A 16-6 lead did not last for the Gilmour Academy gridders during their home loss against Division V Warrensville Heights, 28-16, on Saturday afternoon at Weber Stadium in Gates Mills.
The visiting Tigers (1-1) took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter, when Gilmour 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior lineman Charlie Shepherd forced senior quarterback Nate Bledsoe to scramble on a fourth-and-goal play. Bledsoe evaded trouble and found the end zone with 2:01 left in the frame.
Gilmour (1-1) responded with 6-foot-2 junior quarterback Thomas Richardson punching in a 1-yard keeper and then Richardson dialing up 180-pound sophomore running back Santino Harper on a two-point conversion, for an 8-6 Lancer lead with 8:16 left in the half.
The Lancers’ defense then forced Warrensville to punt from its own 29-yard line, and, without much of a kicking game, the Tigers’ boot bounced dead just 11 yards past the line of scrimmage to provide Gilmour a 40-yard field.
On the ensuing Lancer possession, Harper broke loose on a third-and-long play and scored a 14-yard touchdown. Harper then collected another two-point pass from Richardson for a 16-6 Gilmour lead with 4:51 to go in the half.
But it went south for the host gridders from there.
Warrensville’s Bledsoe punched a 1-yard sneak into the end zone to cut the Tigers’ deficit, 16-12, with just 1.5 seconds left in the first half.
In the third quarter, Warrensville kept its offense on the field for a fourth-and-16 play and converted with a 27-yard completion from Bledsoe to 6-foot senior receiver Shelton Richardson.
On the next play, Bledsoe punched in another 1-yard sneak and then tossed a two-point conversion to 6-foot senior receiver DeAngelo Bell for the Tigers’ 20-16 upper hand with 4:33 to play in the third quarter.
Later in the frame, Gilmour kept its offense on the field for a fourth-and-inches play, but the Lancers got snuffed out and turned the pigskin over on downs.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Gilmour’s Shepherd hit Warrensville senior running back Allen Wilson for a 4-yard loss on third down. Going for it on a fourth-and-six play at the Lancer 19, Bledsoe aired out a pass and Gilmour was flagged for pass interference.
Gilmour’s defense did not break, however, as the Lancers stuffed a Bledsoe sneak on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line to take over on downs.
The Lancers’ offense went nowhere, and Richardson took an intentional safety on fourth-and-five from the 7-yard – making it a 22-16 game in Warrensville’s favor with 5:11 to play – in hopes of recovering an onside kick.
But Gilmour’s ensuing attempt off the tee went out of bounds, and Warrensville took over on a 37-yard field.
On a fourth-and-two play, Warrensville’s Bledsoe put the game away with a 29-yard touchdown toss in one-on-one coverage to DeAngelo with 2:27 remaining for the eventual 28-16 final.
Gilmour’s Richardson finished the game with 13 carries for 77 yards and two completions for 23 yards, while Harper had 11 carries for 66 yards.
On defense, Lancer 175-pound sophomore linebacker Rocco Hice led the way with 13 tackles, while Shephard had threes tackles for loss.
Eastlake North 41
University School 14
University School’s offense coughed up three interceptions, while its defense couldn’t prevent big runs during a 41-14 road loss against Division II Eastlake North (1-1) on Friday night at Carter Stadium in Lake County.
The host Rangers’ offense ignited early on a 77-yard touchdown run by 185-pound junior running back Mo Morgan on the first play of the game, and then North 5-foot-8 senior quarterback Chris Molica broke free on an 81-yard touchdown run for a 13-0 upper hand with 8:54 to go in the opening act.
University fumbled a punt snap at its own 10-line to open the second quarter, and North capitalized on a 1-yard touchdown run by Molica for a 20-0 lead with 9:19 to go in the half.
The Preppers (0-2) responded with a 27-yard touchdown toss from 5-foot-8 senior quarterback Solomon Perez to 6-foot-1 sophomore receiver Brian Kellon in the back corner of the end zone to cut their deficit, 20-7, with 7:54 left in the half.
North came right back on a 57-yard touchdown run by 160-pound senior running back Donyea Ward, but University responded again on another Perez-to-Kellon completion – this one for 10 yards on an inside slant – with 31 seconds to go in the half for a 27-14 score at the break.
Just 17 seconds into the third quarter, North 5-foot-8 sophomore safety Curtis Thomas collected a 30-yard pick-six for the Rangers’ 34-14 lead.
And then six seconds into the fourth quarter, North 185-pound senior linebacker Joey Skolny collected a 35-yard pick-six for the eventual 41-14 final.
North outgained University, 349 yards to 272 yards, with nine first downs to the Preppers’ 18 first downs.
University’s Perez completed 14 of 27 passes for 176 yards, including three to Kellon for 75 yards and three to 6-foot-4 junior tight end Joey Valerio for 27 yards, while 175-pound senior running back Nick Flowers had 27 carries for 81 yards and two receptions for 12 yards.