No. 9 Apollo-Ridge blanks Springdale

| Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, 12:15 a.m.

Apollo-Ridge's band used a twirling, fire-lit baton during its halftime act Friday night.

Springdale's football team also played with fire — and got burned.

It's always a dangerous proposition to throw in the vicinity of junior defensive back Tre Tipton, and the Dynamos found that out the hard way as Tipton snared a second-quarter interception and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown. The No. 9 Vikings rolled to a 42-0 Eastern Conference victory on homecoming night at Veterans Memorial Field.

Tipton's fourth interception of the season was a tone-setter and helped the Vikings establish, what coach John Skiba might call delayed dominance.

“This was a good game for us,” Skiba said. “But we have to work on coming out faster. We need better starts. I think we're just as good as anybody.”

Tipton's interception return down the right sideline made it 21-0 at the half.

Senior fullback Ben Gemballa and senior halfback Lonny Wells each scored two touchdowns for the Vikings (4-2, 3-2).

Apollo-Ridge did struggle with penalties.

Two scores were called back, although both times the Vikings found the end zone again shortly after.

They were flagged for celebrating after the Tipton score.

“We do that all the time,” Skiba said. “It's something we have to work on, being more disciplined.”

Springdale (2-4, 2-3) relied heavily on junior quarterback Daniel Franskousky, who carried 18 times for 78 yards, all in the first half.

He did not play in the second half, however, due to dehydration.

“We run him because we don't have many options and he runs well,” Springdale coach Dave Leasure said. “He just wasn't able to go in the second half.”

Apollo-Ridge freshman Duane Brown recovered two fumbles in the first half, the first leading to a 1-yard touchdown by Gemballa. The other came during an Apollo-Ridge possession after a 20-yard run by Wells. The touchdown on the next play went to Wells to push the lead to 15-0.

Gemballa and Wells each scored third-quarter touchdowns, including Wells on a 58-yard breakaway that prompted the mercy rule.

Wells ran for 89 yards on four carries, and Gemballa had 62 yards on nine attempts.

“Defensively we tried to spill everything and not give up the big plays,” Leasure said. “We played some zone under and it worked to an extent. The kids fought; we'll see what we have to work with on Monday.”

Sprindale lost senior lineman Nate Shaw to an apparent concussion.

The backups also got into the act for Apollo-Ridge. Junior tight end Christian Leonarski's 53-yard catch-and-run from backup quarterback Dillon Shipman set up a short touchdown run by sophomore halfback Gareth Dillick late in the third.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at

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