Westlake went into hostile territory last Friday night looking to open the season with a victory, but the North Ridgeville Rangers had another outcome in mind.
After an evenly matched first half, North Ridgeville came out in the third quarter and completely dominated for the rest of the game. The Rangers scored 20 unanswered points and their defense pitched a second half shutout to win the game, 34-9.
The Rangers scored in the opening drive of the game on a 57-yard run up the middle by junior Paul Sonego. As soon as he broke through the line it was a mere footrace to the end zone.
On the ensuing kickoff Demon senior running back Jonathan Brick returned the ball 57 yards to give Westlake great field position on the North Ridgeville 18. Seven plays later Brick would find the end zone on a two-yard scamper. Westlake missed the extra point, making the score 7-6 in favor of the home team at the end of the first quarter.
With 10:02 left in the first half, Westlake would add a 40-yard field goal by senior Alec Ferrell to go up, 9-7.
North Ridgeville would take back the lead for good on a 13-yard touchdown run by Sonego with 1:15 left in the half. The Rangers lined up for a two-point conversion, but took a delay of game penalty and settled for kicking the extra point to go into halftime with the score 14-9.
After the Demons went three-and-out to start the second half, North Ridgeville scored three touchdowns to close out the game.
The first score of the second half came on a 9-yard scramble by Rangers’ senior quarterback P.J Bunevich with 8:06 left in the third quarter. Bunevich scored on another quarterback keeper from five yards out with 1:21 left in the third quarter. The final touchdown was scored by Rangers’ junior wide receiver Zack Bowden from seven yards out. His brother David Bowden kicked his fourth extra point in the game to make the final score 34-9.
The Demons could not get anything going with the spread offense in the second half. It seemed North Ridgeville made the proper half-time adjustments to stymie Westlake’s offensive production.
“I think the kids are understanding it (the spread offense) a little bit more as we go through practice,” said Demons head coach Mark Campo. “I think our offense will give us a chance to make some plays, keep moving the football and keep defenses unbalanced. We just need to get better on both sides of the ball, and we will.”
Westlake has its home opener this Friday against Bay, which lost to Orange High School last week, 14-10.
“To win our home opener, we have to eliminate the mistakes and penalties,” said Campo. “We need to get better at controlling both sides of the line (of scrimmage), and defensively we need to tackle better.”
· North Olmsted 27, Valley Forge 0
N.O.- Bradley Novak with 4 touchdown passes
· Bedford 49, Olmsted Falls 10
O.F.- Brennan Laird with 3 rushing touchdowns
· Orange 14, Bay 10
Bay- Ryan Voiers with a 75-yard interception for t.d.
· Rocky River 21, Fairview 7
R.R.- Andreas Tjotjos with 2 rushing touchdowns
F- Doherty with a rushing touchdown
· Firelands 35, Lutheran West 14