the ball and tried in vain to escape the Colts rush.

As a last ditch effort Gonzales tried to throw the ball away but it landed in the hands of Piper.

Roberts capped of the ensuing three-play drive with a 1-yard plunge to put the Colts up 24-0.

Justin Marrs (2 sacks) led a stingy front line for the Colts, limiting the Saints to 128 yards (108 rushing) — 63 of which came on Southview’s lone scoring drive.

“We just worked hard in practice at getting everything done,” Marrs said. “Make sure everyone plays their keys and gets where they are supposed to be.”

Fellow linemates Paul Lenos (½-sack) and Calvin Pack each pounced on a Saints fumble.

The Colts 3-0 start is the best since 2003 when they got off to a 4-1 start.

“It is important to get off to a 3-0 start when you play in this league,” Gault said. “We’re going to have to button it up and get ready to play (next week against Copley).”