Ferry, Leetonia bides its time against Sebring
By Brian Dzenis
With fresh legs, Marco Ferry gave Leetonia some relief.
The Bears football team hosted the Sebring Trojans on Thursday night and the visitors had the right idea: hold onto the ball as long as possible so the numbers-challenged squad can keep its defense off the field. The strategy worked really well in the third quarter as the Trojans used all 12 minutes of that stretch to travel from their 34 to Leetonia’s 13. During that time, the junior running back sat on the bench.
Sebring’s quarter-long drive ended up amounting to nothing. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Trojans quarterback Zane Peterson fumbled and the Bears’ Connor Hicks recovered. To make matters worse, Ferry took his first carry of the second half 87 yards for his team’s last touchdown in a 28-6 victory.
“We knew we needed to make a big play after that,” Ferry said. “We did what we needed to do. My line did a great job blocking for me. I saw the hole and I opened it up. After that, we got a boost of enthusiasm.”
Ferry rushed for 235 yards and three touchdowns for the Bears serving in the same role his older brother, Roman, had last year.
“[Ferry] is a Leetonia name. They’ve had several family members over the years that played here and played really well,” Leetonia coach Paul Hulea said. “Marco fits that mold like the rest of them.”
Hulea, who has previously been a head coach at Poland and Crestview, said he’s had drives last an entire quarter, but couldn’t remember a time it’s happened where the team that was behind did it. His team was also pretty good at playing a game of possession.
Rather than going for the big play, the Bears (1-0) were content to gain steady yardage on the ground. Sebring had just one defensive stop in the first half and that came via a Leetonia fumble. All of the Bears other drives ended with a rushing touchdown.
Ferry ended the opening drive after burning half the quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run. After a Sebring three-and-out, Ferry ended another scoring drive with an 11-yard touchdown run. The Trojans (0-1) held the ball for about three minutes in the first quarter.
Brett Davis ended a five-minute drive in the second quarter with a 1-yard TD run to put the Bears up 21-6.
Thursday marked the debut for Sebring coach Matt Seidel, who was previously the school’s junior high coach.
“I think we were able to do some really good things. I told the boys that we came out in the third quarter and did exactly what we wanted to do — hold the ball for the entire quarter,” Seidel said. “It wasn’t dinks and dunks. There were chunk plays too. We ran a good offense, but we just didn’t capitalize on our opportunities.
Peterson was a bright spot as he made a few plays with his arm and legs, passing for 85 yards and rushing for 65. His 23-yard touchdown run in the second quarter featured the senior faking out multiple Bears defenders on his way to the endzone.
Following Ferry’s fourth-quarter TD, Sebring spent six mintues driving into the Leetonia red zone. Face with a fourth-and-14 at Leetonia’s 19, Peterson’s pass was deflected for the turnover on downs and the Bears’ second red-zone stop of the night.
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