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Polar Bears overwhelm Eagles

By DAN ANGELO • Updated Sep 8, 2017 at 11:49 PM

CASTALIA — A Week 2 loss to Western Reserve was a bitter pill for the Polar Bears.

They responded with a dominating Week 3 performance, piling up 350 yards of total offense in a 35-12 non-conference win Friday over Monroeville.

"We were just taking what they gave us, but our kids stepped up and made some plays," Margaretta coach Todd Pooch said. "Last week, we were pretty heartbroken leaving here, and these kids didn't like it. They were ready."

It was the first win of the season for the Bears (1-2) and the first for Pooch as coach of his alma mater.

It was the first loss of the season for the Eagles (2-1), who finished with 266 yards of offense, but 147 of those yards came on their two scoring drives of the evening.

"We just couldn't get ourselves into a rhythm because we were shooting ourselves in the foot," Monroeville coach Scott Stecher said. "It's an 11-man game and when you miss one block here or one block there, or you don't hit that hole hard, that one thing is going to cause the whole destruction of the 11-man theory."

The teams traded touchdowns in the first quarter with the Bears scoring on a 2-yard Logan Graffin run on their first offensive series and Max Horner answering with a 63-yard touchdown run to knot the score for the Eagles.

Margaretta took the lead for good early in the second quarter, turning a Monroeville fumble into a 32-yard Nick Leibacher scoring strike to Angelo Frias.

The Bears extended the lead to 20-6 on its first possession of the second half on a 23-yard Brevan Moore touchdown run, with Leibacher and Frias hooking up on a 69-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Graffin tacked on a 27-yard touchdown run with 5:04 left to play with the Eagles ending the scoring on a 1-yard Chayce Schaub score two minutes later.

"Credit them. They came out and played a great game," Stecher said. "I'm surprised they are 1-2. I think they should be 3-0, no question about it. We just need to get back to playing Monroeville football."

Horner finished with 96 yards rushing on 13 carries and Tche Leroux picked up 61 yards on 13 tries for the Eagles.

Noah Hilton led the Bears with 85 yards on the ground and four receptions for 43 yards, while Graffin rushed for 73 yards and threw a pass for 30 yards. Leibacher was 9-of-17 passing for 182 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, with Frias hauling in four passes for 133 yards.

"This was a very good win because they have a very good team" Pooch said of Monroeville. "They were 2-0 for a reason. They have a great defensive and offensive line and we knew it would be a challenge."

Margaretta returns to action Friday at Norwalk while the Eagles open Firelands Conference play against Mapleton.

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