The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH)
Panthers’ Ellis tops 200 yards on new turf
In the first game on its new home turf, Elyria Catholic played like the Greatest Show on Turf last weekend.
The Panthers scored 68 points in a victory over Perkins, led by Levi Ellis and his 223 yards and three scores on the ground.
In Week 1, Ellis carried the Panthers during their third-quarter scoring run. Ellis opened the quarter with a touchdown run and then intercepted an Elyria pass on the next possession. Ellis again scored on the ground, putting Elyria Catholic ahead by two scores.
That didn’t last however as the Pioneers came back to win the game.
Receivers Colin Ginley and Jack Kenneally also scored, with Ginley going over 100myards on seven catches. Junior quarterback Brady Cook also impressed for a second straight week. Cook threw just five incompletions and added three scores.
• Avon Lake quarterback Jeremy Dzik continued his impressive start to the season through the air in a win over BrecksvilleBroadview Heights. Dzik torched the Bees’ defense for 227 yards and three touchdowns. Through two games, the junior has completed 67 percent of his attempts for 476 yards and five scores. There’s still room to improve though as he’s also thrown five interceptions.
Receiver Matthew Stuewe caught nine passes for 152 and a pair of scores from Dzik. Stuewe has now recorded nine receptions in back-to-back weeks.
• Columbia continued its impressive start to the season with a blowout win over Vermilion. After a 300-plus yard performance in Week 1, Marco Cirigliano shared the load with his teammates, running for a team-high 58 yards. Twelve Raiders ran the ball in the victory and eight averaged over five yards per carry, including Dom Governale with 57 yards on five carries.
• Tommy Bebie again ran for over 100 yards in a win over Firelands on Aug. 27.
The Rocky River running back carried the ball 16 times for 137 yards, scoring four times. Bebie also recorded 10 tackles on defense for the second week in a row.
• Wellington running back Kaleb Taylor was a key part of the Dukes’ comeback win over Mapleton in Week 2. Taylor set up Wellington’s final score with a 64-yard carry, finishing with 156 yards and a score.
First-year North Ridgeville football coach Bryan Morgan was hoping to help change the culture surrounding the Rangers football program in 2021.
Two weeks into his tenure, the results are already shining through.
In their Week 2 game against Valley Forge, the Rangers rallied from a sixpoint deficit with six minutes remaining to pick up their first win on the season, 21-20.
Senior quarterback Jacob Madis scored the game-winning touchdown with 59 seconds left in the game, finishing off a drive that took nearly five minutes off the clock. Madis was responsible for all three Rangers scores in the win, running for a pair and adding another through the air to Kosta Thrasivoulou.
“He played JV quarterback last year with some varsity time,” Morgan said of Madis. “When you look at his progress from Week 1 to Week 2, it speaks a lot about the type of kid he is and how smart he is. He was able to correct a lot of mistakes we saw from him in Week 1 because he’s a guy who won’t just go home and shake it off. He goes home and watches film.”
Madis also gets help from his brother Carson, who also dresses on the Rangers varsity squad.
“He takes Carson out in the yard and makes him run routes and do all of those things so he can get better. You can definitely see he is getting better and better every time he plays,” Morgan said.
Sophomore kicker Bella Antonio was successful on all three of her PAT’s, including what proved to be the game-winning point after the Madis score.
“We are blessed to have her. It was great to see her go in and not show any signs of stress or pressure and knock that extra point through to win us the game,” Morgan said. “Not only does she does a great job with extra points for us, she can do a lot of specialty kicks that keep the other team’s kickoff return team honest.”
North Ridgeville’s defense also stepped up to the daunting task of playing against the dangerous running back pair of Kentrell Marks and Eddie Starks. The two Valley Forge running backs torched Amherst in Week 1 combining for more 400 yards on the ground.
The Rangers only allowed a pair of scores to the pair with the Purdue commit Marks catching a touchdown pass and Starks running one in from 25 yards.
“We made sure you had nine-man boxes when they were going to run the ball,” Morgan said. “We did a really good job containing them. We had lost a couple of guys in the first half to injury and then all of the sudden we had sophomores in, but they still did a good job of containing them and making sure they didn’t hit us more than those two times.”
Kaleb Malone ended the game with an interception in the closing seconds, earning Morgan his first win at North Ridgeville.
North Ridgeville will look to improve to 2-1 on Sat. Sept. 4 against Normandy.
For the first time in 2021, a pair of area football teams had their games cancelled due to the novel coronavirus.
Lorain County League members Keystone and Brookside did not play in Week 2. Neither team will take a loss or a win on their records due to the cancellations, as the games will go down as no-contests.
Neither team should have to worry about the cancellations affecting their playoff aspirations either as the OHSAA recently lowered the required number of games needed to be eligible for the 2021 playoffs.
The previous number was eight it now sits at five, giving more leeway to teams like the Cardinals and Wildcats — both of whom had impressive Week 1 wins and were primed to potentially move to 2-0 in Week 2.
Keystone defeated Northwestern in Week 1, receiving strong performances from their big three of Konner Rodick, Gideon Lampron and Ryne Shackelford.
Rodick threw five scores — including two to Shackelford and Lampron recorded 17 tackles including the game-clinching strip-sack.
Brookside routed Wickliffe with the help of a strong two-way performance from Kenny Grobolsek. The senior scored three times on the ground and had a stripsack in the end zone that led to a touchdown.
Week 3 brings one last round of non-conference games to both sides. Keystone travels to 2-0 LaBrae, while Brookside is set to host Chagrin Falls. Brookside will need to have their team cleared before they are allowed to play.