Weekly Feature



2018-10-11 / Sports

Cleve Hill football thrives against Tigers

by JASON NADOLINSKI
Reporter

Chris Diem tries to stay on his feet despite the best efforts of multiple Akron defenders during the Cleveland Hill football team’s 36-7 triumph Saturday. Photo by Don DalyPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Chris Diem tries to stay on his feet despite the best efforts of multiple Akron defenders during the Cleveland Hill football team’s 36-7 triumph Saturday. Photo by Don DalyPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Cleveland Hill’s football team continued to play well in all three phases of the game Saturday, a feat that allowed the Eagles to finish on the winning side of a 36-7 decision when they squared off with league nemesis Akron.

Javon Thomas added quarterbacking duties to his already impressive resume, completing 3-of-4 passes for 73 yards on top of scoring twice and gaining 113 yards on just 10 carries. He put the Eagles out front for good in the first, scoring off a 46-yard scamper and then connecting with Aaron Wahler on the two-point conversion attempt to give Cleveland Hill an 8-0 lead that it would not surrender.

The Eagles really put the game away in the second quarter, however, tacking on two additional touchdowns as well as a safety on a blocked punt by Taylor Durkin to enter the second half holding a 24-0 lead. Wahler scored Cleveland Hill’s first touchdown on a 43-yard run to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead, and then closed out the frame with a 27-yard run to boost the Eagles’ advantage to a full three scores.

“The coaching staff was generally happy, and the players, too, are happy with where we’re at,” coach Glen Graham said. “We controlled the game from start to finish, which was a big goal of ours. Ever since week one, we’ve been looking to minimize our mistakes and maximize our positives, and we’ve been getting better at that every week this season. No team is playing perfectly at this point in the season, but we’ve decreased a lot of our earlier errors and moving forward, which is a positive sign.”

Cleveland Hill put up its final points of the game in the third quarter, with Thomas scoring on an 8-yard run and D’Mario Grant hauling in a 42-yard strike from Thomas. Only a pass on the final play of the fourth quarter prevented the shutout.

“The progression of our defense, which early on wasn’t playing at the level we wanted it to be, has been important these last several weeks,” Graham said. “Akron’s got a pretty good offense, one of the better ones in the league, so this was a good test for us for sure this late in the season.”

Wahler finished the game with 104 yards on 10 carries to help the Eagles offensively, while Chris Diem recorded nine tackles to pace the defense. Kahlil Jackson added eight tackles, while Thomas pitched in with six tackles. Curtis Krajewski recorded four tackles and a sack, while Pierre Brown recovered a fumble for the winners, who will host Chautauqua Lake at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, to open up their Class C Federation playoff run.

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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