Big Red has no trouble with St. Joseph’s

Steubenville’s Dylan intercepts a pass against St. Joseph’s on Friday. (Photo by Michael D. McElwain)

STEUBENVILLE — Caleb Mitchell and David Tuttle ran for two touchdowns each Friday in Big Red’s 40-19 victory over Canada Football North St. Joseph inside Harding Stadium.

Clayton Criss, making just his second start at quarterback, overcame a shaky start to throw for 306 yards and another score, as Steubenville improved to 2-1 on the season. St. Joe’s dropped to 1-3.

“A win is a win, and I’m always happy with a win,” Big Red coach Reno Saccoccia said. “Our defense played really well, especially in the first half.

“As a team, however, we are not consistently doing the little things. We do those little things but, to be a good football team, you have to do them consistently. We have to be more consistent with our techniques and our assignments. Consistency is something we have to improve on right now, both offensively and defensively.”

Steubenville dodged an early bullet after Criss was picked off on the first play of the game by Schneider Phillippe-Cave. The Jaguars were unable to capitalize on the turnover, thanks to a third-down sack by Kwadre Williams and a fourth-down tackle for a loss by Williams and Erik Lulla.

Criss was intercepted again on Big Red’s second drive, this one by A.J. Richmond. Steubenville’s Dylan Cunningham delivered a pick of his on St. Joseph’s next possession, and that got Big Red’s offense going.

On second-and-9 from his own 16, Criss found Lulla running free in the St. Joseph secondary. The pass and run covered 84 yards. Tuttle’s first touchdown of the game came on a 1-yard plunge, capping a 63-yard drive. Ian Phillips made it 14-0 with his conversion kick. The score moved to 20-0 after Mitchell darted in from 12 yards away. That score came several snaps after an interception by Noah Howarth.

The visitors pulled to within 13 with 5:56 left in the third period on an 8-yard run by Jayden Simmonds. Big Red responded with a 5-yard sprint by Mitchell. The scoring drive was aided by a roughing the passer call on St. Joseph following an incomplete pass on fourth down. Tuttle’s second score came after Williams, who finished the night with three quarterback sacks, blocked a St. Joseph punt.

Isaiah McCartney got Big Red’s final touchdown on a 13-yard run. Criss hit Ty Arlesic for 59 yards on the drive.

Avery Dow-Lalla ran for the final two St. Joseph touchdowns.

“We are getting better,” St. Joseph coach Blaine Scatcherd said. “We were here last year, and we really didn’t compete. We competed this year but just not for long enough stretches. I told our guys we are not good enough to win with nine guys doing it right or 10 doing it right or 11 doing it right for a short period of time.

“We need bigger spurts, we need bigger chunks. Playing well for short stretches is just not good enough when you are playing good teams like this. They might not be the Steubenville of last year, but they still are a very-good football team. Not playing well for extended periods of time is going to come back and bite you.”

Big Red finished with 392 yards of offense compared to 169 for St. Joseph. During the first half, Steubenville limited St. Joseph to a negative 28 yards. After the half, Saccoccia began to empty his bench.

Lulla, Big Red’s standout middle linebacker, now has three career receptions, two resulting in touchdowns.

“We will get better,” Saccoccia said. “We just have to stick with it and keep working.”

Big Red will return to Harding Stadium a week from today for a battle with The Hun School from Princeton, N.J. The kick is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Steubenville 40, St. Joseph 19

St. Joseph 0 0 7 12 — 19

Big Red 13 7 14 6 — 40

BIG RED: Lulla 84 pass from Criss (Phillips kick)

BIG RED: Tuttle 1 run (kick blocked)

BIG RED: Mitchell 12 run (Phillips kick)

ST. JOSEPH: Simmonds 8 run (Olivieri kick)

BIG RED: Mitchell 5 run (Phillips kick)

BIG RED: Tuttle 5 run (Phillips kick)

ST. JOSEPH: Dow-Lalla 1 run (kick blocked)

BIG RED: McCartney 13 run (run failed)

ST. JOSEPH: Dow-Lalla 1 run (kick failed)

RUSHING: St. Joseph 39-86-3 (Lefebvre 5-(-40); Simmonds 13-64-1; Bertrand 6-(-4); Baigent 5-4; Arnott-Smith 3-30; Dow-Lalla 7-32-2); Big Red 25-83-5 (Crawford 7-20; Zorne 1-(-18); Mitchell 8-36-2; Criss 1-(-5); Tuttle 3-12-2; McCartney 4-22-1; Wickham 1-(-2); Bozica 1-0).

PASSING: St. Joseph 6-13-83-0-2 (Lefebvre 3-8-15-0-2; Dom-Lalla 3-8-15); Big Red 16-23-309-1-2 (Criss 15-22-306-1-2; Kernahan 1-1-3)

RECEIVING: St. Joseph 6-13-83 (Dixon 1-39; Ready 2-14; Horrall 1-9; Arnott-Smith 1-1; Martin 1-20); Big Red 16-309-1 (Rauch 2-20; Duggan 4-23; Tuttle 2-65; Lulla 2-89-1; Bracone 1-6; McCartney 2-8; Biacco 1-38; Arlesic 1-59; Bozica 1-3).

FIRST DOWNS: St. Joseph 11; Big Red 12.

PENALTIES-YARDS: St. Joseph 12-97; Big Red 7-62.

PUNTS: St. Joseph 5-25; Big Red 3-24.

FUMBLES-LOST: St. Joseph 2-0; Big Red 0-0.