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Chagrin Valley teams start conference 1-0
Chagrin Valley teams start conference 1-0
By TONY LANGE
In week one of the Chagrin Valley Conference action last Friday, Orange, West Geauga, Kenston and Chagrin Falls all checked off wins in the Chagrin Division to start 1-0.
Suffering from injuries, Orange's standout offensive lineman and starting quarterback had to sit out as the rest of the Lions pulled off a 9-6 victory against Perry, a team they haven't beaten in more than a decade.
After an early 7-0 deficit, the West Geauga Wolverines did what they needed to do to defeat Painesville Harvey, 40-14.
For the second straight week, Kenston ran an effective ground game as the Bombers' junior tailback led a team triumph against Wickliffe, 35-12.
Forty-eight minutes and more football still had to be played as Chagrin Falls was able to beat Aurora 17-10 in overtime.
Without a veteran offensive lineman as well as the starting quarterback, the Orange Lions (3-1) relied on their defensive front to defeat Perry (2-2) 9-6 last Friday night.
Austin Garcia, a 6-foot-3 senior, has a 50-50 chance to play in Orange's game against Aurora, and junior quarterback Dominic Vitali is expected to return, head coach Adam Bechlem said.
Orange's pass rush was a dominant force last week against the Pirates, he said.
In the first quarter, the Lion's front seven pressured Perry's quarterback into the end zone and he was flagged for an intentional grounding penalty, giving Orange a 2-0 lead.
"Our pass rush was working well all night," Bechlem said. "Our front seven did extremely well just pressuring them in the backfield."
The game in general was a defensive battle, as the halftime scored was still 2-0.
In the third quarter, Perry took a 6-2 lead on a 13-yard touchdown run. On the next possession, Orange answered with its own touchdown.
Josiah Rogers tossed a 37-yard touchdown reception to Julian Turner, followed by Elan Adler's extra-point kick for the 9-6 lead, which was the final score.
The Pirates had shifted and were expecting a run on that play, Bechlem said.
"With only three first downs in the entire game, we knew we had to take a chance and take a shot, and we did right there," he said. "It paid off."
West Geauga 40
Falling behind 7-0 at the 5:40 mark in the first quarter, West Geauga (4-0) went on to score 27 unanswered points before halftime as the Wolverines beat Harvey (1-3) last Friday night, 40-14.
The Wolverines gave up a touchdown early, but other than that they did what they were supposed to do, head coach Lou Cirino said.
"We played pretty solid defense," he said. "It was a pretty uneventful game. We did what we set out to do, which was to beat them and get out of the safe."
Last season, the Wolverines overlooked the Red Raiders and had to come from behind in the fourth quarter to win. This year, the Wolverines showed maturity, Cirino said.
"I would say that's the biggest difference from this year to last year is the senior leadership and the way these guys are preparing now," he said. "They're doing a good job, but I just wish they would come out a little faster sometimes."
Nick Cuthbert tied the game at seven on a 25-yard reception from Zak Kucera with three minutes left in the first. At the one-minute mark, Kucera connected with Vince Demarchi for a 14-7 lead.
With 3:27 left in the half, Kucera found Joe Ziccardi for a 70-yard touchdown pass. Ziccardi scored again on a 2-yard run for a 27-7 halftime lead. Ziccardi scored his third touchdown on a 35-yard run in the third quarter.
Domenick Varga finished the Wolverine's scoring effort with a 1-yard carry into the end zone with four minutes left in the third to put West Geauga up 40-7.
With Alex Kocheff's game-opening kickoff return, Kenston (2-2) took an early 7-0 lead against Wickliffe (2-2) last Friday to start the Bombers toward the 35-12 victory.
Getting out to a fast start is always part of the game plan, head coach Pete Thompson said.
"We picked up on something in film study with the kickoff and we were pretty confident that we were going to get a good return," he said. "But to take that to the house and to start a game like that, it was fantastic to be up 7-nothing before we ran an offensive play. So, we'll take that any week."
To Wickliffe's credit, the Blue Devils got the ball, marched back down the field and made it a 7-6 ball game. The extra point was no good.
In the second quarter it was 14-12 before Kenston scored its third touchdown for the 21-12 halftime lead.
The second half was summarized by Kenston playing shutout defense and Nick Lombardy's run game.
At the end of the 48 minutes, Lombardy, Kenston's junior tailback tallied 178 yards.
"For the second game in a row, we were really able to get our run game going," Thompson said. "He's a first-year starter and he's really had great games in back-to-back-weeks."
At 155 pounds, Lombardy is a little guy, but he doesn't run like it, Thompson said.
"Essentially, we're running the same plays we did last year," he said. "He runs much bigger than he is. He's a strong guy and broke a lot of tackles the last few weeks."
Chagrin Falls 17
Aurora 10 (OT)
Up 17-10 in overtime, the Chagrin Falls Tigers (4-0) knew Aurora (3-1) had the advantage of playing four-down football in an attempt to send the game into a second overtime.
The Greenmen, however, would never get that fourth-down opportunity.
On third-down, linebacker Andrew Winkelman intercepted a pass in the end zone to propel the Tigers to victory.
Chagrin took an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter with Bradley Munday's 5-yard touchdown pass capping a 75-yard drive, before the Tiger's scoring went cold despite Tommy Iammarino going 18 for 25 passing, a performance that accumulated 163 yards.
Aurora drove a 26-yard field goal through the uprights to make it a 7-3 halftime score.
After a 0-0 third quarter, Aurora took a 10-7 lead in the fourth quarter with 2:54 left in regulation.
Iammarino led the Tigers' two-minute drill with 10 yards on two runs and 58 yards on eight passes, of which he completed seven. That set up Alex Hallwachs' 32-yard field goal with three seconds left, and the game went to overtime.
With the first possession, the Tigers scored on a 19-yard touchdown reception by Billy Cale and Chagrin escaped with the 17-10 victory.
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