PDT Sports Editor
The Notre Dame Titans suffered their first defeat of the season after losing 42-7 to the Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph Vikings.
Notre Dame won the opening kickoff and elected to give the Titans offensive unit on the field to start the ballgame.
Notre Dame started the contest with an 8-play drive that covered 30 yards but thanks to a false start penalty, the Titans were forced to punt the ball after failing to convert a third-and-11 at their own 45-yard line.
VASJ scored a touchdown on its first drive of the game. Tre’von Williams hooked up with Tyler Cruickshank on a 27-yard connection in the corner of the end zone to give the Vikings the early lead.
On its next possession, Notre Dame drove another 30 yards before a Jonathan Major fumble ended the drive.
Ten seconds later, VASJ scored on a 41-yard touchdown run by Marvelle Ross. The extra point was blocked.
For much of the night, the Titans victimized by the big play.
“We knew they were fast coming in,” Notre Dame coach Bob Ashley said. “But they were more impressive in person then they were on film but we just missed way to many tackles.”
After trailing 13-0, the Titans embarked on an 11-play drive, covering 48 yards but failed to covert on a fourth-and-5. Jack Kayser ran a belly play into the teeth of the Viking defense, only picking up two yards.
After the first punt of the night by VASJ, Notre Dame ran 12 more plays but failed on its second consecutive fourth down attempt. Kayser ran another belly play on fourth and two but only picked up one yard.
Just like earlier in the contest, the Vikings ran one play, wasting another 10 seconds, and covering 52 yards for the score. Williams found Ross for the touchdown and after a two-point conversion, VASJ led 21-0 at halftime.
The Vikings turned the ball over on their first possession of the second half after reaching the Titans 15.
Notre Dame took the momentum from the turnover and embarked on a 16-play, 85-yard drive. The Titans ran the ball on 14 of the 16 plays, including a 1-yard run by Kayser, which moved the chains on fourth-and-1 on the VASJ 2. On the next play, Kayser scored the lone touchdown for the Titans from a yard out.
Kayser and Dakota Smith were the lone bright spots for Notre Dame. Both running backs eclipsed the century mark in yards. Smith carried the ball 34 times for 197 yards. Kayser had 29 attempts for 163 yards.
Notre Dame’s momentum didn’t last long as the Vikings scored a touchdown on the next possession. Ross lined up in the Wildcat formation, ran to his ride side and scored from four yards away. VASJ took a 28-7 lead after the extra point.
After getting the ball back, the Titans put together their longest drive of the evening. Notre Dame ran 17 plays, covering 56 yards but a turnover halted the drive once again. Major threw a ball in the end zone, which was tipped by a couple of players before finally being intercepted by the Vikings.
Getting the ball on the 20 after the touchback, VASJ wasted 15 seconds as Ross broke loose for an 80-yard scamper on the first play of the drive. The score gave the Vikings a 35-7 lead in the fourth quarter. For Ross, it was his third touchdown on the night.
After another turnover by Notre Dame, VASJ sealed the deal with a 36-yard run by Malik Gulley for the touchdown.
The Titans go back to the drawing board as they prepare to host Manchester next Saturday night.
“We are going to have to go back and work on the fundamentals this week and try to get fundamentally better,” Ashley said.
Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 298, or email@example.com. For breaking sports news, follow Chris on Twitter @crslone.
VASJ 13 8 7 14 —42
ND 0 0 7 0 — 7
VASJ—Cruickshank 27 pass from Williams (Gail kick) 5:05
VASJ—Ross 41 run (kick blocked) 2:09
VASJ—Ross 52 pass from Williams (conversion good) 1:27
ND—Kayser 1 run (Toleman kick) 2:59
VASJ—Ross 4 run (Gail kick) :30.4
VASJ—Ross 80 run (Gail kick) 6:43
VASJ—Gulley 36 run (Gail kick) 3:43
Rush Att-Yds.17-244, 74-411
Pass Att.-Comp.-Int.6-9, 1-6-1
Pass Yds.198, 9
Total Yds.442, 420
Rushing: VASJ — Ross 8-145, Gulley 8-95, Williams 1-4; Notre Dame — Smith 34-197, Kayser 29-163, Toleman 2-27, Haney 3-16, Major 6-8.
Passing: VASJ — Williams 6-9-0; Notre Dame — Major 1-6-1.
Receiving: VASJ —Cruickshank 3-76, Ross 1-52, Harris 1-35, Green 1-35; Notre Dame: Kayser 1-9.