Sunday, January 29, 2023

Hornets rumble past Fairport

Kirtland scored 21 first-quarter points and never looked back in a 42-0 win at Fairport Harding on Friday.

With the win, the Hornets improved to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division while the Skippers dropped to 3-4, 1-3.

“Everything went well for us,” said Kirtland senior Jack Bailey. “Our offense was blocking well, creating holes and we were quick off the ball. Our defense has been closing gaps and filling quickly. We have been defending pass games much better and everyone is running to the ball very quickly.”

The Hornets ran for 290 yards on 41 carries.

Luke Gardner carried three times for 100 yards and one touchdown and Joey Torok finished with 96 yards on three carries with two scores.

“Tonight, the big men up front did a fantastic job as usual,” Gardner said. “We practice these plays over and over again in practice so we know our jobs. A game like this gives my confidence a huge boost. I just have to keep proving my spot on this football team though. It is no time to get lazy or take anything for granted.”

Bailey, a two-way lineman, led the Hornets in receiving.

He caught one pass for a 43-yard touchdown.

“I was put at tight end and coach (Tiger) LaVerde called a route for me to run,” Bailey said. “I fought it and started to run to the end zone. I almost tripped myself up but I was able to gain my balance and head for a score. There was only one kid that could’ve tackled me and luckily I broke the tackle for a touchdown. It was so exciting crossing the goal line and having all of my teammates sprint to me and congratulate me.”

Tobin Schafer led Fairport Harding with 10 tackles and two fumbles recovered. Cody Paugh and Evan Bish both recorded six tackles and Mike Voiles and Ethan Whitt finished with five each.

“Obviously, the game did not go in our favor,” said Fairport coach Cameron Ruff. “Credit to Kirtland, as they are a very well-coached team that has a bunch of kids that buy into the program from day one. We, just like every other program in the state, are striving to be like them. They’ve built a great program that is centered around strength and speed development and toughness.”

Kirtland hosts Berkshire on Friday while Fairport will try to bounce back at Wickliffe.

Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, 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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