[ back ]
Chagrin stuns West G in CVC showdown
Chagrin stuns West G in CVC showdown
By TONY LANGE
Chagrin Falls and West Geauga went head to head in a win-or-go-home Chagrin Valley Conference battle last Friday, and, when the 48 minutes were done, the Tigers clinched a 28-0 shutout victory.
The Tigers improved to 4-1 in the CVC Chagrin Division and remain in the title race, while the Wolverines dropped to 3-2 and are likely out of the running.
With a 55-17 triumph over Painesville Harvey in their conference matchup, the Kenston Bombers improved to 4-1 and are still alive in the fight for the crown. They play West Geauga Friday night.
Aurora still leads the bunch at 5-0 in the Chagrin Division.
Chagrin Falls 28
West Geauga 0
Some high school football coaches talk about rebuilding. The Chagrin Falls coach talks about winning and tradition.
During the post-game huddle, 16th-season head coach Mark Iammarino told the Tigers (7-1) that, if they continue to play like they played against West Geauga (6-2), they can beat anyone.
"The paper didn't pick us. The radio didn't pick us. The TV didn't pick us. We picked us," he said as the Tigers roared. "We control our own destiny."
After starting the game three-and-out, the Tigers' game plan designed by defensive coordinator Jeff Decker was to picket fence the Wolverines' quarterback. They executed.
On fourth-and-one at the Tigers' 28-yard line, the Wolverines went for it and got stuffed. It happened again at the end of the half, when the Wolverines were fourth-and-inches on the Tigers' goal line.
Iammarino said he was really happy that his defense kept West Geauga out of the end zone the entire game.
"When you can stop them on fourth-and-one and turn the ball over, it's emotionally uplifting for the rest of the team," he said.
After going three-and-out, the Tiger offense put together a three-minute, 71-yard drive that concluded with Spencer Diedrich's 27-yard touchdown reception from Tim Porter, which put Chagrin up 7-0 in the first quarter.
"It was called a scissors pass, and I guess the corner just didn't pick me up, and I was wide open," Diedrich said. "It feels like nobody can touch me after I'm done with a touchdown. I just picked everybody's spirits up on my team," he said. The win "means we came out and we wanted the game more, basically. That's about it. We wanted it more than them."
The Tigers went on to score twice in the second quarter.
First, Tommy Iammarino scored on an eight-yard carry that finished a 69-yard drive.
Then, Marc Geraci took the Tigers up 21-0 after scoring on a 6-yard rush capping a 66-yard drive.
"It's one of the greatest feelings in the world, especially against West Geauga on our home field my senior year with the kids I've been playing football with my whole life," Geraci said. "It's a really good feeling to know that they mean so much to me and I mean so much to them."
Coach Iammarino described Diedrich and Geraci as multidimensional. "Spencer and Marc make the best one-two tandem in the league, because they both can rush the ball and they both can receive the ball," he said. "They have tremendous speed, and they are very difficult to defend."
During their first possession of the second half, the Tigers burned nearly seven minutes of the clock during an 88-yard drive. It ended with Jack Hinman's 11-yard touchdown run to take the Tigers up 28-0.
That drive was huge, Iammarino said.
"If you've followed us, we usually haven't run 13 plays without throwing it, but it was working. It was working," he said. "We had a lot of different ball carriers. One constant in that whole thing was the offensive line."
Those five guys include Alex Forbes, at center, Sam Gardner and Mike Tozzi, the guards, and Austin Garofolo and Dan Driscoll.
Hinman also gave credit to those guys. "They blocked well for us all game, so, without them, we wouldn't be doing anything," he said. "We knew we had to take it to them and just put it away."
After going up 28-0, Nathan Lelonis and Everett Dishong came up with interceptions for the Tigers.
When a team is down 28-0, they have to throw the ball, Iammarino said. "So we could play defense and play for that deep pass," he said.
"We basically got our butts handed to us," West Geauga head coach Lou Cirino said. "We didn't play well at all offensively or defensively. Chagrin Falls dominated us up front on the offensive line and defensive line."
When the field conditions called for a running game, that's what the Lions (3-5, 1-4) decided to do during their Chagrin Division matchup with Wickliffe (1-7, 0-5) last Friday. Chase Ullman was their go-to man.
The field was an absolute mess, Orange head coach Adam Bechlem said. "We played a football game in a mud pit," he said. "It took away some of our options and our pass game."
After a 0-0 first quarter, the adjustment period was over. Ullman was able to score four rushing touchdowns: one in the second quarter, one in the third and two in the fourth. He finished the game with more than 300 yards on his feet, Bechlem said. His touchdowns came on 65-yard, 3-yard, 70-yard and 47-yard carries.
The Lions had to rely on their offensive linemen and Ullman to come through for them, Bechlem said. "They were definitely the key to the victory," he said. "No doubt about that."
Although quarterback Ryan Bitzer had a tough time finding his footing, he still managed to throw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Darian Johnson in the second quarter.
It was very hard to get the passing game on track, Bechlem said. That was one time when the Lions did, he said.
Orange had zero turnovers and snapped its five-game losing streak.
Painesville Harvey 17
After defeating the Red Raiders (3-5, 1-4) last Friday night, the Bombers (6-2, 4-1) are coasting on a three-game win streak in the Chagrin Division. With West Geauga and Aurora as their final opponents, the Bombers likely have the roughest schedule in the final two weeks of conference play. Harvey was a good warm-up.
Pat Porter rushed the ball 173 yards on 21 attempts with three touchdowns: two short runs in the first quarter and a 33-yard touchdown scramble in the third quarter.
Quarterback Austin Zachem got his fix next. He carried the ball six times for 44 yards and two touchdowns: a 1-yarder in the second quarter and an 11-yarder in the third.
Michael Braun also scored in the third on a two-yard run to take the Bombers up 42-3.
Three guys continue to stand out on defense, head coach Vasey said. "James Romanowski, who really has had a solid season, Alex Kocheff at safety continues to tackle very well, and Louis Mantush is having a great year at defensive tackle," he said. "They all had a solid performance."
Sophomores Nick Lombardy scored on a 58-yard run and Jesse Phan on a 6-yarder in the fourth.
Having those guys score is great for the football team, Vasey said. "Those kids are sophomores, and we think a lot of them are going to be very good football players," he said. "That's exciting for everybody. I love it when we get our young guys in."
Cuyahoga Heights 34
In their CVC Metro Division matchup last Friday, the Hawks (3-5, 1-2) weren't able to execute against the Redskins (7-1, 2-0) until the fourth quarter.
There were not a lot of highlights, head coach Cliff Walton said. The Hawks had long drives and got into the red zone in the first and third quarters but were unable to score, he said.
"That was a frustrating night for us," Walton said. "We knew what we had to do to try to stop them. Their fullback is key for them. We didn't stop him often enough and obviously not that well, because they had 400 yards rushing."
Matt Burns scored on a 23-yard touchdown for the Hawks late in the game.
Jeremy Simmons had more than 100 yards rushing on 25 carries, Walton said.
[ back ]