In what was billed as a battle between the city’s best, it was the big play that made the difference.
The Korah Colts ran the ball for over 500 yards, including a big night on the ground from Nathan Guizzetti in a 31-21 victory over the St. Mary’s Knights Thursday night at Superior Heights in senior high school football.
Guizzetti's four-touchdown day was a critical factor in the win and the back ran for 50+ yards on all four majors.
Both coaches agreed that the big plays made a difference.
“The O-line played great and when Nathan gets a seam with that OFSAA-sprinter speed, what a weapon,” Colts head coach Tom Annett said. “That definitely opened things up. When he draws attention, it opens things up for other guys too.”
For the Knights, head coach Jim Monico was frank in his assessment of the loss.
“We made mistakes, and they took advantage,” Monico said. “If you give a guy like Guizzetti an inch, he’s going to take it to the house. We made too many mistakes.”
Annett added that the defence was also crucial for the Colts in the win.
“They responded to adversity,” Annett said. “We had the turnover deep in our end and not giving up any touchdown, they did an incredible job.”
Following the Knights week one win over Superior Heights, Monico spoke of the game against Korah being a measuring stick. Following Thursday’s loss, the veteran Knights coach said he feels his team has more to give.
“It’s a measuring stick, and I don’t think we’ll play this poorly the next time we play them,” Monico said. “Everyone is not happy with our performance. They’re a good team, don’t get me wrong, but we feel we can play better.”
St. Mary’s opened the scoring on a 16-yard field goal from Nate Carter in the opening quarter.
Korah got on the board on the last play of the opening quarter when Nathan Guizzetti ran the ball 70 yards for a touchdown, giving the Colts a 7-3 lead after the convert on the play from Ty Koski.
Guizzetti picked up his second touchdown of the day 4:30 into the second quarter on a 59-yard run. The convert from Koski made it a 14-3 game.
Carter hit a pair of field goals – first from 19 yards out and then from 20 later in the quarter – to pull the Knights to within five heading into the half.
After the injury to Thibodeau, St. Mary’s took the lead as Nick Vecchio returned a fumble 75 yards for a touchdown. The two-point convert by the Knights made it 17-14 St. Mary’s.
On Korah’s next possession, Guizzetti scored on a 54-yard run to help the Colts retake the lead. The convert by Koski made it 21-17 Colts.
St. Mary’s pulled to within one on an 11-yard field goal from Carter with just over five minutes to go in the third quarter.
Just over two minutes into the fourth quarter, the Colts took a four-point lead as a field goal from Koski from 19 yards out made it 24-20 Colts.
With seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Carter was wide on a 22-yard field goal attempt, but the Knights got the single point as the ball went through the endzone on the play, which pulled St. Mary’s to within a field goal.
Guizzetti scored his fourth touchdown of the night with just over two minutes to go on an 85-yard touchdown run. The convert by Koski made it a 31-21 game.
Guizzetti finished the day with 321 yards rushing no 18 carries in the win while the Colts as a team ran for 537 yards.
Cole Barbeau added 102 yards on the ground on nine carries for Korah.
Defensively for Korah, Gage Devoe had 4.5 tackles while Drew Esposito had four and an interception in the win.
Knights quarterback Matti Tucker completed 14 of 32 passes for 243 yards in the loss and also ran for 31 yards on nine carries.
Receiver Jaidan Trudeau caught six passes for 100 yards while Carter caught four for 68 yards.
In Thursday’s junior game, a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter helped Korah to a 32-16 win over St. Mary’s.
Korah opened the scoring when A.J. Coccimiglio ran the ball in from 28 yards out and then added on the extra point to give the Colts a 7-0 lead just over four minutes into the opening quarter.
St. Mary’s picked up a rouge with a minute to go in the quarter to get on the scoreboard.
Korah quarterback Zane Murdoch extended the lead when he ran the ball in from six yards out in the second quarter. The convert by Coccimiglio made it 14-1 Colts.
The Colts added on later in the quarter when Murdoch hit Gevin Grisdale on an eight-yard touchdown pass. With the convert from Coccimiglio, Korah led by a 21-1 margin.
St. Mary’s cut into the lead late in the second quarter when Hunter Jackson scored on a three-yard touchdown run. Amare Valente-Boateng’s convert on the play made it 21-8 Colts.
Just under five minutes into the third quarter, Korah added to the lead when Peyton Melchiorre ran the ball in from three yards out. The Colts went for two on the play and the convert was good to make it a 29-8 game.
With just over two minutes to go, Coccimiglio hit a 28-yard field goal to cap off the scoring.
Melchiorre finished the day with 117 yards rushing on 17 carries while Cam Williamson added 80 yards rushing on seven carries.
Defensively for the Colts, Turner Dickinson had five tackles and an interception while Aiden Wonch had 4.5 and Koen Manulenko added four tackles in the victory.
Cole Rivet had 60 yards rushing for the Knights on seven carries.
Wesley Tait had five tackles for St. Mary’s while Gabe Bifano and Heath Desjardin added four tackles each for the Knights.
Both schools return to action in week three.
With the win, Korah moves to 2-0 on the young season while St. Mary’s falls to 1-1.
Korah is back in action Thursday night against Superior Heights while the Knights are in action against White Pines the following night in both junior and senior.
All four games are slated for Superior Heights with the junior games kicking off at 4:45 p.m. and the senior games following at 7:30 p.m.
White Pines and Superior Heights are slated to meet in both junior and senior action on Friday night at Superior Heights.