By ADAM FERRISE
Special to The Gazette
FAIRVIEW PARK â€” Cody Roberts exemplified the play of Cloverleafâ€™s football team Friday night, which is to say the Colts were in control the entire game, though that didnâ€™t always produce the best results.
Roberts, a senior quarterback, rushed for 149 yards, threw for 102 more and lost three fumbles to the Fairview Park Fairview defense â€” one of which led to a score â€” in the Coltsâ€™ 38-21 non-league win over the Division III Warriors.
â€œHe had a couple fumbles, but you look at the other things he did,â€ Cloverleaf coach Kevin Gault said. â€œHeâ€™s a very good leader; heâ€™s going to play his hind end off at all times.â€
Roberts, however, also gave Fairview its only lead.
On the fourth play following a 14-yard touchdown pass from Warriors quarterback Adam Dickey that knotted the game 7-7, Roberts had the ball stripped on a keeper. Fairviewâ€™s Ameer Abouhmoud recovered on the Cloverleaf 33-yard line.
It was Robertsâ€™ second fumble of the series, third of the game and the second one Fairview recovered.
The Warriors scored five plays later on a 10-yard burst by Cannan Lorek, putting Fairview, which lost to the Colts 52-14 last season, up 14-7.
From that point, Roberts racked up 126 yards on the ground, including a 20-yard touchdown run, and threw for 57 yards and a TD. He also added two pass breakups on defense.
â€œHe put the ball on the ground a couple of times, but he never hung his head,â€ Gault said. â€œHe kept fighting back and good things happened.â€
Cloverleafâ€™s offense was solid after scoring only 10 points in its season-opening win against Buckeye.
Adam Cepik rushed for 45 yards and three touchdowns. Do-it-all senior Kyle Juszczyk, who lined up at running back, quarterback, receiver and tight end, rushed for 60 yards on four carriers and caught five passes for 88 yards, including a 3-yard TD pass that made the score 24-14 and deflated the Warriors.
â€œOur offensive line did a great job of moving the ball, though they had too many penalties, but those are things weâ€™ll work on,â€ Gault said. â€œ(Cepik) has been a real nice surprise. Adam does a nice job of getting his hips squared when he hits the line of scrimmage and he has real nice balance.â€
Cloverleafâ€™s defense also was solid, yielding just 83 yards on the ground.
Dickey, however, was knocked out of the game due to a leg injury with 11:09 remaining in the third quarter. To that point, he had completed 3-of-7 passes for 52 yards.
Second-string QB Brett Willgren threw incomplete passes on all three attempts.
â€œOur kids played hard,â€ Gault said. â€œSometimes thereâ€™s adversity and things happen. One thing Iâ€™m proud of is our kids never laid down after it went in the tank a little bit. They battled hard and made good things happen.â€
Ferrise may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.