By JON HALL
For the Star Beacon
PAINESVILLE TOWNSHIP —
Two offenses were in real form Friday night at Riverside Stadium.
However, West Geauga had a little more potency and their defense made two key interceptions on consecutive possessions in the third period to blow it open as the Wolverines outscored the Beavers, 48-29, in non-conference action.
The main culprits in Riverside’s loss was West Geauga senior quarterback Connor Krouse (15 carries, 175 yards rushing, 3 TDs) and running back Abdul Levy (9 carries, 126 yards, 2 TDs) as the Wolverines remain undefeated at 2-0.
With Riverside quarterback Maxx Brubaker sidelined after a knee injury knocked him out of action early last week, sophomore Nick Fitzgerald (16 of 23, 273 yards, 3 INTs, 3 TDs) and did a commendable job in his first varsity start for Beavers’ fourth-year coach Dave Bors. “There was a lot of improvement that I am very excited about,” Bors said. “We lost another two-way lineman. So now we have two of them out. We had a sophomore QB who came in an improved. When you have a good team like West Geauga coming in there are no breaks.
“Not a lot of room for mistakes and coming up for air. We traded punches with them and our guys were fighting with them. We are not going to cry about this one, but get back to work like we always do. It’s a long season yet and we’ve been here before as our team is resilient.
“This is (West Geauga’s) year and we tried to go after them (down just 20-14 in the second quarter). Our kids will never be fearful of making mistakes. We tried to take shots with plays with Fitzgerald and we can’t get upset about a couple of picks. We have to give a lot of credit to our kids who really care out here.”
The Wolverines went up, 14-0, after a quarter on drives of 80 and 72 yards. The Beavers (0-2) came back in the second with a 16-play, 60- yard rendition as it took three plays from the 4 to hit the goal line. Marcus Jones jumped over the pile for the score.
Lousy field position didn’t hurt West Geauga. They went over again at 5:29 to in the half as Krouse zig-zagged his way to the end zone, but the extra point try was blocked.
Riverside countered that at 3:13 with Fitzpatrick throwing a screen pass to Pat Remington for a 41-yard score.
However, Krouse, on second and 2 at the 29, broke the line of scrimmage and dashed to a 71-yard touchdown.
The Beavers opened the second half with a scoring drive of 70 yards as Joe McDonald was wide open and hauled in a 49-yard TD pass from Fitzgerald.
The Wolverines got interceptions from Curt Williams and another by David Wofhope and capitalize with two scores to end the third as Carmen Engoglia had runs of 13 and 7.
In the fourth, Fitzpatrick connected with Jones for a 26-yard touchdown and a two-point pass to Adam Horvat to close out the scoring.
Hall is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.