Football '14: Laird prepared for Mustang challenge|
The adage around coaching circles when taking over programs is you want to be the man that replaced the man that replaced the legend, not follow the legend.
Larry Laird doesn\'t know how to do that.
In taking over as the head coach for Strongsville\'s football team, Laird follows Russ Jacques.
That\'s Jacques, who led the Mustangs to 12 playoff appearances, eight conference titles and three Division I Regional final appearances. Jacques also had assistant coaching stints at Wisconsin, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Ohio University and Bowling Green...
All-Star Notes: Muldoon, Smith to team up this fall|
For Berea-Midpark\'s Mason Muldoon, the 42nd annual East-West Cuyahoga County All-Star Game was old hat. For North Royalton\'s Austin Smith, it was brand new. In the fall, the two will merge as one as freshmen on Baldwin-Wallace\'s football team.
Muldoon, who has played his high school career at BW\'s George Finnie Stadium, knows every hash mark of the turf. Friday night, the defensive end was there Friday to help his future running back, who was playing in Berea for the first time.
\"I told him it\'s quick, doesn\'t feel good when you fall, but it\'s good running,\" said Muldoon, who registered six tackles. \"I told him \'Let\'s see if you can keep up with me.\'\"
While the tandem\'s West squad couldn\'t keep up...
Fourth-quarter rally falls short as East bests West|
With 9:46 left in the game and his team trailing 14-7, North Olmsted quarterback Brad Novak found himself in familiar territory.
During the regular season, Novak and his Eagles had been involved in a number of close games that came down to the final minutes. On a cool Friday night in Berea, Novak drove the West All-Stars all the way down to the East 23-yard line as the Finnie Stadium clock ticked down to under five minutes remaining.
As he had in the first quarter, he looked for Cuyahoga Heights\' Jack Alpert in the end zone. Novak\'s pass nearly found its mark, but Beachwood\'s Julio Stevens closed in to knock it away at the last minute and...
Bees, Tupa buzz past Riverside in playoff opener|
The All-Ohio football teams have yet to be announced, but Brecksville quarterback Tim Tupa will most certainly be high on that list.
Friday night, the poor Riverside defense found out why the senior signal caller is one of the best athletes in Northeast Ohio. Tupa accounted for almost 350 yards of offense and five touchdowns as the host Bees defeated Riverside, 53-35, in the Division II regional football quarterfinals at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School.
It marks Brecksville\'s first postseason football win since the 2000 season.
\"I\'m very happy for our kids, and I\'m very happy for our program and this community,\" said Brecksville head coach Jason Black. \"They deserve it.\" The Bees, who recorded their highest scoring output...
Eagles take care of Bulldogs, fall short of playoffs|
The 2013 football season turned out to be a case of \'so close, and yet so far\' for the North Olmsted Eagles.
For the Olmsted Falls Bulldogs, it was a season of transition and hope for the future.
The two longtime rivals squared off Friday night to conclude the regular season, with North Olmsted coming out on top, 28-14, in a Southwestern Conference matchup.
The Bulldogs finished the season at 1-9 under first-year head coach Tom DeLuca, who took...
SWC champion Bees down Demons, playoffs next|
The potent Brecksville offense was bottled up and the Bees as a whole looked out of sync. Then in just 13 seconds, everything changed.
The host Bees scored two touchdowns in that span and three times in the final six minutes of the first half to break away from Westlake, 39-14, Friday night in the regular season football finale at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School in Southwestern Conference action.
Luckily for Brecksville, it will be staying put for a week longer. The Bees, now 9-1, had already clinched a Division II playoff spot prior to Week 10. The victory over the visiting Demons...
Blue Devils edge Mustangs in Battle for the Border|
Not often has a Brunswick-Strongsville football game had this much at stake this late in the season.
Rivalry aside, Friday night\'s meeting between the two schools held huge playoff implications. It came down to the final play and it were the host Blue Devils, who inched closer to a postseason spot by hanging onto a 28-25 win over Strongsville.
Brunswick last qualified for the playoffs in 2009 and Strongsville is coming off two losing seasons.
\"There was a lot on the line in this game,\" said Brunswick head coach Luke Beal, whose team moved to 6-3 on the season...
Titans finish, exorcize Demons in overtime thriller|
The Berea-Midpark Titans weren\'t about to let another lead slip away.
Berea-Midpark, leading at halftime against visiting Westlake, made the plays down the stretch to close out a 22-15 overtime win in Southwestern Conference play Friday night at George Finnie Stadium.
It was a welcomed turn from a week prior when Berea-Midpark led 18-7 at North Olmsted and suffered a 21-18 loss.
\"We talk about this so much,\" said Titans head coach Ray Hradek, whose team improved to 3-4 on the season. \"Everything that we\'ve done...
Opportunity knocks, but Mustangs fall to Hudson|
On Friday night, opportunity was knocking on the door of the Strongsville Mustangs.
After holding a 10-7 halftime lead against undefeated Hudson, the hometown Mustangs found themselves staring at a 21-10 deficit heading into the fourth quarter. A pair of Kylen Bailey interceptions, however, had given them a chance to quickly regain the lead.
But Strongsville was able to capitalize on just one of those golden opportunities. The Explorers went on to put the game away on touchdown runs by Ben Hart and Jared Ruffing late in the quarter and leave town with a 35-17 Northeast Ohio Conference win.
The win allowed Hudson, the top team in Division I Region 1 heading into the game, to remain unbeaten heading into next Friday night\'s much-anticipated matchup...
Bees turn Shoremen turnovers into huge SWC win|
Winning or losing the turnover battle in football goes a long way in determining the outcome of games.
Friday night in Avon Lake, the Shoremen\'s turnover troubles plagued them drastically as they lost a pivotal Southwestern Conference matchup with visiting Brecksville, 24-14, at Memorial Stadium.
It was the fourth straight win for the Bees, who improved to 6-1 overall. They also now stand alone in first place in the SWC at 4-0.
\"It\'s a great feeling,\" said Brecksville head coach Jason Black. \"To play meaningful games in October, those are very fun to have. I don\'t know how to put it into words yet, but it\'s a great experience for them.\"
Avon Lake\'s five-game winning streak...
Titans set the tone early, score shutout over Falls|
The Berea-Midpark Titans set the tone right from the opening snap during their 34-0 shutout football win over Olmsted Falls Friday night at George Finnie Stadium.
On the first play from scrimmage, Berea-Midpark\'s Justin Harris sprinted 91 yards down the sideline to put the host Titans ahead, 7-0. They continued to put the pedal to the metal, scoring all 34 points in the first half in this Southwestern Conference matchup.
Berea-Midpark, winners of two of its last three...
Mustangs finish strong, beat Redmen for third win|
When all else fails, just put the ball in the hands of your playmakers.
The Strongsville Mustangs were losing their grip on what was a sizable lead over Parma. But on this Homecoming Night, they made the plays down the stretch to defeat the visiting Redmen, 33-14, Friday night in high school football action at Pat Catan Stadium.
A 5-yard touchdown run by Dominic Lombardo put Strongsville up, 20-0, late in the second quarter. But two Tyler Deutsch touchdown catches later and the Mustang lead dwindled to just 20-14 with 42 seconds left in the third.
Despite the Redmen holding the momentum, the Mustangs put some periodic sloppy play behind them with a picture-perfect, 52-yard scoring drive. Senior wide receiver Jordan Sedivy used his speed and 6-2 frame...
Ohm lights up the night as Shoremen defeat Titans|
With plenty of time remaining on the Memorial Stadium scoreboard clock, the Berea-Midpark Titans had momentum on their side.
Quarterback Dan States found senior wideout Nate Diggins all alone down field for a 38-yard touchdown that cut Avon Lake\'s lead to 16-8 with 10:35 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Titans\' defense, which had forced a three-and-out their last time on the field, had the Shoremen facing a third down and four at their own 22-yard line.
Avon Lake\'s response? Easy: Just hand the ball off to Wyatt Ohm.
Ohm, the Shoremen\'s 5-9, 185 bolt of lightning...
Tupas, Bees buzz past North Olmsted for SWC win|
In a matchup of 3-1 teams, the Brecksville Bees continued their ascent upwards with a 42-10 victory over Southwestern Conference rival North Olmsted at the Eagles\' Drive Morris Field Friday night.
With the win, Brecksville moved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play. The Bees ended the night tied for first place in the SWC with Avon Lake, a 23-8 winner over Berea-Midpark Friday night.
Brecksville was led by senior quarterback Tim Tupa who hit on 20 of 27 passes and three touchdowns. He also ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns in 12 carries. Tupa\'s younger brother, sophomore Tyler Tupa, grabbed seven passes for 108 yards and a touchdown.
Senior Nick Shirilla nabbed five passes for 93 yards and one touchdown, while junior Garrett Patterson...
Mother Nature takes the lead, games suspended|
Mother Nature was not in a football kind of mood Friday night
Nearly all of the local high school football games were suspended due to lightning and heavy rains. Games were scheduled to be completed on Saturday at times agreed upon by coaches and administrators from the schools involved.
One game that did resume was Berea-Midpark\'s Southwestern Conference contest at Amherst\'s Memorial Field. The Titans - after a 95-minute delay - used interception returns for touchdowns from Jared Paul and Austin Heil to defeat the Comets, 19-7, for the first football win in school history following the merger of Berea and Midpark.
Here\'s a look at what happened Friday...
Strong start powers Mustangs past winless Titans|
It may not have been the prettiest of victories, but Strongsville sure isn\'t complaining.
The Mustangs defeated Berea-Midpark, 29-19, Friday night at Baldwin Wallace University\'s Finnie Stadium in nonconference football action. The win improves visiting Strongsville to 2-1, its best start since 2008 when the Mustangs went to the Division I regional finals.
\"It feels great. We haven\'t been 2-1 in a long time,\" said Strongsville head coach Russ Jacques. \"The kids are playing hard, and we\'re overcoming some big injuries...
Week Three: Unbeaten Bees preparing for Hudson|
Brecksville is 2-0 on the young football season and the Bees are flying high.
Now comes a big test.
Facing their first road game of the year, the Bees will travel to Hudson on Friday to face the Explorers, also unbeaten.
\"To be honest with you, Hudson is the exact same team as we are,\" said Brecksville head coach Jason Black. \"Their quarterback runs it, their quarterback throws it, and they\'re able to run the ball from their tailback spot.\"
The Bees have made things look easy so far, blasting Holy Name, 48-14, in the season opener and shutting out rival North Royalton, 28-0, last weekend. The Explorers, however, have been on a similar path...
Bees reclaim the Golden Shoe by blanking Bears|
The rivalry between North Royalton and Brecksville-Broadview Heights on the gridiron has typically been synonymous with shootouts and high-flying aerial attacks.
Not this year.
The host Bees turned back the clock and delivered an old-fashioned, ground-and-pound performance Friday night during their 28-0 win over North Royalton in the 77th annual Battle for the Golden Shoe. During a brief postgame ceremony, Brecksville retrieved the trophy that North Royalton won last season.
\"Obviously every year that\'s one of your goals that you strive for,\" said Brecksville head coach Jason Black, whose team moved to 2-0. \"The fact that you\'re able to beat your rival at your home place...
Jacques, Mustangs prepared for Tigers' challenge|
Three wins the last two years - a recent past Strongsville wants to forget.
Luckily for head football coach Russ Jacques a new season has started. The Mustangs quickly put some of that recent disappointment in the rear view with a 27-15 home win over Lake Catholic in the opener last Friday.
Jacques was more than happy with the positive start.
\"It\'s a great feeling,\" said Jacques, who takes his squad to Cleveland Heights this Friday night in the first of three straight road games.
\"The kids have worked real hard it\'s something that they knew was going to be tough game. They played hard for four quarters and that\'s all you can ask of them,\" he said.
Junior quarterback Bobby Cole is coming off a strong performance where he was 12-of-22 for over 200 yards and two touchdowns. Dominic Lombardo tallied 109 yards...
Bears overcome slow start to spoil Titans' debut|
It may not have showed on the scoreboard, but both North Royalton and Berea-Midpark came out winners Friday night.
The Bears were the actual winners, beating the visitors, 31-21, in Week One of the high school football regular season. Walking away with a moral victory were the Titans, who were playing their first ever football game of the Berea-Midpark era.
\"It would have been great to have a victory and all that, but offensively we improved from our scrimmages. I\'m pleased with the improvement I saw,\" said Berea-Midpark head coach Ray Hradek...
Titans set to take on Bulldogs in first home opener|
There will be a lot of \"firsts\" this year for the inaugural season of the Berea-Midpark High School football program.
Following a 31-21 Week One loss at North Royalton in the opener, the newly-formed Titans are preparing for their first game in front of a home crowd.
Berea-Midpark hosts Garfield Heights Friday night at Baldwin Wallace University in front of what head coach Ray Hradek hopes is an exciting atmosphere.
\"You’ve got to figure the stands will be filled and packed,\" said Hradek. \"Our student section and community turned out pretty good at North Royalton, so we\'re expecting this to be a really, really big motivator for our kids...
As another Tupa takes over, Bees look to reload|
The Brecksville football team will look a lot different this season after losing nine starters from a year ago.
Then again, it may look the same.
Gone is quarterback Tommy Tupa, the Bees\' all-time leading passer who earned a scholarship to Miami University. How is Brecksville going to replace the talented signal caller? Just put another Tupa in his place.
The Bees are staying in the family by moving senior receiver Timmy Tupa to quarterback.
\"You can\'t replace your all time leading passer and numerous record holder overnight,\" noted Brecksville head coach Jason Black, whose team is dropping to Division II this season. \"Tommy was a great quarterback, leader and person, but it is his brother\'s turn to shine at the quarterback position...
New-look Bulldogs moving forward under DeLuca|
The Olmsted Falls football team is pushing the reset button.
New faces, systems and coaches will permeate the Bulldogs this fall. The most notable change on the Olmsted Falls sideline starts at the top with the head coach.
Longtime Bulldogs coach Jim Ryan has stepped down from the position after 25 years on the job. He started in 1988 and compiled a 180-92 record in that span. Taking over Ryan\'s spot is former Westlake defensive coordinator Tom DeLuca.
\"I\'m definitely excited,\" DeLuca said. \"I\'m very, very busy, but I\'m excited and looking...
Bears look to maintain their winning ways in 2013|
There was no shortage of publicity for the North Royalton football team in 2012.
It was very much deserved, though, as the Bears won a school record 10 games and notched their first ever playoff win in school history.
The bad news for head coach Nick Ciulli is a large chunk of that group has departed due to graduation. The good news is that the current players seem to be more than willing and ready to fill those shoes.
\"This group has a chip,\" said Ciulli, entering his ninth season as head coach. \"They were a big part of last year, but last year\'s group got all the credit. And they should have, because they were the seniors and all that. But this group of seniors, they\'re playing with a chip on their shoulders. \"Our theme is ...