by Jim Manion | Correspondent
Ravenna -- The Streetsboro football team knew it would be facing a never-quit bunch of Southeast Pirates Sept. 27 in Ravenna.
The two teams punched each other for three quarters before the Rockets finally took a 14-10 advantage with only one minute remaining in the third quarter.
After recovering its third fumble of the night on the final play of the quarter, Streetsboro opened up the contest in the final 12 minutes, scoring three times in the fourth quarter to capture a 34-10 win.
The victory gave the Rocekts a 4-1 overall record and a 2-0 mark in County Division play of the Portage Trail Conference.
Streetsboro quarterback Jerry Judd had a career night in the win. The sophomore signal caller ran for 157 yards in only 10 carries, scoring three touchdowns. He had TD runs of 19, 42, and 31 yards, respectively, while also completing 4 of 7 passes for 39 yards. Two of his scores took place in the final quarter.
"Our kids knew we had to play 48 minutes," said Rockets head coach John Arlesic. "Unfortunately, it took us until the fourth quarter to execute like we are capable of. Once we did, I thought we played pretty well. We had a lot of guys contribute."
Halftime statistics revealed just how close the contest was after the first 24 minutes.
Streetsboro held a 9-7 edge in first downs and had three more yards of offense. The Rockets gained 169 yards, while Southeast accumulated 166 yards in the first half. Both teams lost possession on a fumble and they were within 10 yards on penalties.
The first two possessions saw each team turn the ball over on fumbles. Pirates quarterback Jordan Krych ran a draw play and rambled 42 yards from his own 48-yard line to the Rockets' 10. But when he was hit from behind, Krych fumbled the pigskin. It rolled to the 4, where Devin Rencher recovered for the Rockets.
Streetsboro only held possession for two plays before fumbling at its 40 and Shayne Meadows pounced on the loose ball for Southeast (2-3, 0-2).
The turnover resulted in a Sonny Canfield's 22-yard field goal with 3 minutes, 9 seconds remaining in the first quarter and a 3-0 Pirates' lead. The big play of the drive was another draw by Krych that took the ball to the 8 before the drive stalled.
The Rockets got on the board on the second play of the second quarter when Judd ran a keeper for 19 yards, diving into the end zone to take the lead. Spencer Deevers' conversion kick made it 7-3.
The two teams traded possession four times in the second quarter before Southeast mounted the final drive of the half with four minutes left on the clock. With 36 seconds remaining in the half, Streetsboro's Josh Reyes and Tyler Rowland sacked Krych and it appeared the half would come to a close with the Rockets holding the edge.
However, Krych hit Lucas Bloom at the 11 for a first down with 31 seconds remaining. Following a penalty and a near sack that resulted in an incomplete pass, Krych hit Meadows on the right side on a 15-yard screen. The senior running back followed his blockers to the end zone to give his team a 10-7 halftime advantage.
With six minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Rockets gained possession at their 35 and Avery VanReeth got the call from Arlesic at quarterback.
VanReeth hit Devin Rencher with a 21-yard toss before keeping it himself for 12 yards. VanReeth hit Rencher again at the 9, setting up a touchdown by Prince Franklin. The junior running back broke off his right tackle that gave Streetsboro the lead it did not relinquish.
Judd opened the fourth quarter with a 42-yard scamper, breaking several tackles to give his team a 20-10 lead. The Rockets scored again on their next possession when Johnathan Williams got the call from the 9.
The next time Judd carried the ball, he gained 40 yards, then came back with another run of 31 yards for his third touchdown with 2:31 left in the game.
Southeast head coach Scott Pollock said following the game that he was proud of the way his kids played.
"We could have laid down after our game last week with Woodridge," he said. "I thought we came out and played hard."
Southeast was led by Krych with 68 yards on five carries, while Meadows rushed for 65 yards in 13 tries.
Streetsboro is scheduled to host County Division rival Mogadore Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.