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Falcons 3-0 after victory in Canton
September 18, 2019

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For the second straight season the Fitch football team has started the year with a 3-0 record.

The Falcons stayed perfect after an impressive 49-27 road win at Canton GlenOak last Friday night. Sure, the Golden Eagles may not be as mighty as they have been in years past, but anytime a team has to travel an hour and takes out a Division I school on its home turf it creates a reason to celebrate.

"It was a great win," said Fitch head coach Jon Elliot. "A lot of the teams on our schedule are new so we weren't too sure about them. So, 3-0 is a great start (to the season)."

As is well known by now the Falcons have dedicated this season to their deceased former head coach Phil Annarella. This unbeaten streak to start the season is a continuation of that dedication.

"I tell the kids each week that (Coach Annarella) had a mission for us," said Elliot. "This 3-0 start is a big part of that."

Coach Annarella would have been extremely proud if he saw the rushing statistics from Friday night's showdown. Fitch racked up a fabulous 580 yards of total offense last weekend. The majority of those yards came on the ground where the Falcons gouged the Golden Eagles from the get-go. All seven of their touchdowns on the night came compliments of the running game. The two-headed quarterback monster of Devin Sherwood and Nate Leskovac was entirely too much for the Eagle defenders to handle. Sherwood was slippery whenever he had the ball in his hands and rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Leskovac was a little behind in yardage with 141, but he accounted for three scores. The dynamic duo combined for 148 yards passing as well. According to Coach Elliot, none of the damage done by his quarterbacks could have happened without some stellar offensive line play.

"The offensive line is doing a great job," said Elliot. "They are running the course, as we say. Then we're getting nice running from our quarterbacks and running backs."

As every savvy head coach will do, Elliot wouldn't go overboard patting his blockers on their massive backs. He and his staff have reviewed the game tape and noticed some warts in their protection. Some people would call it nitpicking, but most football experts would call it keeping your team even keeled.

"As good as you think you've played, you can always get better," said Elliot. "There were some things we noticed while watching film where we can certainly improve. I'll be saying the same thing even in Week 9."

Hopefully, those corrections are made this week as the Falcons prepare to play at Warren Harding. These two rivals have had some memorable matches over the years and, even though the Raiders are just 1-2 to begin 2019, this Friday's fight should be just as fun. Harding is coming off of a bad 49-7 blowout loss at Massillon Washington. Its only victory so far was a 56-0 whitewash of Cleveland Rhodes in Week 2. The reason why Harding was able to pile up that many points is because its roster is filled with tremendous talent.

"(Harding) is athletic everywhere," Elliot said. "They have athletic offensive linemen, athletic skill players and are athletic in the secondary. That'll present a problem for us."

The Raiders were a huge problem for the Falcons last September as they breezed to a 49-14 victory. That win came in Austintown. Fitch, meanwhile, won the last game played at Mollenkopf Stadium 35-20 in 2017. Harding has won three of the past five in the series.

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