Eagles Pound Panthers 40-7
St. Edward dominated Cincinnati Elder Saturday night in a showdown between undefeated Ohio football powers. The Eagles won 40-7 in less than two hours due to the OHSAA “running clock” rule. St. Edward dominated the Panthers on both sides of the ball, with a swarming defense and a punishing running game. St. Edward moves to 4-0 on the season, and Elder dropped to 3-1.
The St. Edward home game was played at Bedford Bearcats Stadium due to a scheduling conflict with the Lakewood High School Marching Band Festival. The Eagles quickly adapted to their temporary home, taking the opening kickoff and driving for a touchdown. They went 65 yards on 13 plays, five of which featured the hard running of junior back Jordan Castleberry. “Co-starting” quarterback Zack Kincaid capped the drive with a one yard touchdown run with 6:01 left in the first quarter. Senior kicker Blaine Stencil made the extra point to make it 7-0 Eagles.
The Elder offense, which averaged nearly 30 points per game coming into the contest, was then stifled by Eagle defense. The Panthers went “three and out” thanks to a third down sack from Eagle seniors Robbie Milkovsky and Aaron Butler. Elder punted from deep in their territory, setting up the St. Edward offense with another short field. On the first play of the Eagle drive, senior wide receiver Devin Maddox ran for 43 yards on a jet sweep to take the ball to Elder’s three yard line. Kincaid then ran in another touchdown to make the score 13-0 with 3:34 left in the first quarter.
Elder continued to sputter on offense. The Eagle front seven, led by senior Omar Fattah, dominated the line of scrimmage. The St. Edward secondary, including seniors Darnell Shields and Michael Dowell, clamped down on the passing game all night. The Eagles extended the lead to 20-0 early in the second quarter, when “co-starting” quarterback Matt Dzuro hit junior Quintel Kent on a 43 yard touchdown pass.
Elder put together a solid drive early in the second quarter, but an interception by Shields thwarted the Panthers deep in St. Edward territory. The Eagles added another touchdown before the half to make the lead 26-0. The drive was capped by a 13 yard scoring pass from Dzuro to Kent. The Panthers had another “three and out” on their opening drive of the second half, and the Eagles promptly added another touchdown to make it 33-0 and put the OHSAA “running clock” into effect. Castleberry scored the TD on an impressive 45 yard run, where he was trapped behind the line of scrimmage but fought free to run up the left sideline to the endzone.
Each team added a fourth quarter touchdown to make the final score 40-7. The Eagle score came on a nine yard touchdown run from Kincaid. He finished the game with four touchdowns, three by run and one through the air. Dzuro threw for a touchdown and rushed for 42 total yards. Castleberry had 100 yards rushing on only 11 attempts, and scored a touchdown. Kent was the leading receiver with 56 yards and two touchdowns. The St. Edward defense had three sacks and two interceptions.
“That’s exactly the style and effort we need to play with” head coach Tom Lombardo told his team after the game. He said this was the first “complete game” the team has played all season, as the offense and defense both shined for all four quarters. The Eagles return to First Federal Lakewood Stadium on Saturday for a 1pm kickoff against Akron Buchtel. The game will be part of St. Edward’s Homecoming Weekend.
Mike Deneen has extensive experience covering sports and community stories for the Lakewood Observer. Mike has been a Senior Industry Analyst for the Freedonia Group in Cleveland, Ohio, since 1998. He has appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell, NPR’s MarketPlace and has been quoted multiple times in The Wall Street Journal. He has made multiple guest appearances on ESPN Cleveland radio. Mike also writes for Inside Northwestern, a website that covers Northwestern Wildcat Athletics. You can reach him on Twitter at @MikeDeneen1