The Plymouth-Canton Steelers opened the 2009 season with an emphatic sweep of the host Belleville Cougars Sunday afternoon at Belleville High School.
The Steelers' varsity squad dominated the Cougars, 25-0, thanks in large part to the play of quarterback A.J. Convertino, who had several great plays on the ground and in the air, including a 60-yard completion that led to a Steelers' TD.
Hard running with fantastic second-effort rushes defined Jalen Bryant's contribution to the victory and Jonathan Conn had key blocks that paved the way into the end zone.
Two-way player Aaron Tellis had key plays on both offense and defense, and Rodney Allen, Jr. stood his ground against Belleville's tough offensive line.
Jacob Boucher anchored the winners' defense with his "No quit" attitude.
The Steelers' junior varsity squad ousted the Cougars, 19-6. Center Ben Phillips led the Steelers' defensive line, which only allowed a late TD in the third quarter. Jacob Stephan flattened a Cougar defender to create a huge hole for Chris Bryant, who scored the team's second TD.
Christian "Big Baby" Mayberry controlled the line of scrimmage for the Steelers' defense with considerable help from Kevin Justice and Nick Lanava, who controlled the secondary.
The Steelers' freshmen lit up the scoreboard, winning 48-18, thanks in large part to Dylan Stackhouse, who picked up huge yardage out of the backfield and scored a pair of rushing touchdowns. Stackhouse ran through holes created by Joshua Stein, among others.
Lou Baechler played extremely well on both sides of the ball, creating havoc at noseguard while rushing for a pair of scores. Isaac Emminger played stellar at cornerback, intercepting two passes while Christian Pearson blocked a punt and made several huge tackles on the defensive line.
JUNIOR FRESHMEN SHINE
The Steelers' junior-freshmen unit started the 2009 campaign in grand style. Logan Walkley, playing in his first organized football game, exploded into the spotlight with a breakout game. Walkley tallied two touchdowns, the first on a 75-yard interception return and the second on a 60-yard run.
Ian Gozdor, Zachary Sweet and Jake Cain each brought the Steelers' faithful to their feet with big-yardage runs.
Defensively, the Steelers limited the host Cougars to only four first downs and one touchdown. The hard-tackling Steelers caused five Belleville turnovers and set the tone on the first snap from scrimmage, which resulted in a Steelers fumble recovery.
Ed Wright can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (734) 453-1980.