ATWATER - Monroe Central's Seminoles made the two-and-one-half-hour one way bus trip to Portage County a winning one Friday night.
Coach Jay Circosta's ball club found a way in its 2012 season opener, a 14-7 triumph over Waterloo's Vikings.
"Not a thing of beauty by any stretch but you'll obviously take a week one win, especially against a good opponent on its home field," Circosta commented. "Hopefully, we carry over this momentum to next week's huge test at Shadyside."
Monroe made the most of but 17 first half play calls to mount a 7-0 halftime advantage. Meanwhile, the hosts blew a golden opportunity at a possible tie on a lost fumble from the Noles' one.
"We had our backs to the wall on more a few occasions and our guys came up with an outstanding effort," Circosta added. "We came (here) looking for a way to win and found a way to do it."
Seminoles' junior linebacker Jake Schuerman came up big early on, picking off a pass by Waterloo QB Henry Bolanz and racing 30 yards to the house. Josh Guiler converted the PAT and it was a 7-0 lighting which held up through the opening two quarters.
Monroe took the second half kickoff and stunned the hosts when converted senior quarterback Korey Lafferre broke off a 56-yard scoring sprint on the second half's opening play. Guiler's conversion had Monroe a 14-0 leader.
Waterloo, behind the talented slants of running back Christian Youngblood eventually rallied. The hosts' score came on the vintage "hook and lateral" play involving Bolanz to a pair of teammates, a score covering some 45 yards. The ensuing PAT cut Monroe's lead in half.
It appeared the Noles had added a late insurance score, only to have the six points wiped out via penalty. Circosta's club, however, managed to run a majority of the remaining time off the clock.
"We had some nice defensive efforts," Circosta advised "(Senior linebacker) Dylan Shapley was all over the field. (Junior) Mike Jones and Korey Lafferre were also outstanding."
Monroe's Levi Brown ground out 112 yards via 16 carries. The Noles totaled 208 on the ground compared to 163 for the hosts.
Lafferre's lone completion went to Cameron Jorris, covering 15 yards. The Seminoles prevailed despite registering but five first downs.
Waterloo's J.J. Diven amassed 85 yards on the ground. The hosts went 4-of-10 through the air. In addition to Schuerman, Derek Stephens recorded a INT.
Guiler covered two Waterloo fumbles.