Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Five CVC teams win postseason opener

Five Chagrin Valley Conference teams extended their seasons with a win in their postseason opener on Friday.

Cuyahoga Heights, Geneva, Kirtland, Lutheran West, and Perry all opened the playoffs with a win on Friday.

The sixth-seeded Red Wolves exacted revenge over No. 11 Cardinal with a 35-26 win on Friday in a Division VI, Region 21 showdown. The Huskies had beaten the Red Wolves in Week 9, 16-10.

Devon Dzik completed 7-of-12 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown in the win and Andy Jakueczak led the Heights rushing attack with 107 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns. Dzik added 61 yards on 12 carries with a pair of scores. Francis Connors caught all seven of Dzik’s passes and scored one touchdown.

Cardinal’s Josh Soltis ran for a game-high 160 yards on 20 carries and he scored two touchdowns.

Cuyahoga Heights (8-2) advanced to play at No. 3 Valley Christian, a 53-0 winner over Trinity.

No. 9 Geneva pulled off a bit of an upset by beating No. 8 Gilmour Academy, 49-48, in Division III, Region 9.

Kenny Young threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Luke Smith with 17 seconds left to tie the game and Owen Pfeifer’s point after sent the Eagles to a Week 12 showdown at two-time defending state champion Chardon on Friday. The Hilltoppers are the region’s top seed.

“It’s a big win for our guys, no doubt about it,” first-year coach Don Shymske told The News-Herald. “We were down by a couple touchdowns and were having a hard time stopping them, but the guys kept plugging away. We blocked a couple extra points, and that ended up being the difference in the game.”

Trailing 34-21 at halftime, the Eagles went to work in the third quarter.

Jake Wilson scored on a three-yard touchdown run, Bryce Peet added a five-yard score and Wilson ran one in from 67 yards to give the Eagles a 42-34 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Lancers scored two touchdowns to take a 48-42 lead but the Eagles wouldn’t be denied.

Kirtland cruised to a 48-6 win over Independence to collect its 13th straight Week 11 win.

Phil LaVerde opened the scoring with a seven-yard touchdown run and Gino Blasini added a 58-yard punt return for a touchdown.

Independence got on the board when Max Tarnowski recovered a fumble and returned it to the Kirtland six. Rory Corrigan threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Luke Pascarella on fourth-and-three to cut Kirtland’s lead to 14-6.

The top-seeded Hornets then scored 34 unanswered points to set up a Week 12 showdown against visiting Hanoverton United, the ninth seed in Division VI, Region 21.

Tommy Gogolin ran for a 47-yard touchdown, MacGuire Boyd scored on runs of 14 and 13 yards, and Rocco Alfieri added a 10-yard touchdown run to push Kirtland’s lead to 41-6 at the break. Luke Chuko closed out the scoring with a three-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

No. 8 Lutheran West cruised to a 31-0 win over No. 9 Toledo Scott in Division III, Region 10 to claim its first postseason win in school history.

The Longhorns, who were 0-3 in three previous playoff games, struck early with a 10-play, 53-yard scoring drive to open the game.

Clay Noble’s three-yard run gave the Longhorns an early 7-0 lead.

Noble added a one-yard run and Bryce Groppe drilled a 35-yard field goal in the second quarter to push the lead to 17-0 at the break.

Lamar Scott ran for a 56-yard touchdown and Noble threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Jayden Theodore to close out the scoring.

The 10-1 Longhorns will travel to No. 1 Holy Name (8-2) on Friday.

No. 3 Perry dominated No. 14 Triway in a Division V, Region 17 matchup, 60-8.

Walter Moses completed 7-of-8 passes for 124 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Moses also ran for two scores. Jayden Studio led the Pirate rushing attack with 71 yards on seven carries with one touchdown. Jaden Hacking, Owen Tomasic, and Brayden Richards each caught touchdown passes and Owen McKoon ran for a 17-yard score. Cade Schiano returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown and Tomasic returned a fumble 34 yards for a second defensive score.

The Pirates host No. 6 Navarre Fairless (9-2) on Friday.

Other CVC scores:

Ridgewood 21, Berkshire 0
Struthers 49, Edgewood 14
Ursuline 43, Hawken 12
Riverside 63, Lakeside 6
Valley Christian 53, Trinity 0

Steve Hare
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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