Football Brief: Spartans Clobber Marietta 37-16 in Season Opener


Sarah Whelan / Observer

Riordon (34), a senior, is returning after a season-ending injury last year. He racked up two touchdowns on the ground and 51 net yards in the season opener.

Sheehan Hannan, Director of Print

In their season opener against Marietta, played at home under the lights and an ominous sky, the Spartans soundly defeated the Pioneers 37-16. The Spartans took the lead early and never lost it, relying on a newly invigorated defense and diverse offense.

The Spartans stuttered early, with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the opening return resulting in poor field position. After one conversion, the Marietta defense forced a punt.

However, the Spartan defense quickly regained control off an interception by sophomore safety Scott Suren, shutting down Marietta’s opening drive.

After a pair of possessions by both teams resulted in points on the board, the Spartan offense kicked into gear off a 42 yard catch by junior Colin Macleod, who managed to drag several Pioneer defenders down to the visitor five. The drive was rounded out by a pylon-bashing corner dive by senior running back Kenny Riordan. After a botched extra point, the score remained at 6-0.

An error on the snap with the clock at 2:19 in the first quarter resulted in a safety, putting Marietta on the board, 6-2.

In the second quarter, the Spartans cemented their then-wavering lead, with a 71 yard drive for a touchdown. After Marietta failed to convert, senior quarterback Erick Olson lead the offense for 42 yards, resulting in another touchdown before the half.

Following the half, the Spartan offense continued to produce, including a second rush for TD by Riordan, a field goal by freshman kicker Nick Bavaro and a score by junior running back Ricky Hanzlick.

In the fourth quarter, the Pioneers rallied to score twice as the Spartans pulled their first string players, bringing the score to 37-16.

Both the offense and defense put up impressive numbers. Sophomore linebacker Everett Dishong put up 12 tackles, with 1.5 for a loss. His classmate Gavin Sandidge put up 11 tackles, with 2 for a loss. Quarterbacks Beecher and Olson put up 115 and 119 yards, respectively. Riordan and fellow running back, junior Manny Sicre, averaged 3.6. and 5.3 yards per carry respectively, with Riordon racking up 51 net yards to Sicre’s 37. Freshman John Mangelluzzi, a wide receiver, led the team in reception yardage, with four snags resulting in 96 yards in his college debut.

Following their home opener, the Spartans will play an away game versus Oberlin on Sunday Sept. 15 at 1 p.m.