The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

September 28, 2013

Perry falls in CVC showdown

West Geauga escapes with 10-point triumph

PERRY TOWNSHIP — Alumni Stadium was in full homecoming mode as Perry hosted West Geauga in a battle of teams that wanted to solidify their early standing atop the ever-competitive Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division.

With both teams vying for an elusive conference championship and playoff aspirations at the midway point of the high school football season, West Geauga was forceful behind an offensive line as the Wolverines bested Perry, 25-15.

West Geauga (4-1, 2-0), rated fourth in Division III, Region 7 now leads the all-time series since 1939, 12-6. The Wolverines have won the last five matchups. Perry’s last victory being a 21-11 Week 9 verdict in 2008. The last time the Pirates defeated the Wolverines at Alumni Stadium was a 41-7 whipping in Week 9 in 2007.

West Geauga quarterback Connor Krouse continued his dominance as a dual-threat quarterback (rushing for a game-high 256  yards on 28 attempts and touchdown runs of 32 and 1) and junior Abdul Levy toted the ball 11 times for 168 yards with scoring runs of 7 and 66 yards.

The Wolverines rolled up 434 yards for the game on 46 attempts.

“Those are some very tough backs to bring down. Their offensive line played really, really well,” Perry coach Matt Rosati said. “I give them all the credit in the world. They are very, very good up front and well coached. They just executed better up front than we did.

 “I think the key to the football game was that we needed to control the football. We came out in the third quarter and took off six minutes and we had fourth and 2 and then had a delay-of-game call. That really broke our back. We gave it back to them and they scored. Any points out of that and it could have been a really big difference. We knew we just couldn’t let them have it because they are very explosive. We didn’t convert when we needed to (tonight). Our kids played hard and this was a big game for them.”

The Wolverines’ defense became the first team this season to halt the Perry running attack as it came in averaging 262.8 per a game and was held to just 69 yards on 36 attempts while getting four sacks.

“While our defense gave up some touchdowns in the first half they have got to make plays,” West Geauga coach Lou Cirino said. “At any game of football from high school to pro, you have to stop the run and in the second half, I am very proud of our defense. Especially in the second half, holding them to 15 points. Your offense should be able to win that game.”

However, Perry also grew leaps and bounds throwing the ball as Ryan Kahoun was 15 for 23 for 187 yards with big targets Luke Farrell with a 3-yard scoring reception and Zak Buschler (5 catches, 33 yards) with Zak Hurd totaling 56 receiving yards.

“I was very pleased with them, though,” Rosati said. “Those two guys (Farrell and Buschler) are big (6-foot-5 and 6-3) and they can make some plays. We keep giving them more and more (as we progress this year).”

West Geauga led 6-0 after going 74 yards in eight plays at the 9:02 mark of the first quarter with Krouse maneuvering his way to a 32-yard scamper, but the extra point failed.

After stopping West Geauga at the 12 the Pirates went 88 yards on 12 plays and time of possession of 5:48 to take the lead with 7:12 to play in the second quarter. Kahoun hit Farrell with a pop-pass for 3 yards with Alec Schenks booting the try for a 7-6 lead.

The Wolverines went ahead with 1:23 left in the half on a short 4-play drive of 62 yards with Levy gaining 40 on three carries and getting to the end zone from the 9. Krouse accounted for the other 22 yards but was stopped on the conversion run for the 12-7 advantage.

Perry went with the hurry-up and with the help of a key 23-yard pass play to Farrell from Kahoun had first and goal from the 8, and with the help of an interference call  on West Geauga and would eventually score from the 4 was Zak Hurd went over the goal line with just 17.7 seconds left before intermission. Buschler caught the conversion pass in the left corner as the Pirates led 15-12.

To start the third, Perry used up just over six minutes to come up empty after a delay of game penalty and loss of downs at the West Geauga 22.

The Wolverines marched right down the field and went to pay dirt with a nifty 10-play drive capped by Krouse slicing in on 4th-and –goal at the 1 with Brendan Judson making the PAT to lead, 19-15.

West Geauga’s defense with the help of linebacker Nick Rakich sacked Kahoun on a fourth-and-5 at the Wolverines’ 29 with 10:43 remaining. On the next play from scrimmage for West Geauga it basically sealed the game as Levy sailed to a 66-yard TD gallop as the extra point try was blocked.

Perry tried to close the gap but again in the fourth but could not connect after a pass attempt on a fake field goal went for naught on a 4th-and-4 from the 4-yard line.

“There are more big games to play,” Rosati concluded. “If we can knock someone off it’s a world of computer points.”

Hall is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.

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