Jarrett Samuels referenced it as “redemption.”
If that’s the case, he sure has been making up for lost time since his own Farrell High playing days.
Samuels’ Steelers sacked Sharon signal-caller Andrew Tomko 9 times Friday night, and Farrell forged a 12-0 season-opening win at Tiger Stadium.
The 68th annual Steel Bowl marked Farrell’s 5th consecutive win in the Shenango Valley rivalry, though Sharon continues to maintain a 35-26-7 all-time edge.
Farrell’s front four — Derrick Carter, Tyreke Barnett, Brandon Gavins and Tyrone Archie — spent more time in Sharon’s backfield than Tomko, Carnell Hawkins and Anthony Johnson.
Such was the Steelers’ domination that the one time Tomko gained positive yardage from scrimmage — a 4-yard 2nd-stanza run — he fumbled, and it was recovered by Barnett.
“We knew from the film study that our guys up front could handle them — not taking anything away from Sharon,” Samuels explained. “We have a veteran group, and those guys play our scheme really well.
“We were in ‘attack mode.’ Tyrone was really in ‘attack mode,’” Samuels praised.
“My key was preparation, mental preparation before the game ... get my mind right and get my team right,” related the athletic Archie, tapping his temple for emphasis.
In the 2nd stanza a scoreless stalemate was shattered with 5:54 remaining to intermission.
Seconds after gaining a 1st down owing to a Farrell personal foul, Sharon squandered the opportunity. Tomko’s 1st-down pass was tipped by Gavins, and Tionté Davis sprinted 45 yards for the touchdown.
The Steelers’ 6-0 shutout expanded to 12-0 with 6:43 remaining in the 3rd period. On a 2nd-and-16 play, RayShown Johnson jolted Sharon with a 46-yard TD toss to Austin Pickens streaking down Sharon’s sideline.
It appeared as though Sharon scored with a minute remaining in the frame. On 1st down, Tomko tossed to Dan Vanderslice, who threaded through the Steelers’ secondary to complete a 60-yard pass play. However the Tigers were too aggressive, and a block approximately 20 yards from behind Vanderslice negated the TD.
Two plays into the 4th frame the Tigers took it to Farrell’s 13-yard line. However the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Archie sacked Tomko on 1st down, Tomko’s 2nd-down pass fell incomplete, then his 3rd-down pass into the end zone was pilfered by Alex Meyers.
“Fundamentally, a very poor showing up front,” Tigers’ taskmaster Jim Wildman said. “You have to be able to run-block; if you get behind, you better be able to protect your quarterback, and I’m not sure we did a good job of either one of those.
“But my hat’s off to Farrell — they played hard,” Wildman praised. “The name of this game always is, ‘The team that makes plays always wins,’ and they made two big ones; we didn’t make one.”
Farrell finished by almost shutting out Sharon statistically. The Tigers tallied only 44 total yards on 36 plays from scrimmage. The beleaguered Tomko tossed 2 interceptions and Sharon fumbled 5 times, losing a pair.
“That was our achilles heel last year, our defense,” Samuels said. “That was what we focused on all offseason. Our D-line coaches, before the game knew they had to carry the day, and they did. I’m so proud of my guys on defense!
“Tyrone Archie is a ‘beast.’ He plays hard on every play,” Samuels said in praise of his senior, who shared in a sack and logged another by himself. Gavins garnered a pair, and Davis, Carter, and Jesse Robinson registered solos, while Robinson and Deion Saunders shared another.
“We put the big ‘doughnut’ (zero) up there on the board,” Archie said.
“To come out the first game and get this win against Coach Wildman ... this is for my classmates of ’89, the fall season, this is for you guys,” Samuels said, recalling, “That was a 6-6 tie (against Sharon), so this is redemption.”
Wildman’s return from an 11-year hiatus certainly was not what he envisioned, but he said,
“The kids played with great effort. ... I knew our kids had to play well early, to try and get over the hump of what they’ve lived with over the last four years against Farrell. But I’m not sure we did play well the first part of the game. And the longer that game went on, it was like we were waiting for something to happen, instead of making something happen.
“Certainly, playing Farrell gets your attention,” Wildman said. “l’d like to thing that Farrell’s going to be a better football team because they played us, and I know that these kids in here (Sharon locker room) will be a better football team having played (Farrell). We’ll circle the wagons and work for another week to get better.”
Note: DeWayne Burns burst for a game-high 103 yards on 26 totes for Farrell.
FARRELL 0 6 6 0 12
SHARON 0 0 0 0 0
F — Davis, 45 interception return (kick failed)
F — Pickens, 46 pass from Johnson (pass failed)
13 First downs 6
89 Rushing yards -12
93 Passing yards 56
14-6-0 Att-comp-int 10-4-2
182 Total yards 44
8-75 Fumbles-lost 5-50
3-1 Penalties-yards lost 5-2
Rushing: FARRELL — Burns 26-101, Gavins 3-21, Graham 3-1, Johnson 6-(-5), Guelledge 4-(-29); SHARON — Hawkins 11-38, Johnson 5-13, Tomko 10-(-53).
Passing: FARRELL — Guelledge 7-4-0, 35; Johnson 7-2-0, 58; SHARON — Tomko 10-4-2, 56.
Receiving: FARRELL — Burns 3-35, Pickens 2-53, Graham 1-5; SHARON — Vanderslice 2-43, Mosley 1-8, Austin 1-5.
Jarrett Samuels referenced it as “redemption.”
Roundup: Rockets, Hornets, Blue Devils win
ä Slippery Rock 11, Grove City 3 — At Memorial Park in Grove City, Travis Lauster singled and tripled and reached base 4 times as the defending District 10 Class AAA champion Slippery Rock Rockets beat the Eagles.
Joe Barnhart went the distance for Slippery Rock. He gave up a dozen hits in earning the win. At the dish for Slippery Rock, Jackson Kerchis, Butler and Matt Badger all had 2 hits and Arrenzo doubled.
Roundup: Wilmington track teams sweep WM
ä Wilmington 98, West Middlesex 51 — At West Middlesex, the visiting Greyhounds gave the Big Reds their first home, dual-meet loss in approximately 4 seasons according to Middlesex mentor Ed Pikna.
Cooper (400, 800, distance- and mile-relay legs), jumper Perrine and sprinter Scott (100, 200) gave the Greyhounds the giddy-up by winning multiple events.
HIGH SCHOOL SPRING SPORTS ROUNDUP
Baseball, softball and tennis teams were in action Monday as the nice weather allowed for high school spring sports action that has been limited so far by rain, snow and windy conditions.
Players relent, agree to play for reinstated football coach
Minnesota State University-Mankato's football team has ended its boycott of reinstated head coach Todd Hoffner, who successfully fought child pornography charges and other misconduct accusations that removed him from the job for 20 months.
Hickory track coaches near finish line
While the Shenango Valley lionizes legendary gridiron greats and hardwood heroes, the sport of track & field at Hickory High has resonated its relevance throughout District 10 and commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
For the better part of the last 3 decades that was due, to a great extent, to the efforts of Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak.
More than 200 dual-meet victories combined between the girls’ and boys’ programs, 9 district championships (7 girls, 2 boys), 2 statewide runners-up berths and another pair of 3rd-place finishes, culminating in the Lady Hornets’ 2012 PIAA Class AA championship.
Their collective resumé would be envied by any coach, regardless of sport. Which makes this recent revelation regrettable: Dzuricsko and Slezak simultaneously will step down at this season’s conclusion.
SPORTVIEW: Cavaliers are example of how an owner impacts a team
WHEN LEBRON James vacated Cleveland for South Beach a few years ago, angry Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert declared that the Cavaliers would win an NBA championship before James and the Miami Heat.
How’s that working out, Dan?
Miami is seeking a third straight title this postseason while the Cavaliers are headed for the golf courses. Pretty sad.
Roundup: Trojans, Hounds win team titles at WM Invitational
Wilmington High girls and Greenville boys dominated the annual Big Red Track & Field Invitational Thursday afternoon in West Middlesex.
A half-dozen girls’ and 7 boys’ teams competed.
Wilmington overwhelmed the female field, as the Lady Greyhounds garnered almost twice as many points as runner-up Lakeview (236-5 to 133.5).
Roundup: WM diamondmen edge Reynolds, 6-4
ä West Middlesex 6, Reynolds 4 — At Transfer, the Big Reds snapped a 4-all tie by plating a run in the 4th inning and another in the 7th in a 2-run win over the Raiders.
Mark Colella earned the mound win in a relief appearance for WM. No pitching stats were submitted.
Roundup: Hickory, Wilmington softball teams win
Paced by Chelsea Marriott’s muscle, Hickory High hammered 4 home runs Saturday afternoon en route to a 19-1 rout of Sharon.
At Wengler, Marriott mauled 2- and 3-run round-trippers to right-center and straightaway center field, respectively. Her Lady Hornets’ teammates Hannah Gallagher and Morgan McBride mustered 3-run bombs, also.
Fired coach in Mankato unjustly accused of visiting porn sites
Minnesota State University-Mankato officials wrongly accused former football coach Todd Hoffner of viewing pornography sites on his work computer before firing him last May, a state arbitrator has disclosed.
Roundup: Hickory track coaches to step down following season
Hickory High track & field co-head coaches Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak announced they will step down at the season’s conclusion.
Dzuricsko and Slezak, who led the Lady Hornets to the 2012 PIAA Class AA crown, jointly made the announcement via e-mail late Wednesday.
Roundup: Devil diamondmen roll past Sharon
An old-school baseball bromide states that, early in any season, pitching is always ahead of hitting. However Sharpsville shunned that axiom Wednesday afternoon.
The Blue Devils banged 15 hits, and Sharpsville short-circuited Sharon, 16-4, in 5 innings.
Roundup: Hounds, Hornets notch track sweeps
ä Wilmington 116, Reynolds 44 — At New Wilmington, the host Lady Hounds were led by Rikki Brumbaugh (4x8, 4x4 relay legs, 400- and 800-meter runs); Hannah Drake (long, triple jumps, 4x4 relay); Allison Baldwin (4x8 and 4x4 relay legs); Lexi Brumbaugh (1600-, 3200-meter runs, distance-relay leg), and Tessa Sikora (high jump, 200-meter dash, sprint-relay anchor).
SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians fans looking for big things this year
LIFE IS GOOD if you are a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates or Cleveland Indians. At least for now!
Heading into Saturday, both teams were 3-1 and looking pretty sharp. Since both made the playoffs last year, there are high expectations for both clubs. But in baseball, every year is a new season and there are no guarantees.
Still, it’s always nice when your favorite teams get off to a good start. In too many seasons, Pittsburgh and Cleveland fans were only talking about the NFL draft because hopes were bleak for their baseball teams.
Hickory's Arbanas 1st team All-State; KC's Hood 3rd team
ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — Teams from the WPIAL won three of the four PIAA girls basketball championships this year, and southwestern Pennsylvania is turning out to be just as dominant when it comes to postseason honors.
Pittsburgh-area programs produced seven of the eight major award winners on this season’s Sports Writers Pennsylvania High School Girls Basketball All-State Team, including all four players of the year.
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- Roundup: Rockets, Hornets, Blue Devils win