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.”
LOCAL COLLEGE SPORTS: Thiel's Schafer picked for NCAA Pathway Program
Thiel College assistant director of athletics and senior woman administrator Amy Schafer was one of just 12 individuals recently selected for the NCAA 2014 Pathway Program.
The Pathway Program exists to assist minority and/or female administrators who wish to become director of athletics as their next career step through education, training and mentoring. The program is designed to provide national exposure to its participants and to generate the opportunity to glean information and career guidance from the leadership of intercollegiate athletics administrators throughout the country.
Reynolds 20-year home mat streak halted
They say that all good things must end. Even winning streaks of local powerhouse Reynolds High wrestling team!
The Raiders of coach Casey Taylor dropped a tough 30-25 decision to Erie McDowell Tuesday night at Reynolds, the first home loss for the Raiders since 1993.
The Class AAA Trojans (2-0) last year rallied from a large deficit to beat Class AA Reynolds in Erie, 38-33. On Tuesday, the northerners also rallied from a 25-21 deficit in the final two matches to halt the streak.
Roundup: Sharon rallies to beat WM, 72-56
When West Middlesex High’s wonderful 2013 Final Four run ended last March 22, it was at Sharon’s Tiger gymnasium. And while Tuesday night’s circumstances were considerably less dramatic, they ended similarly.
The Big Reds built a 20-8 first-quarter bulge. Ultimately, however, West Middlesex made 27 miscues, resulting in a 72-56 District 10 inter-region setback at Sharon.
Roundup: WM girls beat UC; Sharpsville, KC fall
ä West Middlesex 52, Union City 27 — At Union City, coach Mike Williams’ Region 1-A Ms. Reds improved to 2-1 with a win over the Lady Bears of Region 4-AA.
Alyson Pierce scored 15 to lead WM, Noelle Murray registered 13 points and Allie Staunch bucketed 10 markers.
Hickory falls to Lions in PIAA Class AA western region final
SLIPPERY ROCK — Brett Brumbaugh brought Bill Brest back to reality.
Brest seemed, Saturday afternoon, momentarily lost in thought when a post-game question was posed. Perhaps it was because it had been 3 months since he had experienced the disappointment of defeat.
Brumbaugh-led South Fayette’s football team short-circuited a splendid season a step shy of the statewide stage for Brest and Hickory High with a 23-20 win over the Hornets in the PIAA Class AA western regional championship game.
SPORTVIEW: Browns, Steelers will both lose
THE CLEVELAND Browns quarterback position has been a revolving door this season, but at least one of the more successful signal-callers is back. Jason Campbell is recovered from a concussion and will start.
Does it really matter?
Roundup: Opening-weekend tipoff tourneys conclude
Kittanning Tipoff Championship
ä Hickory 60, Kittanning 32 — Coach Jeannette Whitehead’s Lady Hornets had an impressive weekend in winning the opening tourney of the season.
“It’s nice to get out of the game with a win,” said Whitehead. “The kids were anxious to get going.”
2013-14 hoops season begins with tipoff tourneys
Farrell Julius McCoy Tipoff Tourney
ä Kennedy Catholic 48, Imani Christian Academy 40 — The Golden Eagles set up an all local rematch with host Farrell by pulling away in the fourth quarter in a tight battle.
For KC, Gerald Zachar and Sam Crow each scored 13 points to pace the victory, Brown had 14 and Southerner 12 for Imani.
Brookfield boys win season-opener against Py Valley
It was a typical season-opener: Too many turnovers, some questionable shot selection, and careless personal fouls. But for Brookfield High boys’ bench boss Bill Kovach, “ ... always happy with a win.”
The Warriors were 7-for-10 from the free-throw line during the 4th frame, and held off Pymatuning Valley, 59-48, Tuesday night.
Hornets advance to semis with win over Central
DuBOIS, PA. — Some people could say the “third time is a charm.” For the Hickory High Hornets it was much more than that. In fact, it was glorious.
After losing in the first round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs the last two years, the Hornets finally nailed down a victory with a 37-27 triumph over the Central Dragons from Martinsburg.
Lakeview falls to Clarion Area in PIAA quarterfinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — In the scholastic athletic arena, “mercy rule” — while not politically correct in hyper-sensitive 2013 society — is a relatively accepted term.
Clarion High’s football had mercy-ruled all 13 prior opponents this season. And the Bobcats seemed bent on continuing their commanding conquests during Saturday’s PIAA Class A quarterfinal-round meeting with Lakeview.
Hickory focused on winning PIAA opener
The calendar reminds us that Thanksgiving arrives a little later than usual this year. But as holiday traditions go, this one has been pretty productive for Hickory High head football coach Bill Brest.
“My wife always has me put up our Christmas tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving ... and the next day, we’ve won. So I’ll be more than happy to help my wife put up the tree this Friday,” Brest related.
During the past 2 years Hickory has won District 10 titles on Thanksgiving weekend. But this year the Hornets harvested their 3rd consecutive crown last week, jettisoning Girard (21-10). Now Hickory (11-1) has a 1 p.m. date in DuBois Saturday against surprising Central-Martinsburg (11-2) in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals.
Smart move by PIAA to schedule games early this weekend
Congratulations to the PIAA for making a good move that helps teams and fans of high school sports.
Wow, I haven’t been able to say that often enough!
But many of the high school football games this coming weekend will be played in the afternoon which is a real plus for traveling on possibly snow-blown highways at this time of the year.
Hornets 3-peat as D-10 champs with win vs. Girard
EDINBORO — When legendary coach Vince Lombardi said “the only good thing that comes from losing is the desire never to lose again,” he could very well have been referencing the future for Coach Bill Brest and his Hickory Hornets.
Since Hickory lost to Sharon, 14-6, in the 2010 District 10 finals in Brest’s first year at the helm of the team, the D-10 Class AA title game has belonged to Hickory. And Saturday afternoon at Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium, it was no different as the Hornets topped Girard, 21-10 for a third straight crown.
Sailors beat Devils to capture 1st District 10 title
NEW WILMINGTON — Lakeview may have a long way to go to equal Sharpsville’s success in the sport of football, but the Sailors jump-started the process Friday night.
With Blake Reddick roaring into the record book, the Sailors shut out Sharpsville, 27-0, in the District 10 Class A championship game at Greyhounds Stadium.
- More Sports Headlines
- LOCAL COLLEGE SPORTS: Thiel's Schafer picked for NCAA Pathway Program