The West Geauga football team came close a week earlier, but this time the Wolverines finished the deal. One week after nearly taking down rival Chagrin Falls, the Wolverines pulled off its upset bid over another rival, Kenston, as West G won, 21-17, Friday at Howell Stadium at West Geauga High School.
Kenston fell to 6-3, 5-1 as the loss ends the Bombers' six-game win streak. It also pulls the Bombers into a tie in first in the division with Aurora (8-1, 5-1) and Chagrin Falls (8-1, 5-1). Kenston hosts the Greenmen at 7 p.m. Friday. A victory would assure the Bombers at least a share of the division title. Chagrin Falls plays at Perry (4-5, 3-3).
The loss certainly hurts the Bombers' playoff chances. Now, it's vital that Kenston beat Aurora this week, otherwise the Bombers might be outside looking in when the playoffs start. Right now, Kenston is seventh in Division II, region 5. Aurora, which is playing for a home game, is fourth. In eighth is Howland (7-2), which plays Struthers (6-3) while the ninth team is Madison (6-3), which plays Painesville Riverside (6-3). Copley (5-4) is 10th and plays Revere (1-8).
Grubich was asked if the game was a must win.
"That's pretty much the way we're approaching it," Grubich said. "We've got to get better. We're competing with one of the elite teams in the CVC."
The Wolverines trailed, 17-7, at halftime, but scored two touchdowns in the third quarter and held the Bombers scoreless for a half of football for the first time this season.
This was the biggest victory of the season for West G and coach Lou Cirino. The Wolverines are 4-5 and 3-3 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division. The victory ended a three-game losing streak.
"We got a little healthier this week and it paid off," Cirino said. "The kids grew up. They understand what it takes to win games.
"I think, to our kids, this is our significant win. When you look back at the year, especially for seniors, we can look back at this moment."First-year Kenston coach Jeff Grubich complimented the Wolverine defense.
"No doubt they played well on defense," Grubich said. "We did everything we could to make things difficult for ourselves."
Kenston had three turnovers, a blocked punt and a bad snap on a punt that gave the Wolverines great field position.
Kenston had one last chance as the Bombers got the ball with 1:30 left to play at their own 35. After an 8-yard completion, a bad snap resulted in a 12-yard loss. A couple plays later, the Bombers lost the ball on downs.
Kenston started off well as quarterback Darryl Richards scored on a 2-yard touchdown run and Jeremy Wyers scored on an 8-yard touchdown run. T.J. Kestranek kicked a 25-yard field goal.
Wyers rushed 28 times for 123 yards as he took over for Nick Lombardy, who left the game with an injury. Wyers did well, but the Bombers missed Lombardy, who still leads the team with 956 yards rushing on 6 yards per attempt and 17 touchdowns.
The West G defense shut down the running of Richards, who rushed 14 times for a season low 18 yards. He completed 11 of 23 passes for 132 yards and an interception.
"I kept saying, we have to stop Richards," Cirino said. "It was a little rainy and we were playing on grass. The guys on defense tackled Richards. When we had the opportunity to tackle, we tackled."
Grubich agreed that the weather made things tough on Kenston.
"It was definitely a factor," Grubich said. "When it gets muddy, it slows our game down a little bit. We have to play the cards we're dealt."
West G's points in the first quarter came on a 3-yard touchdown run by DomenickVarga, who finished with 30 rushes for 105 yards. Varga leads West G with 809 yards rushing on 4.5 yards per rush.
"We continued to run the football," Cirino said. "We changed the blocking schemes a bit."
In the second half, Connor Krouse had a 7-yard touchdown run and a 14-yard touchdown pass to Tory Palmer.
The Wolverines will finish their season at home at 7 p.m. Friday against Beachwood (6-3).
"The guys are not giving up," Cirino said. "We played spoiler last week and we hope to do it again this week. We're going to focus on playing physical football. We run the ball and play physical."
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