Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Did I cover a historically important high-school football game?

Comic book fans and CCC readers, I know this is a blog (mainly) about the cape-and-cowl crowd. I haven't forgotten that. Just bear with me as I talk some high-school football before I get back to doing op-eds and such on various superhero projects. 

By now we're gearing up for the Week 2 of Friday Night Football here in Northern Ohio. In addition to my reporter responsibilities with the NORWALK REFLECTOR newspaper, I'm starting my third season of also covering football games for some extra moolah.

Little did I know that the game I covered this Friday was a possibly historical event. 

By the time the scoreboard finally hit 0:00 about 10:10 p.m., the Black River Pirates had downed the Western Reserve Roughriders 72-57 in non-league action at Western's Bechelder Field in Collins, Ohio. 

My sports editor, Mike Greco, got me thinking this game might rank sixth (!) for the most total points scored in Ohio high-school football history (with 110 points being the minimum). That's a mighty big "if" — if the OHSAA records are up-to-date. (Keep in mind, the No. 1-ranked game is  from Oct. 5, 1923 and the other four games range from 1912 through 1918. What's even more odd is the other various records in other categories appear to be quite current.)

So again, if the OHSAA stats are good, that would mean the Western-Black River game would be the most points scored by two teams in not just the last 91 years — but in this century. Woah.

Without further ado, here's the coverage as it appeared in the REFLECTOR. (Many, many heartfelt thanks to sports correspondent Chris Mushett, who took my stats and quotes over the phone and knocked this thing out in time for our deadline! You're the man, Chris!):

COLLINS, Ohio — To say that Friday night’s Western Reserve-Black River clash was a shootout would be a gross understatement.

The teams combined for a total of 129 points in 48 minutes of football and when the smoke had cleared, the Pirates came out on top by a score of 72-57.

In addition, the teams amassed 1,193 yards of total offense, with 643 of those yards belonging to the Roughriders and 479 of those belonging to senior quarterback Dakota Stumpf who ran for 322 yards on just 17 carries and completed seven of his 19 passes for 157 yards.

“Obviously, when you score 57 points, you should win the game,” said Western headman Mike Stoll. “I thin
k we have to get our defense worked on. “They were hitting the holes; we weren’t.”

The game started out normally enough, with the teams battling to an 8-8 deadlock at the first break. 

Things heated up in the second period, with the Riders outscoring Black River 23-22 to lead 31-30 at the half.

The Pirates used an 8-6 third quarter advantage to take a 38-37 lead and then broke loose for 34 points in the final frame to put it away.
The Western Reserve Roughriders face off against the Norwalk Truckers
in this image from the Western Reserve Local Schools home page.

It was truly an outstanding night for Stumpf, as he rushed for four touchdowns and threw for two more. Those passes were for 67 yards to Colton Puder and 36 yards to David Martin.

“Stumpf had a nice night running the ball,” Stoll said. “I think he did a decent job at quarterback.”

Senior Jack Klingshirn also had a big game, rambling for 162 yards on 21 attempts, including a 5-yard touchdown. Junior Darrin Fannin tallied on an 81-yard kickoff return with 8:33 left in the contest. 

David Bell led Black River with 177 yards rushing on 23 tries, and two touchdowns. Colin Salik added 115 yards on 13 carries for two touchdowns and picked up a third on a pass reception. Dalton Toth scored three TDs and had 105 yards on 14 attempts.

Quarterback Vernon Beard passed for 119 yards, completing four of his nine passing attempts.

“It came down to four turnovers from us (two interceptions and two fumbles) and we needed some from them,” Stoll said.

The Roughriders host Margaretta (on) Friday night.

Score by quarter
Black River         8   22   8   34 — 72
Western Reserve 8   23   6   20 — 57

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