by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Streetsboro head football coach John Arlesic offered this observation after his team's dramatic come-from-behind 41-36 victory over Youngstown Christian Sept. 14 on the road.
"We did everything we could to lose it," he said.
Despite relinquishing a 14-point lead with six minutes left to go, the Rockets are 2-1.
"We'll take it," Arlesic said. "Am I happy with it, no, but it's a lot better than 1-2."
The Rockets scored the game-winning touchdown with 39 seconds left. Johnathan Williams, who carried the ball 34 times for 226 yards, scored from 11 yards away to give Streetsboro a 41-36 lead. It was his third TD of the game.
Still, the Eagles received the kickoff and had a chance to win. But those hopes were dashed when Josh Reyes stripped the ball from Youngstown Christian quarterback Paris Bennett and Jacob Armbrecht recovered the loose pigskin with 22 seconds left.
"Our defense showed their toughness on that last drive," Arlesic said.
But it was a topsy-turvy affair for the Rockets.
The Eagles (0-3) took a 6-0 lead on a one-yard run by Junior Blair, but Streetsboro answered on Williams' 35-yard run and Spencer Deevers' point after try that put gave the Rockets a 7-6 lead.
The teams traded TDs in the second quarter.
Avery VanReeth scored on a three-yard run for Streetsboro and Deevers split the uprights. Bennett answered with a 21-yard TD toss and completed a two-point conversion pass to tie the score at 14.
The two teams both scored in the third quarter. The Rockets took a 21-14 lead, thanks to a 25-yard run by Prince Franklin. But Youngstown Christian tied the game on an 87-yard pass from Bennett to Marien Townsend.
Streetsboro appeared to have the game in hand after Williams scored on a 31-yard run and Josh Reyes picked off a Bennett pass and took it 60 yards to the end zone to give the Rockets a 35-21 lead.
But Bennett fired an 85-yard scoring bomb to Townsend to cut the gap to 35-28. The Eagles scored a safety following the kickoff.
After a free kick, Bennett hooked up with Townsend again, this time for a 69-yard TD pass to put Youngstown Christian in the lead, 36-35.
The Rockets got the ball back with 2:02 left and put together an eight-play drive to score the game-winning TD.
"We had three huge turnovers," Arlesic said. "We started off with a turnover on the first series. We also had three blown coverages that gave them [the Eagles] three scores. The safety was huge.
"There is no question that we are a very explosive team. We also show our youth. We have to get these things resolved as we go into the PTC [Portage Trail Conference]."
Bennett threw for 322 yards and four scores. Streetsboro rushed for 419 yards in 62 attempts. Rockets' quarterback Jerry Judd contributed to the total with 115 yards in 15 tries. Streetsboro had a 19-6 edge in first downs, but the Rockets committed 17 penalties for 125 yards.
Streetsboro is scheduled to make its PTC County Division debut Sept. 20 at Rootstown (0-3).
"We learned last year not to look past teams," Arlesic said. "We played 0-3 Field last year and they beat us. I'm more concerned about our execution."