The first time Service touched the ball against the South Central Trojans early in the first quarter, he broke a 48-yard run. That put the senior running back at 1,106 yards for the season on 115 carries.
On the night, Service carried the ball 19 times for 189 yards and a touchdown. His TD was the last of the game, a 15-yard run with 2:13 left on the clock that gave St. Paul the 35-0 win.
Gross was also equally productive for St. Paul, rushing 14 times for 108 yards and two TDs. He cracked the 1,000 yard mark on a 9-yard run about halfway through the fourth quarter.
Gross scored his first touchdown on a 13-yard run with 4:10 left in the first half.
Joey Catalano, who was a perfect 5-for-5 on extra points, booted the ball through, giving St. Paul a 21-0 lead with 4:10 in the second quarter. On the last drive of the half, he missed a 22-yard field goal attempt with two seconds on the clock.
Gross’ second trip to the end zone came on a 3-yard plunge that capped off a 80-yard drive with 5:54 left in the game. That made the score 28-0.
St. Paul’s Dynamic Duo agreed that being a 1,000-yard rusher definitely has been a goal, but even more important is the teamwork that makes such accomplishments possible.
“No trick at all. It’s just hard work hard,” said Gross, who looks for the tough yardage by “diving deep” and lowering his shoulder.
So far on the season, Gross has 1,040 yards on 136 carries to go with 14 TDs.
Service said accomplishing a 1,000-yard rushing season is a goal he’s had from the “first day you practice all the way through.” On the season, he has gained 1,157 yards on 133 carries and scored 15 TDs.
“It takes everyone doing their job. Without everyone setting it up for us, we wouldn’t be able to do it,” Service said. “It’s a lot of (our teammates) setting us up and doing all the work for us.”
St. Paul coach John Livengood said teamwork was the key to Friday’s win.
The Flyers improved to 9-0 and 6-0 in the Firelands Conference. South Central fell to 2-7 overall and 1-5 in league play.
“It’s a team game,” Livengood said.
When each of the players work together “for the next few yards, good things will happen,” he added.
“The South Central kids never quit. They played hard. Coach (Wayne) Hinkle does a great job,” Livengood continued.
The Flyers coach was pleased with the performance of the secondary and his defense, especially when the team put pressure on South Central quarterback Aaron Lamoreaux.
“He’s a very dangerous athlete,” Livengood said.
Hinkle said he wanted the Trojans to match St. Paul’s intensity. The South Central coach was pleased to see his team hold the Flyers to 14 points for most of the first half.
St. Paul’s first two TDs came on passes from Nick Lukasko, who hooked up with Kurt Maxwell and Service on respective catches of 7 and 35 yards. After catching Lukasko’s short pass, Service ran the ball into the end zone along the sideline to give the Flyers a 14-0 lead with 5:57 left until halftime.
“We played them tough,” Hinkle said. “We played as physical as we could. … If you think about it, they scored two touchdowns in the last five minutes to make it look worse than it really was.”
South Central hosts New London (3-6, 2-4 in the FC) on Friday. That same night, St. Paul goes to Monroeville for a battle of the 9-0 league opponents.
Follow Reflector staff writer Cary Ashby on Twitter at @Cary_reporter and on Facebook at "Cary Ashby — reporter & comic book blogger."