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  Spartans Move Into Post-Season Play On Wings Of 55-6 Blitz Over Ashtabula Lakeside  
  Boardman Faces Unbeaten Maple Heights In Opening Round Div. II Playoff Action:   November 1, 2018 Edition  
     Joe Ignazio’s Boardman High School football team secured their second, straight Ohio Div. II playoff berth last Friday night, pinning a 55-6 loss on the Lakeside Dragons, as the Spartans ended with their best offensive output of the season to finish at 6-4. Lakeside ended at 2-8.
      Boardman moves into playoff action this Friday night at unbeaten Maple Heights, 10-0.
      The Spartans ended the regular season rated in Region 5 - Division II ratings of the Ohio High School Athletic Association at #7, while Maple Heights comes into the game rated #2 behind defending state champ and unbeaten Akron Hoban.
      Three of Boardman’s losses this season were by a total of 11 points.
      Spartan quarterback Mike O’Horo tossed for a pair of first quarter touchdowns, while Joe Iearci and Nate Thompson each broke the end zone on the ground as Boardman charged-out to a 27-0 first quarter lead.
      The Spartans continued the assault in the second stanza, as Ieraci scored again, O’Horo hit Connor Miller for a 17-yard TD, and Josh Rodriguez scored from a yard out on his only carry of the game and Boardman was in command, 48-0, at the half.
      Lakeside notched the only score of the third quarter, when Gavin Bish tallied from 4 yards out.
      Boardman got its final TD of the game with 1:36 left on the clock when freshman Sean O’Horo went over the goal line on a 5-yard carry. The fleet freshman ended as the Spartans third-leading rusher in the game, averaging nearly 8 yards a carry in six runs.
      Thompson led all rushers with a game-high 136 yards in 15 carries, while Ieraci averaged more than 9 yards a carry, finishing with 66 yards in seven totes.
      Mike O’Horo went 6 of 8 through the air, good for 131 yards and three touchdowns, and also carried the ball three times for 27 yards,
      Miller gobbled-up four aerials for 117 yards and a pair of TDs, while Karem Hamden grabbed a 10-yard scoring toss.
      On the game, Boardman piled-up 301 yards on the ground, while limiting the Dragons rushing game to a minus-51 yards. Lakeside quarterback Johnny Anservitz hit of 14 of 25 passes, good for 58 yards.
      Boardman’s defense was stout, as Mike Fetsko, Hamden, Zach Hillard, Ieraci, Miller, Alex Huzicka, Brandon Zagotti and Nikitas Missos all had tackles for losses. Fetsko spiced play with an interception, while Rasheed Garner, Tino Arcuri and Hillard logged sacks, and Hamden recovered a fumble.
      Huzicka’s TFL made him the all-time leader in that category in Spartan history with 31 takedowns, surpassing Ryan Holmes, who logged 30 tackles for losses playing for the Spartans in 2006 and 2007.
      Region 5 - Div. II Playoff Notes
      Boardman vs. Maple Heights
      The Maple Heights Mustangs came-from-behind to cap an unbeaten season with a 28-21 win over Cleveland Heights last weekend under first-year head coach Shaq Washington.
      The Mustangs are averaging more than 42 points a game, while holding opponents to 12 points a game.
      Maple Heights quarterback Devin Dial tossed for three touchdowns, including a pair to Bernard Bates, as the Mustangs captured the Lake Erie League championship. Bates also had a 77 yard kickoff return.
      Last year, the Spartans traveled to Paul Brown Stadium as underdogs against the famed Massillon Tigers in first round playoff action. The Spartans gave-up a long kickoff return for a TD in the game on the opening play of the contest, and the return made the difference in the final tally, as the Spartans fell, 28-23. Boardman held a 23-14 lead with 9:19 left in the game.
      Maple Heights Head Coach Washington was hired in March at the age of 24. He replaced former Cardinal Mooney grid star, Devlin Culliver, at the helm of Mustang grid fortunes. Eight years ago, Coach Washington led Maple Heights to the school’s only state grid title, playing at quarterback. He went on to play for the Cincinnati Bearcats, ending his collegiate career with a school record 240 receptions.
      Only two teams on Maple Heights schedule finished the season with winning records, including Cleveland Heights (7-3) and Lorain (6-4), while Mansfield ended at 5-5, and Rhodes, South, North, University School, Bedford, Cleveland Shaw and Warrensville Heights finished with losing ledgers.
      Six teams on Boardman’s schedule had winning records, including East (7-3), Massillon Jackson (6-4), Canfield (9-1), Warren G. Harding (8-2), and Austintown (8-2), all of whom except the Polar Bears have earned a spot in post-season play. The Spartans schedule also included Erie McDowell, Pa. (6-4).
      Boardman High School has earned a playoff berth for the second year in a row for the first time in school history, and will take the field in playoff action under Head Coach Ignazio for the third time in his six years at the helm.
      The Spartans will take the field averaging about 21 points a game while the defense has held opponents to about 11 points a game. 21-point outputs by Canfield and Austintown were the most points Boardman gave-up in a game during the regular season, holding all other foes to less than 20 points a game.
      “We must contain their speed. They are athletic all over the place. They have a wide receiver who also plays corner, going to Kent State. We need to stay focused and win on the road,” Coach Ignazio said about this week’s playoff game with Maple Heights.
      Boardman enters the game led by three-year starting quarterback O’Horo who has accounted for 16 touchdowns on the season, passing for 8 TDs and running for 8 TDs in nine games, missing the second game of the year against Howland with a leg injury.
      O’Horo has connected on 94 of 176 passes good for 1224 yards. He has also carried the ball 84 times for 267 yards.
      Leading the Boardman ground game are Rodriguez, averaging 4.6 yards a carry; and Ieraci, who averages 4.5 yards a carry.
      On the season Rodriguez carried the ball 123 times for 572 yards and six TDs; while Ieraci ran 101 times, good for 457 yards and 3 TDs.
      O’Horo has used no less than 10 different receivers this year, led by Che Trevena who has 33 catches for 44 yards and a pair of TDs. Miller has 16 catches for 275 yards and a pair of scores. Huzicka has 14 catches for 189 yards and a TD, while Cam Kreps has a dozen grabs for 166 yards and a pair of TDs.
      Spartan placekicker, Tommy Fryda is in his third season, and this year converted 29 of 32 point-after-touchdown kicks, and 3 of 6 field goals, with a long boot of 33 yards.
      Maple Heights boasts speed and offense. Senior quarterback Dial has peeked over defenses with his 5-8 frame to find Kent State commit De’Von Fox and Bates on a torrid pace.
      Defensive end Charles Medley and linebacker Sha’Marr Simmons are veterans for this group, while Fox is one of the top cornerbacks in the state.
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