A tale of two quarterbacks...
Tony the tiger
The superlatives flowed — from both sides — for a guy who had just completed his second start as a high school quarterback.
Tony Chiacchiero, a 6-foot, 155-pound senior, completed 15 of 16 passes for 248 yards and touchdown strikes of 19 and 38 yards to Jacob Hamilton and 20 yards to Kyle Ashburn in Jefferson’s impressive 38-7 win at Edgewood on Friday night.
Jimmy Henson, now in his eighth season as coach of the Falcons, liked what he saw of his first-year starter at QB.
“I’ve never had a QB this efficient throwing the ball,” the former Hall of Fame quarterback at Grand Valley during his high school days said. “He did play as well as the numbers indicate.
“The only passed he missed was a wrong route.”
Chiacchiero’s performance certainly impressed Edgewood coach Dom Iarocci.
“I think the key to the game for Jefferson was Tony Chiacchiero,” he said. “He was 15 for 16 and his receivers, Jacob Hamilton, Kyle Ashburn, who caught 12 out of 15 passes, did an outstanding job.
“I thought we shut their run down, for the most part, but they pretty much ripped up our secondary.
“We gave up 243 passing yards, which is unacceptable.”
With Scott Davidson running for more than 100 yards, the Jefferson defense putting the clamps on Edgewood’s offense and the Falcons’ special teams, led by Brandon Balascio’s strong right leg (5-5 on extra points, 25-yard field goal) and Brett Powers’ speed (85-yard punt return for a touchdown), the Warriors were never really in the game.
But, just as it did a year ago when Jefferson went 7-3 behind the dominant play of Star Beacon Ashtabula County Player of the Year Connor Cleveland, it all started at quarterback.
Chiacchiero has now completed 31 of 37 passes — an incredible 83.8 completion percentage — for 425 yards and 4 touchdowns for the area’s only unbeaten team. He also rushed for a touchdown in the opening win at LaBrae.
“I thought Jefferson played darned near a perfect football game — (Chiacchiero’s) passing efficiency rating was 178, no fumbles they only had 3 penalties and they rushed for 133 yards, so I would say they played an almost perfect football game against us,” Iarocci said. “I have never had a quarterback in all my years coaching have that kind of efficiency.
“He’s pretty good!”
Speaking of “pretty good,” so, too, is Riverside’s first-year starter, Maxx Brubaker.
The 6-foot-3 junior southpaw has piled up an area-best 660 yards in two games for the Beavers (1-1), completing 31 of 48 attempts (64.6 completion percentage) and 5 touchdowns for coach Dave Bors’ bunch.
Double-X threw for 404 yards in Riverside’s 41-31 loss at West Geauga last week.
“Maxx is a guy who we’ve watched develop in our program since he was a freshman,” Bors said. “He works extremely hard and has done a really nice job of leading the offense.”
OK, what’s up with the two X’s on the end of his first name?
“His parents just wanted him to be a little different,” Bors said.
Translation — “little different” = as Iarocci said of Chiacchiero, “pretty good!”
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