YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There is only one high school football team still practicing here in the Valley. Ursuline is all that remains in the Ohio playoff picture, and the Irish are spending the holiday week getting ready for redemption.
Ursuline will take on undefeated, state-ranked, 3-time state champion Steubenville this Saturday night. It will not be their first meeting of the season. The Irish spent Week six down in Death Valley, and the result was rather lopsided…with the Irish on the losing end 48-12.
“We got our tails kicked,” Ursuline Head Coach Larry Kempe said. “There’s no two ways about it. we got beat. Again, they’re a good football team. And if you allow a good football team the opportunity, that’s gonna happen. So, we showed the film this afternoon. and we made sure that anything that we saw on that film, we gotta get corrected.”
Kempe’s players were very complimentary of the Big Red.
“They’re a great football team, i’m not gonna take that away from them,” Junior Linebacker Spencer Warren said. “Their tradition is fantastic down there. That’s what they’re known for. Steubenville is known for their football. They got great tradition, great players, great coach.”
Running Back Kimauni Johnson still hasn’t forgotten what happened in week six.
“Oh it’s very special for us and our team,” he said. “They beat us pretty bad. They run up the score, and it gave us a bad taste in our mouth, and we just can’t wait to play them again.”
Steubenville is undefeated at 12-0. The Big Red is winning by an average of 35 points per game. But Head Coach Reno Saccoccia does not expect another blowout.
“Youngstown Ursuline, Youngstown Mooney, Boardman…all those teams up there are very physical. And, we have a lot of respect for Ursuline. We’ve been playing them since my first year in 1983. It’s always been a good hard-fought, physical game.”
Ursuline and Steubenville kickoff this Saturday at Boardman’s Spartan Stadium at 7PM.