Dover hands Big Red its first loss
DOVER — Steubenville struck first in its showdown at Dover Friday night, but after that, the hosts took control and earned a 24-7 victory inside a packed Crater Stadium.
With the win, the Crimson Tornadoes improved to 4-0 and should advance forward in the Division III, Region 9 standings. Big Red, which entered ranked as Ohio’s number two Division III squad in the Associated Press poll, falls to 4-1. Dover was sixth in initial computer rankings and Steubenville second.
“It was a rough night,” Big Red coach Reno Saccoccia said. “It just wasn’t there for us. We hung in there.
“Preparation starts at the top with me. I have to do a better job of preparing our players and having them play with confidence.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Big Red got on the board following a fumble recovery by Tylik Sims. Steubenville used 14 plays to travel 86 yards, consuming 6:50. All but 11 of the yards came on the ground.
The score, which came with 7:50 left in the half, came on a 3-yard burst by Gavin Bozica. Austyn Roberts nailed the conversion kick.
A leaping interception by T.C. Molk gave Dover great field position at the Big Red 34. Three snaps later, Joey Farthing scooted 14 yards with a shovel pass from Ayden Hall. Lucas Lane’s kick tied things at 7.
After its defense forced a turnover on downs, Dover struck again. Thanks to a big run Molk and a 15-yard pass from Molk to Jacob Jones, the Crimson Tornadoes had the ball at the Big Red 23.
From there, Lane boomed a 40-yard field goal to make it 10-7 Dover at the half.
Dan Ifft’s club took the second half kick 77 yards for its next score.
The drive featured a 38-yard gain by Hall and a 26-yard burst by Connor McGarry. The touchdown came on a 2-yard Hall plunge. Lane again was true with his kick.
The game’s final touchdown came with 3:45 left in the third via a 22-yard sprint by Farthing. Lane’s boot closed the scoring.
Dover’s defense turned in a strong performance, limiting Big Red’s high-powered attack to 235 yards. The Crimson Tornadoes intercepted three passes and recovered a fumble. In its four previous games, Steubenville averaged 432 yards and 36 points.
“Turnovers are killers but I’m not going to blame what happened tonight on one thing,” Saccoccia said. “Dover is a really good football team and they played well tonight. “In regards to the turnovers, it’s a we are us thing not an I-myself situation. If our players feel about themselves like I feel about them — we will be back next week.”
Big Red, which was missing several starters due to injury, lost another in the second quarter when tight end/linebacker Brandon Kinney was hurt after making an outstanding catch of a Phaeton Hill pass. He did not return to the game.
Savier Faulks led the Big Red offense with 83 yards on 16 carries. Hill threw for 105 yards.
Kyjhaun Hopkins and Hakim Edwards had three catches each.
Dover’s McGarry finished with 78 yards on 16 trips. Molk added 55 and Hall 40.
Molk threw for 69 yards and Hall 47. Farthing recorded eight receptions for 78 yards.
Big Red will return home next week to face Linsly. Steubenville’s final five regular season games all will be played in the friendly confines of Harding Stadium.
“If our players have respect for themselves and our coaches have respect for the players, we will put things together and bounce back,” Saccoccia said. “We have two goals right now–bounce back and the next man up has to be ready.”
Dover will hit the road for a game at Vincent Warren.
Dover 24, Steubenville 7
Big Red 0 7 0 0–7
Dover 0 10 14 0–24
BIG RED: Bozica 3 run (Roberts kick)
DOVER: Farthing 14 pass from Hall (Lane kick)
DOVER: Lane 40 field goal
DOVER: Hall 2 run (Lane kick)
DOVER: Farthing 22 run (Lane kick)
RUSHING: Big Red 30-130-1 (Ostovich 6-20; Faulks 16-83; Hill 2-8; Bozica 5-16-1; Thorn 1-
3); Dover 31-228-2 (McGarry 16-78; Molk 7-55; Hall 5-40-1; Martin 2-33; Farthing 1-22-1).
PASSING: Big Red 14-24-105-0-3ints (all by Hill); Dover 13-20-116-1 (Molk 7-10-69; Hall 6-6-47-1).
RECEIVING: Big Red 14-105 (Hopkins 3-30; Edwards 3-15; Buggs 2-21; Sims 2-9; Jones 1-6; Pierce 1-7; Kinney 1-12; Bozica 1-5); Dover 13-116-1 (Farthing 8-78-2; Dummermuth 1-10;
Jones 1-15; McGarry 1-5; Denney 1-6; Gigax 1-9).
FIRST DOWNS: Big Red 14; Dover 16.
PENALTIES-YARDS: Big Red 6-40; Dover 5-50.
PUNTS: Big Red 3-37; Dover 3-27.
FUMBLES-LOST: Big Red 2-1; Dover 1-1.