By DAVID NEGIN
For the Star Beacon
PERRY TOWNSHIP —
Perry coach Matt Rosati tried to go fast.
He tried to go slow.
But, no matter what the Pirate veteran coach tried, his young team could not slow down Chagrin Falls Friday night.
The tradition-rich Tigers dominated the Pirates, racing to a 56-16 win and wrapping up their fourth consecutive Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division championship on a rainy senior night at Alumni Stadium.
Chagrin Falls (9-1, 6-1 in the CVC) came into the game ranked first in the computer polls (Division III, Region 9) and will host a playoff game next week.
“I’m really proud of that accomplishment because this is a really competitive league with great teams and great coaches,” Chagrin Falls coach Mark Iammarino said. “The teams that have done well in this league have gone on and had success in the playoffs. We feel like it is an honor to represent them (CVC).”
If the first half was any indication, the Tigers will be ready.
After getting held on its first possession, Chagrin Falls scored touchdowns the next seven times it touched the ball to take a 49-0 lead into half. Both teams came out playing at a quick pace, sometimes snapping the ball as it was set. Both teams had the ball for eight possessions each before intermission.
Quarterback Tommy Iammarino, the coach’s son, completed 13 of 16 passes in just a half of work for 273 yards and four touchdowns, including two to his brother Matt Iammarino (7 catches for 150 yards). The senior also ran for two more scores.
“It’s the greatest thing in the world,” Iammarino said about coaching his two sons on a championship team. “But, I’ve said this before, even if we didn’t have as much success as we did, it has been a great time spending it with them and being able to be together. It’s something I will always remember.”
Rosati, who saw just 11 seniors play their last game, wanted his young team to take notice.
“They are a good football team,” he said. “We just couldn’t tackle them. They were just too fast for us and we just weren’t able to tackle them right now. We took our beating today, but better days are ahead. We’re not going to be taking many more beatings with this group coming.
“I just want (the young guys) to see what a quality team is like and understand what they’re going to have to deal with, and become, and defend,” he added. “They got to see a real good football team tonight. They’ve played against some really good teams this year and they’re going to be a real good football team, sooner than later.”
One of the bright spots for Perry (4-6, 3-4 in the CVC) came from junior Zakary Hurd, who ran for 155 yards on eight carries, including a 61-yard touchdown. Rosati mixed in sophomores Michael Sorine and Ryan Kahoun at quarterback, and freshman Luke Farrell caught a two-point conversion following Hurd’s run.
Outgoing quarterback Cale Burdyshaw, who finished an outstanding career, remained on the field in tears after the game. He also gave warning to future Perry opponents.
“I want to thank the coaches and all my teammates,” he said. “These guys will be ready to bring it next year.”
Negin is a freelance writer from Madison.
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