Weekly Feature



2017-11-09 / Sports

Eagles defeat Southwestern in second straight ‘C’ football final

by JASON NADOLINSKI
Reporter


Cleveland Hill’s Javon Thomas breaks free from Southwestern’s Alex Card en route to scoring on a 53-yard run late in the third quarter of Saturday’s Section VI Federation Class C title game at New Era Field. As was the case when the two squads met in the same game last year, the Eagles were able to triumph over the Trojans, this time by a 42-16 count. 
Photo by Jason NadolinskiPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Cleveland Hill’s Javon Thomas breaks free from Southwestern’s Alex Card en route to scoring on a 53-yard run late in the third quarter of Saturday’s Section VI Federation Class C title game at New Era Field. As was the case when the two squads met in the same game last year, the Eagles were able to triumph over the Trojans, this time by a 42-16 count. Photo by Jason NadolinskiPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com There’s no chance he’s going to get it, but it still wouldn’t be surprising if Cleveland Hill football coach Glen Graham lobbied to have all of the Eagles’ future games against Southwestern take place at New Era Field.

After all, they set a stadium rushing record for the second straight year during Saturday’s 42-16 triumph over the Trojans.

Ryan Majerowski made the most of his seven carries on the day, compiling 207 yards and scoring twice — including a stadium record 99-yard burst up the field just a few minutes into the second quarter that helped get the Eagles rolling en route to taking a 20-10 halftime lead.

Majerowski also scored on a 76-yard run near the midpoint of the fourth quarter to all but put the game away for Cleveland Hill, which came close to finishing with 400 yards on the ground for a second straight season after the Eagles finished with 478 in last year’s victory.

“Ryan’s been the lynch pin for our run game all year long,” coach Glen Graham said. “He learned a lot from Matt [Eldridge] last year and just had a fantastic game for us offensively. Southwestern definitely tried to take away our tailbacks, but Ryan’s got the capacity to take it to the house at any time, as he showed. Our offensive line made some nice adjustments to some of their pressure and had some great blitz pickups too, which helped all our guys.”

Cleveland Hill was able to turn the tide in its favor for good late in the first half. Leading 14-10 following a Southwestern field goal near the midway point of the second quarter, Chris Diem snagged a Trojan pass and returned it 60 yards to paydirt with just over a minute to play before the break, giving the Eagles their 10-point advantage heading into the second half.

“Being able to score on defense continues to be a huge factor for us,” Graham said. “Not only are you putting up points, but you’re robbing the other team of the opportunity to put up points of their own. But, our defensive effort was strong all game long in general. We played some nice red-zone defense, which helped set up Ryan’s record-setting run, and our defensive line and linebackers just did an incredible job in general.”

Cleveland Hill went to work in the third quarter, with Aaron Wahler scoring on a 1-yard run with just under five minutes to play in the frame, and Javon Thomas exploding for a 53-yard run not even three minutes later to extend Cleveland Hill’s lead to 36-10 heading into the final stanza.

Southwestern’s final score actually came as time expired, making the game look slightly closer than it actually was.

“I think holding them essentially to just one touchdown and one field goal shows that we can match up with teams that have a lot of good athletes on the field,” Graham said. “Our defensive line was able to get some good pressure on their quarterback. We’re just playing well on all three levels right now.

“Obviously it was great to win Saturday — and to have assistant coach Chad Kuras get the Gatorade bath for a change — and to just see how much better we’ve gotten since week four when we played them last,” Graham continued. “We knew we made some errors the last time that kept us out of the end zone at least three times, but our guys responded really well to the game plan that we came up with for the rematch.”

Thomas chipped in with 98 yards on eight carries for the Eagles, while Wahler finished with 50 yards on 11 carries. Brett Kochanski contributed 27 yards on six carries.

Defensively, Diem, Thomas, Wahler and James Purpura all had four solo tackles for the Eagles, while Majerowski and Matt La- Course added three solo stops each for Cleveland Hill (9-1 overall), which will travel to Brockport State College to face the combined Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen squad in the Class C Far West Regional at 1 p.m.

“We just need to stay focused,” Graham said. “It’s a long season, but I think if we can keep playing football as well as we have been as of late, we’ll be OK. It’s going to be a challenge going to play them in their section for sure.”

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

Return to top