Sunday, November 14, 1999

Ansonia 21, Cincinnati Country Day 7

Enquirer contributor

        WEST CARROLLTON — Ansonia finally stopped Cincinnati Country Day's Jon Smith, the area's leading rusher, and its reward is a trip into the Division VI regional finals.

        The Tigers held Smith to 73 yards on 20 carries to set up a 21-7 victory over CCD Saturday night at West Carrollton All-Sports Stadium.

        “They just wanted to send everybody on defense and I guess it worked,” said Smith of Ansonia's attacking run defense that disrupted play in the CCD backfield all night.

        “You could just see when he runs the ball that his balance is incredible,” Ansonia coach Eugene Hoening said of his team's effort against Smith, who had 2,354 rushing yards on the year coming into the game.

        “We did a super job staying on our feet and running through tackles. You have to stay on your feet against a back like that.”

        Ansonia got ahead early and kept the pressure on CCD all night by playing error-free football — no turnovers, no penalties.

        Momentum finally seemed to swing to CCD when Ansonia failed to convert on fourth-and-two with 2:26 left in the third quarter and a 14-0 lead. It was the first major play all game that hadn't gone Ansonia's way.

        CCD finally broke through its scoring frustrations late in the third quarter. On third-and-21 from its own 43, Chris Torlone lofted a fade pass to the far sideline that Smith ran under. Smith then broke three tackles in streaking down the sideline for a 57-yard TD reception. Suddenly, despite being dominated to that point, CCD was down only 14-7.

        The Indians quickly got the ball back and then apparently tied the game on the first play, when Smith took a pass in the flat and went 77 yards for a TD. But an illegal block penalty on CCD took the score off the board.

        “I thought it might have been our ballgame if that TD counted,” CCD coach Tim Dunn said. “I thought we played a good second half, but one half doesn't get it done.”

        On third down, CCD just missed again. Smith was behind all defenders on a fade pass down the sideline, but was ruled to be out of bounds when he caught the ball.

        The march toward CCD's demise began with just over five minutes remaining. Trying to make a play with pressure in his face, CCD quarterback Chris Torlone lofted a pass out toward Smith at midfield. Ansonia's Steve Beisner came down with it for an interception.

        A 39-yard pass from Ansonia's Darrick Barga to Robert Singer, who had earlier caught a first-half TD, put the ball at the CCD 6. Three plays later, Derek Hartzell ran in from three yards out for his second TD of the game, putting CCD in an insurmountable 21-7 hole with 2:16 to play.

        Ansonia ....... 7  7  0  7-21

        Cincinnati Country Day ....... 0  0  7  0- 7

        A — Singer 13 pass from Barga (Hatert kick)

        A — Hartzell 16 run (Hatert kick)

        C — Smith 57 pass from Torlone (McPhie kick)

        A — Hartzell 3 run (Hatert kick) Records: A 9-3, CCD 11-1.


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