Week 1 of the high school football season is in the books.
There were outstanding performances from Ashtabula County athletes last week.
Conneaut’s Zack Rice rushed for 225 yards and three touchdowns. Geneva’s Brady Peet had 103 yards and four TDs, including an 88-yard kickoff return.
Jefferson’s Luke Funtash gained 165 yards on the ground with three TDs. Falcons quarterback Grant Hitchcock rushed for 114 yards and passed for another 164.
Pymatuning Valley’s Robert Verba rushed for 163 yards with two TDs and threw for another score.
Edgewood’s Zach Winchell broke the county career passing mark vs. Conneaut.
Lakeside’s Malachi Matlock scored TDs on a 75-yard pass play and 90-yard kickoff return.
As we enter Week 2, coaches will often say this is the game to show the biggest improvement.
There’s two local games on tap. Grand Valley plays at Edgewood, while Madison is at Lakeside.
PV and Conneaut are slated to host Friday games, Geneva goes to West Geauga and St. John plays Sebring McKinley Saturday night at Spire.
Here’s a look at the matchups:
MADISON AT LAKESIDE
Both teams showed glimpses last Friday, but each weren’t able to get consistency through four quarters in their respective losses. Madison received 121 yards from quarterback Michael O’Brien in a 37-20 loss to Geneva, while running back Elijah Jefferson picked up 91 yards rushing in a 41-20 defeat vs. Brush.
GV AT EDGEWOOD
Two teams in search of their first win. The Mustangs received 83 yards rushing and 77 passing from QB Nathan Boiarski. Winchell broke the county passing mark, but the Warriors were defeated soundly by Conneaut 41-6. Izaiah Harris’ 84-yard punt return was a highlight for Edgewood.
Congratulations to Brandon Hanna for gaining his first win at Jefferson. The Falcons showed good balance in a 48-8 win over GV. The Red Raiders will look to rebound after a 50-6 loss to defending Division V state champions Kirtland in their opener. Harvey QB Rick Coleman earned Division III third-team all-Ohio honors last season.
AT WEST GEAUGA
In a surprising twist, the Chagrin Valley Conference teams will not only play in Week 8 on Oct. 8, but on Friday. Both the Eagles and Wolverines original opponents canceled for Friday. In addition to Peet’s 103 yards, QB Wyatt Fuduric ran for 107. The Wolverines dropped their opener 24-17 to Bay.
CARDINAL AT PV
The Huskies didn’t open against Garfield on Friday night due to a possible COVID case. Instead, the teams played on Sunday and Garfield cruised to a 49-6 win. PV battled Mineral Ridge before prevailing 22-7. “I thought our kids played hard and physical for four quarters,” Lakers coach Neal Croston said. “We got key third down stops on defense during the whole game and on offense, we kept moving the chains.” PV captured its 13th straight regular season win dating back to Oct. 11, 2019.
BUCKEYE AT CONNEAUT
Buckeye, from Medina County, opened its season with a 10-0 win over Cloverleaf. The Bucks, a Division III, Region 10 school for football, have seniors Kaymen Marshall and Ben Barnes running the ball. Rice received good support in the opener. QBs Kiefer Mandagelo and Nathan Koston combined to throw for 123 yards and Daykon Chabot rushed for 72, including a score. On defense for the Spartans, Robert Hagstrom recorded two sacks.
SEBRING AT ST. JOHN
The Trojans, a Division VII, Region 25 football school from Mahoning County, didn’t play over the weekend. Leetonia, its opponent, had a case of COVID. For the Heralds, freshman QB Jeff Watson, in his first Heralds start, passed for 135 yards. He connected with Jimmy Severino on a 43-yard TD reception.