Lowellville wins with crushing ground attack
Lowellville Rockets 54 Mineral Ridge Rams 18
The Lowellville Rockets scored on their first 7 possessions of the game to roll over the Mineral Ridge Rams 54-18. Seniors Mike Palumbo and Andy Peterson led a brutal ground attack, which wore down the Ram defense. The victory has sealed a playoff position for the Rockets in Division VI, Region 21 in the OHSAA playoff system. It also all but clinches an Inter-County League championship.
The Rockets wasted no time in taking control of the game by scoring on two first quarter touchdown runs by quarterback Mike Palumbo of 53 and 39 yards respectively. However, the Rockets failed on both extra point tries, and led 12-0 mid way through the first quarter. Mineral Ridge would close the gap to 12-7 by scoring on a Levi Leigh 14 yard run. This was after a roughing penalty by the Rockets had stopped the Rams. But the Rockets answered right back with a 79 yard drive culminating in an Andy Peterson 5 yard touchdown run. Again, the Rockets failed to convert the extra point, and the score stayed at 18-7.
Mineral Ridge was once again able to cut into the Lowellville advantage, with a 20-yard field goal by Brian Palmer. This made the score 18-10. Lowellville would then seal the game away with two Andy Peterson touchdowns. The touchdowns would come on a run of 16 yards, and a pass of 60 yards. This time Nick Pope was able to convert the extra points, and Lowellville held a commanding 32-10 halftime advantage.
Lowellville would close out the second half with a 4-yard touchdown run by Jeff Peterson, a junior tailback, and a Jack Noble 25 yard pass from Palumbo. The defense would also get into the act with a 54-yard interception return for a touchdown by defensive back Bryan Meehan. The Rams would add a late touchdown with a 5-yard run by Steve Velte. Quarterback Chris Ault would add a two-point conversion for the Rams to close out the scoring at 54-18. Lowellville would only fail to score on the last possession of the game when second team players were in the game.
Mike Palumbo led the Rocket attack with 167 yards rushing on 12 carries, while also passing for 109 yards on 4 of 8 completions. Andy Peterson added 148 yards on 14 carries and three touchdowns for Lowellville. Chris Ault, the prolific passing quarterback for the Rams, was held to 12 completions in 37 attempts for 163 yards, and no touchdowns.
Lowellville (8-0, 5-0) can clinch an ICL title next week when they play host to the Western Reserve Blue Devils (2-6, 0-5). Mineral Ridge (5-3, 3-2) will host the Mathews Mustangs (1-7, 0-5) next Friday.
Lowellville 18 14 7 15 =54
Mineral Ridge 7 3 0 8 =18
***All game statistics courtesy of The Youngstown Vindicator – Youngstown Ohio