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Class of 2014 Archive


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Video: Eagles rally, advance to regional title game

Thanks to a late-game rally, the Avon Eagles have returned to the Division II Region 4 championship game. Quarterback Tommy Glenn found Zack Torbert for a 32-yard touchdown pass with 5:11 left in the game as Avon topped Perrysburg, 24-21, Friday night at Huron Memorial Stadium. The win kept the Eagles unbeaten on the season at 12-0 and sends them to the third round of the OHSAA playoffs. Avon, the second seed in the region, will now take on the No. 1 team, Medina Highland, this coming Friday night for the right...    (3406 reads)

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...    (4868 reads)

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...    (5191 reads)

Pirate defense holds to preserve win over Rockets

Trailing by seven with two seconds left on the clock, Bay was on the move deep in Rocky River territory. But the Rockets were stuffed by the Rocky River defense on the 3-yard line, allowing the Pirates to hold on to a 34-27 come-from-behind victory on Senior Night at Rocky River Stadium. After trailing for most of the second half, Rocky River\'s Matt Lowry put the game on his shoulders and found a way to win. Taking advantage of a defensive stand deep in Pirate territory...    (4877 reads)

It's a TD in OT for Lucas as Shoremen clip Eagles

With the fans on both sides of Avon Lake Memorial Stadium standing in anticipation, quarterback David Winkel took the snap and handed off to running back Collin Lucas. There was nothing extraordinary about the play. It was a play that had been executed hundreds of times by both Lucas and Winkel throughout their football careers. But on this night, there was none bigger. Lucas took the handoff, ran left and sped virtually untouched into the end zone for the touchdown that not only gave Avon Lake a dramatic...    (5064 reads)

Eagles dodge a bullet, fight off vicious River rally

Trailing 49-7 at halftime, Rocky River came within a couple possessions of completing a gargantuan of a comeback against undefeated Avon. But despite their second-half effort, the Pirates fell short, 56-41, Friday night in a West Shore Conference shootout at Avon Stadium. With his team outscoring Avon 34-7 in the second half, Rocky River head coach Rick Adams said he got a special effort from his team as his squad fought back against one of the area\'s best teams. \"There\'s no 42-point play, just effort, and that\'s all we wanted was effort,\" Adams said. \"Our kids never quit and thats a testament to their character. I can\'t be more proud of these guys.\" With a seemingly-safe 42-point lead...    (5015 reads)

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...    (9192 reads)

Hardy, Demons edge River in offensive showdown

The old scoreboard at Westlake\'s Lou Duchez Field never would have survived. The new one got quite a workout. After over 47 minutes of a back-and-forth offensive explosion from both teams, Friday night\'s football game between Westlake and Rocky River came down to one final play. With the Pirates trailing by one, they decided to go for the win and lined up for a 2-point conversion play. It was a virtual student body right, with junior quarterback Matt Lowry tucking the ball under his arm, looking for blockers. All he found was Kent Axcell. The Westlake senior stepped up into a gap and stopped Lowry short...    (5127 reads)

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...    (5509 reads)

Lowry leads the way as Rocky River tops Rangers

When it was all said and done, the Lakewood Rangers had two major obstacles to overcome in their Friday night football game at Rocky River: The first thing was a 14-0 first-quarter deficit. The other was the Pirates\' newfound running attack, especially the effort of one Matt Lowry. Rocky River\'s junior quarterback stunned the visitors with 188 rushing yards and five touchdowns. He also threw for another 105 yards and a score as the Pirates won this year\'s Battle of the Bridge in a 49-35 Homecoming shootout at Rocky River Stadium. \"We just don\'t have a guy defensively who can run with him...\"    (4725 reads)

Shoremen get revenge with domination of Demons

Avon Lake avenged last season\'s loss to Southwestern Conference co-champion Westlake with a dominating 35-3 victory over the Demons Friday night at Westlake\'s Lou Duchez Field. The Shoremen, who dropped a 28-21 decision to the Demons in 2012, moved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the SWC. Westlake dropped to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the conference. Getting a complete team performance on both sides of the ball, Avon Lake head coach Larry Laird said the Shoremen have gone back to their roots to find success on the ground. \"I think we\'re a different team...    (4096 reads)

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...    (5657 reads)

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...    (5545 reads)

Best leads Rockets past Rangers, into win column

All things considered, the Bay football team had its \"best\" performance of the season... ...Jake Best, that is, the senior quarterback for the Rockets who simply willed his team toward that seemingly elusive first victory of the 2013 season. With Best giving a very gritty performance on both sides of the football, Bay notched its first win Friday night by defeating Lakewood, 21-7, in West Shore Conference action. It was Homecoming Night for the Ranger players, students and fans who gathered inside First Federal Lakewood Stadium. It would be the visiting Rockets, however, doing all of the celebrating in dancing its way into the win column for the first time in five games. \"We finally gave a four-quarter performance,\" said a very happy Ryan Gorius, the head coach at Bay, who could not...    (5122 reads)

Week Four: Demons rally to pull off comeback win

Saturday afternoon, the Westlake Demons did their best to win Comeback of the Year honors for the 2013 high school football season. On Friday night, the Demons trailed North Olmsted, 21-0, when severe weather swept through the area and caused the game to be suspended at halftime. When play resumed on Saturday afternoon, Westlake put together a vicious rally and won the game in the final seconds, claiming a 29-28 Southwestern Conference win at Lou Duchez Field. Westlake, now 3-1, finally got on the board in the third quarter when Paul Angala hauled in a 28-yard touchdown pass from Kent Axcell. North Olmsted countered with a 5-yard run by Matt Starcovic to keep the big lead at 28-7, but the Demons responded with a 22-point fourth quarter to pull out the win. Axcell started the rally with a 1-yard run, and Dakota Swisher\'s conversion kick...    (4072 reads)

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...    (4710 reads)

Fairview's defense shines in victory over Rockets

Fairview scored twice in the first half, then held off Bay defensively to earn a 10-6 road victory over the Rockets Friday night at Memorial Stadium. The Warriors, now 3-0 on the season, moved the ball and scored their only touchdown of the night on the game\'s first drive. From there, it was Fairview\'s defense that contained Bay’s offense for just 97 yards rushing on 38 attempts. \"We play pretty good defense. We\'ve got some pretty good kids there,\" Fairview head coach Tom Narducci said. \"They\'re all game tested. They\'ve played for us, and they came through when they needed to.\" Setting the tone with a nine-play touchdown drive...    (3257 reads)

Kurcsak, Novak rally Eagles past North Ridgeville

Two games into the 2013 high school football season, everyone was talking about North Ridgeville\'s sophomore running sensation, Demario McCall. His six touchdowns in a win at Parma in Week Two created much of the well-deserved attention. But on a fall-like Friday night in North Ridgeville, the visiting North Olmsted Eagles showed that two backs can be better than one. The Eagles, trailing 28-21 in the fourth...    (3918 reads)

Eagles answer Twinsburg's challenge, move to 3-0

In decisive wins against Avon Lake and East Tech, the Avon Eagles build substantial early leads and were never threatened. But in a Thursday night roadie to Twinsburg, the hometown Tigers gave their guests all they could handle. The Eagles, however, proved worthy of the challenge. The Avon defense bent, but didn\'t break, while the Eagles\' offense hit on some big-play passes from quarterbacks Tommy Glenn and Jake Sopko...    (4083 reads)

'Lil Brown Jug stays put as Demons best Rockets

The \'Lil Brown Jug stays on Hilliard Boulevard at Westlake High School.   The traditional rivalry game matching Bay against Westlake, with the symbolic trophy (jug) awaiting the winner, seems to always bring the fans to their feet.   The 2013 version, played at Lou Duchez Field on the campus of Westlake High School Friday night, certainly had its share of big plays and exciting moments for all spectators to enjoy.  In the end, it would be the home team Demons making just enough of those big plays on both sides of the football to defeat the Rockets, 20-14.   \"Hey, I know I had fun tonight,\" said Bay head coach Ryan Gorius. \"This is always a big game...    (5276 reads)

Lowry, Pirates use big first half to dominate Dukes

What a difference a week makes. In their season opener with Fairview, early turnovers put the Rocky River Pirates in a hole they never crawled out of in a loss to Fairview. Friday night, however, the home team turned the tables before many fans got settled in their seats. A 66-yard pass play from Matt Lowry to Pat Connors gave River a 7-0 lead on the first play from scrimmage 15 seconds into the game. Less than 15 seconds later, Eric Jones’ 23-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown had the Pirates rolling. When Lowry hit Alex Theiling on a 9-yard scoring strike right before the half, the game had turned into a rout. River, up 35-7, would get one more score in the third quarter on Lowry’s fifth scoring pass of the night...    (3579 reads)

Eagles get big news, follow with win over Rangers

It was a special night in more ways than one for North Olmsted Friday. Not only did the North Olmsted Eagles wear down Lakewood’s Rangers, 33-13, to move to a 2-0 record on the young season, the community of North Olmsted got a boost for its drive to get new field turf for the athletic field. It was announced that Morris Cadillac-GMC is entering into a 10-year, $250,000 contract with the North Olmsted Stadium Foundation for naming rights to the school district’s stadium. In the game, North Olmsted was led by senior quarterback Brad Novak, who ran for 86 yards and one touchdown. He also hit nine of 12 passes for with one 5-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end...    (4883 reads)

Shoremen respond, top Titans for Laird's first win

It was the win head coach Larry Laird had been waiting over a decade for as his Avon Lake Shoremen trounced the Lorain Titans 56-7 in front of a big home crowd Friday night at Memorial Stadium. Bouncing back from a rough week one loss to rival Avon, the Shoremen got back on track with a dominating performance on both sides of the football. Forcing seven turnovers on defense and accumulating 397 yards of total offense, the Shoremen showed they are still a dangerous football team. For Laird, the win meant a lot to him personally. \"It\'s always big, getting that first win as the head coach somewhere,” he said. “I\'ve worked hard over the years to put myself in this position, and it feels really good to finally be the head coach at Avon Lake. \"There\'s no other job that I\'ve every really wanted since I\'ve been here...    (3905 reads)

Video: Slow start dooms Demons in 2013 opener

This wasn’t the way Westlake envisioned its 2013 season beginning. North Ridgeville, 1-9 last season, jumped out to a 28-0 first-half lead and held on in the second half to top the Demons, 34-21, Friday night on the Rangers’ home turf. Doing most of the damage was Demario McCall, who scored four touchdowns and ran the ball 25 times for 170 yards. Westlake did not score until a botched Ranger punt produced a safety with 5:39 left in the first half. After a 60-yard kick return by Nick Moracz, quarterback Kent Axcell hit Paul Angala...    (3021 reads)

Bay's second-half rally falls short in loss to Lions

Fighting their way back from a 21-6 halftime deficit, the Bay Rockets fell just short of a second half comeback against Orange in a close 34-26 game Friday night at Memorial Stadium. After 24 minutes of football, it didn\'t look like Bay had a lot in them against the Lions. Scoring just once in the first half after a Lions fumble at the Bay one yard line, the Rockets appeared to be out of fuel. Accumulating just 30 yards of total offense in the first half, head coach Ryan Gorius had to make some adjustments at halftime if his team...    (3526 reads)

Early turnovers fuel a Warriors win at Rocky River

“Tonight, every hit matters. Every hit counts.”   Such were the words bellowed by a Rocky River assistant football coach following the team’s pre-game warm-up drills Friday night.   It would be Fairview, though, that would take such words to heart. Senior special teams player J.P. Fitzgerald applied a very timely hit on the opening kickoff, causing Rocky River’s Patrick Connors to fumble the football to the turf.   Fitzgerald’s recovery led to a quick touchdown...    (4727 reads)

Sanchez, Redmen too much for Rangers in opener

Already down 16-0 against visiting Parma, the Lakewood Rangers managed to get back into the game on a sharp play-action pass play from Peyton Graham to his tight end, Aaron Morit. Lakewood, however, failed to get into the endzone from close range on its next two possessions. That’s when Antonio Sanchez happened. Sanchez, Parma’s 5-6, 150-pound junior tailback, was playing in his first varsity game. His debut was one for the Redmen history books as he rushed for 148 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Parma’s 29-10 win over the Rangers Friday night at First Federal Lakewood Stadium. “They obviously had a nice little scheme...    (4174 reads)

Glenn, Choats lead Eagles' romp over Shoremen

Coming into this season, Avon head football coach Mike Elder had some question marks about his new offense after graduating a majority of his players last season. Thursday night at home in front of a packed house and Fox Sports Ohio\'s cameras, Elder\'s questions were answered. A host of Eagles combined for 480 yards of total offense in an impressive 41-10 victory over cross-town rival Avon Lake in the...    (5115 reads)

IT'S ON! Eagles, Shoremen resume rivalry tonight

One of the oldest and perhaps strangest stories in American history is how railroads, once the cross thread of our nation, came to be standard at 4-feet, 8.5-inches across. As the story goes, when our forefathers started building the railroads some time ago, they used the same gauge the Romans used back two thousand years ago by the width of a warhorse. It should only be appropriate then that the width of a warhorse is the only thing between newfound rivals Avon Lake and Avon. Separated by the same 4-feet, 8.5-inches...    (5381 reads)

Veteran defense will lead the way for Avon in 2013

It\'s no secret anymore: The Avon Eagles are the up and coming powerhouse in Northeast Ohio football under the direction of head coach Mike Elder. With West Shore Conference titles and state playoff appearances becoming routine for the Purple and Gold, the 2013 Eagles will look to pickup where they left off last year. Avon fell just a couple of games away from another state title game, losing to Toledo Central Catholic in the Division II Region 6 championship game at Clyde. But to become a perennial powerhouse in high school football, a coach needs to have a dedicated staff and a group of players who are willing to sacrifice time...    (3765 reads)

Demons are determined to maintain winning ways

The 2012 high school football season was one Westlake fans will never forget. The Demons broke out with one their best seasons in school history. They went 9-1 in the regular season, defeated Avon Lake for the first time in years, tied the Shoremen for the Southwestern Conference championship and made the Division II playoffs. That season is now history as Westlake gears up for the 2013 opener at North Ridgeville. Head coach Mark Campo begins his fifth season and returns 11 starters. After a recent scrimmage at Lakewood, he was asked about the difference between this preseason and preseasons past...    (4147 reads)

Rangers make changes for second season in WSC

Last year, the Lakewood football team experienced a learning curve in its first year in the West Shore Conference. In 2013, the Rangers have made some adjustments and are looking to move up the league ladder. “We made some changes from last season,” said Ron Lews, who begins his sixth season as the Rangers’ head coach. “We’ve got three new coaches on staff, including our defensive coordinator,” Lewis said. “We’ve...    (3844 reads)

Shoremen prepare for another run at SWC crown

As Week One of the high school football season draws closer, new head coach Larry Laird and the Avon Lake Shoremen have spent their August finding the players that will get them back into the state playoffs. After a disappointing and early exit from last season\'s playoffs with a 28-0 loss to eventual state runner-ups Toledo Whitmer, the Shoremen are bringing back a host of different players as Avon Lake makes a return to Division II. With returners at almost every offensive skill position and durable players returning to the Shoremen defense, Avon Lake is poised for another run at the Southwestern Conference crown with quarterback David Winkel leading the way. Winkel was a crucial piece...    (4082 reads)

Brediger leading North Olmsted gridders in 2013

A new head coach with a strong background in old school traditions is leading the North Olmsted Eagles onto the field in 2013. Tim Brediger, a 1994 North Olmsted graduate who served as an assistant for 14 years – nine as defensive coordinator, including the last eight with former head coach Mike Ptacek - has taken over as the head man after Ptacek became the school’s athletic director earlier this year. Brediger said he appreciates what’s he’s gained from Ptacek through the years as well as the legacy he left. “Mike was one of my coaches when I played at North Olmsted,” Brediger said. “I’ve learned...    (5083 reads)

Quickness, athleticism the key for youthful Pirates

When it comes to summing up a prognosis for 2013 Rocky River football, the phrase “youth is served” is an obvious one that comes to mind. If head coach Rick Adams and his staff have their way, amend that phrase to “youth and athleticism are served.” Adams, who returns to the helm of the Pirate program for a sixth season, sees commitment and quickness in the weight room and on the field this August. He and his staff are hoping what is a 40-man squad with only eight seniors can develop some depth and stay healthy and turn that commitment and quickness into victories in September and October. “We had 26 seniors lead us a year ago,” said Adams, who has compiled...    (4369 reads)

Inexperienced Rockets take new attitude into 2013

It’s not starting over, but it’s pretty close. Bay returns just seven starters and 15 lettermen for the 2013 high school football season. Head coach Ryan Gorius, entering his fourth season at the helm of the Bay program, graduated 18 seniors off a team that went 3-7 overall. There are plenty of new faces dotting the Rocket roster, but enough familiar faces to provide experience and leadership early on. For example, senior Jake Best (6-1, 195) returns at starting quarterback to run the Rockets’ pro style offense. He’ll also start on defense at linebacker, according to Gorius. While some may see the team’s youth and overall inexperience as a hurdle, Gorius sees...    (3966 reads)

Laird begins his tenure as Avon Lake grid leader

For the first time in 21 years, there is a new man in charge of the Avon Lake football program. After posting a career record of 200 wins and 44 losses, including a state championship in 2003 and state runner up a year later, Dave Dlugosz handed off the reigns of the Avon Lake program to long time assistant coach at the school, Larry Laird. The announcement of Dlugosz\'s retirement came earlier this year, but the Ohio High School Athletic Association hall of fame member won\'t be going out quietly as he will remain on staff as the offensive and defensive line coach. \"For years, I told him \'when you retire, you don\'t have to worry about finding something to do, I would love for you be on our coaching staff,\" Laird said. \"He\'s one of my best friends. Other than my wife and kids, I\'ve probably spent more time with him in the last 11 years...    (4573 reads)

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