Lisbon bowls over Leetonia


Staff Writer

LEETONIA- Early on, Lisbon knew it had to dominate, and dominate the Blue Devils did.

The Blue Devils took advantage of mistakes early on against Leetonia on Thursday, and kicked off the season with a 35-6 victory in the Spaghetti Bowl.

“We prepared all summer for Leetonia as much as they prepared for us,” coach Jim Tsilimos said.

The Blue Devils (1-0) set the tone early with an interception from junior Jason Thompson, who also scored the game’s first touchdown later in the first quarter.

Thompson’s fellow backfield mate junior Danny Shultz was responsible for two touchdown runs and knew they were ready for the Bears.

“I thought we were all pretty prepared for the game,” Shultz said. “A lot of us were just nervous, I was just telling them to get ready and run real hard.”

Junior tailback Austin Davis owed his second-quarter touchdown to the offensive line.

“I just owe it all to the O-line and to my fullback, Frankie Morrell,” Davis said. “They did all the work. They made a hole anybody could’ve run through, and I just ran through it.”

Junior Jared White capped off the win with a 51-yard catch from quarterback Josh Liberati, who completed seven of his 11 passes for 139 yards.

Even with a 29-point victory, though, turnovers and penalties made it a little harder for the Blue Devils to reach the end zone easily. With two fumbles and 89 yards from seven penalties, Tsilimos knows that won’t work in the future.

“We just had too many penalties and turnovers,” Tsilimos said. “As we go from game one to two to three, our competition gets a whole lot harder, and we’re going to have to work on that if we’re going to be successful.”

The Bears (0-1) simply didn’t have their act together from the start as the first interception set the tone for the game.

Turney’s first quarter interception, the first of three all night, showed a sense of struggle with the Bears.

“I liked our enthusiasm, and I liked our effort but we just need to improve our execution,” Leetonia coach Matt Altomare said. “Tonight I kind of told the kids it was almost like another scrimmage. We didn’t put the things together that we needed to, and make the stops that we needed to.”

The only thing that saved the Bears from being shutout was a 23-yard pass in the fourth quarter from Turney to Josh Faulkner, who ran for 45 yards in four carries, and had 31 yards in his two catches.

“It’s nice to get one on the board,” Altomare said. “You never want to have a goose-egg after the first game, and we got a touchdown there in the end. It’s something to build on.”

The Bears also look to fine tune Turney’s passing, as he went 6-for-23 for 81 yards. Altomare looks to see improvement in Turney who became the quarterback Aug. 5.

“He’s improved a lot, he’s been quarterback for only three weeks,” Altomare said. “He’s come along from day one to now, and he’ll keep on working.”

Both teams hit the road next Friday as the Bears head to Columbiana and the Blue Devils head to Mineral Ridge.

Game notes

Lisbon has now won the Spaghetti Bowl trophy three of the last four years since coach Jim Tsilimos’ return in 2011.

The 2011 game was the last time Leetonia won the trophy.

Austin Rutecki led the Devil defense with 7 1/2 tackles.

The winning share of 50/50 drawing was $250.

LIS: 0- 0-0-6- 6

LEE: 7-14-7-7-35


LIS -Jason Thompson 15 run (Jared White kick)

LIS-Danny Shultz 9 run (Jared White kick)

LIS-Austin Davis 11 run (Jared White kick)

LIS-Danny Shultz 8 run (Jared White kick)

LEE-Josh Faulkner 23 pass from Drew Turney (kick failed)

LIS-Jared White 50 pass from Josh Liberati (Jared White kick)


First downs 2111

Total Yards 404141

Rushes-yards 41-26527-118

Passing 13981

Comp-Att-Int 7-11-06-23-3

Punts 4-396-26.7

Fumbles-Lost 2-20-0

Penalties-Yards 7-893-15


RUSHING-Lisbon, Danny Shultz 13-97, Austin Davis 7-82, Jason Thompson 7-32, Frankie Morrel 7-29; Leetonia, Josh Faulkner 4-45, Colton Gudat 14-44, Drew Turney 9-29.

PASSING-Lisbon, Josh Liberati 7-11-139-0; Leetonia, Drew Turney 6-23-81-3.

RECEIVING-Lisbon, Jared White 4-122, Josh Craig 2-25; Leetonia, Josh Faulkner 2-31, Dan Haschak 2-30, Dustin Hartzell 2-20.

INTERCEPTIONS- Lisbon, Jason Thompson, Seth Davis, Austin Rutecki.

FUMBLE RECOVERIES-Leetonia, Dustin Hartzell, Tanner Tullis.