In athletic contests, good plays will be made and bad plays will not be made.
Sports is a matter of bouncing back, whether it’s the next play, shot, pitch, hit, etc. ...
Just think of the Cleveland Browns in Sunday’s 31-30 stunning loss to the New York Jets. Fifty-eight minutes were relatively good and two minutes were really bad.
The Jefferson Falcons dropped a 21-6 decision to the Girard Indians on Sept. 9. At the time, both teams were starting Northeast 8 Athletic Conference play, and both teams were state-ranked in Division IV.
While it didn’t work out for the Falcons that night, it did last Friday in a 34-14 win over Niles.
“After a tough loss to a solid Girard team, it took some grit to get on the bus and head to Niles and play the way the boys did,” Jefferson coach Brandon Hanna said. “We switched some things around and played well in all three aspects of the game.”
The Falcons coaching staff decided to move Kaige Boczar to quarterback and Grant Hitchcock to receiver. It worked that night as Boczar threw for 247 yards and one touchdown, and Hitchcock caught eight passes for 169 yards and one TD.
Bouncing back ... it’s a staple for sports and a staple for life.
Jefferson (4-1) hosts Hubbard, another solid NE8 team, on Friday.
It’s one of five games county schools will host on Friday in Week 6 along with Lakeside, Conneaut, Grand Valley, Pymatuning Valley and Saint John. Madison also returns for a home contest.
Let’s look at the games:
• West Geauga (1-4) at Lakeside (3-2)
Despite a 33-20 loss to Edgewood last Friday, Wolverines receiver Andrew Marino caught nine passes for 125 yards, while quarterback Finn Keenan threw for 230. The Dragons have lost two straight since starting 3-0. Lakeside will look to get back on track after two straight losses. Running back J’Shon Sanders has gained 491 yards. Quarterback Alex DiSalvatore is 36 of 63 for 457 yards and five TDs. Jimmy Timonere has hauled in 13 receptions for 222 yards and three scores. Defensively, Angelo Collazo has five interceptions.
• Edgewood (4-1) at Perry (4-1)
Senior Christian Cunningham continues to a force for the Warriors. In the win over WG, he hauled in seven receptions for 133 yards and two scores. Cunningham also returned a punt 77 yards for a TD. The Pirates have won four straight games after an opening-season loss to Riverside. Perry has outscored those opponents 169-38 in that span. The Pirates rolled up 390 total yards in last Friday’s win over Lakeside.
• Hubbard (4-1) at Jefferson (4-1)
The Eagles dropped a 28-21 decision to Poland on Sept. 9, before defeating Struthers 21-14 in overtime last Friday. Ben Wilcox has rushed for 457 yards with five TDs. Defensively for the Falcons, Wade Woodworth recorded 10.5 tackles, including three for loss, against Niles.
• Geneva (3-2) at Orange (0-5)
The Eagles will look to shake off a 43-13 loss to Kirtland. On the season, running back Luke Smith has rushed for 434 yards with six TDs. Running back Jacob Wilson and quarterback Kenny Young have each tallied three scores. Giavonni Rice leads the defense with three interceptions. The Lions continue to struggle this season. They’ve scored just 35 points through five games. In a recent loss to Edgewood, Alex Ford threw two TD passes and ran for another one.
• Cleveland Central Catholic (0-5) at Conneaut (4-1)
The Ironmen have scored just 20 points on the season. The Spartans are on a four-game winning streak since a season-opening loss to Edgewood. Conneaut quarterback Max Gleason is nearing the 1,000-yard mark rushing and passing (537 passing, 451 rushing), Gleason has also scored six TDs. On defense, Jaydon Anderson has registered four sacks. CCC hosted Conneaut in its 2019 season finale with the Spartans claiming a 62-14 win.
• Harvey (3-2) at Grand Valley (1-4)
The Red Raiders are on a three-game winning streak after defeating Cardinal 42-7 last Friday. Running back Blase Collins has gained 510 yards with nine TDs. The Mustangs continue to put up sparkling offensive numbers. Quarterback Nathan Boiarski has already thrown for 805 yards and 12 TDs. Robert Rogers leads the county with 34 receptions for 562 yards and nine scores. But GV’s defense has yielded 111 points the last two games.
• Fairport (2-3) at PV (1-4)
The Skippers notched a 20-7 win over Wickliffe on Sept. 9. Maverick Piotrowski gained 96 yards rushing and scored a TD. The dynamic duo of Ty Vickery and Ryan Croston gave the Lakers their first of the season last Friday. Vickery, a running back, has picked up 423 yards rushing and 139 receiving. Croston, PV’s quarterback, checks in with 423 yards rushing and 111 passing. Jayce Fulkman has recorded two interceptions for PV.
• Mathews (4-1) at Saint John (2-3)
The Mustangs rolled past three opponents to start the season, then fell to Richmond Edison 48-10 on Sept. 9. But Mathews rebounded with a 16-13 win over Madonna (W. Va.) last Friday. Mathews is coached by veteran Bill Bohren, who earned his 300th career win last season. On the Saint John side, Vin Narducci has thrown for 735 yards. Matt Miller leads the Heralds with 337 receiving yards. Will Anderson has hauled in 16 receptions for 269 yards. On defense, Jimmy Severino has notched two interceptions.
• North (0-5) at Madison (1-4)
The Rangers are searching for their first win of the season, but three of those losses have been decided by seven points or loss. It’s been a struggle for the Blue Streaks to mount any type of an offensive attack this season. Sonny Salajcik has rushed for 238 yards so far this season.