It’s football season and once again the sports corner is here to give you the round-up and preview of — count them –“8” local teams in three counties.
Newton Falls started their season a day earlier than most of the area schools and while unfortunately the Tigers opened the season for the second straight year with a loss to the Southeast Pirates, there were definite signs of improvement. The 55-26 setback should not diminish the hearts of the Tigers as the 26 points scored in the season opener took them six weeks to accomplish last season.
Freshman Todd Hopkins scored two of the Tigers four touchdowns on a 26-yard reception and a run of three yards.
This week the Tigers look to rebound when they travel to 1-0 Brookfield. The Warriors won the meeting last year 34-19 en route to a #6 seed in the Region 13 playoffs.
The Windham Bombers snapped a 17-game losing streak last week with a 32-20 victory over Jackson-Milton. Parker Rickey hauled in a 6-yard TD pass from Matt Knight and then returned a punt, all in the opening quarter, for a 13-0 lead. Windham held on to a 19-14 lead at halftime. The Bombers put the game away with TD runs by Knight and Dillion Blewitt to secure the win for Windham’s head coach Brian Kaiser. Congrats to coach Kaiser as he looks for Windham’s first back-to-back wins since midway through the 2006 season, a season in which the Bombers made the playoffs. This Friday the Bombers travel to Mathews to get some revenge after falling to the Mustangs the past two seasons.
The Garfield G-Men tried to pull off the most miraculous comeback in school history, but when you fail to score in the first three quarters it is usually very difficult to win. The 22-20 victory for Cardinal is the fourth in their last six visits to JAG Stadium. Junior Justin McClain connected with Brian Kaser to open the scoring for the Huskies. McClain then hit senior Brandon Bella for a 13-0 halftime lead. Jason Farmwald booted a 21-yard field goal for a 16-0 lead heading into the final 12 minutes. The G-Men outscored the Huskies 20-6 in the last stanza but it was too little too late. One of the brighter spots for the G-Men was seeing freshman Bobby Bissler haul in a 29-yard touchdown pass from junior Chse Chapman on his first offensive play to make it a 2-point game, but the failed conversion gave the Huskies the victory.
Garfield looks to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since 2009 when they host 1-0 Streetsboro. Cardinal looks to end a two-game losing streak to Pymatuning Valley when they host the Lakers Friday.
Streetsboro looked like the team to beat in the County division as they ran all over the Champion Golden Flashes last Friday night. Senior Dorian Williams rushed for 206 yards and three touchdowns leading his team to a 23-3 victory. With the good also comes the bad, as the Rockets were penalized 14 times for 94 yards. The passing attack was also a little stagnant, four of 13 attempts completed for 27 yards. This week the Rockets look for their second straight victory over the G-Men for the first since 2000, 2001 seasons.
The Crestwood Red Devils fell to the Mogadore Wildcats for the second straight opener. The 21-9 setback for first-year head coach Pete Thompson had a lot of eerie similarities to previous Red Devil teams. Last season Crestwood averaged 10.9 points per game and gave up an average of 30.5 per game. The Red Devils look to claw into the win column when they host 1-0 Marlington this Friday.
Or the second straight season opener the Aurora Greenmen and the Twinsburg Tigers battled until the finish. And for the second straight season the Greenmen topped the Tigers, this time 29-23.
Ravenna and Tallmadge also have had back-to-back season opening dramatic finishes and again the Ravens finished the Blue Devils; this time to the tune of 29-26 in overtime.
Which leads to a very interesting matchup this Friday at Ravenna Stadium, the Aurora Greenmen and the Ravenna Ravens.