West Shore Conference football recap
By Ryan Kaczmarski
The Friday night lights were only partially on for some of the game in North Ridgeville last weekend. But there were more than enough fireworks on the field, as the host Rangers fought off Rocky River to an astounding 76-48 victory.
The win gave long-time North Ridgeville head coach Jeff Riesen his 200th of his career.
“I said to the kids right here (following the game), ‘Two hundred wins is not about me, it’s about you,’” Riesen explained. “It’s been about coaching great kids and working with great coaches, like I have on my staff. I couldn’t do it without them.
“I just love coaching. That’s why I’m still doing it right now.”
The Rangers (3-2, 1-0 in the West Shore Conference) needed only one play from scrimmage to put their first points on the scoreboard, as sophomore running back Demairo McCall scampered 71 yards to paydirt (Ryan Blagojevic kick) to put North Ridgeville up 7-0 with 8:53 left in the first quarter.
On the next North Ridgeville possession – the Rangers’ second offensive play – McCall ran for a 59-yard touchdown (2-point conversion failed) to make the score 13-0.
After sitting out with an injury last week, McCall finished the game with five touchdowns, including a 39-yard punt return at the start of the fourth quarter, and totaled 289 yards rushing.
“In my mind I was like, ‘You missed a game and now you have to make up for it,’” McCall said. “And my (offensive) line … I love my line. They opened things up and I got vertical and stuck it.”
Riesen knows he has a special commodity in McCall, but it is the line that makes the opportunities.
“It was one of those nights when our offense executed at a high level, and obviously Demario was on fire,” he said. “The only way he can have a night like tonight, which I’m sure he’ll tell you, is with the people up front blocking.
“That’s what we do, and I couldn’t be more proud of the kids.”
North Ridgeville quarterback Jason Lucas compiled big numbers in the game also, as he ran for 215 yards and two touchdowns.
Rocky River (2-3, 0-2 in the WSC) stayed in the game, coming back late in the first quarter to cut the Rangers’ lead to 20-13.
Then the contest turned into something like a video game, with the teams trading touchdowns almost at will.
Even when trailing 76-40, the Pirates quarterback Brian Lowry didn’t give up and ran 70 yards for a touchdown with 26 seconds left on the clock (2-point good).
Pirates head coach Rick Adams found it hard to elaborate on what he witnessed on the sideline that night.
“I take it very personally, to give up that many points,” he said. “But on the other hand, look at what we put up. Not many teams can put up that many points against this team, and that’s what we are going to build upon.
“We’re going to get better.”
Rockets get first win
Bay (1-5, 1-1 in the WSC) won its first game of the season, over Lakewood 21-7, on the legs of senior quarterback Jake Best, who had touchdown runs of 1, 1 and 50 yards. After trailing in the game 14-0, Lakewood junior running back Casimier Mitchell had a 57-yard touchdown run for Lakewood’s only score. Lakewood now sits at 1-4 (0-2 in the WSC).
Avon defeats Midview in with late rally
After trailing 21-17 in the third quarter, Avon scored 21 unanswered points to upend Midview, 45-28. The Eagles (5-0, 2-0 in the WSC) were led by quarterback Tommy Glenn, who passed for three touchdowns (27 yards to Braden Friss, 6 yards to Rhys Ratino and 1 yard to Chris Maxwell). Eric Sumislawski was good on a 32-yard field goal, and put in six extra points. The Eagles special teams got in on the fun, as Chase Gosselin scored on a 15-yard blocked punt return and Friss ran back a punt for 67 yards and a score.