By Sean Duffy
Rocky River, OH- We have three weeks left in the 2019 High School Football regular season. Our game of the week features a Great Lake Conference between the Bay Rockets (5-2, 4-2) and the Rocky River Pirates (5-2, 4-2). Both teams have identical records, but very different roads to travel in the Division III Region 10 playoff race. According to the unofficial standings on joeeitel.com, Bay currently sits at #6 in the region, Rocky River sits at #11. A win for each will increase their chances of making it into the top 8 at the end of the year, while a loss makes that road to the playoffs much more difficult. Conference rivals, playoff implications for each team, what more could you ask for in Week 8?
Bay got the ball to start things off, it was clear from the beginning that they were going to utilize the run game, specifically RB Nick Buttari. Buttari would carry the ball all of the drives 65 yds including the final two yards in to the end zone for a touchdown. The Rockets were out to a 7-0 lead with 9:07 remaining in the quarter. Rocky River would put together their own 65 yd scoring drive, they would also rely on the ball toting skills of their RB Tommy Bebie would score from 3 yds out. A missed extra point made the score 7-6 in favor of the Rockets. Both teams defenses would settle in and not allow another point to be scored in the quarter.
Rocky River seized momentum as the second quarter began, stopping the Rockets on fourth down. However they would cede that momentum back to Bay as QB Braedon Spies was intercepted and then returned for 46 yds to set up the Rockets deep in Pirate territory. Four plays later Bay QB Logan LaMere would plunge into the end zone for a 1 yd TD, a missed extra point made the score 13-6 with 5:37 remaining in the half. Rocky River was beginning to find some offensive rhythm and was set up in Rocket territory, however Bay would stop the pirates on a 4th and inches and take over on downs. Two plays later Rockets QB Logan LaMere would connect with WR Cullen Gergye for a 66 yd TD Pass. a made extra point made the score 20-6 with 2:09 remaining in half. The pirates would run their two minute offense to perfection, going 71 yds in less that 1:30. Rocky River would score on a 36 yd TD pass from QB Braedon Spies to WR Owen Bebie , the two would connect again to convert the two point attempt. As the half came to an end the Rockets led 20-14, Rocky River would receive the 2nd half kickoff.
Rocky River started the half on their own 20 yd line and QB Braendon Spies would lead the rushing attack along with RB Tommy Bebie to get the ball all the way to the Rockets 3 yd line. Bay’s Defense would not let the Pirates invade any further, holding them to a 20 yd field goal by Tommy Bebie, to make the score 20-17 with 6:51 remaining in the quarter. As in the first quarter the defensive units for each team were able to impose their will and not allow any further points. As the third quarter came to end Bay led 20-17.
The Rockets would the ball to open the fourth quarter already on the 25 yd line of Rocky River. As they had all night the Rockets would run the ball with purpose. Rocket RB Joe Galati would punch it in the end zone from 1 yd out, a made extra point made the score 27-17 with 8:40 remaining in the game. Rocky River would then take the next kickoff all the way to the Rocket 21 yd line to attempt a 38 yd field goal. The Rockets had other ideas as they wold block that attempt, recover the ball and return it all the way to their own 40 yd line. The Rockets would the drive 60 yds for a decisive TD, Nick Buttari would score on a 6 yds run, his second of the night. After a successful extra point Bay led 34-17 with 2:02 remaining. Bay Rockets would win over Rocky River with a final score of 34-17.
Rocky River falls to 5-3 over all and 3-3 in the Great Lakes Conference, they will look to rebound in week 9 when they travel to take on Buckeye.
Bay Village improves to 6-2 overall and 5-2 in the Great Lakes Conference, They were led by player of the game RB Nick Buttari who finished with 33 carries 205 yds and 2 TDs. The Rockets will host Parma in week 9.
SO LONG FROM ROCKY RIVER!!!