Monday, January 30, 2023

Skippers improve to 2-0 for first time since 2012

Fairport Harding’s defense forced four turnovers and made a goal-line stand in a 22-13 win over visiting Brooklyn on Friday.

With the win, the Skippers improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2012.

“These kids are realizing that their consistent hard work in the weight room has paid significant dividends in our 2-0 start to the season,” said Fairport coach Cameron Ruff.

Sam Schuster connected with Tobin Schafer on a six-yard touchdown pass and Rashawn Alston ran in the two-point conversion to give the Skippers an early 8-0 lead with 5:45 left in the first quarter. Shuster, who completed 4-of-4 passes for 49 yards, then threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Damon Yahner to push the Fairport lead to 14-0 with 2:45 left in the opening frame.

Brooklyn used a 25-yard touchdown pass to pull to within 14-7 with 1:18 left in the first half but the Skippers regained control early in the third quarter when Alston scampered into the end zone on an eight-yard scoring run then added another two-point conversion to make it 22-7.

Alston carried 18 times for 135 yards.

“He broke free for some big gains after breaking several tackles at the second level,” Ruff said. “These kids played their hearts out tonight. All of our offensive linemen–Quentin Piotrowski, Dominic Knesebeck, Martin Mendoza, Ethan Whitt, Mike Voiles, and Dillon Knesebeck–played tough again as they made holes for all of our running backs all night.”

As a team, the Skippers ran for 230 yards on 47 carries.

Brooklyn closed out the scoring with a 43-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter but the Fairport defense recorded two interceptions and two fumble recoveries to keep the Hurricanes from mounting a comeback.

Cody Paugh recorded six tackles and an interception. Whitt also made six stops and recovered a fumble. Jayden Alston pitched in with four tackles and an interception and Piotrowski made four tackles and recovered a fumble.

Dominic Knesebeck pitched in with six tackles and Schafer finished with four.

The Skippers host St. John (2-0) on Friday, Sept. 7.

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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