SOLON: The St. Vincent-St. Mary “Wolfpack” struck again.
St. V-M’s nickname is the Fighting Irish, but its defense goes by a different moniker.
Saturday night, the “Wolfpack” was stout in leading St. V-M to a 34-7 victory over Chagrin Falls in a Division III regional final on Stewart Field at Solon.
“We are brothers,” Irish junior defensive lineman Travonte Junius said. “We are a wolfpack. That is what we call ourselves. We go in and we try to make a team have less stats than they normally have.”
St. V-M will play Dover in a state semifinal at a site to be determined on Saturday night.
The Irish (11-2) outgained the Tigers (11-2) 363-192. Chagrin Falls rushed for just 12 yards.
“This is the way our defense has played all year,” St. V-M coach Dan Boarman said. “I gotta be honest with you, this is not a surprise. They are quick, fast and they get to the ball.
“We thought that we could set the tempo. Offensively, we have a team that can move the ball, and defensively, we have people that can stop the run and stop the pass. You have to give them [Chagrin Falls] credit, that is a great football team who averages over 40 points per game. Our kids did a great job.”
Irish defensive coordinator Marcus Wattley was smiling from ear to ear and hugging family and friends after watching his guys manhandle the Tigers.
Junior Newman Williams made his presence felt from his linebacker position and also as a running back with two touchdowns.
“I had good blocking from my offensive line,” Williams said. “They opened up the holes and I ran through them.”
The Irish took a 7-0 lead when senior quarterback Clayton Uecker connected with senior receiver Jordan Hargrove for a 25-yard touchdown pass with 4:53 left in the first quarter.
Junior Parris Campbell Jr. rushed for a 7-yard touchdown with 7:44 to go in the second quarter and the Irish led 13-0.
The Tigers trimmed their deficit to 13-7 when senior receiver Ben Vandertill caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Tommy Iammarino with 3:16 remaining in the second quarter.
The Irish took a 20-7 lead into halftime on a 1-yard touchdown run by Williams with six seconds to go in the second quarter.
St. V-M put the game away in the second half with two more touchdowns.
Sophomore Vince Lockett rushed for a 3-yard touchdown with 1:30 to go in the third quarter two plays after Junius intercepted a pass and ran 37 yards down to the Chagrin Falls 6-yard line.
“I was more anticipating it,” Junius said of the interception. “Every play I was just trying to get one. I got closer and closer every play. I finally got one.”
Boarman was impressed.
“[Junius] is a heck of an athlete,” Boarman said. “Some college coach better get off his rear end and take a look at this kid. He runs about a 4.4 [40-yard dash]. He is one of the fastest kids on our defense, and that is saying a lot.”
Williams added a 28-yard touchdown run with 3:40 to go in the fourth quarter.
“[Newman] had a great game,” Boarman said. “We played great as a team defensively. You take a look at everybody, and they all played so well.”
Junius, Williams and Lockett led the Irish defense with seniors Eric Prologo, Fransohn Bickley and Mike Pruiett.
Juniors Anthony Adkins, Dante Booker, Corey Whaley and Nathan Bischof also harassed the Tigers along with freshman Tyrece Speaight.
Uecker completed 13-of-23 passes for 240 yards. Hargrove had five receptions for 98 yards and Bickley had four catches for 119 yards.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.