Your neighborhood high school sports source! - News: Week Nine: Area teams inch closer to the playoffs
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Week Nine: Area teams inch closer to the playoffs
Week Nine: Area teams inch closer to the playoffsStory by Jim Horvath
Photos by Larry Bennet

With nine weeks of the 2012 high school football season in the books, the postseason prospects of four Westshore area teams continued to look bright.

In Division II Region 6, Avon and Westlake continued their winning ways.

Avon, behind a five-touchdown performance by Michigan recruit Ross Douglas, scored the last 21 points of the game and left Rocky River with a 42-21 West Shore Conference win. The Eagles, now 8-1, started the night as the No. 5 team in the region and all alone in first place in the WSC.

And Westlake, the No. 3 team in the region heading into itís game with Berea, got four touchdowns from Logan Paul on the way to a 35-8 shellacking of the Braves at Lou Duchez Field. The Demons also moved to 8-1 and remained tied with Avon Lake and Brecksville for first place in the Southwestern Conference.

Speaking of the Shoremen, they held off a strong challenge from Olmsted Falls and survived with a 21-17 win. Avon Lake, now 7-2 overall, was the No. 6 team in Division I Region 2 coming into Friday nightís games.

And in the Division I Region 1 meatgrinder, North Olmsted kept itís playoff hopes alive with a 22-0 road win at Amherst. The Eagles, holding on to the eighth and final spot in the region, moved to 7-2 on the season.

Hereís a look at what happened at Friday nightís games:

Westlake 35, Berea 8

Paul again was a workhorse for the Demons, carrying the ball 30 times for 226 yards and the four touchdowns as Westlake won itís fifth straight game.

The Westlake senior got his night rolling in the first quarter on a 28-yard touchdown run, then added a 10-yard scoring run in the second quarter to push Westlake out to a 20-0 halftime lead. The Demons also scored on a first-quarter touchdown run by junior quarterback Kent Axcell from 10 yards out.

After a Berea touchdown opened the scoring in the third quarter, Paul struck again from 29 yards out. Bryan Mackenzie scored the 2-point conversion, and the Demons had a 28-8 advantage.

In the fourth quarter, Paul capped off the scoring with a 2-yard push into the end zone. Sean Bigley made his third conversion kick of the night as the Demons improved to 5-1 in the SWC. Defensively, Shawn Turk had his sixth interception of the season.

Playoff Outlook: No. 4 Mansfield Senior beat Lexington 40-21; No. 5 Avon defeated Rocky River 42-21; No. 6 Midview defeated Elyria Catholic 28-7; No. 7 Perrysburg roughed up Bowling Green 63-7; No. 8 Mansfield Madison defeated Ashland 30-23.

Up next: Westlake will host Brecksville with no less than a share of first place in the SWC on the line. The Demons will also be playing for home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

North Olmsted 22, Amherst 0

A big second quarter inched the Eagles another step closer to a possible playoff spot.

The North Olmsted offense put 20 points on the Memorial Field scoreboard in the second quarter, while the defense pitched a complete game shutout. The Eagle D forced a pair of Comet fumbles, picked off two passes and scored a safety in the fourth quarter when Amherst was called for intentional grounding in the end zone.

In the second quarter, junior quarterback Brad Novak opened the scoring with an 8-yard touchdown run. Tommy Rodriguez made the conversion kick, and the Eagles had the lead for good early on at 7-0.

Rodriguez scored the next seven points for the Orange and Black, hauling in an 11-yard scoring strike from Novak and adding another conversion kick. Senior Mike Starcovic finished the Eaglesí second-quarter onslaught with a 4-yard run to paydirt.

Statistically, Novak ran the ball for 55 yards and passed for another 88. Rodriguez had three receptions for 40 yards, while Tom Sutton helped his team control the ball in the second half with 77 yards on just seven carries.

Playoff Outlook: No. 6 Mentor pounded Strongsville 54-7; No. 7 Austintown-Fitch defeated Uniontown Lake 28-6; No. 9 Cleveland Heights beat Lorain 41-13; No. 10 Euclid defeated Maple Heights 28-20. No. 11 Shaker Heights hosts Garfield Heights Saturday afternoon.

Up next: North Olmsted travels to Olmsted Falls.

Avon Lake 21, Olmsted Falls 17

The Shoremen, trailing 17-14 late in the third quarter, took the lead on a Wyatt Ohm touchdown run and held on thanks to a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions from Jimmy Hessel.

Hessel, who now has eight interceptions this season, also scored Avon Lakeís first touchdown. That came in the first quarter on a 13-yard run. Tight end Kyle Kuhar brought in a 43-yard touchdown pass from David Winkel in the third quarter to tie the game at 14-14.

Olmsted Falls took that 17-14 lead on a 28-yard field goal from Chris Fox prior to Ohmís 2-yard, game-winning touchdown run. Ohm finished the game with 158 yards rushing, while Mike Gibb registered 224 yards on the ground for the Bulldogs.

Playoff Outlook: No. 4 Nordonia lost to Medina Highland 22-20; No. 5 Canton McKinley defeated Youngstown Boardman 53-14; No. 7 Hudson fell to Elyria 26-16; No. 8 North Canton Hoover beat GlenOak 33-20; No. 9 Brunswick defeated Solon 31-19.

Up Next. The Shoremen close out the regular season at home against Amherst. A win would give them at least a share of the programís 15th SWC crown in the past 16 seasons.

Bay 13, North Ridgeville 12

The Rockets finally got their first WSC win of the season on the road. After three conference defeats coming in the final quarter, Bay pulled off some late-game magic of itís own.

Bay, down 12-0, scored in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by Andy Barbour. Alec White made the conversion kick, and the Rockets were back in the game at 12-7.

In the fourth quarter, quarterback Jake Best hit Scott Rapps on an 8-yard scoring pass that gave the Rockets the lead. Ryan Voiers helped out with 56 yards rushing, but the Rangers aided the Bay cause as well with 60 yards in penalties.

A facemask call against the Rangers led to the Rocketsí winning touchdown.

Southwestern Conference Standings
1. Westlake 5-1 (8-1); 2. Avon Lake 5-1 (7-2); 3. Brecksville 5-1 (5-4); 4. North Olmsted 4-2 (7-2); 5. Midpark 2-4 (5-4); 6. Berea 1-5 (3-6); 6. Amherst 1-5 (2-7); 8. Olmsted Falls 1-5 (1-8)

Friday Night Scores
Avon Lake 21, Olmsted Falls 17
Brecksville 30, Midpark 26
North Olmsted 22, Amherst 0
Westlake 35, Berea 8

West Shore Conference Standings
1. Avon 6-0 (8-1); 2. Midview 5-1 (8-1); 3. Rocky River 4-2 (5-4); 4. Elyria Catholic 3-3 (5-4); 5. Lakewood 3-3 (4-5); 6. Bay 1-5 (3-6); 7. North Ridgeville 1-5 (1-8); 8. Vermilion 1-5 (2-7)

Friday Nightís Scores
Avon 42, Rocky River 21
Bay 13, North Ridgeville 12
Lakewood 38, Vermilion 0
Midview 28, Elyria Catholic 7

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