Harding, Ursuline moved to today




If last week’s game against Austintown Fitch was a must-win then Friday night was a can’t-lose game for Warren Harding. The Raiders climbed 10 spots in the OHSAA computer rankings after beating the Falcons a week ago and could not afford a loss to winless Ursuline at Mollenkopf Stadium.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature never let the game materialize as it was postponed after an hour of lightning delays. The game is rescheduled for 1 p.m. today and there will be no admission charge.

The contest was pushed back an hour from its 7 p.m. start as storms threatened the area. The rain stopped about 35 minutes before kickoff and the game started at 8 p.m. Ursuline got the ball first and ran eight plays before the referee announced there would be a 30-minute delay due to lightning in the area.

That announcement came around 8:07 p.m. Almost an hour later at 9:03 p.m., the PA announcer, much to the chagrin of the fans in attendance, announced the game’s postponement.

Fans from both schools were upset at the decision to postpone the game. Several were heard saying they never saw any lightning as they were filing out of the stadium. The postponement became even more bizarre considering other high school games in the area were played without any delays or postponements.

Neither head coach was available after the game for comment.

There was one bright spot, however, when former Warren Harding and Cleveland Browns great Paul Warfield was announced and he stood up and tipped his hat to the crowd.

Harding (2-2) entered the night sixth in the Division II, Region 5 computer ratings after its 49-14 win over Austintown last week. Meanwhile, Ursuline (0-4) is struggling in the first half of the season having lost every game by at least three touchdowns.

The Raiders, whose two losses came at the hands of undefeated Canton McKinley and Massillon, were hoping to sustain the momentum from the big win over the Falcons. Head coach Steve Arnold told The Vindicator it was “important for our program to win the game [against Fitch]” and stressed before the game how a loss to the Irish (0-4) would wipe out last week’s victory.

Arnold hopes the only lightning strikes he sees today are from his explosive offense, which has scored at least 40 points in its two wins. Meanwhile, Ursuline has given up at least 33 points in every game but has improved offensively after getting shut out in the season opener.

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