Thursday, December 7, 2023

VASJ clinches outright NCL White title, playoff spot

With every game being a must-win for more than a month, Villa Angela-St. Joseph has been in playoff mode since Week 5.

Now, it is officially postseason time for Coach John Storey and company.

Behind 314 yards rushing and three touchdowns by standout Marvelle Ross, VASJ rolled over rival Cleveland Central Catholic, 44-18, on Nov. 1 at Mayfield's Wildcat Stadium. The win not only secured the outright NCL White Division championship for the Vikings, it locked up a spot in the Division VI playoffs as well.

According to, VASJ will be the No. 7 seed in Region 19 and travel to Sugarcreek Garaway on Nov. 7 to face the second-seeded Pirates in a regional quarterfinal.

VASJ led, 14-6, at halftime, but a 44-yard run for a touchdown in the third quarter by Ross and a 34-yard run through the defense in the fourth quarter by the senior tailback helped put the game away.

"In a game like this, we just had to come and play big," Ross said. "We seniors had to step up, make plays and play hard and give it our all. Play like it was our last game."

Quarterback Tre'Von Williams ran for three scores to help VASJ clinch the outright NCL White title as well as the playoff berth, just two years after a 1-9 season.

"The senior class has really come together, and their leadership has been sound for us," said VASJ coach John Storey. "We knew (two years ago) that this was a good group and that we just had to keep them together and get them into the weight room and get some victories last year as juniors, which they did, and work to get back into the playoffs this year."

A 32-yard touchdown run by Ross and 11-yard run by Williams gave the Vikings a 14-0 lead, but Central cut it to 14-6 before the half on a 37-yard TD pass from Desmond Lundy to Ty Law.

VASJ's lead grew and then shrunk to 30-18 in the second half before Ross and Williams put the victory on ice with scores.

Lundy completed 19 of 35 passes for 282 yards for CCC.

Aaron Rocquemore added 108 yards on the ground for VASJ.

Ross drew plenty of attention and accolades after the game, but Storey was quick to mention it was a team effort for the Vikings.

"I'm glad he's on our side," Storey said referring to Ross. "But his offensive line does a nice job for him, too.

"It doesn't matter where we go (in the playoffs), we are in. We talked about it (getting in) early on, worked for it, and now we're there. So it's a whole new season." 

Steve Hare
Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles

Madison rallies for win over Geneva in key Lake Division contest

Madison rallied back from a 15-point halftime deficit to defeat Geneva in a key CVC Lake Division Contest, 52-48.

CVC lands 20 on Division IV/V All-Ohio Teams

The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association on Tuesday released its Division IV and V All-Ohio teams, which included 20 players from the Chagrin Valley Conference.

CVC lands 21 on Division VI All-Ohio Team

Kirtland senior linebacker Rocco Alfieri headlines a group of 21 Chagrin Valley Conference football players to earn Division VI All-Ohio honors.

2023-2024 CVC Winter Sports Media Day-Cardinal

CVC TV closes out its 2023-2024 Winter Sports Media Day tour at Cardinal High School on Sunday, Dec. 3.

Edgewood tops West Geauga in home opener

Good teams protect their home court and Edgewood did just that in their home opener on Saturday against West Geauga.