On Friday night, Rocky River fullback Nick Lima bulled over the goal line from three yards out. Xhuljo Harunaj tacked on the conversion kick, and the Pirates were on the board.
The good part? The Pirates had their first score of the game.
The bad part? The score came with 2:47 remaining.
The worst part? They were still trailing by 35 points.
On a cold, rainy, nightmarish Friday night, Avon came into town and showed why it will be a force to be reckoned with in the OHSAA Division II playoffs this fall. The Eagles scored 42 points in the first half and ran off with a dominating 42-7 win to remain undefeated at 6-0.
“Our goal was to not make any mistakes offensively,” said River head coach Rick Adams as he and his squad left the field. “We wanted to take care of the ball, but instead we turned it over. We wanted to be physical, and we weren’t as physical as we needed to be.”
The game virtually started with a turnover as the Pirates coughed it up on the third play. Avon’a Matt Tomlin began the onslaught by scooping up the loose ball and running 31 yards for the first of six Eagles touchdowns on the night.
River was still in it after the first quarter, tailing 14-0. But Avon put four more touchdowns on the board in the second quarter to virtually put the game away.
After fumbling twice in the first half, the Pirates recovered two fumbles in the fourth quarter. Junior Luke Lowery recovered the second one at the Avon 16-yard line, eventually resulting in Lima’s touchdown.
“They’ve got nine starters back on defense and a ton back on offense,” Adams said. “Last year, we were on the other side of it. All you can do is learn from it and build off it. We told the kids that we have a choice.
“We can go 3-7 the rest of the year, or we can win these last four games, go 7-3 and have a respectable season. The choice is ours,” he added.
Rocky River fell to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the West shore Conference. The Pirates will host North Ridgeville next Friday night. The Rangers pulled out a 7-0 overtime win over Elyria Catholic to pull even in the WSC at 1-1.
Middies stay hot, take out Rockets
Midview remained tied with Avon for first place in the WSC with a dominating 37-7 win over visiting Bay. The Middies put all of their points on the board in the first three quarters to move to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the league.
Bay, now 1-1 in the league and 2-4 overall, scored in the fourth quarter as freshman quarterback Chris Brajdic hit junior Luke Rohlke on a nine-yard touchdown pass. Junior Jack Creech booted the extra point, but that was it for the scoring on the night for the Rockets.
It doesn’t get any easier for Bay next Friday night when it hosts Avon at Memorial Stadium.
Brecksville holds on against Eagles
The Bees held a 13-3 halftime lead and held on in the second half for a 13-10 win over North Olmsted.
Senior Joe Lumpkin scored on a 64-yard run in the fourth quarter and Tommy Rodriguez made the conversion kick to draw North Olmsted closer in the fourth quarter. A 23-yard Rodriguez field goal in the second quarter accounted for the Eagles points in the first half.
The Eagles are now 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the Southwestern Conference. They will host Midpark, a 24-21 winner over Amherst, next Friday night.
Bulldogs hand Demons second-straight loss
Olmsted Falls scored 24 unanswered points and kept pace in the SWC race with a 24-14 win over Westlake. The Bulldogs are now 4-2 overall and 3-0 in the SWC and are tied with Avon Lake for the league lead with four games remaining.
Senior running back Jonathan Brick helped Westlake avoid the shutout with touchdown runs of eight and 24 yards in the fourth quarter. The Demons fell to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the league.
Westlake will return home for the final time in 2011 next Friday night and host the Shoremen, who held on for a 20-18 win over Berea.