The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

November 3, 2012

Warriors put up a fight

Edgewood hangs with top-seeded Brookfield for a half in rematch

GIRARD — Just as it had been for the majority of the last two days, the Edgewood football team seemed to be fighting an uphill battle. After falling behind early and scrapping to hold their ground, the Warriors fell, 38-14, to Brookfield Friday night in a Division IV, Region 13 regional playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium.

Brookfield, seeded first, is 11-0 for the first time since winning a state championship in 1978, and will play fourth-seeded Akron Manchester — a 21-14 winner against visiting fifth-seeded Hawken on Friday night — next Friday at a site yet to be determined.

For Edgewood (7-4), the season came to a conclusion on the field, rather than in a courtroom.

“It was a topsy-turvy week,” Edgewood coach Dom Iarocci said. “Brookfield’s a good football team.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the kids, the coaches or the community.”

Edgewood fell behind, 14-0, after Ryan Mosora scored from 17 and 24 yards out in the opening quarter.

“I think we gave them a short field,” Iarocci said. “In the first half, they scored two touchdowns with a short field. In the second half, we spent the whole game in their end of the field.”

Down, 14-0, with 1:20 remaining in the opening quarter, Dylan McCaleb flipped Edgewood’s emotions once more.

“It was a topsy-turvy week,” Iarocci said.

Following Mosora’s second score, McCaleb returning the kickoff 73 yards to the Brookfield 6. Two plays later, Riis Smith outraced the Brookfield defense to the corner. The PAT sailed wide left, but Edgewood was within a score, 14-6.

On the first play of the next possession, Brookfield quarterback Jeremy Quinlan was intercepted by Edgewood’s Louie Wisnyai, who returned it 19 yards to the Brookfield 49.

McCaleb ran for 2 yards and Wisnyai carried for 12 more. The drive stalled three incomplete passes later.

Brookfield ran three plays, moving to the Edgewood 38 following a 28-yard run by Mosora, but the Warriors fumbled and Edgewood took over at its own 38.

The Brookfield defense held and Edgewood was forced to punt.

Edgewood held off the Brookfield offense one more time, forcing the Warriors to turn the ball over on downs at the Edgewood 19. Following an Edgewood punt, Brookfield took over at its own 39. On the third play of the possession, Smith intercepted a pass at his own 7. Wisnyai took a knee and the score at the break remained 14-6.

“They had a nice game plan in the first half,” Brookfield coach Randy Clark said. “They were sinking everything inside. In the first half, we struggled pretty bad.”

Mosora capped an eight-play, four-and-a-half minute drive to open the half with an 11-yard scoring run to put Brookfield ahead, 21-6.

The floodgates opened in the fourth.

Mosora scored his fourth touchdown five seconds into the final period, this one from the 2. Less than two minutes later, a bad punt snap for a safety had Brookfield up, 30-6, with 10:16 remaining. A minute later, following the free kick, Joe Clark raced in from the 19 and Brookfield held a 38-6 lead.

Wisnyai scored with 28 seconds left and ran in the 2-point conversion for the Warriors’ final points of the game and the season.

Mosora ran 27 times for 174 yards to pace Brookfield. The Warriors ran for 300 yards as a team.

“They have a running offense,” Iarocci said. “We knew that they had a running offense. (Mosora) is a tough player.”

“In the first half, our power formation moved the ball,” Clark said. “We wanted to change formations. At the half, we made an agreement as coaches we weren’t going to stop running it until they stopped it.”

Ettiinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.

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