The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

October 27, 2012

Riverside makes a point

Crucial PAT in OT leads Beavers past Blue Streaks

PAINESVILLE TOWNSHIP — For almost 35 minutes, it looked as though Madison had Friday’s game in hand and would likely secure a Division II playoff spot. But oh, how things changed in a hurry.

When John O’Brien hauled in his second touchdown pass of the evening, a 25-yarder from Nick Knight, and Mark Murray ran the ball in for a two-point conversion, the Blue Streaks held a 14-0 advantage. But it took host Riverside less than three minutes to tie the game. The Beavers went on to win it in overtime, 21-20, when Marcus Jones answered a Madison touchdown with an 11-yard scoring run and Joe Munaretto booted the extra point.

“I just can’t say enough about them,” coach Dave Bors, who led the Beavers to a 7-3, 5-2 record, good for a tie for second place in the Premier Athletic Conference, said. “This is just where the program’s going. We’re not super right now, but the fight in these kids — if you want to be remembered for anything, it’s that you never quit, you never give up. It’s body language, it’s attitude, it’s everything.”

When the Blue Streaks (6-4, 4-3) grabbed the two-touchdown advantage, the Beavers’ Maxx Brubaker (13-of-28, 140 yards) had completed just two passes for 18 yards. But at that point, he and his receivers started to click. After they took the ball over at their own 15, a personal foul — one of 13 Madison penalties for 125 yards on the wet and muddy night—started an 85-yard drive. Brubaker connected with his next five passes for 52 yards, and then Jones used two carries to go the remaining 18 yards, capping it with a six-yard score.

Riverside squibbed the ensuing kickoff, and the ball hit a Madison player in the face. Eric Stroski recovered on the Blue Streak 32.

Brubaker then hit Chandler Smith for a 28-yard gain to the four. Nate Vernon took it in from the one two plays later, and just like that the game was tied with 10:22 remaining to be played in regulation.

“They started moving the ball at the end of the third quarter,” Madison coach Tim Willis said. “They made a couple plays on us, and then they kicked off, and our guy bobbled the ball and they recovered it.

“That sort of demoralizes your defense.”

Three punts came next, with a short one giving the Beavers possession at the Madison 47 with 5:18 on the clock. With the help of a fake punt, they moved it to the 13 before Munaretto’s 30-yard field goal attempt was blocked with 1:09 left.

The Blue Streaks moved it past midfield, but lost the ball on a fumble. Riverside got as far as the Madison 26 before an illegal procedure call with one second left. A pass fell incomplete, sending the game into overtime.

Murray (32 carries for 150 yards; 1,070 yards for the season), who had hooked up with O’Brien on a 45-yard option pass for the only score of the first half, capped a five-yard possession with a one-yard TD run. However, the ensuing extra-point attempt was blocked.

That, in fact, was a consistent problem for the Blue Streaks, as all three placekicks they attempted failed, including the first extra-point attempt and a 26-yard field goal try in the first quarter.

Munaretto also had a 21-yard field-goal attempt blocked, moments after Madison’s miss. Jones had a 59-yard run to help put the Beavers in position for that one.

Following Murray’s score in overtime, Jones ran nine yards to the 11, and then seemingly carried half the Madison defense with him over the goal line on the next play.

“We hung in there and got it to overtime and missed an extra point,” Willis said.

“We were down 14-0 at the end of the third quarter to a team that’s fighting for their playoff lives,” Bors said. “And our guys battled back and said, ‘It doesn’t matter. We have nothing to play for, technically on paper, except for our pride and Riverside football.’ ”

On Senior Night, Jones, a sophomore, wore the jersey of star defensive end August Runyon, a senior who couldn’t play because of a concussion and isn’t planning on playing college football. Jones related that it was an honor to wear his jersey.

“We just kept chewing at it,” Jones said. “When we tired them down, we ran, we passed, we spread the field and we did what we could do. That’s Riverside football.”

“We just have a never-quit attitude,” junior Adam Horvat said. “We play our hearts out every single play.”

Each side had touchdowns nullified by penalty. Nick Law returned the opening kickoff 92 yards, but an illegal block was called. Later, a Knight-to-Braden Jerome scoring play was reversed by a holding call, although O’Brien caught his second TD pass later on the drive.

Riverside’s Nick Iapaolo had a 64-yard punt return nullified by an illegal block. It would have marked its third touchdown within a five-minute span.

“Our team played very well tonight; we just didn’t win,” Willis said. “There are a lot of things that are out of our control — things that are out of my control, that dictate what goes on in these games.

“Give credit to Riverside. They hung in there, they fought back and they made the kick. We didn’t. That’s what it came down to.”

“I can’t say enough about the Riverside community,” Bors said. “The entire community has rallied around all the students.”It’s made us rise up.”

Goldman is a freelance writer from South Euclid.

 

Click here to subscribe to The Star Beacon print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Star Beacon replica edition.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 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

  • Don A Don McCormack column: A heartfelt plea to curb violence

    Like everyone who loves soccer — and the rest of us whose interest level rises dramatically every four years when the World Cup comes around — Kevin Meier was appalled at the recent attack of soccer referee John Bieniewicz in Michigan by a player that resulted in Bieniewicz tragically dying.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • valor A valiant effort

    Paralympians from all over the United States experienced three days of competition, education and fun during the Valor Games Gold Medal Camp at Spire this weekend.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

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