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Defense lifts Tigers past West G Kenston rushes to win, Orange m
Defense lifts Tigers past West G Kenston rushes to win, Orange mucked up
By TONY LANGE
Chagrin Falls' defense shut out West Geauga for the second straight year as the Tigers were able to take away a 17-0 victory against the Wolverines last Friday night in Chester Township.
With the win, Chagrin Falls improved to 5-0 in the Chagrin Valley Conference and is one win away from claiming the Chagrin Division title. The Wolverines, meanwhile, dropped to 3-2 in the CVC.
Utilizing nine players rushing the ball, Kenston was able to run past Harvey as the Bombers won their third straight game, 55-6, and improved to 4-1 in the CVC. Harvey fell to 0-5.
Giving up two early touchdowns, the Orange Lions' early mistakes cost them a 19-14 loss against Wickliffe. The Lions fell to 1-4 in the CVC, while Wickliffe improved to 2-3.
In other CVC action, Aurora improved to 4-1 in the Chagrin Division with its 54-25 win against Perry, which dropped to 1-4.
Chagrin Falls 17
West Geauga 0
After a final knee and the 48 minutes ticked off the clock, the scoreboard read zero for the home team at West Geauga's Howell field.
That's a shutout against a good football team, Chagrin Falls head coach Mark Iammarino told the Tigers in their postgame huddle.
"Be proud, that's a good win," Iammarino said in the huddle. "Be ready to turn the page on Monday."
Contributing to the Tigers' second consecutive shutout against the Wolverines, Chagrin middle linebacker Kurt Vidmer said he takes a lot of pride in the defensive effort.
"The defensive unit, we might not always get all the glitz and glams, but we love what we do," he said. "A big part of it goes to our defensive coordinator, Coach (Jeff) Decker, he does a great job for us and we get a first-class preparation."
Down 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, West Geauga went on a seven-minute, 16-play drive that took the Wolverines 79 yards down to the 1-yard line. On fourth down, Chagrin's defense stuffed the Wolverines and took over possession.
The Tigers' defense has been outstanding all year long, Iammarino said.
"As good as we're going to be, it will be because of our defense," he said. "I was real proud of them for stopping them fourth and short. That's a good offensive team with a lot of weapons and they didn't get in the end zone."
Up 7-0 at halftime, the Tigers' first-quarter touchdown was set up by sophomore Matt Iammarino's 56-yard punt return down to the 3-yard line. His older brother, Tommy Iammarino, ran the ball into the end zone on a quarterback keeper the next play.
"We had a return right on that play and the blockers did a really good job," the younger Iammarino said about his punt return. "I picked the ball up off the bounce and I just followed all my blockers. They did a really good job of making the wall."
Postgame, the Iammarino brothers and their dad, coach Iammarino, shouldered up with arms around one another as the team stood in front of the band for the Chagrin Falls' alma mater. Assistant coach Tony Iammarino is also a part of the family.
"It's a great feeling," Matt said. "I've been playing with my brother ever since I was little. It's just the same and I love it and just having my dad and uncle on the sideline makes it that much better."
Besides his first-quarter touchdown, Tommy was able to rush for 100 yards and pass for 123 more in the game. His favorite receiver was Michael Hageman who caught six passes for 51 yards.
"It's always a powerful mindset coming into the West Geauga game," said Hageman, one of 17 seniors who have gone undefeated against the Wolverines. "Our coaches prepare us to know what defense they're playing and which way they're positioned, so we know how to run."
In the third quarter, Chagrin Falls was able to go up 14-0 on the first drive of the second half with Bradley Munday's 4-yard touchdown run.
Alex Hallwachs also scored in the third with a 20-yard field goal.
The Tigers remained unbeaten at 8-0, while the Wolverines dropped to 6-2.
When a team rushes for 423 yards it usually means someone had a huge night.
That wasn't the case for Kenston (5-3) during the Bombers' 55-6 triumph against Harvey (1-7).
The Bombers' rushed the ball 49 times calling on nine different players, none of whom totaled more than 100 yards.
In a game like that, it was difficult to pinpoint something that was not done well, head coach Pete Thompson said.
"Offensively, any time you don't have to punt an entire game, that's always a great thing," he said. "Defensively, we continue to get better. We shut them out through three quarters and we're just light years ahead of where we were at the beginning of the year."
Kenston's only player who racked up more than 100 yards in the game was wide receiver Darryl Richards who had the only two catches of the game for 116 yards. One was an 82-yard touchdown pass from Austin Zachem in the second quarter, which put the Bombers up 21-0.
In the first quarter, Zachem scored on a 1-yard run. He rushed 76 yards in the game.
Fullback Michael Braun ran for 96 yards in the game including 3-yard and 58-yard touchdown runs in the first and second quarters.
On special teams, Alex Kocheff scored on a 68-yard punt return in the second quarter. The Bombers were up 35-0 at half.
In the third quarter, Nick Lombardy had a 3-yard touchdown. He rushed for 85 yards.
In the fourth quarter, Sam Gambatese scored on a 9-yard run. He rushed for 79 yards.
Billy McDermott also scored in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard run. He rushed for 35 yards.
Pedro Velasco added 46 yards to the Kenston rushing craze.
Orange's 13-0 deficit in the first quarter was too much to overcome as the Lions (3-5) dropped their fourth straight game, 19-14, against Wickliffe (4-4).
The Lions gave up 13 first-quarter points essentially because they gave Wickliffe the ball in their own territory, Orange head coach Adam Bechlem said.
"The bottom line is unforced errors and mistakes," he said. "We still outgained them in yards, our offense was still able to execute some things well, and we stopped them in the second half."
While the Orange defense shut out Wickliffe in the second half, the Blue Devils' three touchdowns by Nick Ranallo in the first half was enough to win. He rushed 153 yards on 38 carries for Wickliffe.
Orange scored in the second quarter on a 22-yard pass from Josiah Rogers to RaShaan Arnold to cut the lead 13-7.
After a zero-zero third quarter, Rogers had a 56-yard run in the fourth quarter for a touchdown.
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