STEUBENVILLE - After last week's tough loss in Massillon, Reno Saccoccia wanted his Steubenville football team to have a better start Friday against Pittsburgh Westinghouse.
Turning five first-quarter snaps into a pair of touchdowns, Big Red rolled to a 33-6 Homecoming victory at Harding Stadium
The victory moves Saccoccia's club, ranked ninth in the Ohio AP Division III poll, to 5-1 and sets the stage for next week's showdown with Youngstown Ursuline, which will bring a 3-3 mark to Reno Field after falling to Erie Cathedral Prep 47-7 on Friday.
After the defense recorded its first of six three-and-outs, Big Red's offense needed two snaps to reach end zone. Teshawn Luke gained 6 yards on his first attempt, then took a Corey Stinson handoff and sprinted 42 yards for the score. Luke Smith added the extra point.
Westinghouse's second possession ended when Arin Goldsmith sacked quarterback Hasaan Allen on third-and-9. This time, Big Red started at the Bulldogs 47.
Stinson hit Matt Petrella for 9 yards and Dashon Redman plowed forward for 1. The hosts were hit with a holding penalty, moving the pigskin back to the original line of scrimmage. Stinson dropped back and found Evan Westlake for a 47-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
Big Red's final score of the half came on a 2-yard plunge by Redman, capping a seven-play drive that started at midfield to go up 20-0.
During the first two quarters, Big Red ran 29 plays from scrimmage and collected 270 yards. On their six possessions, the hosts scored three touchdowns, fumbled the ball twice in the red zone and had a blocked field goal.
The Bulldogs, on the other hand, could muster 8 yards on 21 plays.
Big Red ran their advantage to 27-6 on its first drive of the third quarter. Stinson found Petrella streaking down the sideline. The senior receiver avoided two tacklers and motored to the end zone for a 50-yard score.
Kai McClurg got the final touchdown when he slide in from a yard away.
''The only real thing we can judge is attitude,'' Saccoccia said. "I liked what I saw as far as the guys that were in there and even more, I liked the attitude of the older guys when the younger guys were in there.''
Big Red finished with 415 yards of offense (a balanced 209 on the ground and 206 through the air). Petrella had his best showing of the season, grabbing six Stinson tosses for 102 yards and a touchdown.
''They were scrappy and our kids hung in there and played tough," Saccoccia added. "Everyone that played contributed to the win. I told our guys I was going to judge them on their attitudes and how hard they backed up the players that were in the game.''