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Written by: David Burnworth on Saturday, July 24th, 2021
Last night’s game forty-three this year took me to Erie, Pa. Veterans Memorial Stadium. First, I must say that the stadium itself is a must-see place to take in a game but the street parking takes away from the overall experience. The game was very competitive when all was said and done but never in doubt as the Metro team was able to jump out to a big lead and then overcome a sensational game from Seth (Mr. Touchdown) Fuller from North East High School.
The County looked to have a sweet 19-yard run but they were called for an illegal shift. That call when looking back was a sign of what the large crowd was going to see as the game went on. After getting the ball for the first time Anthony Emling would electrify the home side with a 50-yard catch. He was pretty much unguardable all night long and time and time again he would be wide-opened and catch anything close to him. At the 8:37 mark of the opening quarter, Chris Juchno threw a pass to the wide opened Emling for the games first score. The pass pay totaled 15-yards. A mishap on the point after resulted in Nathan Lazan being tackled by X’Zonder Goodwin well short of the goal line.
The Metro team’s potent offensive unit was right back at it after their defense acted like the old Dallas Cowboys doomsday defense and shut down the offensive unit from the County in easy fashion. Juchno would find Braeden (Soft Hands), Soboleski, for a 15-yard gain, on third and fifteen to move the chains. Then Juchno used his feet to gallop to a 15-yard run to the County 37-yard line with 4:15 left on the clock. The last score came on a 37-yard run from Steve Smith IV. Smith hit the hole and boom was gone. Lenny McLaughlin made good on the P.A.T. to make this a 13-0 game with 4:07 left in the quarter.
The County would get a nice 15-yard run from Jack Rimpa, who busted through two tackles on his way to the gain. The 10 play 76-yard drive ended with a 25-yard touchdown, to Fuller. Preston Runser (Northwestern made it a 13-7 game with his P.A.T. with 10:44 left in the half. Riding the momentum off of the score the County defense got a nice play from Goodwin, who stopped Nathan Lazen for no gain after Lazen made a nice catch. The Meto offense overcame the stop by picking up 34-yards on a Juchno to
Soboleski. Staying with the big play after a nice catch theme for the Metro offense Juchno used his legs again to pick up another 9-yards, with9:24 left in the half. The 5 play, 70-yard drive ended when John Woodward Jr. sprinted 14-yards for another Mero touchdown making this a 19-7 game.
At the 5:20 mark of the quarter, the County got a big play from Austin Bird, who stopped Juchno for a short loss to bring up a fourth and three for the Metro team. Just a little over a minute later it was the Metro squad who would get the last laugh when Juchno found Soboleski for the 17-yard touchdown after Lazan made good on his P.A.T. we had a 26-7 game. Dante Carr would get an easy interception with 2:37 left in the half but the County defense would hold tight and get a stop on the ensuing possession. With just 0:02 seconds left in the half Caden Herman (Harbor Creek) made another pick for the Metro that set up a 20-yard field goal from McClauglin making this a 29-7 score at the half.
The Metro team would unofficially outgain the County team 288-118 in the half. From my point of view, the Metro defense was doing just enough up front to keep the talented Tamar Sample, the quarterback from Cathedral Prep from finding any kind of grove, and on offense, the offensive line was making things really easy for Juchno, while the County secondary was having their own nightmare trying to stop Emling and Soboleski.
The third quarter would give up two nice plays, one each from each team. For the Metro team, it was a stop by Alexander Spaulding (Erie), who stopped Landen Weis for a short loss, and for the County, it was a 19-yard catch by Fuller for his 2nd touchdown of the game that made the score 29-13.
In the final frame, Lazen missed a 28-yard field goal that went wide left. Then with 11:17 left in the contest, Ryan Woinelowicz sacked Matt Luce to bring up fourth and 17 for the Meto team. The final score in the game came on a 73-yard touchdown pass from Austin Barrett (Girard) to Fuller. The ball looked to be overthrown by three or four yards but Fuller easily ran under it then left the defense in the dust. Fuller would give the crowd one last thing to cheer about when he defeated double coverage to make a leaping two-point conversion pass to give us the final score of 29-21.
Passing 15-22 2 TD’S
184 yards (66 in the 2nd half)
Passing 7-18 3 TD’S 2 INT’S
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