Winning the turnover battle usually spells success.
Every football coach will tell you how critical they can be and they certainly played a role on Friday night.
The Superior Height Steelhawks won that battle on Friday night, and it resulted in a 27-17 win over the White Pines Wolverines in senior high school football action at Superior Heights.
A late turnover by the Wolverines helped seal the win, but it was a factor throughout the game for Superior Heights.
“The turnover game was huge,” said Superior Heights coach Matt Disando. “We definitely capitalized on special teams and we capitalized on defence.”
“We had an excellent game,” Disando added. “Defensively, I’d like to tighten up a little bit still and correct some things, but we had a good game.”
Much like their week one contest, there was a lot to like for White Pines despite the loss, but there are also parts of their game the Wolverines would like to shore up.
“We played great,” said White Pines coach Will Basawa. “The boys fought tooth and nail for everything that happened on the field, but I believe we beat ourselves tonight. We put the ball on the turf three different times in key points of the game. It’s the little things that cost us tonight.”
Superior Heights opened the scoring with 4.4 seconds to go in the opening quarter as Daikaden Gauthier ran the ball in from four yards out and then kicked the extra point to give the Steelhawks a 7-0 lead.
Nearing the midway point of the second quarter, Keenan Boissoneau got White Pines on the board with a five-yard touchdown run. The convert from Ethan McCorkell tied the game at seven.
With just over two minutes to go in the half, Tye Rushon scored on a five-yard touchdown run. A convert from Gauthier gave Superior Heights a 14-7 lead heading into the half.
The Steelhawks extended the lead 2:15 into the fourth quarter when Kaelan Cuglietta punched the ball in from five yards out. The subsequent convert from Chase Meyer made it 21-7 Steelhawks.
White Pines made it a one-score game with 5:39 to go in the fourth when Garrin Pine hit Nicolas Loutit for a 34-yard touchdown. The convert from McCorkell made the score 21-14 Superior Heights.
On the kickoff, Superior Heights recovered the ball after it was fumbled deep in White Pines territory. The play led to Gauthier punching the ball in from four yards out to make it 27-14 Superior Heights.
Offensively for Superior Heights, Gauthier completed five of 10 passes for 79 yards passing while also running to 82 yards on 13 carries. Tye Rushon added 115 yards rushing on eight carries.
Defensively, Michael Weise and Gavin Nye had 6.5 tackles each while Daniel Collins added five.
Nashoba Moore caught five passes for 95 yards and also had four tackles defensively for White pines while Boissoneau had 104 yards rushing for Superior Heights. Nicolas Loutit added 68 yards rushing on three carries.
In Friday’s junior game, three touchdowns in the second quarter helped Superior Heights to a 41-18 win over White Pines.
Superior Heights opened the scoring just under four minutes in as Ben Trevisanut ran the ball in from a yard out. Dylan Wooton’s convert made it 7-0.
White Pines got on the board early in the second quarter as Markeese Strawbridge scored on a one-yard touchdown run to make it 7-6.
Superior Heights extended the lead as quarterback Chase Cerasuolo scored on a two-yard run. The subsequent convert from Wooton made it 14-6 Superior Heights.
Trevisanut picked up his second major of the day on a 10-yard run later in the quarter. The convert on the play from Wooton made it 21-6.
The Steelhawks made it a 28-6 game when Cerasuolo hit Drayden Brock for a 14-yard touchdown pass with the convert from Wooton.
Late in the quarter, White Pines cut into the lead when D.J. Pine ran the ball in from six yards out to make it a 28-12 game.
With four minutes to go in the third quarter, Blaine Polson ran the ball in from eight yards out. The convert by Wooton made it a 35-12 game.
Adam Hassan of White Pines made it a 35-18 game on a 35-yard touchdown run with 13.5 seconds to go in the third quarter, but Superior Heights got the major right back as Wooton ran the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for the touchdown to make it a 41-18 game for Superior Heights.
Offensively for Superior Heights, Trevisanut had 200 yards on 17 carries while Maxx Clement added 72 on eight carries and Drew Hankinson had 62 on seven carries.
Oliver Smith had 6.5 tackles defensively for Superior Heights while Brock added four.
Hassan had 94 yards rushing on nine carries for White Pines while Pine had 51 on 14 carries.
Defensively for White Pines, Pine had eight tackles while Preston Johnson had 7.5 and Benjamin Potter added seven.
Both Superior Heights and White Pines are back in action for week four play.
The Steelhawks will face Korah on Thursday night while White Pines is set to St. Mary’s on Friday.
All four games are at Superior Heights with the junior games at 4:45 p.m. and the senior games to follow at 7:30 p.m.
Korah enters next week with a 2-0 record while St. Mary’s and Superior Heights are 1-1 and White Pines is 0-2 in senior.
The junior standings see Korah also at 2-0, St. Mary’s and Superior Heights at 1-1 and White Pines at 0-2.