Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Cuyahoga Heights clinches CVC title with win over Independence

CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS—A stingy defense helped Cuyahoga Heights clinch the Chagrin Valley Conference Metro Division title with a 31-7 win over rival Independence on Friday.

The Redskins kept pressure on the quarterback throughout the game and limited the Blue Devils to one touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

“I thought both teams played really hard,” Cuyahoga Heights head coach Al Martin said. “We got off to a good start. I thought our defense played really well. It was a very low possession game in the first half. We turned it over twice, unfortunately, but on the other three possessions, we were able to go down and score. So, we had a nice lead at halftime.”

Max Alpert led the way on offense and defense for the Redskins with three rushing touchdowns, one passing touchdown, and two sacks on defense.

Alpert opened up the scoring for the Redskins with a 63-yard touchdown run after the Redskins converted on 3rd-and-19.

The Blue Devils looked to respond after the score but an Alpert sack quickly halted the drive and gave the Redskins possession in Independence territory.

The Redskins quickly drove into a first and goal situation.

Alpert then took a toss from Sam Shafer and passed it to Jason Bartosik for a seven-yard touchdown extending the lead to 14-0 early in the second.

“Our defensive coordinator is like a mastermind,” Alpert said after the game. “He always has crazy creations and he really had a great scheme going into the game, a great game plan. He coached us well. He holds to a high standard all the time.”

The Blue Devils drove into Redskin territory on their ensuing drive, but another sack stopped the drive before they could find the end zone.

Eric Mitrisin intercepted a deep pass from Shafer on the next possession giving the Blue Devils the ball right back.

Independence was unable to capitalize on the pick as Michael Tommer was intercepted by Kyle Calvey and Alpert ran for a 79-yard touchdown on the first play after the pick giving Cuyahoga Heights a 21-point lead at the half.

“We can’t turn the ball over. We can’t drop snaps,” Martin said about how his team can continue their success. “We fumbled the ball once in the first half, we had some dropped snaps, and we threw a pick. We have to do a better job of taking care of the ball in big games and giving ourselves more opportunities to put points on the board.”

After a missed field goal by the Redskins and punts from each team, Alpert ran for a 20-yard touchdown extending the lead to 28-0.

A fourth-quarter field goal finished off the scoring for the Redskins.

Tommer came up with the only score of the night for the Blue Devils on a short run with 40 seconds left in the game. Eric Mitrisin made an impact on the defensive end with a big interception midway through the second quarter.

“Overall, we did great,” Tommer said about his team’s regular-season success. “We lost to a few great teams. Best season I’ve had so far.”

The Redskins finish off the regular season with a 9-1 record and will host a playoff game next Friday. Independence finishes the season with a 7-3 record and also could host a playoff game. Pairings will be announced on Sunday.

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