Monday, February 26, 2024

Stingy defense leads Heights to playoff win

CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS—A stingy defense and key turnovers lifted Cuyahoga Heights to a 16-13 win over visiting Valley Christian School in a Division VII, Region 25 playoff game on Saturday.

Heights forced several turnovers and stopped the Eagles late in the game and then ran out the clock to preserve the narrow victory.

“Valley Christian was difficult to stop,” said Cuyahoga Heights coach Al Martin. “We were able to get a couple of interceptions and also some pressure at times on their quarterback, and then we got a fumble. If we hadn’t gotten those turnovers it’s a completely different story.”

Cuyahoga Heights drew first blood on an Owen Schuckert 41-yard field goal midway through the first quarter and then Ryan Krajewski added a six-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 10-0.

The Heights defense blocked a field goal to end the first quarter and picked off a pass at the goal line in the second to maintain that 10-0 lead at the break.

Valley Christian’s Ja’Sean Lindsey broke through the Heights defense and into the end zone for a six-yard TD run but the Eagles missed the extra point, which left Heights in the lead, 10-6.

Heights added a Dominic Trusso touchdown run in the fourth quarter but missed the extra point, leaving Valley Christian down just 16-6.

The Eagles pulled to within 16-13 when Cameron Davenport raced 80 yards for a touchdown with 9:14 left in the game.

Heights’ defense held and forced a turnover on downs with five minutes remaining. The Eagles wouldn’t get the ball back.

“We love the ground and pound game,” said Heights’ running back Ryan Krajewski. “We just kept running it all night long and the defense couldn’t do anything.”

With the win, Heights improved to 6-3 on the year and will play at Warren JFK next Saturday in a regional quarterfinal. Valley Christian closed out its season with a 6-3 record.

 

Brian Papesch
Brian Papesch
Papesch, an Orange High School and Notre Dame College graduate and life-long Cleveland fan, has a passion for all sports. He is focused on delivering accurate, informative, and amazing information on Northeast Ohio's finest teams and athletes.

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