Saturday, November 24, 2007

Redskins Pistol Whips Ashland

Redskins roll into title game
Storey runs for 201 yards and three touchdowns


DUBLIN, Ohio - Anderson is headed to the Division II state football final, and its current and former coach both loomed large over the proceedings here Friday night.

First-year head coach Jeff Giesting, after his team beat Ashland 35-20 in a state semifinal at Dublin Coffman, tried to explain what it all meant.

After 19 years as an Anderson assistant, Giesting is the first coach to take Anderson to a state football final. Did he ever expect this in Year 1?

"Oh no, you could never think that," the bespectacled Giesting said, standing on the frozen artificial turf as fans surrounded him after the game. "I think as we got going, we could see it might become possible."

With legendary former coach Vince Suriano standing on the sidelines, Giesting's team rode a 201-yard, three-TD rushing effort of senior running back Elijah Storey to victory.

Anderson advances to the state final next Friday (7 p.m.) at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The opponent will be Louisville, which beat Mayfield 41-13 in the other state semifinal Friday night at Bedford Stewart Field.

Suriano built Anderson into a consistent power during his tenure from 1987-2006, and the Redskins made eight playoff appearances - mostly as a Division I team - under him.

Suriano left Anderson after the 2006 season to become assistant head coach/offensive coordinator at the College of Mount St. Joseph.

Giesting, his longtime assistant, was tapped to replace Suriano.

"I'm so happy for Jeff and the kids," a beaming Suriano said after Friday's game. "I'm still emotionally attached to them. Isn't it great?"

Storey and quarterback Daniel Rod also were great, as Storey cranked out his fourth 200-yard rushing game in five weeks.

Rod rushed 18 times for 122 yards and a TD and also passed for 65 yards and another TD.

"It's incredible to be going to state," Storey said. "I knew we had a chance. Early in the season, you could tell we'd be a good team."

Anderson (12-2) beat an Ashland team (also 12-2) that also was seeking its first state football championship game appearance.

Anderson and Ashland tied for 12th in the final Associated Press Division II state media poll of the regular season.

Ashland quarterback Taylor Housewright, as forecast, came out throwing out of the spread offense. He was 36-of-52 for 344 yards, but threw just one touchdown and two interceptions.

Anderson built a 21-10 lead, with great momentum headed to halftime after Rod found 6-foot-7 wide receiver Nick Truesdell for a 35-yard TD 9.1 seconds before halftime.

"I'm tall, so when Daniel goes scrambling, he just throws it up for me," Truesdell said.

Truesdell also played some defense for the first time this year, lining up as a rush end. The plan was to disrupt Housewright as much as possible.

"We wanted to get some pressure on him, mix things up," Giesting said.

Anderson iced it with a 5-yard TD run by Storey with 2:06 left.

• Photos: Anderson 35, Ashland 20
• Photos: Playoff games
• Video: Playoff highlights

Anderson 7 14 0 14 -35
Ashland 7 3 3 7 -20

Ash-Kerr 5 pass from Housewright (Berkshire kick)

And-Storey 2 run (Howard kick)

Ash-Berkshire 30 FG

And-Rod 9 TD (Howard kick)

And-Truesdell 35 pass from Rod (Howard kick)

Ash-Berkshire 40 FG

And-Storey 17 run (Howard kick)

Ash-Housewright 2 run (Berkshire kick)

And-Storey 5 run (Howard kick)

Records: And 12-2, Ash 12-2.

No comments: