MAC Canfield subdues Salem to keep title hopes alive

CANFIELD -- Behind a flawless first-half performance from junior quarterback Leo Sorice ,the Canfield High football team defeated Salem, 27-7, Friday to remain alive in the Metro Athletic Conference race.
Sorice completed all seven of his pass attempts for 189 yards and two touchdowns before intermission.
"Leo obviously is a pretty special kid," Canfield coach Mike Pavlansky said. "He can maneuver in the pocket and he keeps his poise back there.
"But there are a lot of guys up front doing a lot of great things for him to have that time and to look to his third and fourth receivers, like he did tonight."
Canfield mixed a potent passing attack with the run to take a 20-0 lead into the locker room.
On the first play of the game, Sorice hooked up Gavin DiRusso for 55 yards. Late in the second quarter, they connected again for a 48-yard score.
"Is that John Elway over there throwing the passes?" asked Salem (1-7, 0-4) coach Doug Phillips. "We know he's a great athlete.
"When you can get a quarterback that can buy time avoiding the rush and be able to look off receivers and come to the back to the back side, that's always going to be difficult to defend.
"He made some great throws and the receivers made some great plays," Phillips said.
Doing it all: Sorice rushed for 43 yards in the contest and completed 9-of-12 passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns.
Less than a minute into the game, Canfield's Tim Dewberry scored from the 2 after DiRusso's catch to put the Cardinals up 7-0.
Dewberry was knocked out of the game with a hard hit in the first quarter. Tom Rogers took over as feature back and lead all rushers with 57 yards.
"We're blessed with what we feel are really four solid backs with Tommy Banna and Mike Turjanica, and Rogers and Dewberry," Pavlansky said.
Breaking it open: On their next possession, Sorice hit Chase Axelson on a 15-yard touchdown pass. The lead grew to 27-0 in the second half when Sorice hit Steve Kline with a 12-yard touchdown pass.
Salem scored late in the contest when Landen Heath connected with Scott Yuhanick from 15 yards out.
The Cardinals had 350 yards of total offense for the game. DiRusso led all receivers with 111 yards on three catches.
Canfield (6-2, 3-1 MAC) plays Poland (7-1, 3-0) next week for the MAC title.
"There's no doubt we control our own destiny now," Pavlansky said. "We'll be playing probably the premier program in our league in the '90's. We're going to find out real quick how good we are.
"We wanted to put ourselves in position at the beginning of the year to win a league title and we're there. Now we'll find out if we're good enough."