The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Breaking News


November 2, 2013

Dragons bow at Chardon

Hilltoppers prevail in Hall’s emotional return as leader of Lakeside

CHARDON — Friday night served as a homecoming of sorts for Lakeside coach Frank Hall. The Dragons’ 49-21 season-closing loss at Chardon exemplified how the program improved in Hall’s first year, although in the Hilltoppers, one could see aspects of the team Hall would like the Dragons to become in the future.

The Dragons (3-7, 1-6 in the Premier Athletic Conference) stayed alive well into the second half. However, Chardon (6-4, 5-2), where Hall assisted before taking over the reins at Lakeside, was able to score the final two touchdowns to put the game away.

After the two teams met in their respective groups following the game, the coaches and players from both sides met in a brief joint session. Also, at the close of the first half, Hall went to the student section in the north bleachers, where the students had a banner for him.

“I’d never been over there (the visitor’s bench),” Hall said. “I’ve never been in that locker room before. It was kind of weird at first, but it’s a Friday night football game in Northeast Ohio, and it doesn’t get any better than that. Great atmosphere, the fans, the student body. To be able to play here is a great honor. Our kids enjoyed it. They went out like they should have — great effort.”

“It’s hard (going up against Hall),” Chardon coach Mitch Hewitt, under whom Hall formerly coached, said. “It’s very similar going up against (former Chardon assistant and current Riverside head coach Dave) Bors. In this coaching neighborhood, you know each other so well. Here’s what I tell everyone: ‘We’ll coach against each other for a few years, but we’ll be friends for a lifetime.’ You’ve got to keep that in mind.”

“I was proud of all our kids. Anyone who’s watched Lakeside on film knows that they’re a tough team. They’ve got talent; they’ve got weapons. And Frank’s the perfect man for that job.”

The Dragons often went with an empty backfield. Tyler Loftus closed out his high school career with 342 yards passing, including touchdown strikes of 85 and 20 yards to Kyle Downs and 56 yards to Jared Patton. However, the vaunted Chardon ground attack outdid that, with 381 yards and six touchdowns.

“You can’t say enough about a kid like (Loftus),” Hewitt said. “Talking to Coach Hall this week, I knew we were going to have some difficulties. Not only is he a good player, he’s got character.”

Patrick Sullivan led the Hilltoppers with 161 yards on 17 attempts, including scoring runs of 4 and 14 yards, and also completing 5-6 passes for 94 yards. Ben Cyvas added 142 yards on 11 carries, with touchdowns of 69 and 2 yards.

“What they do, they do very well,” Hall said. “We gave it our best effort, but they have a great group of seniors over there that went off like they wanted to.

“It wasn’t so much the X’s and O’s that we tried to match; it was their effort. Chardon’s always been known for great effort, and that’s something that we’re working to build upon, and hopefully we’re going to get there sooner than later.”

“We had a bunch of seniors who came out tonight and obviously knew it was their last night under these lights in front of their community, and they played their rear ends off,” Hewitt said.

The Hilltoppers got their other score when Joey Fodor blocked a punt and Anthony Cantanzriti returned it 53 yards to make it 21-7, not long after Loftus’ longest pass had cut it to 14-7. Sullivan capped drives of 67 and 82 yards with his two touchdowns to extend it to 35-7 with 35 seconds left in the half, but Loftus quickly moved the Dragons 80 yards for a touchdown, and then moved them the same distance after the sides exchanged punts following the break.

“We made a commitment this week to get better at (moving the ball via the air),” Hall said. “We lost some key personnel (and) that kind of forced us to go that way. And Tyler Loftus — what a warrior. I mean, an absolute warrior. He stepped up and gave us everything he had, along with all the other seniors (including) Kyle Downs (and) Reggie McHenry. They all fought tooth-and-nail. I’m so proud of them. I couldn’t be happier with their effort.”

Chardon’s Jordan Barrett provided the opening score with a 10-yard run, and backup quarterback Drew Gittins finished things off with a four-yard scoring run.

Lakeside’s Nick Meola injured his shoulder and was carried off the field on a stretcher in the second quarter.

Goldman is a freelance writer from South Euclid.

Text Only
  • run VanHoy racing on

    Geneva track star Hailey VanHoy had a near unbelievable run of success during her final months running for the Eagles.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Danielle Zip-ing along

    Just minutes after Geneva’s Danielle Nicholson holed out on the 18th green at the Gray Course at Ohio State University during her freshman year to win the 2011 Division I state championship, the recruitment process of where she would go to college began.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Maruna headed for Mount

    LeeAnn Maruna never really expected to play collegiate golf. She was so taken aback when the opportunity presented itself, she didn’t know how to respond. After all, the Grand Valley graduate had only been playing the game for a few years.

    July 23, 2014

  • Crate Late Models featured

    The Evergreen Lake Park Campground Crate Late Models, the premier class at Raceway 7, will be featured Friday night as they race for $1,000 to win.

    July 23, 2014

  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

  • TD Club golf A Chris Larick column: TD Club hopes to score

    Though its life was never seriously threatened, the Ashtabula County Touchdown Club has suffered in recent years.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video