NEWTON FALLS — For the first time since 2009 the Newton Falls Tigers have started 3-0. The Tigers won 28-15 over the Mineral Ridge Rams Friday night after a big second-half performance from quarterback Ivan Howard.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Tigers head coach Mike Gillespie said. “The last three weeks we haven’t played very well in the first half, a lot of penalties. In the second half some of our kids put up some big plays.
“They’re capable of doing that and have been for three games now. It feels good to start 3-0, but I’m happier for the kids.”
Gillespie has returned to the Newton Falls helm after serving as head coach from 1979-90. He also was the school’s athletic director for 19 years and retired in 2012 after 35 years of teaching.
Also returning to Newton Falls this weekend are members of the 1968 Tigers team which won the first-ever Trumbull AA League championship 50 years ago.
Mineral Ridge held a 9-7 advantage going into the half. Running back Nathan Chiclowe opened the scoring when powered his way up the middle for a 32-yard touchdown during the first quarter. Chiclowe ran for 86 yards on the night.
The All-American Conference is an OHSAA-sanctioned league, created in 2008 as the result of the merger between the Trumbull Athletic Conference and the Metro Athletic Conference in Ohio. The league has 21 different member schools, with 17 sports offered throughout fall, winter and spring sports seasons.