By Ryan Kaczmarski
The day started out with a party and a picnic to dedicate the new artificial turf at the football stadium, but ended with defeat for LUTHERAN WEST as visiting Hawken High School won 21-13, in the Longhorns’ home (and field) opener.
Hawken ended the festivities early. Hawks’ junior running back Khari Anderson rushed for two touchdowns, one in each of the first two quarters, to give the Hawks a 14-0 lead with only a few minutes left in the first half.
With time running short for the Longhorn in the second quarter, Lutheran West head coach Dave Stupka unleashed his no-huddle offense. The change in philosophy sparked the Longhorns and gave them their first scoring drive, capped by a 1-yard keeper by quarterback Greg Kunze to make the score 14-7 going into the half.
Lutheran West stayed with the no-huddle for the rest of the game, scoring on another Kunze 1-yard run (PAT failed) to draw within one point, 14-13.
Hawken put the game away with a late touchdown (with 2:04 left on the clock), and came up with a big defensive stop, to make the final score 21-13.
“We have to give credit to Hawken,” Stupka said. “They played a better football game than we did tonight, and that’s why they won.
“Our players gave a great effort and left everything out on the field, but we’ve got to get better,” he added. “We felt that our advantage going into the game was our depth, but we just couldn’t take advantage of some opportunities that we had and it’s back to work tomorrow morning.”
Lutheran West (1-1) will try to bounce back when the Longhorns face Independence at home on Friday at 7 p.m.
AROUND THE WESTSHORE
WESTLAKE (2-0) defeated BAY (1-1), 13-3, to keep the “Little Brown Jug” for another year. Logan Paul rushed for 84 yards and two touchdowns for the Demons. Bay quarterback Jake Best led all rushing in the game with 119 yards.
The Demons will visit Rocky River Friday at 7 p.m. The Rockets will visit Fairview Friday at 7 p.m.
Highland trounced OLMSTED FALLS (0-2), 28-7.
The Bulldogs will travel to Mayfield Friday at 7 p.m.
Cuyahoga Heights beat FAIRVIEW (0-2), 34-13. Scoring for the Warriors was junior quarterback Jason Kish, with a 2-yard run (PAT blocked), and Ryan Williams, with a 13-yard run.
The Warriors will host Bay Friday at 7 p.m.
Parma downed ROCKY RIVER (1-1), 26-21.
The Pirates will host Westlake Friday at 7 p.m.