WICKLIFFE—What started as a defensive battle turned into a shootout as Cuyahoga Heights beat previously undefeated Wickliffe on Friday, 41-34.
With the win, the Redskins improved to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division while the Blue Devils fell to 6-1, 3-1.
After a scoreless first quarter, Cuyahoga Heights took a 7-0 lead when Sam Shafer connected with Kyle Pollack on a four-yard touchdown pass with 7:40 left in the first half.
Wickliffe responded four minutes later with an Isaac Pettway one-yard scoring run to tie the game at 7-7.
The Redskins took a 14-7 lead into the break courtesy of Shafer’s second touchdown pass to Pollack—a one-yarder—with just two clicks left in the half.
Both teams combined to score 54 second-half points in what turned into a slugfest.
Shafer, who completed 19-of-29 passes for 318 yards and five touchdowns, opened the scoring with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Jason Bartosik with 10:59 left in the third quarter for a 20-7 lead.
Once again, Pettway responded with a 13-yard touchdown run with 7:31 left that pulled the Blue Devils to within 20-14.
Brayden DiSanza scored on a four-yard touchdown run to push the Redskin lead back to 27-14 with 4:56 left in the third but Jaylen Bowers returned the ensuing kickoff to the Cuyahoga Heights three and Pettway plunged into the end zone on the next play to cut the Heights lead to 27-20 with 4:35 on the clock.
Brad Dieterich’s 61-yard touchdown run once again tied the game at 27-27 with 1:06 left in third.
Shafer opened the fourth quarter with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Bartosik but Dieterich kept the Blue Devils in the game with a five-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 34-34 with 5:55 left to play.
The Redskins needed just 60 seconds to regain the lead for good as Shafer and Pollack connected on a 50-yard scoring pass with 5:06 left in the game.
Bartosik picked off a Wickliffe pass with 1:42 left to play to seal the Cuyahoga Heights victory.
Both offenses combined for 755 yards.
Shafer added a team-high 51 rushing yards to go along with his big night through the air. Bartosik hauled in 10 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns while Pollack finished with three touchdown receptions for the Redskins.
Pettway finished the game with 178 rushing yards on 33 carries while Dieterich completed 10-of-18 passes for 112 yards and also ran for 67.
Cuyahoga Heights hosts Cardinal on Friday while Wickliffe will celebrate its Homecoming against Fairport Harding.