Graziani kick return propels Spartans to huge win

Boardman Spartans football

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – A game that could have major playoff consequences for two teams with postseason dreams was a defensive battle, decided by a special teams play as the Boardman Spartans topped the visiting Austintown Fitch Falcons 10-3.

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The Spartans grabbed the game’s first lead on an Adam Deeley 20 yard field goal with 0:23 seconds remaining in the half.

With 5:26 remaining in the game, the Falcons finally got on the board on a Dylan Graham 35 yard field goal to tie things up at 3.

But, in a defensive battle, it was a special teams play for the Spartans that provided the biggest fireworks of the night. On the ensuing kickoff, Mario Graziani took the ball and weaved his way through the Falcons’ kickoff team, taking it 95 yards for the score. A successful extra point try made it 10-3 Boardman with only 5:11 remaining in the game.

Austintown had one last chance as the game wound down, but an Alex Duda interception in the endzone as time expired iced the game as the Spartans picked up the big win 10-3.

Austintown Fitch (6-3) began the week in 11th place in Division I, Region 1 and will travel to take on Cardinal Mooney in their regular season finale. Unlike in all other divisions, Division I sends top 16 teams from each of the state’s two divisions to the post-season.

Boardman (5-4) began the week in sixth place in Division II, Region 5 and will host Lakeside in week 10.

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