EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) –
The Girard Indians wasted no time in disposing of the East Palestine Bulldogs Friday night in a season-opening tilt for both squads. The Indians (1-0) scored four touchdowns on just six offensive plays as they jumped out to a 27-0 lead and never looked back.
The Indians Morgan Clardy raced 66-yards on the first play of the game, followed by a 74-yard pass from quarterback Andrew DelGarbino to Nick Malito to make it 13-0. They added a 30-yard pass from DelGarbino to Jimmy Jones and 24-yard run by Jones to reach that 27-0 advantage.
Clardy would add a 76-yard run, followed by a Tyler Maddox 58-yard scamper and a Malito 55-yard interception return to grab a 48-0 halftime lead. Clardy would rack up 158 yards on just 5 carries on the night.
“It all starts up front,” Clardy said of his big night running the ball. “My linemen getting the blocks, the receivers blocks, amazing. To see the energy rise up and finish the game off as a team is amazing.”
“We made a lot of mistakes tonight still (despite the score). We have to go back to the film and clean a lot of stuff up, but I’m proud of how we worked this summer. I’m proud of how our kids played tonight, and we got our young guys in the second half and they played really, really hard,” Pearson remarked about the win.
While the offense was clicking on all cylinders, the Indians defense was suffocating the Bulldogs offense. The Bulldogs were held to minus 4 yards rushing and only connected on nine passes for 81 yards through the air.
“Their skill guys have way more speed than our skill guys. I told them in the locker room before we came out defense is going to be out first and we need to adjust our pursuit angles for their speed,” Bulldogs head coach Tony Foster explained the quick strikes. “We may have even adjusted our pursuit angles, but we couldn’t catch them.”
The Indians would score twice more in the second half despite a mercy rule running clock in the half. They would score on a 14-yard run, and a 60-yard screen pass.
“The challenges keep going,” Pearson said in conclusion. “They (East Palestine) is young and rebuilding, but we are proud of what we did. We’ll celebrate tonight, but tomorrow we go back to work. We have a long way to go.”
Next Friday the Indians (1-0) will host the West Branch Warriors. The East Palestine Bulldogs (0-1) will play host to the Western Reserve Blue Devils.