Redmen score early, often against Chieftains

PHOTO BY PAT GAIETTO Hopewell Loudon’s Adam Sendelbach (right) and CJ Smith (25) pursues Fostoria quarterback Dom Settles Saturday in Bascom.

BASCOM — According to Fostoria coach Derek Kidwell, the run wasn’t even supposed to go in that direction.

Facing a second-and-12 for its second offensive play its game at Hopewell-Loudon Saturday night, the call had Redmen tailback Xavier Diaz taking a pitch from QB Dom Settles and going to the left.

But the senior had other ideas.

He took the pitch, but changed direction and went right. He had blockers in front, and took off down the sideline. A defender didn’t get a hand on Diaz until he plowed inside the Chieftains 20.

But that didn’t stop him.

Diaz kept running, all the way to the end zone.

Seventy-three yards. Touchdown. An ensuing two-point conversion made it 8-0.

“He just used his vision, and he saw that was sealed,” Kidwell said after Fostoria moved to 2-1 with a 36-0 trouncing of H-L. “He used his speed. It was just nice eyes on his part. Luckily for us, our backside of our offensive line did their job and sealed it off.

“Xavier’s extremely fast. I think that settled us down, when we got a score early,” Kidwell said.

It merely was a taste of what was to come. Settles ran 12 times for 125 yards, adding a pair of second-quarter touchdown passes. Devin Mauricio had 19 carries for 103 yards, running for and catching a touchdown.

Diaz came in just under 100 yards rushing. He was, uh, limited to 98 yards on five rushes. He also had a pair of receptions totaling 18 yards.

E.J. Williams caught a 12-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, and Zach Chavana capped the scoring with a three-yard run in the final half minute of regulation.

The Redmen also converted three of five two-point conversions. Settles and Avondre Reed — the latter of whom intercepted a pass in the final minutes of the first half, adding a big return that set up FHS’ third touchdown– each ran in two-pointers. Jacob Franklin also brought in a conversion throw from Settles.

By halftime, the Chieftains were in a 22-0 hole.

“They did a really good job in the first half of spreading us out…their quarterback is really good,” said H-L coach Brian Colatruglio, whose team fell to 0-3. “We don’t have an answer for him, he threw it pretty well. And even when we did cover, he’d start running around, and that was gonna be a struggle for us. We knew that.”

Hopewell-Loudon’s offense showed some promise in the run game, though injuries thwarted that as the game continued. CJ Smith had 55 yards on 11 carries, but did not play in the second half. Quarterback Ashton Bour — who split some snaps at the signal-caller spot with Luke Jameson — ran nine times for 71 yards. And H-L sophomore Lance Crawford rushed five times for 37 yards.

“I’m proud of Lance Crawford; he hadn’t gotten a lot of reps, 130 pounds or whatever he is, and he was running it up in there,” Colatruglio said. “We were down to our third guy, and I thought we still were running it pretty well.”

But Hopewell-Loudon didn’t penetrate the Fostoria red zone. The deepest the offense reached was the Redmen 22, and that was in the fourth quarter when the game had long been decided.

Bour and Jameson combined to go 7 of 17 passing for 46 yards, including Bour’s second-quarter pick.

“We had a very good defensive gameplan, our kids went out and executed it,” Kidwell said. “Anytime you get a shutout, that’s big.”

Settles was big, too. The senior quarterback had 224 total yards.

“Dom’s elusive. He gets us out of some slippery plays with his legs. He gets us out of some bad plays and makes them look good,” Kidwell said. “That’s just his athletic ability. But he’s getting more and more comfortable playing a football game. He understands what we’re wanting out of him. He’s just gonna keep getting better from here.

“I think we came out healthy; it was a nice effort tonight,” Kidwell said. “We got a big one next week.”

That “big one” is a home game against 3-0 Eastwood.

The Chieftains have a big game Friday, too. After starting 0-3 for the first time this century, the Chieftains will host Lakota. It’s their first Sandusky Bay Conference River Division game since coming over from the Blanchard Valley Conference.

Lakota defeated Woodmore 21-8 Saturday afternoon, and stands at 1-2.

“It’s another home game, first-ever SBC game, two programs that are playing a bunch of sophomores trying to take the next step. We’ll gear up and be ready to go next week.”

H-L will hope to change directions.

Just like Diaz.