FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Scagliozzo strikes in Comets season opener


Get used to hearing the name Khennedy Scagliozzo.

The Amherst Steele junior led the Comets to a 41-6 route of the Clearview Clippers on Friday, crossing the goal line four times in the season opener.

“Once we were able to establish some things up front with our offensive line, we were able to see what Khennedy is capable of,” said head coach Mike Passerrello. “He’s a special football player. We had to just keep feeding him the ball until we settled in.”

It took a quarter for quarterback Matt Fairchild’s offense to warm up — including suffering an early interception — but the Amherst defense was supercharged from the start.

It held back incursions on Clearview’s first three drives, forcing failed fourth down conversion attempts on each.

The tide changed in the second quarter when a fumble recovery set the Comets up near their own 10 yard line. Scagliozzo found his groove on a 37-yard carry up the home team sideline and junior running back Joey Tomaro added 15 more yards on a sweep.

Scagliozzo put it in from 37 yards out, stepping to the corner and rolling across the goal line pylon to put Amherst on the board. Senior kicker Allen Matakovich’s PAT made it 7-0.

The initial shakes behind, Passerrello said he was able to put worries behind as the offense proved it could be more physical. He said he was proud his players fought through the early-game adversity and “stuck together as a family.”

Senior wide receiver Evan Shawver was next to score on a 39-yard catch from Fairchild to the corner.

From then on, it was all Scagliozzo all the time. He capitalized on help from senior wide receiver Devin Holmes and Tomaro for a four-yard TD, and later in the quarter struck deep into the red zone on a 32 yard run, setting up another four-yard spin-and-score up the middle.

That time, the PAT went wide and the Comets led 27-0.

Shawver nabbed an interception on the next Clippers possession, and in the fourth quarter Scagliozzo ran two yards for his fourth touchdown of the night.

At 34-0, the clock kept running until the final minutes of the game. When Amherst pulled its starters around the five minute mark, it gave Clearview’s Nomar Salas a chance to break away for a 71-yard scoring run up the sideline, though the two-point conversion failed.

Amherst’s Ronald Johnson put the cap on the win with a 40-yard TD run.

“I’m just thrilled to see the players be able to reap the rewards from all their hard work this season,” said Passerrello, later adding, “We want to win as many games as we possibly can. We don’t want to accept losing.”

The 1-0 start is an important confidence-builder — especially for Fairchild, who didn’t play last year. That confidence will be tested in game two versus Lakewood on the road.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

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Khennedy Scagliozzo puts on the afterburners and zooms toward the goal line for Amherst’s first touchdown of the season. He had four TD’s in Friday’s opener.
http://www.theamherstnewstimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2017/08/web1_IMG_3703.jpgKhennedy Scagliozzo puts on the afterburners and zooms toward the goal line for Amherst’s first touchdown of the season. He had four TD’s in Friday’s opener.

Joseph Colon | Amherst News-Times

The Comets defense piles on as the Clippers, backed up against their own end zone, look for scoring opportunities. Clearview was denied points until the last minutes of the fourth quarter when Amherst pulled its starters.
http://www.theamherstnewstimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2017/08/web1_DSC_9651.jpgThe Comets defense piles on as the Clippers, backed up against their own end zone, look for scoring opportunities. Clearview was denied points until the last minutes of the fourth quarter when Amherst pulled its starters.

Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times

Junior scores four touchdowns in 41-6 win

By Jason Hawk

jhawk@aimmediamidwest.com