CHESTERLAND–West Geauga staged an exciting come-from-behind victory over Chagrin Falls in a key game for both teams on Friday. The Wolverines scored 27 unanswered points in the second half to down the Tigers, 27-16.
Entering the game, Chagrin Falls was ranked ninth in Region 13 while West Geauga was close behind at No. 13. Both teams needed the win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Both defenses played a staunch first quarter where neither team allowed a score.
The Tigers finally broke through after a botched punt from West Geauga. Chagrin Falls dropped the ball on the goal line to give possession to West Geauga to set up a safety that gave Chagrin Falls a 2-0 lead with 11:40 to play in the half.
Moments later, a double reverse set up the first touchdown of the game.
Will Richmond took a handoff and threw to Xavier Perez, who finished off the 54-yard scoring play to push the Chagrin Falls lead to 9-0 with 11:17 left.
The Tigers weren’t finished as Will O’Brien added a 24-yard touchdown run to increase the lead to 16-0.
West Geauga’s halftime adjustments led to a 27-point second half and come from behind victory.
Peter Sanelli ran for a 23-yard score to cut the Chagrin lead to 16-6 late in the third quarter and midway through the fourth Michael Cavasinni hauled in a 30-yard scoring pass to pull the Wolverines to within 16-13.
Levi Veverka then picked off a Tigers pass and returned it 53 yards for a touchdown and West Geauga’s first lead of the game, 20-16.
Peter Sanelli put the game out of reach with 3:20 remaining, finding a hole and taking it 39-yards to the house to close out the scoring.
West Geauga improved to 5-4 on the year. The Wolverines, who moved up to ninth in the region, host 9-0 Perry next week in a game that likely will decide their fate.
“They’re a good team,” West Geauga coach Adam Sopkovich said. “We’re going to have to figure out how to stop Jaylen Anderson. He’s a great player and we want to limit him as much as possible.”
Chagrin Falls dropped to 5-4 and 10th in the region with a home game against Geneva on the docket. The Tigers need to win that game and get some help to make the playoffs.