SOT Spotlight Game: Westlake Demons vs Bay Rockets

By Sean Duffy

Bay Village, OH– Hard to believe but we are at the midpoint of the 2022 high school football season. it is the time of the year when teams are competing for conference superiority, and also keeping an keen eye on their post season future. Our spotlight game features two teams from the Great Lakes Conference West Division. The Westlake Demons (3-1,0-0) come into the game fresh off a 49-7 Victory over Parma in Week 4. The Bay Rockets (2-2,0-0) are looking to snap a two game losing streak after a 42-14 Loss in week 4 to Valley Forge.

Westlake opened the game by using tempo to drive the ball all the way down the the Rockets !0 yd line, it was there that the Bay defense would force a turnover on downs. The Rockets would spend the remainder of the quarter working their way down the field, leaning heavily on the run game. At the end of the first quarter the score was 0-0 but the Rockets were knocking on the door.

Rockets would open the second quarter with a 3yd TD run by FR RB Charlie Rodgers, a made extra point -gave Bay the 7-0 Lead with 11:56 Remaining in the half.

Bay RB Charlie Rodgers with 3yd TD

The Rockets would score again in the second quarter, turning an interception of Demon QB Sam Brucchieri into points. Bay Jr RB Brendan Spellman would cap off another sustained scoring drive with a 3 yd TD Run. Rockets’ increased their lead 14-0 with 6:11 remaining in the half.

Bay RB Brendan Spellman with a 3yd TD run

Westlake’s offense was finally able to get into a rhythm and find the end zone on their next drive. Westlake Jr RB Matthew Porcelli would score from 6 yds out. Westlake cut the Bay lead 14-7 with 4:20 remaining in the half.

Westlake RB Matthew Porcelli 6 Yd TD Run

After the Westlake touchdown, Bay’s offensive unit picked up where it left off, grinding out yards and first downs. Rockets RB Brendan Spellman would score his second TD of the night , this time rumbling for 29 yds. for the score. Bay would go into halftime holding a 21-7 lead.

Bay RB Brendan Spellman with a 29 Yd TD run

Defense was the story of the third quarter as both teams would hold each other to a stalemate for most of the third quarter. Westlake began to find success after forcing a fumble from Spellman late in the quarter. At the end of the third quarter Westlake still down 21-7, but were deep in Bay territory .

The Demons began the fourth quarter with a 23 yd TD Run from Porcelli , his 2nd TD on the night. Demons cut the rockets lead to 21-14 with 11:30 remaining in the game.

Westlake RB Matthew Porcelli 23cyd TD run

Bay would go back to what had been working all game, running the ball and controlling the clock. The Rockets would score on a 2 yd. TD run from Jr Mac Weingart. Bay’s lead increased to 28-14 with 7:28 remaining in the game.

Bay RB Mac Weingart 2yd TD run

Westlake would score on their next offensive drive. using a combination of quick passes and an up tempo offense, Sam Brucchieri would connect with Junior WR Kaden Cole for a TD. The Bay lead now stood at 28-21 with 3:37 remaining in the game.

Westlake QB Sam Brucchieri connects with WR Kaden Cole for a TD

Unfortunately Westlake’s bid for comeback would come up short after a crucial unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave Bay first down and run the clock out. Bay would walk away with 28-21 victory.

Westlake falls to 3-2 overall and 0-1 in the Great Lakes Conference. The Demons were led offensively by Junior RB Matthew Porcelli, two rushing TDs on the night. Westlake will look to get back on track in Week 6 as they play host to North Olmsted (3-2,1-0).

Bay improves to 3-2 and 1-0 in the Great Lakes Conference. The Rockets were led offensively by Junior RB Brendan Spellman, two rushing TDs in the game. Rocket RBs Charlie Rogers and Mac Weingart would also score rushing TDs. Bay will look to continue their winning ways in Week 6 as they travel to Rocky River (1-4,0-1).

So long from Bay Village!

SOT Spotlight Game: Highland Hornets vs Tallmadge Blue Devils

By Sean Duffy

Tallmadge, OH– It is Week 4 and you know what that means, conference play begins in earnest. In the American Division of the Suburban League, the first week of conference play may actually determine the destiny of the division. The Highland Hornets (3-0,0-0) travels to take on Tallmadge (3-0,0-0) in perhaps the most important conference game of the year. Each team boasts a bevy of talent on both sides of the ball, and both teams are likely to be in the thick of the playoffs in their respective divisions. However this is about the American Division, in which the winner will likely be the favorite to claim the division title .

Each team got off to a rough start offensively, turning the ball over on back to back possessions. Highland’s Senior RB Lukas Stiles Scored on a 32 yd TD run. Highland Jumped out to 7-0 lead with 6:11 remaining in the first quarter.

Highland RB Lukas Stiles 32 yd TD run

Tallmadge would tie the game thanks to a 8 play drive, which was capped off with a 2 yd TD pass from Senior QB Ty Hurst to Senior WR Gino Spano. At the end of the first quarter the score was tied 7-7

Tallmadge QB Ty Hurst to WR Gino Spano for a 3 yd TD

The second quarter belonged to the defenses. Highland’s defense was putting constant pressure on Hurst, forcing errant throws, and multiple stops. Tallmadge’s offense did not help itself by committing multiple penalties that stalled numerous drives. Tallmadge’s would also pitch a shut out in the second quarter, Highland’s offensive game plan was clear from the outset, run the ball with Stiles and Tallmadge was able to stifle the run in the second quarter. At halftime the score was still 7-7.

Highland’s Defense picked up where they left off in the second quarter, forcing bad throws by Hurst and little to no out put in ground game, forcing a 3 and out on the opening drive of the third quarter. Highland’s Matt Ciryak would take the ensuing punt 60 yds for a score, a blocked extra point made the score 13-7 in favor of the hornets with 9:19 remaining in the third quarter. Highland’s Lukas Stiles would rumble 13 yds for his second TD of the night to end the third quarter with Highland leading 20-7.

Hornets RB Lukas Stiles scores on a 13 yd TD Run

Lukas Stiles was not done as he opened the fourth quarter with bruising 21 yd TD run, Highland’s lead swelled to 27-7, Stiles notching his third score of the night.

HIGHLAND RB Lukas Stiles 21 yd TD Run

That score proved to be the final nail in the Tallmadge coffin, as they were simply unable to put any sustained success through the air or on the ground. Highlands defense would force another interception of Hurst which allowed the Hornets to run out the clock and secure the 27-7 victory.

The loss drops Tallmadge to 3-1 overall and 0-1 in the Suburban League American Division. The Blue Devils were led by Ty Hurst who had a TD Pass on the night to WR Gino Spano. Tallmadge will look to bounce back at home in week 5 against Revere.

Highland improves to 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the Suburban League American Division. The Hornets were led offensively by Senior RB Lukas Stiles who had 3 rushing TDs on the night. Matt Ciryak also chipped in with 60 yd punt return for a TD. Highland will look to keep the winning train rolling in week 5 as they travel to face Baberton.

So long from Tallmadge!

SOT Spotlight Game: Midview Middies vs Elyria Catholic Panthers

By Sean Duffy

Elyria, OH– After a heartbreaking Week 2 overtime loss to Sandusky Perkins, the Elyria Catholic Panthers (1-1, 0-0) were looking to right the ship in Week 3. The Panthers welcomed the Midview Middies (1-1,0-0) in week 3, the Middies were also looking to get back in the win column after a Week 2 loss to Strongsville.

The Middies were first to score after picking off a Brady Cook pass deep in Panther territory. Midview would score two plays later when Marc Reed would connect with Dane West for a 27 yard TD. Midview jumped out to a 7-0 lead with 4:04 left in the first quarter.

Midview QB Marc Reed connects with WR Dane West for a 27 yd TD

Elyria Catholic close out the first quarter with a scoring drive to ties the game 7-7. The drive was capped off by a sensational 33 yard TD run by Panther RB Levi Ellis.

Elyria Catholic RB Levi Ellis with a 33 Yd TD run

Elyria Catholic would find the end zone again in the second quarter, this time through the air as QB Brady Cook connected with WR Tony Grasso for a 3 yard TD pass. as the first half came to an end Elyria Catholic held a 14-7 Lead.

Panther QB Brady Cook finds WR Tony Grasso for a 3yd TD pass

Elyria Catholic would extend their lead in the third quarter as Brady Cook would find WR Colin GInley for a 12 yard TD pass. Panthers lead 21-7 with 3:50 remaining in the third.

Panther QB Brady Cook finds WR Colin Ginley for a 12 yd TD

Midview’ s Defense would get in on the scoring action forcing another Interception from Brady Cook, this time the interception was an 11 yard pick-six by Midview DB Jeremy Mathes. After three quarters of play Midview cut the panther lead 21-14.

Any momentum that Midview had going into the fourth quarter was derailed by overwhelming Panther defense and performance of Levi Ellis. The Panther’s defense was able to put relentless pressure on Midview’ s QB Marc Reed causing multiple stops on fourth down, and several sacks.

Levi Ellis would find the end zone twice more in the fourth quarter, First as a QB via a direct snap led to a pop pass of 23 yards to Ryan Tanner for a TD.

Levi Ellis to WR Ryan Tanner for a 23 yd TD pass

Ellis would cap off his night and secure the Panther win with a 64 yard TD run, the Panthers would walk away from this contest with a 35-14 victory.

The loss brings Midview record to 1-2 overall, the Middies were led offensively by QB Marc Reed who had a TD pass on the night and was the primary runner. On the Defensive side of the ball Midview got solid performances from DB Anthony DiFranco, who had multiple tackles and pass break ups. Midview will look get back on track in week 4 as they opens Southwestern Conference Play on the road against Olmsted Falls.

Elyria Catholic improves to 2-1 overall on the season, the Panthers were led offensively by RB Levi Ellis who had two rushing TDs and a passing TD on the night. Panthers QB Brady Cook had 2 passing TDs on the night, WRs Tony Grosso, Colin Ginley, and Ryan Tanner each had a TD reception. The Panthers will look to continue their winning form as they face Holy Name in Week 4 at North Royalton Stadium.

So long from Elyria!

SOT Spotlight Game of the Week: Elyria Catholic Panthers vs Bay Rockets

By Sean Duffy

Bay Village, OH– It was a dark and stormy night in Bay Village, and the visiting Elyria Catholic Panthers turned in a dominating performance on their way to a 44-6 victory over the Rockets in a Great Lakes Conference Matchup.

The Panthers could not be stopped offensively , Levi Ellis, Tavion Thomas, and Anthony DeMartinis each had a rushing TD. Thomas’ punishing run was a highlight of the night.

Tavion Thomas with a punishing TD run!!

Panther QB Brady Cook was able to chip in with 2 TD passes on the evening, A 4 yd TD pass to Alex Carandang , and a 2 yd TD pass to Jack Kenneally.

Brady Cook to Alex Carandang for a TD
Brady Cook to Jack Kenneally for a TD

On the defensive side of the ball the Panthers imposed their will from the start, the lone Rocket score came on a 67 yd TD run by Brendan Spellman midway through the second quarter. From that point on the panthers defense did not allow any semblance of a Rocket comeback.

With the loss the Bay Rockets fall to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the Great Lakes Conference, The loss will likely put Bay’s playoff chances in a precarious position as they came into the game #9 in Division III Region 10 according to Joe Eitel’s Rankings. Bay’s Week 10 opponent will be determined by the GLC East Standing after week 9.

Elyria Catholic improves to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the Great Lakes Conference. The Panthers currently sit in the #2 spot in Division V Region 18 according to Joe Eitel’s Rankings. Elyria Catholic’s Week 10 opponent will be determined by the GLC East standings after week 9.