Thursday, September 16, 2021

Blue Devils down the Badgers

Independence kept alive its hopes of earning a Division VI, Region 21 playoff berth with a 32-8 win at Chagrin Valley Conference rival Berkshire on Friday.

The Blue Devils led 32-0 at halftime before pulling the starters.

Nick Mroczynski opened the scoring with a 1-yard run in the first quarter and Owen Ramm made it 14-0 with his 1-yard touchdown run.

Ramm then caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Stefanski to push the Blue Devils’ lead to 21-0 in the first quarter.

“We were 3rd-and-long, so coach basically called a Hail Mary,” Ramm said of the touchdown reception. “I had a step on my defender so I threw my hand up in the air, trying to get my QB’s attention. Kyle saw me and lobbed it up. I jumped up and came down with it.”

Mroczynski, who ran for 89 yards on 10 carries, added a 22-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and Ian Smith booted a 25-yard field goal to close out Independence’s scoring.

Stefanski completed 5-of-9 passes for 92 yards in the win.

Berkshire’s Joe Barcikowski broke a 51-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Independence improved to 7-2 on the year. The Blue Devils close out the regular season with a must-win game against rival Cuyahoga Heights on Friday.

“We want to make the playoffs more than anything and we know we are capable of doing so,” Ramm said. “Heights is a good team, but so are we. We need to stay focused, have good practices, and come out strong. We have to approach this contest like it’s the biggest game of the year.”

Berkshire dropped to 1-8 and closes out the season at rival Cardinal on Friday.

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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