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  Beavers Notch Three Touchdowns On ‘Pick-Six’ Interceptions:   October 22, 2020 Edition  
      PAINESVILLE, OH.---Boardman gave-up an early safety, and three second half pick sixes to fall to Painesville Riverside, 39-28, in Ohio Division II, second round prep playoff action last Friday night. The game saw a pair of 76 yard touchdown plays called back by penalties---one for each team; and at least two Spartan coaches not at the game due to COVID-19 precautions.
      Boardman’s first possession of the game came to a quick stop when Mason Stephens picked-off a Jason Triveri pass early in the first quarter. The Spartans returned the favor when Anthony Hightower intercepted a Dom Lulow first down pass to give Boardman the ball back inside their own 5 yard line. But a high snap from center on first down sailed into the end zone and was recovered by the Beavers for a safety and a 2-0 lead at the 9:26 mark of the first period.
      After the ensuing kick, Painesville took just four plays to get to paydirt to climb into a 9-0 lead. The Spartans answered, traveling 62 yards in seven plays, capped-off by a Triveri to Hightower TD connection. Another high snap from center disrupted the PAT boot, as the Spartans trailed, 9-6, at the 2:31 mark of the first stanza.
      Painesville appeared to score two plays later when tailback Matthew Spofford jaunted 76 yards on the outside of the field for a score, but the tally was nullified by a penalty and four plays later the Beavers were forced to punt.
      The Spartans got the ball back on their own 24 yard line and on first and ten, Terrence Thomas broke free for a 76 yard scamper to the end zone that was nullified by a holding penalty on Cam Thompson.
      Boardman was not deterred by the penalty flag, and marched the 74 yards in seven plays, taking their first lead of the game at the 5:51 mark of the second stanza when Thomas ran into the end zone. A Cam Essad PAT kick lifted the Spartans into a 13-9 lead.
      But Painesville answered with a touchdown with 40 seconds left in the first half to hold a 15-13 lead at intermission.
      The Beavers moved their lead to 21-13 with the first score of the third quarter on the first of three Triveri aerials that went for pick sixes in the second half, at the 8:23 notch of the third stanza.
      Painesville was moving downfield again and moved into the red zone when Jake Powell stole the ball from a Beaver ballcarrier and darted 45 yards to set the stage for the Spartans next score of the game. It came on a second and five pass to Thompson that covered 60 yards. A two-point conversion run by Spartan tailback Sean O’Horo knotted the contest at 21-21 with 1:45 left in the third quarter.
      Painesville got great field position at midfield on the kickoff, but two plays later, Lulow was intercepted by O’Horo on a third down play, after Blaine Strines had deflected a second down Lulow pass try.
      Boardman couldn’t answer, preferring the air game to a turf attack. The strategy proved costly, as Triveri was intercepted on a second and 13 pass. Two plays later, Stofford rambled 80 yards for a touchdown. Another missed PAT by the Beavers made it 27-21 with 8:51 left in the game.
      On the ensuing series, the Spartans tried a long pass intended for Thomas. But the receiver fell down and the pass was picked-off and returned 85 yards for a Beavers TD. When O’Horo stuffed a PAT try, Painesville held a 33-21 lead with 7:27 remaining on the game clock.
      Once again, Boardman came back, staging a ten-play drive that ended when O’Horo burst over the goal line. Another Essad PAT kick sliced the Beavers margin to 33-28 with 5:17 left in the game.
      On the ensuing series, Boardman’s defense forced a three and out and the Spartans got the ball back on their own 28 yard line with 2:35 left in the game.
      Three plays later, Triveri tossed-up a waffler that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown to make the final score 39-28; as Painesville notched the victory on the strength of 20 points scored off turnovers by Boardman.
      On the game, Boardman held a 26-17 command in first downs, while Painesville held a slight edge in total offense, 393-391. The Spartans converted on five of nine third down plays in the contest, and limited the Beavers to just three of 13 on their third down tries.
      Spofford led the Painesville offense, mounting 141 yards in just ten carries with a pair of TDs, while Lulow finished 10 of 19 through the air for 126 yards. Adding spice to the Beavers ground attack were Don Tromba with 67 yards in 13 lugs, and Cayman Locker with 41 yards in 11 carries.
      Jamir Francis had two interceptions, while Stephens, Isaiah Drake and Dom Tromba also had aerial thefts for the winners.
      Triveri tossed for 294 yards in the game, but the pass interceptions were a thorn in his side. Thompson paced the Spartan receivers with six grabs for 146 yards and a TD, while Thomas had four catches for 55 yards (and 24 yards in nine rushing attempts), and Hightower made three catches for 56 yards. O’Horo had a pair of catches for 25 yards, while Nate Fleming finished with two catches for 12 yards.
      O’Horo led the Boardman ground game with 78 yards in 19 lugs, most of it in the second half when the Spartans were victimized by the pick sixes.
      Boardman bowed out at 4-4, while Painesville improved to 7-0 with the win.
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