Sophomore sensation Savin saves Red Dragons

Niles Girard Football

inline tease photo

The Niles Red Dragon Football team enters the field for a August 25, 2016 game with Girard.

Running back scores three TDs to help Niles weather storms

By Steve ruman


Thursday’s showdown between backyard rivals Niles and Girard was hyped as a contest featuring the experience of the Red Dragons against the youthful Indians.

As it turned out, it was a sophomore sensation from Niles who proved to be the difference-maker.

Niles sophomore Robbie Savin scored four touchdowns and rushed for 139 yards, leading the Red Dragons to a 47-26 home win over the Indians.

Savin scored on touchdown runs of 15, 55 and 59 yards. He also stripped a Girard runner and turned the fumble recovery into a 75-yard score.

“We always knew Robbie was going to be a good one,” said Dragons coach Brian Shaner. “He’s a special breed. He’s a throwback to the old-time Niles running backs. He’s got the complete package. He does things that you don’t see as a sophomore very often.”

Thursday’s game ended at 11:25 pm. Weather delays occurred in both the second and third quarters.

The contest was also marred by a near-brawl which emptied both benches and saw two players from each side ejected. Niles was able to survive 14 penalties which accounted for 155 yards.

All four players will be ineligible to play next week.

The behavior and the sloppy play of the Dragons left their coach unable to totally enjoy the victory.

“You love getting a win, but you hate seeing undisciplined football. You hate seeing people be selfish, that’s not how either team is coached to behave,” Shaner said. “We let emotions get the best of us. When you get the opportunity to be game of the week and all that, you need to take advantage and you have to go out and portray yourself in a proper manner.

“I don’t know if either team did that tonight.”

Niles senior quarterback Tyler Srbinovich completed 10 of 15 passes for 113 yards, and added 52 yards on the ground. Senior Marlon Pearson pulled in five receptions for 73 yards.

Girard was paced by sophomore quarterback Mark Waid, who passed for 230 yards. Indians receiver Michael Belcik had a big night, catching five of Waid’s passes for 142 yards and a touchdown.

Waid also led the Indians with 72 rushing yards.

Niles held a slim 21-19 halftime lead, but scored two touchdowns in the first 1:19 of the third quarter to pull away.

“I’m proud of the way our guys responded after the [weather] breaks and each time Girard scored,” Shaner said. “I’m especially proud of the way our defense turned things around in the second half.

“Hey, when you get a win you take it any way you can with our schedule.”

Niles now owns a 41-25-8 edge over Girard in the oldest ongoing rivalry in Trumbull County.

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.

AP News