Friday night couldn’t have been anymore perfect. Weather report said it was going to rain. It only rained earlier in the day. The temperature was suppose to drop. Didn’t drop until after the game. This was just the beginning of a Friday night to remember in Burton.
Our time at the game started with a parade of the 2013 Homecoming Court led by the marching band. Freshmen representatives Kylie Scott and Emil Hess were the first to enter the stadium followed by sophomore representatives PJ Strong and Jessica Muller, junior representatives David Stotlar and Karah Toth. Then came the seniors. Candidates for king were Brandon Haycox, Josh Garrett, Ben Wiley, Nick Millet, and Sam Kwasniewski. Queen candidates were Olivia Roach, Caroline Milano, Julie Combs, Katie Uterhark, and Lisa Marcy. Do you want to know who took home the crown? You have to stay tuned until the halftime report. I have to talk about the game now.
The game started off with the coin toss. This wasn’t just a typical toss. Two marines, decked out in their blues, tossed up the coin, something you don’t always see in a high school game. I myself thought that it was special and so did the boys. With the referees set to support football’s standing tradition of wearing pink during the month of October with pink whistles, it was time to play. Fairport won the coin toss and chose to receive. It was time to play.
Fairport was only able to make a short return and the Badgers were determined they weren’t going to make it much further. Even though Fairport went for it on fourth down and 5 and were able to convert the first down, Berkshire held them to force a punt. Berskshire wasn’t able to make much on their first drive, and a sack for a 10 yard loss forced them to punt. Those boys didn’t give up though! They were able to hold Fairport to force another punt and Ben Blechschmid returned it 29 yards, setting up a great drive. After marching the ball down the field, Cody Charvet ran it in 6 yards for a Badgers touchdown! Ben Wiley’s kick was good, and Berkshire was up 7-0 going into the second quarter.
The second quarter started out with a bang for the Badgers. Brandon Haycox recovered a fumble on Fairport’s 8 yard line and the boys were ready to score again. This time, Blechschmid took the ball in for the last yard and with the extra point good, they were up 14-0. The rest of the second quarter didn’t go quite as well. Keanu Martin snagged a great catch to put Berskshire in scoring range. Unfortunately, a well placed hit by Fairport caused a fumble and the Skippers regained possession. The boys in purple were not going to let them get away that easy. They held them scoreless and that was the end of the first half. Berskshire headed into the locker room up 14-0.
Now, it’s time for the halftime report.
Be patient, I will get to the homecoming queen and king. First, I must describe to you how the festivities went. After Fairport’s marching band graced us with songs of the past, the Badger’s band made a wonderful walkway for the court. The student council placed a lovely floral trellis, or as I said, a floral archway. Whichever floats your boat I say. They were each escorted by family down the 50 yard line towards the stands starting with the class representatives followed by candidates. As each candidate passed under the arch, they were given a rose wrapped in a package. You couldn’t see the actual flower just yet. After everyone was settled in their places, they were told to open the package. Most were red but there was one yellow rose for the king and one yellow rose for the queen. Now, it is my pleasure to announce to you the 2013 Berkshire Homecoming King and Queen and they are…Nick Millet and Katie Uterhark! Congratulations to you and all of the nominees! Hope your Neon Masquerade was a night you will never forget! Click here to see the Homecoming presentation at halftime.
Now that the halftime report is over, let’s get back to some football. The Badgers weren’t able to score during the third quarter but that didn’t mean that they didn’t make good plays and play hard. They started out receiving the second half opening kickoff. They ended up having to punt. Now here is something I didn’t explain earlier. Brandon Haycox is their punter. Haycox is a lineman on both offense and defense. I was rather shocked to see him in the position of punter. Why? At six feet tall and 220 pounds, that is a big boy for a punter. Watching him take that ball, I wasn’t quite sure how that was going to play out. I have never seen a lineman his size punt. Do not let size fool you. He is one of the better punters out there right now. Thank you, Badgers, for showing me the quality of all around good players you have.
Now back to some more of the highlights from the Berkshire Badgers in the third. Martin tacked down a sack for a 5 yard loss, AJ Adler had a fumble recovery, Kyle Storm had amazing blocks at the line to give room for the run plays, and Mitch Freeman made a nice snag out of the air by Gordy Cossick for a gain. The whistle was blown and it was time for the fourth quarter.
The quarter began with an 8 yard touchdown by Cody Charvet. Wiley’s kick was good and Berkshire was up 21-0. Now enters “Rudy.” At least that is what I dubbed him. Before the game started, I was watching the Badgers warm up. I saw this small kid out there running drills with them and wasn’t quite sure why he was there. He is 5’1” and 110 pounds and a freshmen. To be honest, it made me nervous watching him head out onto the field.
Fairport received the kickoff. Verlin Williams caught the ball and began running. He fumbled the ball. Who recovers it? None other than “Rudy”, or better known as #20 John Kumher. All 110 lbs of him dove right onto that ball. (For those of you who are confused why I am calling him Rudy, you may have to google him. There was a player named Rudy Ruettiger. In short, he was a small guy, at 5’6’ with a lot of heart who finally got a shot to play college football on Notre Dame’s team.)
Yes, we do have video of the fumble recovery by Kumher. Storm finished off the turnover recovery punching it in for an 8 yard touchdown. Wiley’s kick was good and the score became 28-0. Now, here is Kumher’s next big play. Gabe Spring received the kickoff and started running. What he didn’t expect was “Rudy.” Spring is 5’9″ 155 lbs. Kumher tackled him with everything he had. The biggest hit of the night. And yes, we have that on video also. Storm snagged an interception and the Badgers took advantage of the turnover. He sealed the turnover when he took the ball in 7 yards for a touchdown. Wiley’s kick was no good but that didn’t matter. The Badger’s won the game 34-0!
I am sure there are people out there wondering why I am so excited about this game. Yes, they won the game. They beat a team that was 0-5. No big deal, right? You couldn’t be more wrong. This Badger team is a young and small team. How young? They have nine freshmen on their roster. With only 12 seniors this year, Head coach Josh DeWeese had no choice but to dress sophomores and freshmen. How big is their roster? 30 total. That roster includes the players that are injured. We all know that six weeks into the season that injuries do occur and stack up. All of the players except the field goal and kickoff kickers play both offense and defense. Not much time for a break when that is happening.
Did I mention that the head coach is new? Most wouldn’t expect a team like this to win a game, let alone be a team that is now 3-3. And they are hungry. They are going to prove to every single team that they will make them work hard for every point. This Friday, they will be heading to Cuyahoga Heights to take on the Redskins. This will be another battle, but they will not wave the white flag in this war. Congrats to the Berkshire Badgers. You made me a fan, and I will be looking forward to what you do the rest of the season.
Check out the highlights from this game
(click the box in the bottom right of the video to make it full screen)
Scores Around The County
Richmond Heights – 64
Newbury – 6
West Geauga – 35
Aurora – 28
Ledgemont – 7
Mathews – 33
Kenston – 70
Orange – 48
NDCL – 28
Benedictine – 38
Cardinal – 20
Kirtland – 63
Chardon – 14
Willoughby South – 7
I need to make a note about the Chardon game. Willoughby South was in first place in their conference. They went in 5-0 against a team that was 2-3. The Hilltoppers were able to hold them to one touchdown and that only came in the last quarter. I knew this team was going to get better as the season went, but even I was shocked when I saw that win. Way to go Chardon! You even made this guy speechless.
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