St. John, Donahue to meet

After a heavy slate of prep football games Friday night, only St. John Central will take to the field Saturday.

The Irish (2-1) will meet Bishop Donahue (2-1) at 7 p.m. at Monarch Stadium in Moundsville.

St. John Central is coming off a workmanlike, 34-8, victory last Friday in Paden City, while the Bishops (2-1) thumped Beallsville, 39-14, last weekend.

“It will definitely be a challenge for us,” first-year St. John Central head coach Jason Merryman admitted. “They make you defend the entire field.”

Merryman mentioned the Bishops’ ground attack, which features Jordan Bonar and Saquan Hill, as well as their wideout, Lavonte Hampton.

“All three of them are good, quality athletes,” Merryman noted.

In addition to defeating Beallsville, Bishop Donahue has also won at Cameron, but lost in between at Clay-Battelle.

The Irish have been led by the running of senior D.J. Shoemaker and junior Nick Cervelli. Shoemaker is the Irish quarterback, with Cervelli manning the fullback slot.

In three games, Shoemaker, a transfer from Shadyside where he an all-state linebacker, has gained 148 yards and scored three touchdowns. Cervelli has picked up 185 yards on 25 carries in just two outings.

“Our confidence level continues to grow with each week,” Merryman added. “There’s been a change in the kids’ attitudes. Now we are going to practice and into games thinking we can win, rather than just going out and trying to compete.”

One area of the game that Merryman has been displeased with is penalties.

“That’s been our biggest downfall so far,” he said. “There hasn’t just been one area, but they are things that can be corrected.”

The Buckeye Local at Bellaire game at 12:30 p.m. was featured in X’x and O’s.

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