~Paul Firm's Game Summaries~

(Photos courtesy of Steubenville City Schools and Herald Star)






NOVEMBER 27, 2009               

FAWCETT STADIUM                     



        The 2009 football season came to an end for the Steubenville Big Red at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium with a 45-7 loss to the Cardinals of Youngstown Cardinal Mooney in the Division III Semi-Finals. The Big Red finishes with a 12-2 record while Mooney will move into the State Championship undefeated. Cardinal Mooney finished the regular season on top of the Division III AP Poll with Big Red finishing second.


         Mooney would score first in the game following a Big Red punt on the games initial possession. It took the Cards 8 plays to find the end zone and take a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter. The teams would then trade punts with Big Red starting on their 20 following a touch back. Thanks to a 36 yard pass from Dwight Macon to Tight End Sage Cutri and a 16 yard pass to Trey Wiggins the Big Red marched deep into Mooney territory. On the 8th play of the drive Tailback Jesse Birden took the ball over from the 2 yard line and with 10:43 to go in the first half the Big Red would pull even tying the game at 7-7. However the Cards used their and size and speed and scored three unanswered touchdowns to close the half and take a 28-7 lead into the locker room. Showing a never quit attitude the Big Red held Mooney on their first drive of the second half but were unable to move the ball on offense. Mooney finished the game by scoring 2 touchdowns and a field goal to make the final score 45-7.


        Despite falling short in their quest to reach the State Championship game, the 2009 Big Red left their fans with one of the most memorable season’s in the history of Big Red Football. For most of the Big Red faithful the 7th game of the season will always be remembered as one of the greatest nights ever at Harding Stadium. On that night the Big Red faced their old nemesis from the former All American Conference, the Massillon Tigers. Before a standing room only crowd the Big Red would defeat the Tigers 13-3, giving Big Red their 4th win of the 43 game series and giving the long time Big Red fans the thrill of celebrating a win over Massillon, something they haven’t been able to do since 1962. Big Red also defeated Woodland Hills, Pa. 13-0 in the "Rally in the Valley" series in Wheeling. Woodland Hills has not lost a game since then winning the WPIAL "AAAA" Championship and are still in contention for the Pennsylvania Big School Title. Other wins came against Buffalo St. Joe’s, runners-up in the Buffalo Big School Catholic League Championship, Cardinal O’Hara who won that conference’s Small School Championship and Poland Seminary who finished the season as Regional runners- up to Mooney. Steubenville’s lone loss in the regular season came in a shootout with Inkster, Michigan who lost the Class 2 Championship game in Michigan.


        2009 marked the 27th year that Reno Saccoccia has been the head coach of the Big Red and his record now stands at 283 wins and 49 losses. Coach Sac has led the Big Red into the playoffs 20 times with a 45-17 record including 13 trips to the State Semi-finals, 6 State Championship appearances and 3 State Championships, 1984, 2005 and 2006.Earlier this season Reno was inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association’s "Hall of Fame".


        Offensively the Big Red finished 2009 with 407 points, a 29.1 points per game average and 4,941 yards good for 353 yards per game. Leading the way was three year starter at Quarterback Dwight Macon. Macon, who is a two time First Team All-Stater and a finalist for the prestigious "Mr. Football Ohio" award, finished the year going 116 of 190 passes for 1,601 yards and 15 touchdowns. Being a 3 year starter Dwight is atop every career passing record at Big Red including yards with 5,691, completions with 382, attempts with 596, touchdowns with 57 and completion percentage of 64%. Macon also finished the season as the team’s leading rusher picking up 757 yards on 139 attempts and scored 9 touchdowns. In his career he finished with 2,810 yards rushing and 33 touchdowns. Senior Trey Wiggins led the team in receptions with 37 good for 632 yards and 4 touchdowns. The special mention All-Ohioan finished his career with 59 catches good for 988 yards and 10 Tds. Junior Anthony Pierro finished with 29 catches good for 403 yards and scored 6 Tds. Junior Dominic Garay had 14 receptions for 185 yards and 3 scores and Jordan Meyer had 12 catches for 159 yards. Seniors Sage Cutri and Caleb Westlake each had 10 catches, Cutri for 140 yards and Westlake for 100 yards. Shaq Petteway caught 9 passes for 130 yards. Following Macon on the ground was Sophomore Jo Jo Pierro who had 742 yards on 186 carries and scored 8 times. Senior Alvin Taylor added 350 yards on 55 carries and Jesse Birden chipped in with 301 yards on 38 totes. Big Red finished with 2,988 yards on the ground averaging 4.9 yards per carry and scored 40 touchdowns. Leading the way for the offense were the men up front, the lineman. Leading the way was two year starter and first team All-Ohioan, Senior Center Jamey DeVaul. Joining Jamey were two year starter Junior Mason Campbell, Junior Jake Linn, Junior DeShawn Woods, Junior Willie Pruitt and Senior Jordan Banks.


        The Big Red defense met with some huge challenges this year facing many Division I college recruits and did a great job of keeping them in check. Shutting out Woodland Hills and limiting Massillon to just 3 points were two huge highlights for the season. Leading the way on defense was 1st Team All-Stater, Junior Shaq Petteway. Petteway finished the year with 94 total tackles including 60 solos and 16 tackles for a loss. He also led the team with 8 quarterback sacks and 5 pass breakups from his linebacker position. Junior Jordan Meyer, a special mention All-State had 79 tackles including 2 sacks. He led the team with 3 interceptions. Junior Jesse Birden, who fought injuries all year, finished with 76 tackles including 7 for a loss and intercepted 1 pass and returned it for a touchdown. Two Sophomores were next on the list with LeShawn Luke having 63 stops with one sack and Safety Najee Murray finishing the year with 57 tackles. Two year starter, Senior John Elder had 41 tackles, 4 for a loss. Also contributing on defense were Seniors Caleb Westlake with 37 tackles, Isiah Willis with 36, Jordan Banks with 35 and Jamey DeVaul with 34. Steubenville finished the year with 17 players recording at least 20 tackles for the season. For the year the Big Red recorded 26 sacks and forced 17 turnovers. Big Red’s opponents were successful on only 29% of their 3rd conversions going 44 of 151. The opponents were forced to punt 56 times as compared to just 26 punts by the Big Red.


        2009 was another great season for the Steubenville Big Red as the Seniors on this team left their mark as they finished with a 38-4 record over their 3 years of varsity action. More importantly they added to the tradition of Big Red Football by stepping up against some of the best teams around and giving their all to the end. The victory over Massillon will endear them forever to many of the Big Red faithful. However when the clock at Fawcett Stadium reached :00, it meant that 2009 was done and the 2010 season had started. The players returning will again face many difficult challenges including a trip to Massillon to face the Tigers, a return of another All-American Conference foe to the schedule, Warren Harding and of course the battles with their OVAC neighbors. There is a lot to look forward to in 2010 as the Big Red will return lots of experience with the top 5 leading tacklers back on defense and some of the top offensive performers returning for another season. Whether they want it or not they will be the date circled on every opponents schedule as the "Big Game" and they will have to come ready every week to be the "Defenders of the Crimson and the Black". Roll Red.........................................................








NOVEMBER 20, 2009        



        The Steubenville Big Red picked up their 13th Regional Football Championship with a convincing 28-14 victory over the Dover Tornadoes Friday night at legendary Fawcett Stadium in Canton. Steubenville, who finished first in Region 11 of Division III, moves on to the Semi-finals with a 12-1 record while the second seeded Tornadoes end their 2009 season with a mark of 11-2. This will be Big Red’s 4th trip to semi-finals in the last 5 years, winning all 3 of the previous matchups and going on the State Championship game.


        The Big Red totally dominated the game against Dover on both sides of the ball as the offense used a well balance attack with both long time consuming drives and their quick strike capability while the defense stifled the high powered Tornado offense throughout the game. Steubenville had a huge advantage in time of possession keeping the ball for 33 of game’s 48 minutes. Steubenville started to take control with the game’s opening drive receiving the kickoff and using 11 plays to cover 65 yards and nearly 6 minutes off the clock to stake themselves to a 6-0 lead after the PAT was missed. Tailback Jo Jo Pierro took the ball over from the 1 for the score. Big Red’s exuberance was short lived as Dover took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 90 yards for a score and by making their PAT, the Tornadoes had a 7-6 lead. Neither team could do much until Big Red received a Dover punt at their 33 with just under 10 minutes to go in the half. The Big Red would use 14 plays, driving down to the Dover 3 but was forced to turn the ball over on downs with 3 ½ minutes to go in the half. As was the case the entire first half, Dover would go 3 and out and give Big Red the ball back at the Big Red 40 with 1:22 left and no timeouts. Steubenville would execute a perfect two minute drill, marching down the field but were faced with a 4 and 1 at the Dover 2 with :25 remaining. Quarterback Dwight Macon would take the ball around the right side behind a wall of blockers and dance into the end zone with the go ahead score. Macon’s run for the conversion would send Big Red to the locker room with a 14-7 lead. Despite having just a 7 point lead the Big Red owned the first half as they ran 43 plays to Dover’s 11 in the first half. Big Red had 11 first downs while Dover could not move the chains as Big Red out gained the Tornadoes 219-9 using 17 minutes of the clock.


        The second half started no better for Dover as they took the kickoff and three plays later were back in punt formation. Steubenville started at their 46 and 11 plays later Tailback Shaq Petteway hauled in a Macon pass at the 5 and walked into the end zone for the score. Big Red converted three 3rd downs on the drive and used 5:25 off the clock increasing their advantage to 20-7. The Tornadoes would then have their only offensive drive of the game as they would go 60 yards in 11 plays to score and cut the Big Red lead to 20-14 with 1 quarter left to play. In fact Dover was taking the momentum of the game as for one of the few times in the contest they forced Big Red to punt and had good field position at their own 46. However the Big Red defense wasn’t letting this one get away as forced the Tornadoes into their 6th 3 and out of the game and Dover punted the ball back to Steubenville at the Big Red 16. Big Red would show their total dominance of the Dover defense over the next 8 minutes as they went on a monster 18 play drive, seizing back the momentum and putting the game away when Senior Center Jamey DeVaul fell on a fumble at the goal line for a Big Red touchdown. On the drive Steubenville would convert 1 3rd and two 4th downs to sustain the drive including a dramatic 4th and 2 at their own 38. Macon’s pass to Dominic Garay for the extra points gave Big Red a 28-14 edge with just 2 minutes to go in the game. Dover would give it one more try but Safety Jordan Meyer’s second interception of the game in the end zone would seal the deal for the Big Red and they were getting set for week 14.


        Steubenville would finish with 375 yards in the game with 181 on the ground and 194 in the air. Senior quarterback Dwight Macon hit on 15 of 24 passes for 194 yards and a score. Macon has now gone over 1,500 yards passing for the season and has thrown fifteen touchdowns. Macon used 8 different receivers with Senior Wideout Trey Wiggins leading the way with 4 catches for 66 yards. Junior Shaq Petteway also had 4 catches for 44 yards and a score while Senior Tight End Sage Cutri had 2 catches for 23 yards. On the ground Sophomore Jo Jo Pierro lead the way with 76 yards on 26 carries. Macon added 73 yards on 19 carries and Tailback Jesse Birden added 24 yards. Leading the way for the Big Red up front are Senior Jamey DeVaul, who did score his first touchdown, Juniors Mason Campbell, Jake Linn, Willie Pruitt and DelShawn Woods. Big Red ran 77 plays in the game and finished with 10 first downs.


        Not to be outdone the Big Red offense, the defense turned in a stellar performance themselves as they faced an offense in Dover averaging over 38 points per game and over 400 yards of offense per game but was unable to mount any kind of attack against the Big Red defense. Dover finished the game with just 108 total yards, 59 of that on the ground as the Tornadoes were limited to just 38 snaps . Dover got their first 1st down of the game with 4 minutes to go in the third quarter. Leading the way was safety Jordan Meyer who finished the game with 8 tackles including 1 for a loss and had 2 interceptions. Junior Linebacker Shaq Petteway, the team’s leading tackler had 6 stops, 1 for a loss, his 14th tackle for negative yardage for the season. Dover had 8 offensive possessions in the game, 5 ended in punts and 2 ended with interceptions. Dover finished with just 7 1st downs.


        For the Big Red to advance to their 4th State Championship in 5 years it will take another monumental effort as they will face perennial State Power, Youngstown Cardinal Mooney. The Cardinals, winners of the 2009 Division III AP Poll championship come into the game with a perfect 13-0 mark. For Big Red and Mooney this will be their 3rd straight year to meet up in the playoffs as Mooney defeated Steubenville in a 2007 Regional title game while Big Red defeated the Cards in a regional semi-final last year. The game will be back at Big Red’s "second home", Fawcett Stadium, where the Big Red has played 8 playoff games in the last 5 years. The winner of this one will move on to another fabled venue, Massillon’s Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, for the 2009 Division III State Championship.







NOVEMBER 13, 2009       




        The Big Red of Steubenville High School advanced to the Division III Region 11 Championship game with a 34-10 victory over the Quakers of Salem High School. The game was played at New Philadelphia’s Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium in front of an overflow crowd on a perfect night for football. Big Red will be playing in their 18th regional championship, having won 12 previously. With the win Steubenville moves to 11-1 on the 2009 season while the Quakers bow out at 9-3.


        Taking some liberties with literature the game with Salem could be described as "it was the worst of halves and it was the best of halves" as Steubenville fell behind early and came on strong to close out the win. Salem was able to take advantage of 3 uncharacteristic Big Red turnovers, leaving the Quakers with short fields to work with, and multiple penalties on 3rd down to take a 10-6 lead at halftime only to be totally dominated and outscored 28 to 0 in the second half by the Big Red.


        Both offenses had problems to start the game as Salem was unable to mount any kind of attack while the Big Red was turning the ball over. On their second opportunity of the game the Big Red was intercepted deep in their territory at the 17. The Quakers needed 6 plays including a key pass interference on 3rd down to score and take a 7-0 advantage as the 1st quarter ended. The teams would trade possessions with Big Red taking over at the Salem 43 following a short punt. Five plays later QB Dwight Macon went in from 7 yards out to close the gap to 7-6. A bad snap on the PAT kept the Quakers in the lead. Salem would try to answer that score as they drove down into Big Red’s side of the field but the Big Red defense stiffened and Salem tried a 42 yard field goal which was wide left with :25 seconds to go until half. Having dodged the bullet it seemed Steubenville would go into halftime down by one but another Big Red turnover, this time a fumble at their 19 yard line gave Salem a second chance at a field goal which they converted as the 27 yard kick was good as time ran out and the Quakers went into the locker room with a 10-6 lead.


        The second half didn’t start much better for the Big Red as they took the kickoff and failed to move the chains punting the ball back to Salem. However the Big Red defense, which was stellar all night, showed what the Quakers were going to see in the second half as Salem’s three plays netted -6 yards. Following the punt Big Red was on their 17 and Senior QB Dwight Macon showed why he was named Eastern District Offensive Player of the Year. On the first play he went up the middle for 16 yards and then on the next snap he took off down the left side untouched for a 67 yard touchdown giving Big Red their first lead at 12-10 with 7:29 to go in the 3rd. Macon’s run for the 2 point conversion made it 14-10. Following the ensuing kickoff, The Quakers would turn the ball over when Steubenville’s Jesse Birden forced a fumble recovered by Senior Jordan Banks at the Salem 29 and with a penalty tacked on the Big Red was at the Salem 14. Macon made quick work of scoring as he took the ball over on the first play to give Steubenville a 21-10 advantage. In just :51 the Big Red had turned a 4 point deficit to an 11 point lead. The Quakers, who punted on 4 of their 5 second half possessions, punted again to Big Red, this time at the Steubenville 46. 12 plays later the Big Red found pay dirt again as Macon scored his 4th TD of the game on a 12 yard run and 1 minute into the 4th Big Red was in complete control 28-10. The Big Red would close out the scoring midway through the final stanza scoring on their 4th straight possession as Jo Jo Pierro went in from 1 yard out, thanks to a 48 yard pass completion from Macon to Trey Wiggins to the Quaker 4, to make the final score 34-10.


        The Big Red offense picked up 246 of their 367 total yards in the second half. Dwight Macon lead the way with 203 yards on the ground on 18 carries and 4 scores. Jo Jo Pierro added 54 yards on 14 totes. In the air, Macon overcame a poor first half to finish 7 of 12 for 96 yards. First Team All District Receiver and team leader Trey Wiggins had 2 catches for 51 yards.


        The Big Red defense which held the Quakers to just 4 yards in the second half kept Salem in check all night as they finished the game with just 113 total yards. Salem’s 30 rushing attempts netted just 16 yards. Leading the way were two other 1st Team District players as Linebacker Shaq Petteway finished with 11 tackles including 2 sacks and Safety Jordan Meyer had 8 tackles, one for a loss.11 of Salem’s 51 plays went for minus yardage as the Quakers finished with just 10 first downs, 6 via  penalty.                                  


          In the Region 11 Championship game the top-seeded Big Red will face the 2nd seeded Dover Tornadoes. Dover, who matches Big Red’s 11-1 record qualified for the game with a 28-21 overtime win over Canal Fulton Northwest. The two teams also met in the 2006 Regional Title game with Big Red coming out on to 33-30 on their way to their second consecutive Division III State Title. The game will probably be played at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium, a familiar playoff site for the Big Red and the site of the 2006 game.






NOVEMBER 6, 2009      



          The Big Red of Steubenville High School ventured into the Ohio High School football playoffs for the 22nd time in their storied football history and for the 17th time they came away with an opening round victory. Big Red opened the 2009 playoffs with a 34-26 win over the Dukes of Alliance Marlington. Steubenville, who finished atop the Region 11 computer ratings, improves to 10-1 on the season while Marlington will close the books on 2009 with an 8-3 record.

Despite the closeness of the final score, Big Red was in command throughout the game as they raced out to a big first half advantage and held off a late Marlington surge to secure the win. After holding the Dukes to a 3 and out to start the game, the Big Red took over at the 50 and used 9 plays to score first in the game on a 5 yard run by quarterback Dwight Macon. Anthony Pierro’s PAT made the score 7-0 with 7:06 to go in the first. Again Marlington could run only 3 plays before punting the ball back to Steubenville and again it took the Big Red 9 plays, covering 76 yards, to extend their lead. Fullback Leshawn Luke dove over from the 1 yard line to give Steubenville a 13-0 advantage with a minute left in the opening quarter. Marlington, having no success on offense against the Big Red defense again punted the ball back to the Big Red after running just 4 plays and Steubenville started from their 37. The Big Red would continue mixing the run and pass as they took 11 plays and 5 ½ minutes to score on their 3rd straight possession with Macon again scoring on a 5 yard run. With 5:05 to go in the second quarter the Big Red was on top 20-0. After trading possessions the Dukes offense showed their first sign of life as they were able to score with 1:54 before the half to close the gap to 20-6. Steubenville would take the ensuing kickoff and run 13 plays, getting deep into Marlington territory before an interception in the end zone on the last play of half halted the threat. Big Red had out gained the Dukes 261-59 in the first half controlling over 15 minutes of the clock.

           Following a 35 yard kickoff return by Alvin Taylor, the Big Red started the second half at the Dukes 39. Nine plays later Luke would get his second touchdown of the night on a 2 yard, run moving Big Red’s lead to 27-7 early in the 3rd quarter. Marlington would answer the Big Red score with one of their own trimming the Big Red lead to 27-12. The two teams would then trade punts and Steubenville would put the game away early in the last stanza when Dwight Macon hit a wide open Trey Wiggins on a 61 yard scoring strike culminating a 4 play 74 yard drive with just under 11 minutes to go in the final quarter to take a 34-12 lead. The Dukes would then score twice against the Big Red reserves closing the gap to 34-26 with just over a minute to play but their onside kick attempt failed and Steubenville was able to run out the clock and advance to week 2 of the playoffs.
           The Big Red finished the game with 399 yards of total offense. The Big Red ran 75 plays compared to Marlington’s 37. Senior Quarterback Dwight Macon had one of his best games of the season completing 20 of 31 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown. Macon has now thrown for 1,218 yards for the season with 14 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions. Team leading receiver Trey Wiggins had 5 catches for 123 yards and a score and Junior Anthony Pierro had 9 receptions for 61 yards. On the ground Sophomore Jo Jo Pierro led the attack as he accounted for 88 of Big Red’s 169 yards on the ground. Macon added 41 yards of rushing to go with his passing. The Big Red offense held the ball for over 29 minutes. Anthony Pierro made 4 of 5 PATs and punted twice in the game for a 46.0 yard average per punt.
           It was a total team effort by the Big Red defense as held the Dukes in check until late in the game when they scored their 2 meaningless touchdowns. Leading the way was Sophomore Leshawn Luke who totaled 8 tackles in the game. Junior Linebacker and team leading tackler Shaq Petteway added 6 stops including 3 for losses while Senior Defensive end John Elder also had 6 tackles. Junior Jordan Meyer and Senior Jordan Banks each chipped in with 5 tackles. Seven of Marlington’s 37 plays went for negative yardage including Big Red’s 17th sack of the season. Four of Marlington’s 10 possessions ended in 3 and outs.
         Steubenville will now move on to week 2 of playoffs as they will face the Salem Quakers in the regional Semi-Finals. Salem, who is making their first ever appearance in the Ohio post season advanced with a 38-31 overtime victory over Granville at Granville.







OCTOBER 30, 2009       




        On an absolutely perfect night for football with clear skies and temperatures near 70 degrees, the Steubenville Big Red closed out the 2009 regular season with a 32-24 victory over the Hawks of Cardinal O’Hara High School of Tonawanda, NY. Steubenville showed no ill effects from last week’s first regular season loss in nearly 7 years as they raced out to 26-0 lead midway through the 2nd quarter and really never looked back as they closed the 2009 regular season with a 9-1 record while the Hawks fall to 5-3 on the season. The win secures the top spot in Division III, Region 11 of the Ohio playoffs for the Big Red as they will host a playoff game in Steubenville’s Harding Stadium next Friday. Steubenville was ranked 2nd in last week’s Division III AP Poll.


        Steubenville wasted no time in getting their offense moving as they took the opening kickoff and used just 6 plays to go 65 yards and 2 ½ minutes to jump out to a 7-0 lead. Quarterback Dwight Macon scored on a 22 yard run to cap of the drive. The Hawks would then go 3 and out and after a short punt the Big Red was back in business at the O’Hara 38. Big Red would take just one play to find pay dirt as Macon hit Wide Receiver Anthony Pierro on a 38 yard scoring strike to jump out to a 13-0 advantage. On the pass Macon surpassed the 5,000 yard mark in career passing yards, the All time leader at Steubenville. The Big Red would force another Hawks punt and this time they would use 8 plays to go 58 yards with Trey Wiggins scoring on a 5 yard reverse to up it to a 20-0 Big Red lead. O’Hara would punt for the third consecutive possession and this time the Big Red went on a long 13 play drive covering 81 yards and using over 5 minutes off the clock. Tailback JoJo Pierro would cover the final 7 yards for the touchdown and midway through the second stanza, Coach Saccoccia started to play his reserves with Big Red in command 26-0. Cardinal O’ Hara would score on a pass play as the first half clock was running out and teams headed into locker room with Big Red leading 26-6.


        With Big Red having their reserve defense start the second half, O’Hara tried to get back in the game moving the ball into Big Red territory. However the young stallions came up with a fumble recovery ending the Hawk threat. After each team turned the ball over on downs the Hawks took advantage of a short Big Red punt, returning it 44 yards for a score and closed the gap to 26-12. The Big Red would diminish any thought of O’Hara getting back in the game as they took the ensuing kickoff and marched right down the field on an 8 play 63 yards drive as Jo Jo Pierro scored his second TD of the night and Big Red was up 32-12. The Hawks would then score two late 4th quarter touchdowns to make the final score look a lot closer than the game really was as the Big Red celebrated "Senior Night" with a 32-24 victory.


        The Big Red finished the game with 329 yards of total offense with 183 of that coming on the ground. Sophomore running back Jo Jo Pierro was tops among the 10 ball carriers for Steubenville as he finished with 52 yards and 2 scores. Pierro now has just over 500 yards for the season. In the air Senior All-State candidate Dwight Macon was 8 of 11 for 121 yards and a score in just over a quarter and ½ of action. Despite missing over 2 games with injuries, Macon is just shy of 1,000 passing for the season as he has 988 yards and has thrown 13 tds for the season. Senior leading receiver Trey Wiggins had 5 catches against the Hawks good for 64 yards giving him 24 catches for the season for 367 yards. Anthony Pierro’s touchdown reception was his 17th catch of the season good for 321 yards and 6 scores. Leading the way for the Big Red offense, which is averaging 370 yards per game, is Senior Center Jamey DeVaul and two year starter at tackle, Junior Mason Campbell.


        With Big Red letting the reserves see action midway in the second the quarter, it led to a lot of players making tackles for the defense. 12 different players had at least 3 stops in the game. Through the first 3 quarters the Big Red had limited the Hawks to just 150 yards of total offense. The Big Red had 6 tackles for loss including 2 sacks while forcing 1 O’Hara turnover.


        Now for the 22nd time the Steubenville Big Red will be heading to the Ohio Playoffs. It appears the Dukes of Alliance Marlington High School be will Big Red’s first round opponent as they will be heading to Harding Stadium for a Friday Night encounter. Steubenville, who finished as Division IV State Runner-up in 2008, will be seeking their 4th State Championship having won the Division II title in 1984 and putting together Back to Back Titles in Division III in 2005 and 2006.





OCTOBER 23, 2009          



        For the first time in 69 regular season games the Steubenville Big Red tasted defeat as they fell in a shootout to the Vikings of Inkster High School of Michigan. With 864 yards of total offense and 7 lead changes the game remained in doubt until Inkster intercepted a pass in their end zone as the clock hit :00. The loss leaves Steubenville with an 8-1 record while the visiting Vikings will now move on to the Michigan State Playoffs with a 5-3 record. Despite the loss, Steubenville will retain the top spot in the Division III, Region 11 of the Ohio Computer ratings and have assured themselves of an opening home game in this year playoffs.


        Despite a forecast of steady rain, the game was played in almost ideal conditions as the rain stopped an hour before kickoff and temperatures were in the mid 60s. The visitors from up north featured quarterback Devin Gardner, rated as one of the Top 5 High school Qbs in the country, who has already verbally committed to Michigan, and he lived up to his billing as he led the Vikings on the game winning drive with less than 2 minutes to go in the game.


        Although the game finished as an offensive gun fight it started out with each team using long time consuming drives in the first half. Inkster took the opening kickoff and used 12 plays and 6 minutes to score the games first points on a Gardner TD pass. The Big Red responded by using 16 plays to drive 68 yards, burning 7:44 off the clock and took a 7-6 lead on a Jo Jo Pierro two yard run. The Big Red converted 3 3rd downs and 1 4th down on the drive. The Vikings would come back and use 12 plays and 5 ½ minutes to regain the lead 12-7 on another TD pass. The Big Red would take the ensuing kickoff and go 11 plays using over 3 minutes to retake the lead 15-12. Dwight Macon took the ball over from the 7 and a 2 point conversion pass from Macon to Sage Cutri accounted for the scoring. The half would end with Inkster driving to the Big Red 20 but an interception as time ran out ended the threat and the teams headed to the locker room with Big Red on top.


        The Vikings would take advantage of a Big Red interception on the initial drive of the second half to regain the lead on Gardner’s 3rd TD pass of the night early in the 3rd stanza. The score would remain 20-15 Inkster until the 5:06 mark of the 4th quarter when the Vikings would extend their lead to 28-15 on a 10 yard run. The Big Red was not done as they came back with an 8 play 68 yard drive using just 40 seconds off the clock. Macon hit Tight end Dominic garay with a 25 yard touchdown pass to close the gap to 28-21. On Inksters next possession the Vikings were buried deep in their own territory when defensive tackle Jamie DeVaul broke through tackling Garner in the end zone for a safety. The Big Red would then take the free kick and march right down the field using 6 plays to go 52 yards to regain the lead. JoJo Pierro went over from the 2 for his second score of the night giving the Big Red a 29-28 lead with just 1:19 left in the game. However Gardner was undaunted as he uncorked a 64 yard scoring strike with :40 seconds to go in the game and Inkster was back on top 36-29. The Big Red made one last effort but Macon’s pass from the Inkster 28 was intercepted in the end zone to end the game and the Big Red winning streak.


        The Big Red offense finished the game with 400 yards in offense picking up 307 of that on the ground.Senior quarterback Dwight Macon led the way with 147 yards on 19 carries and a score. Sophomore Tailback Jo Jo Pierro finished with 86 yards on 24 carries and 2 touchdowns. In the Air Macon finished 6 0f 15 for 88 yards and 1 touchdown. Macon has completed 59% of his passes for the season for 867 yards with 12 touchdowns while throwing only 1 interception. Senior Trey Wiggins leads the team in receiving with 19 catches for 303 yards and Anthony Pierro has 16 catches for 283 yards. Leading the way for the Big Red offense has been Senior center Jamie DeVaul along with guard Jordan Banks.


        The Big Red defense was lead by Juniors LeShawn Luke with 11 tackles and Junior Safety Jordan Meyer with 10. Team leading tackler Junior Linebacker Shaq Petteway finished with 9 tackles including one sack. The Big Red totaled 3 sacks in the game and forced 2 turnovers.


        The Big Red will now do something that they haven’t done since the 10th game of the 2003 season, come back to play a game after a loss. The opponent next week will be Cardinal O’Hara High School of Tonawanda, NY. The Big Red will be looking to get back on the winning the side, finishing with a 9-1 record and heading for what they hope will be a deep run into the playoffs and hopefully a date at Massillon’s Paul Brown Tiger Stadium the first Friday in December








OCTOBER 16, 2009


For the second week in a row, the Steubenville Big Red found themselves in one of the marquee matchups of the week in Ohio High School Football. After last week’s colossal meeting with the Massillon Tigers, the Big Red now had to put their undefeated record on the line against the Poland Seminary Bulldogs, also 7-0 on the season. Big Red entered the game ranked 2nd in the latest AP Division III poll while the Bulldogs were right behind them in 3rd. Steubenville, who all but insured themselves a spot in the playoffs with last week’s victory over Massillon, was rated 1st in Region 11 of Division III while Poland held down the second spot in a tough Region 9. Despite the cold, dreary, drizzly night the action on the field was red hot as these two heavyweights slugged it out for 48 minutes and when the clock hit :00, the Big Red remained unbeaten with a convincing 24-13 victory over the visitors. The win extends Steubenville’s regular season win streak to 68 games and should help the Big Red edge even closer to Cardinal Mooney for the top spot in this week’s AP Poll.

Steubenville City Schools were holding their All-Class Reunion this weekend and among the alumni who returned to watch the Big Red was the star quarterback of the 2005 and 2006 State Championship teams, Zach Collaros. Collaros, who had just returned from Tampa where he had led the University of Cincinnati Bobcats to an impressive win over South Florida, had to be impressed with the way his Alma Mater played against the Bulldogs as Steubenville again was able to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball to bully their way past Poland. Steubenville took control early as they needed just 6 plays to go 58 yards on the games initial drive to score first at the 9:39 mark of the 1st quarter. The key play came on a 41 yard pass play form QB Dwight Macon to Anthony Pierro on the game’s first play.

Anthony’s brother Jo Jo scored on a 1 yard run to put Big Red on top 6-0. The Big Red defense stopped Poland on their first possession forcing a Bulldog punt. The Big Red needed 10 plays to go 66 yards, again it was Jo Jo Pierro scoring from the 1, to stretch their lead to 12-0 with 3 minutes to go in the opening stanza. Poland would answer that score with one of their own scoring on a 10 yard pass play early in the second quarter to cut the Steubenville lead to 12-6. However the Bulldog defense had no answer for the Big Red offense as they took the ensuing kickoff and went on a mammoth 16 play 89 yard drive, converting a key 4th and 1 at the Poland 14, to go up by an 18-6 count. Macon found Anthony Pierro open in the end zone for a 6 yard TD pass for the touchdown. Poland tried to score one more time before the half but Dwight Macon stepped in front of a Bulldog pass in the end zone to end both the threat and the half. Neither offense found much success in the early going of the second half until Poland would bury Big Red at their 7 yardline with a punt half way through the 3rd quarter. Steubenville would then go on one of their 2009 trademarks, a long time consuming scoring drive. This time the Big Red would use 14 plays to cover the 93 yards. On the first play of the 4th quarter, Macon would complete his second pass of the possession, a 5 yarder to Junior Tight End Dominic Garay for the score and a 24-6 Big Red advantage. The Bulldogs would mount one more charge scoring on their next offensive series to close the gap to 24-13, but the Big Red defense would shut the door on Bulldogs for the rest of the night and come away with victory number 8 for the 2009 season. The Big Red again was very dominant in the game as they ran 63 plays to Poland’s 43 while having the ball for 29 of the 48 minutes. Steubenville finished with 346 total yards of offense with 199 of that coming on the ground. Leading the way was Sophomore Tailback Jo Jo Pierro who finished with 98 yards on 24 carries and 2 touchdowns. Senior QB Dwight Macon was an impressive 10 of 12 throwing good for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns. For the season Macon has completed over 61% of his 83 passes for 779 yards and 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. Team leading receiver Trey Wiggins had 3 more catches in the game while Anthony Pierro added two for 47 yards. Steubenville converted 8 of 11 3rd downs against the Bulldogs. Leading the way for the Big Red is the offensive line lead by Senior’s Jamie DeVaul at center and Jordan Banks at guard along with Juniors Mason Campbell, Jake Linn and Wille Pruitt.

Not to be outdone, the Big Red defense did a fantastic job in slowing down the high powered Bulldog offense limiting them to just 209 yards of offense. The Big Red held the Poland running attack to just 90 yards on the ground. Junior Jordan Meyer lead the way with 8 tackles including a sack while team leading tackle, junior Linebacker Shaq Petteway added 7 stops breaking up one pass.

The Big Red will now turn it’s attention to the Vikings of Inkster, Michigan. The Vikings are led by quarterback Devin Gardner who is rated one of the top 5 signal callers in the country and has verbally committed to the University of Michigan. Inkster, last year’s State Runner-up in Michigan, enters this week’s game with Cleveland St. Ignatius with a 4-2 record including a victory over Lakewood St. Edward’s. The team’s will meet next Friday at Steubenville’s Harding Stadium.




OCTOBER 9, 2009                




        Two of Ohio’s most storied high school football programs renewed an old rivalry when the Massillon Tigers paid their first visit to Steubenville in 31 years to face the Big Red. The schools met yearly for years as members of the former All-American Conference, known as the best high school football conference in the country, with Massillon having the best of series winning 37 of the first 42 meetings with Big Red winning 3 times and 2 games ending in a tie. The Tigers are the all time winningest program in Ohio with the Big Red’s 711 wins placing them 3rd on the list. This year’s much anticipated matchup featured two teams who are rated high in both the Associated Press Poll and the Ohio Computer ratings. The Big Red’s 6-0 record had them 2nd in this week’s AP Poll for Division III while the Tigers, who last week lost to the No. 1 team in Division I, Cleveland St. Ignatius, was rated 8th in Division I.


        The atmosphere at Steubenville’s Harding Stadium was absolutely electric as a standing room crowd of nearly 11,000 fans filled the building early waiting for the opening kickoff despite a steady rain falling for nearly 2 hours. As the two teams lined up for the opening kickoff the noise from the crowd was deafening in what they hope would be a classic battle and the Tigers and the Big Red were ready to provide them with one. Massillon took the opening kickoff and after picking up 1 first down they were forced to punt the ball away to the Big Red. Steubenville was also unable to move the sticks and punted back to the Tigers. Massillon again did nothing on offense and with 7 minutes to go in the opening quarter, Big Red started on its own 36 yard line. The Big Red went on a methodical 17 play drive, all on the ground getting down deep into the Tigers territory. On a 3rd and goal from the 1 Big Red would fumble the ball into the endzone and the Tigers were able to avoid the bullet by recovering the loose pigskin for a touchback and the Big Red threat was over early in quarter number 2. For the second straight series the Tigers would go three and out and punt the ball back to Big Red at their 44 yard line. This time Steubenville would go on a 13 play drive using 5 ½ minutes off the clock for the games first score. Steubenville who ran the ball for 26 consecutive plays would start to mix in the passing game on this drive with Quarterback Dwight Macon hitting Wideout Try Wiggins with a 6 yard pass on a 4th and 6 at the Massillon 14. Three plays later it was the same combination connecting up for a 7 yard scoring pass and with 3:15 to go in the half the Big Red was on top 7-0. Massillon’s offense would finally show some life following a short kickoff mixing the rush with the pass the Tigers drove down to the Big Red 4 yard line with 4 seconds left in the half. However an illegal procedure penalty would move the ball back to the 9 and the Tigers would settle for a 26 yard field goal as time ran out. As the two school’s outstanding bands took to the field to entertain the large crowd the two teams headed to the locker room with Big Red on top 7-3.


        The second half started just like the first as neither team was able to do much on their initial possessions as the teams traded punts. Following the Tiger punt the Big Red would find themselves at their own 38 yard line. Again the Steubenville offense would go on a long time consuming 13 play drive deep into Massllon’s territory. Faced with a 4th and 7 on the 11 yard line QB Macon would find a wide open Anthony Pierro in the end zone for a touchdown and with 1:37 to go in the 3rd quarter, the Big Red had extended their lead to 13-3. The teams would again exchange punts and the Tigers starting from their own 49 with just under 10 minutes to go in the game would make one last effort to get back into the game. Using a double reverse pass the Tigers were down to the Steubenville 2 yard line. After 2 straight dives up the middle were thwarted by the stingy Big Red defense, Massillon tried to throw a fade pattern into the endzone but Anthony Pierro got in perfect position and came down with a big interception with 6 minutes left in the contest. The Big Red would then use the same ball control offense that had been successful the entire game using 11 plays to run out the clock. And for the first time since 1962 the Steubenville Big Red had defeated the Massillon tigers by a final score of 13-3.


        To say that the Big Red was totally dominating in the game is a gross understatement as Steubenville ran a total of 71 plays as compared to Massillon’s 34. The Big Red finished the game with 33 minutes of possession time to the Tiger’s 15. Steubenville finished the game with 303 yards of total offense with 217 of that coming on the ground. Senior quarterback Dwight Macon led the way with 83 yards on 21 carries while Sophomore Jo Jo Pierro chipped in with 61 yards on 19 totes. In the air Macon was 9 of 16 good for 86 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Tight end Dominic Garay had 3 catches for 32 yards while Senior Trey Wiggins had 2 catches along with Junior Anthony Pierro. In the game Steubenville was 5 of 5 on 4th down conversions and finished with 21 first downs.


        As impressive as the offense was the Big Red defense was exceptional in shutting down the high powered Massillon attack which was averaging 36 points and nearly 370 yard per game. The Tigers finished with 126 yards of total offense including just 31 yards on the ground. Junior Linebacker Shaq Petteway led the way with 6 tackles including two huge sacks. The Tigers finished 0 of 8 on third down conversions and were forced to punt 5 times the game.


        With the biggest regular season victory in many years now under their belts the 2009 Big Red has little time to celebrate as next week Poland Seminary will be bringing their 7-0 record into Harding Stadium to challenge the 67 game regular season Big Red win streak. The two squads met last year in Poland with Big Red coming away with a hard fought victory.








OCTOBER 2, 2009         




        For the second time in the 2009 season, the Steubenville Big Red football team hopped on the busses and headed down the Ohio River to Wheeling Island Stadium for a game. Their first visit came in week 2 as they defeated Pennsylvania powerhouse Woodland Hills in the "Rally in the Valley" high school football classic, while this trip was to face the home standing Wheeling Park Patriots. The result was the same as the Big Red headed back up the river with another victory in their pocket, this time by a 39-14 count. The win improves Steubenville to 6-0 on the season and should keep them in the top spot of Region 11 of Division III in the Ohio computer ratings as well holding on to the number 2 spot in the weekly Associated Press rankings for Division III.
         Steubenville made a statement to start the game by taking the opening kickoff and moving straight down the field on a 7 play 71 yard drive for the games first score at the 9:27 mark of the first quarter. Tailback Jesse Birden took the ball in on a 37 yard run for the touchdown. The Big Red then held the Patriots to a 3 and out and found themselves at their own 42 following a punt. This time it took Steubenville 9 plays to cover the 58 yards using just under 3 minutes of the clock. Tailback Shaq Petteway took the ball in from the 4 yard line for the score and with 4:31 to go in the 1st, Big Red was on top 13-0. Park again was unable to move the football and this time the Big Red started at their 39 yardline. This time it took 7 plays, 5 runs and 2passes for Big Red to find paydirt, again it was Petteway, scoring his second TD of the game. After an exchange of punts, Wheeling Park would move the ball for the first time in the game getting to the Steubenville 21 but a 38 yard field goal was blocked and Big Red would start at their 30. This time the Big Red would use 10 plays and score with just :20 left in the half. It was Birden with his second score of the game making it a 27-0 Big Red advantage as the teams headed into the halftime locker rooms.
              Head Coach Reno Saccoccia put his 2nd defensive unit on the field to start the second half and Wheeling Park would take the kickoff and drive 44 yards using 10 plays to score cutting the Big Red lead to 27-7. Before the Patriots could think that they could sneak back into the game, the Big Red offense answered the Park touchdown with one of their own when Quarterback Dwight Macon hit wideout Trey Wiggins with a 41 yard scoring strike on a 2nd and 25 play and with 4 ½ minutes left in the 3rd quarter Big Red was on top 33-7. That would end the night for the Big Red starters. Each team would add one more touchdown with Big Red’s coming on a 20 yard pass from QB Marcus Prather to Lucky McClurg, making the final score 39-14, giving Big Red its 66th consecutive regular season victory.


           The Big Red offense had a stellar night finishing with 452 yards of total offense, 297 on the ground and 155 in the air. Sophomore running back Jo Jo Pierro led the way on the ground picking up 102 yards on 16 carries. Junior Jesse Birden added 61 yards on the ground and scored twice. Senior quarterback Dwight Macon had 72 yards rushing to go with his 11 of 17 passing, good for 135 yards and a touchdown. Senior Try Wiggins had 3 catches for 65 yards and a touchdown while Junior Anthony Pierro also had 3 catches for 26 yards. The Big Red used 8 different runners in the game while 8 players were also credited with receptions in the game.


            Park finished the game with 257 total yards with most of that coming in the second half while the Big Red regulars were spectators on the bench. Park finished with just 44 yards in the air as the Big Red defense has held their opponents to just 86 passing yards per game in 2009. Linebacker Jesse Birden led the defense with 6 tackles in the game including 1 for a loss. Sixteen Big Red players had at least 3 stops in the game.


            The win over Park now clears the deck for the Big Red to renew one of it’s oldest rivals when the Massillon Tigers will meet Steubenville for the first time in 31 years. The Big Red and Tigers were members of the original All-American Conference, known as the best high school football conference in the nation, in the 1960s and 70s. This will mark the 43rd meeting between these two school with the Tigers holding a commanding lead in the series with 37 victories to 3 for the Big Red and 2 games ending in ties. The teams last met in 1978. Steubenville’s Harding Stadium will certainly be electric next Friday night






FAIRVIEW              10

SEPTEMBER 26, 2009                    

HARDING STADIUM                            



The Big Red of Steubenville High School closed out the first half of the 2009 regular season in impressive fashion as they defeated the Tigers of Fairview, Pa. 32-10. Steubenville now stands at 5-0 on the season and should hang on to its No. 2 ranking in this week’s Division III AP Poll while holding on to the top spot in the Region 11 computer rankings. The Tigers fall to 2-2 on the season.


        On a perfect night for football in front of a large Homecoming crowd the Big Red offense got to work early as they received the opening kickoff. Steubenville would use 10 plays to travel 81 yards to dent the scoreboard early at the 7:28 mark of the first quarter. Junior Tailback Jesse Birden would score from 2 yards out to cap the drive which was highlighted by a 17 yard Trey Wiggins run on a 3rd down and a 24 yard pass completion from Dwight Macon to tight end Dominic Garay. Steubenville would then have a golden opportunity to extend it’s lead when the Tigers would fumble the ensuing kickoff with Big Red recovering at the visitors 36. However the Tigers were able to dodge the bullet and force the Big Red to turn the ball over on downs at their own 20 yard line. Neither team was able to mount much offense through the rest of the first quarter until Steubenville took over at midfield with a minute to go. The Big Red would need just 4 plays to cover the 50 yards when Senior Quarterback Dwight Macon, back after missing the past 2 weeks with an injury, hit Junior Wideout Anthony Pierro with a 27 yard touchdown pass pushing the Big Red advantage to 13-0 with just 8 seconds gone in the second stanza. After holding Fairview to its 3rd straight 3 and out in the game the Big Red would take over at their 27 and would again go on a long time consuming drive using 11 plays to score again. Macon would throw his second TD pass of the game, this time hitting Junior Dominic Garay with a 22 yard touchdown pass. With six minutes to go until the half the Big Red started to take control of the game with a 19-0 lead.


        Big Red would get one more opportunity to score in the first half and they would take advantage of their opportunity. Starting at their own 43 with 1:34 to go, the Big Red would use 6 plays to travel to the end zone and would score when Junior tailback Shaq Petteway scored from the one. Anthony Pierro’s PAT made the score 26-0. Fairview would take advantage of some Big Red penalties and kick a 37 yard field goal as time ran out in the first half making the score 26-3 after 24 minutes. With the reserves in the game, the Big Red would score their last points of the night midway in the 3rd quarter when Anthony Pierro, moving over to the QB slot would score on a 5 yard run culminating a short 22 yard Big Red drive. The Tigers would add one more score in the 4th to make the final score 32-10, giving Steubenville its 65th consecutive regular season victory.


        The Big Red offense showed some real balance as they finished with 368 yards, 300 of which came in the first half, with 194 on the ground and 174 in the air. Coach Saccoccia again used his entire stable of running backs as 11 different players had carries against the Tigers lead by Sophomore Jo Jo Pierro who finished with 51 yards on 13 carries. Macon added 46 yards while Junior Jesse Birden had 25 yards while Senior Alvin Taylor had 20 yards. Dwight Macon hit on 8 of his 14 passes for 143 yards. Anthony Pierro had 3 catches for 52 yards while Senior Wide out Caleb Westlake had 3 catches for 32 yards. Junior Tight end Dominic Garay caught two passes for 46 yards and a score. The Big Red did not punt during the game.


        The Big Red defense had their best night of the season as they limited the visitors to just 115 yards, including just 66 yard rushing on 36 carries. The Tigers did not record their 1st first down of the game until late in the second quarter. Junior Linebacker Jesse Birden recorded 8 tackles in the game, 1 for as loss, while only seeing action ther game’s first 2 ½ quarters. Sophomore linebacker Leshawn Luke chipped in with 6 stops. Five of Fairview’s 8 possessions ended in just 3 plays. The Big Red finished with 1 qb sack and recovered a Tiger fumble in the game.


        Next week the Big Red will be back on the road, making their second visit of the season to Wheeling Island Stadium, this time to face the Wheeling Park Patriots in a large school OVAC battle.





BUFFALO ST. JOE'S                    13

SEPTEMBER 18, 2009                    

HARDING STADIUM                            



        Friday Night at Steubenville’s fabled Harding Stadium, the Steubenville Big Red rejoiced in it’s history as they celebrated the annual "Legends of Big Red Football Night." Honored in the pre-game ceremony were the 1982 Big Red squad, the first team at Big Red to go undefeated in over 40 years and was also the second team under Coach Bob Hedmond to venture into the Ohio football playoffs. For the 2009 team their next mark in history was a meeting with the Marauders of St. Joseph Collegiate Institute of Buffalo, N.Y. It was the 9th meeting between these two schools with Big Red coming out on top in the first 8 against this Division I opponent in some of the most fierce competitive games in recent history. Hit by injuries, the Big Red would use their 3rd starting quarterback in as many weeks as they defeated their "Empire State" guest by a score of 40-13 moving to 4-0 on the season. St. Joe’s falls to 1-2 on the season. Steubenville who was number 3 in Division III in the first AP poll of 2009, should find themselves in the top spot of Region 11 of Division III when the first all important Ohio Computer Ratings are released next week.


        Despite the change at signal caller, the Big Red offense continued in high gear as they scored on 6 of their first 7 possessions against the Marauders. Junior Quarterback Anthony Pierro, who going into the game was the team’s leading receiver, effectively moved the Big Red down the field all night. Forcing St. Joe’s to punt after the opening kickoff the Big Red found themselves starting on their own 15 yard line. 17 plays later, all on the ground, the Big Red would take the lead on an Alvin Taylor 9 yard run using nearly seven minutes off the clock. Big Red had 8 different players carry the ball during the drive. Following another St. Joe’s punt the Big Red would switch their attack to the air as Pierro completed 3 straight passes taking the ball from Big Red 32 to the visitors 1. The key pass was a 52 yarder to wideout Trey Wiggins. Pierro would then score from the 1 to put Big Red on top 13-0 early in the second stanza. The squads would then exchange turnovers setting St. Joe’s up at the Big Red 28. The Marauders would drive inside the Big Red 5, but the "bend don’t break" Big Red defense stiffen and the guests would settle for a 22 yard field goal, making the score 13-3 with less than 2 minutes to go in the half. Starting from their 20 the Big Red would go 80 yards in 7 plays with Tailback Shaq Petteway taking the ball over from the 1. Again a 40 yard Pierro to Wiggins connection was the big play in the drive and Steubenville moved out to a 21-3 halftime lead.


        Steubenville would essentially put the game away on the opening drive of the second half as they used just 4 plays to go 67 yards, capped off by a 35 yard run by Trey Wiggins to pay dirt to take a 28-3 lead. Following another St. Joe field goal, this one from 41 yards, the Big Red would again march 80 yards to a score. Tailback Alvin Taylor would score his second TD of the night on a 27 yard run extending Big Red’s lead to 34-6 and sending the Big Red starters to the bench with 4 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter. Following a Marauder touchdown in the final minute of the quarter, St. Joe’s attempt at an onside kick would backfire as Big Red’s Sean McGhee picked up the ball at the Big Red 45 and scampered around the left side untouched for a 55 yard return and providing the games final points. With the 40-13 final score the Big Red would extend it’s regular season unbeaten streak to 64.


        The Big Red offense finished the game with 425 total yards with 272 of that coming on the ground. In his first start at quarterback, Junior Anthony Pierro completed 8 of 10 passes for 153 yards and also added 55 rushing yards. Senior Trey Wiggins took over the team leadership in receiving after having 4 catches good for 105 yards against St. Joe’s to go with 49 yards rushing in the game. Leading the Big Red on the ground was Senior Tailback Alvin Taylor who finished with 78 yards on 10 carries and scored twice. For the season Taylor now has 262 yards rushing and 4 scores. Coach Reno Saccoccia again used his whole stable of running backs as 11 different players toted the pigskin against St. Joe’s. The Big Red offense has scored 10 touchdowns in 2009 in their 12 trips inside the opponents red zone.


        The Big Red defense continues to rise to the occasion as they have been able to stop their opponents when it counts as the 18% conversion rate on 3rd down shows. In 14 trips inside the Big Red’s 20, the opponents have been able to score just 4 touchdowns. Against the Marauders the Big Red perfected the use of team defense as 13 players had at least 3 tackles in the game and no player having more than 6. The Big Red had 8 tackles for loss including 3 quarterback sacks while forcing both a fumble recovery and an interception against St. Joe’s.


        Next Week the Big Red returns to Harding Stadium to face a newcomer on the schedule, Fairview High School of Northwestern Pennsylvania. Fairview, who would be classified as a Division III school in Ohio comes into the contest sporting a 2-1 record.






SEPTEMBER 11, 2009              

PATTERSON FIELD                    



        The Steubenville Big Red and the East Liverpool Potters have one of the longest more competitive rivalries in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference. However, since handing the Big Red it’s last regular season loss in the 10th game of the 2002 season, the Potters have been dominated by the Big Red. Most felt that this year’s game would be more of the same but that message did not make it to the Potters, playing in front of the home crowd for the first time this season, as they put up a ferocious battle for the game’s first 3 quarters before succumbing to the Big Red by a final of 39-22.The win puts Steubenville at 3-0 on the season, as they should be near the top in this week’s initial AP Poll in Division III, while the Potters fall to 1-2 on the season. The Big Red has now won 63 consecutive regular season games.


        Steubenville, fresh off of the impressive win last Saturday over Western Pennsylvania Power Woodland Hills, was still showing signs of that physical battle as a few starters were unable to meet the bell to face East Liverpool including 3 year starter at Quarterback Dwight Macon. The Big Red took the opening kickoff but were unable to move the ball and punted to the Potters who started at their 11 yard line. They also could do nothing on offense and punted the ball right back to the Big Red who started at the East Liverpool 44. Four plays later, Junior Tailback Shaq Petteway rambled 28 yards into the end zone and midway into the 1st period the Big Red was on top 7-0. The Potters took the ensuing kickoff and faced with a 4th and 1 at their 43 took a gamble and went for it. The gambled paid off as the Potters Dejan Bradley was able to slip through the Big Red defense, who were stacked at the line of scrimmage and go 57 yards for the game tying score. The Big Red seemed undaunted by the East Liverpool score as they took the kickoff and returned it to the Potter’s 41 yard line. It took just 5 plays for the Big Red to score when Senior Tailback Alvin Taylor took the ball over from the 17 yard line, closing the 1st quarter with Big Red winning 14-7. Neither squad were able to do anything on their next possessions, and the Potters ended up with a 1st down on their 46. On the second play the Potters would fumble but the ball bounced right into the hands of their tailback who took it 59 yards for the tying score. The Big Red would answer that score with one of their own going 68 yards in just 5 plays with Junior QB Jordan Meyer, playing for the injured Macon, hitting Junior Wide Out Anthony Pierro with a 38 yard scoring strike and with 2 minutes to go in the half, Steubenville was back on top 20-14. That is how the first half ended.


        The second half started with each team’s defense stopping the other team’s offense. On the Potters second drive of the half they were forced to punt and Senior Caleb Westlake, who is averaging over 13 yards per punt return, carried the ball down to the East Liverpool 11. Quarterback Meyer then took the first snap and raced into the end zone giving Steubenville a 26-14 lead. Again the Potters would go three and out punting the ball back to the Big Red. Steubenville would use 11 plays and over 5 minutes to travel the 54 yards to pay dirt, culminated by Meyer’s second TD toss of the night, a 5 yarder to Junior Blake Carroll. With 10 minutes to go in the game the Big Red was finally in control by a count of 33-14. From their Coach Saccoccia would substitute freely, with each team scoring one more time, Big Red’s coming on a 13 yard pass from Marcus Prather to McCallister as time was running out, making the final score 39-22.


        The Big Red finished with 334 yards of total offense. Coach Saccoccia was able to use his entire stable of running backs as 11 different players carried the pigskin. Leading the way was Senior Tailback Alvin Taylor who had 10 carries for 74 yards and a touchdown. Meyer added 58 yards on 9 carries and Junior Shaq Petteway added 49 yards on just 5 carries. Junior Quarterback Jordan Meyer, in his first start, completed 5 of 11 passes for 72 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Anthony Pierro, the team’s leading receiver for the season, had 2 of those receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown. Steubenville was able to convert all 4 of their ventures into the red zone into touchdowns as they out first downed the Potters 19-8.


        The Big Red defense played an outstanding second half. After giving up 140 yards on the ground in the first half, most of which came on the 2 long touchdown runs, the Big Red defense held East Liverpool to just 33 yards in the second half. The Big Red relying on their customary gang tackling style of defense had 9 players with at least 4 stops in the game. Leading the way was the team leading tackler, Junior Linebacker Shaq Petteway, who had 7 tackles and broke up 1 pass. Jordan Meyer also had 7 stops from his safety position. The Big Red also forced 2 turnovers in the game while recording one QB sack.


        Steubenville will return home next week to face the Marauders of Buffalo St. Joe’s in their annual battle at Harding Stadium. St. Joe’s will enter the contest with a 1-1 record.





BIG RED 13      


SEPTEMBER 5, 2009                     




            The Steubenville Big Red improved to 2-0 on the 2009 campaign with a hard fought 13-0 victory over perennial Western Pennsylvania Big School powerhouse the Wolverines of Woodland Hills High School of Pittsburgh. The game was part of the High School Football Extravaganza held at Wheeling Island Stadium in Wheeling, WV named the "Rally in the Valley." The Big Red and Woodland Hills game was one of 5 played on Saturday featuring schools from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The win extends Steubenville’s regular season win streak to 62 while for Woodland Hills the game marked the beginning of their 2009 season.


            This game matched two long tenured coaches at their respective schools as Reno Saccoccia has led the Big Red for 27 years and George Novak has been Woodland Hills only coach in the school’s 23 year history. Woodland Hills entered the game with three players who have already verbally committed to BCS colleges and a distinct size and speed advantage over the Big Red. The Wolverines held the number 4 position in the initial Pittsburgh Post Gazette WPIAL Quad A rankings.

The feeling was this game was going to be an "all out slugfest" and it definitely lived up to that billing as neither defense was willing to give up much ground through most of the first half. Big Red took the opening kickoff and went on an 11 play drive but was stopped short on a 4th and 3 at the Wolverine 13 yard line. Woodland Hills was then able to march out near midfield where their drive was stopped and was forced to punt the ball back to Steubenville. The teams traded punts until Big Red’s first opportunity of the second quarter when a 66 yard completion from Quarterback Dwight Macon to tailback Shaq Petteway set the Big Red up at the Woodland Hills 8. There the Wolverine defense stiffened and following a sack on 4th and goal from the 5 the Big Red again turned the ball over on downs. Later in the quarter the Big Red forced the Wolves to turn the ball over on downs at the Big Red 37 yard line. Macon then went 4 of 5 through the air on the drive capped off by a 21 touchdown pass to Wideout Trey Wiggins and with :17 left in the half the Big Red drew first blood taking a 7-0 advantage.


            Steubenville held Woodland Hills to a three and out to start the second half and forced a punt which Big Red’s Caleb Westlake hauled in at his 37 yard line and returned it 31 yards to the Wolves 32. Five plays later on a 3rd and 10 from the 22 Macon found wideout Jordan Meyer open in the back of the end zone and Meyer’s ability to land with both feet inside the end line gave the Big Red a 13-0 lead with 8 minutes to go in the third quarter. Woodland Hills tried to answer that score and drove deep into Big Red territory but a 4th and 5 pass from the Big Red 11 fell incomplete and the Wolves were turned away again. Woodland Hills next possession again found them inside the Big Red 20 and again the Big Red defense stood up to the challenge turning them away at the Big Red 16 as the final stanza began. Woodland Hills would make one final attempt to dent the scoreboard late in the game but the Big Red defense again was not budging, turning the Wolverines away at the Big Red 23 to preserve the shutout and secure the victory with the final score of 13-0, Steubenville.


            The Big Red offense finished with 266 yards. Senior Quarterback Dwight Macon finished 8 of 14 through the air for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns. Senior Trey Wiggins caught 3 of those passes for 49 yards and a score and Junior Jordan Meyer also had 3 catches for 39 yards and a score. Tight end Danny Bayne caught 2 passes for 24 yards. The Big Red netted 83 yards on the ground against the large defensive front of the Wolverines.


            The Big Red defense held the high powered Woodland Hills offense to just 186 yards of total offense, 114 on the ground and 72 in the air. The Wolverines Tailback, Dom Timbers who committed to Syracuse, was held to just 49 yards on 19 attempts. Leading the way for the Big Red was Junior Linebackers Shaq Petteway and Jesse Birden. Birden finished with 12 tackles, one for a loss, while Petteway had 11 stops. Senior tackle Jordan Banks had 5 tackles in the game, 3 of those for losses including one of Big Red’s three sacks in the game. Defensive Back Jordan Meyer also had an interception in the game. The Wolverines were 3 of 12 on 3rd down conversions and 0 of 5 on 4th down attempts.


            Next week the Big Red is back on the road to fave long time OVAC rival the East Liverpool Potters. The Potters are currently 1-1 on the young season. Patterson Field in East Liverpool is the sight on Big Red’s last regular season defeat, happening in the 10th week of the 2002 season during a monsoon which turned the playing surface into a quagmire. The Potters were able to score the only touchdown in the game and came away with a 6-0 victory over the Big Red.



BIG RED                     43

INDIAN CREEK          20

AUGUST 27, 2009                 

HARDING STADIUM             


For the 27th year, Head Coach Reno Saccoccia led the Steubenville High School football team onto the field, with this year being the 109th edition of Big Red Football. For the third season in a row the Big Red opened with their Jefferson County rival, the Indian Creek Redskins and for the third time in a row the Big Red came away with a very convincing victory, this year by a 43-20 score. Steubenville who finished 2008 as the state runner-up in Division IV, won their 61st consecutive regular season game, having last lost in the final game of the 2002 season.

In Coach Reno’s first 26 years he has led the Big Red to a 271-47 record having won State Championships in 1984, 2005 and 2006. Big Red has finished as State Runner-up 3 times under Saccoccia. In 2009 the Big Red has moved back up to Division III, competing in Ohio’s most competitive division, while facing one of their most strenuous schedules in recent history.

Expectations, as they are every year, are very high for the 2009 Big Red and it did not take long for the home fans to have something to cheer about. Junior Tailback Jesse Birden took the handoff on the game’s first play and headed around the left side scampering 73 yards into the end zone for the score. Junior Anthony Pierro’s first of 5 PATs gave Steubenville a 7-0 lead just :27 into the game. Following a Redskin punt the Big Red set up at their 34 yard line and used just 8 plays to cover the 66 yards when Junior Tailback Shaq Petteway carried the ball in from the 8 yard line. On Indian Creek’s next opportunity they faced a 3rd and 14 on their 16 yardline, their Quarterback looked down field deep but linebacker Jesse Birden stepped in front of the ball intercepting at the 12 yardline and returning it for his second TD of the night. Just 7 minutes into the game the Big Red was on top 21-0. Indian Creek would dent the scoreboard for the first time in the series at the 8 minute mark of the 2nd quarter to cut the Big Red lead to 21-6. Steubenville then took the ensuing kickoff and drove 67 yards in 11 plays with Senior quarterback Dwight Macon throwing his first touchdown pass of the season, this one to Senior Tight end Sage Cutri from 11 yards out. The Big Red would get one more possession before halftime and would take advantage of it as Macon hit Wide out Anthony Pierro with a 27 yard scoring strike with just :25 left in the half. Steubenville would take a 35-6 advantage into the locker room. With the huge halftime lead Coach Saccoccia gave his Varsity the second half off as he let his reserves gain some valuable game experience as they held their own against the Redskin varsity throughout the 3rd period. The Big Red would add one more score in the 4th quarter when Senior Tailback Alvin Taylor took off on a 45 yard run to paydirt making the final score 43-20.

The Big Red starters, despite playing only in the first half were able to rack up 302 yards of offense in the games first 24 minutes. For the game, Big Red finished with 458 yards of total offense with 353 of that total coming on the ground. Junior Jesse Birden led the way with 101 yards on just 3 carries thank’s mostly to his game opening 73 yard gallop. Senior Alvin Taylor, seeing action with both the varsity and reserves, finished with 93 yards on 7 carries and a score, Sophomore Lucas McClurg had 73 yards on nine carries and Junior Shaq Petteway had 4 carries for 30 yards. In the air, 2008 Division IV Offensive Player of the Year Dwight Macon went 5 of 10 for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns. Junior Wide out Anthony Pierro had 3 of those catches for 76 yards and Senior Tight End Sage Cutri had the other 2 for 34 yards and a touchdown. Defensively the Big Red limited the Redskins to just 58 yards of offense in the first half with just 6 of that coming on the ground. The Big Red stopped Indian Creek 7 times behind the line scrimmage while also causing 2 turnovers in the game. Twelve players had at least 3 tackles for the Big Red defense.

As stated earlier the Big Red will face one of it’s most challenging schedules in history in 2009. After this week’s opening win the Big Red must now face perennial Western Pennsylvania power Woodland Hills next Saturday at the High School Football extravaganza being held at Wheeling Island Stadium in WV, the Big Red game will be the 3rd of 5 games being played that day. After that the Big Red will be back on the road to face OVAC rival East Liverpool before returning home in week 4 for the annual visit by the Marauders of Buffalo St. Joe’s. Week 5 has the Big Red facing Fairview. Pa. before hitting the road back to Wheeling, to face Park High School, a WV playoff team in 2008 losing only to the Big Red in the regular season. Next up will be the much anticipated renewal of an old All-American Conference rivalry when the Massillon Tigers will pay their first visit to Harding Stadium in 30 years. Poland will be next up for the Big Red as the Division III contenders will face Steubenville for the second straight year. Week 9 has a highly touted Inkster High School team from Michigan coming to Steubenville before the Big Red will close out the regular season with Cardinal O’Hara of Tonawanda, NY.