First, I must say, they take their football seriously at West Geauga. This was unmistakable from the moment you pulled into the parking lot. You could smell food grilling, kids playing football in the field next to the lot, and people chatting about the team and the season so far. They were tailgating. One person even had an R.V. Yes, I was at West Geauga High School. Yes, for a high school game. I was in for a fun and intense game.
They boys on the field did not let me down. The game started off with West G receiving the kickoff. The Wolverines took advantage of the opportunity when they only took one minute to put points on the board. After Carmen Engoglia ran the ball downfield on several plays, he finished it off with a 3 yard run to put up 6 points on the board. Brendan Judson put the ball between the posts to put West G up 7-0.
Orange received the kick and it was time for West G’s defense to take over. They were able to hold Orange to fourth down and four to go. Orange went for it, and the Wolverines were able to stop them just short on the run, forcing a turnover. West G’s Connor Krouse kept the ball for himself and ran the 37 yards for a Wolverine touchdown! Judosn’s kick was good and the Wolverines kept the lead 14-0.
The Panthers weren’t going to let the game go into the second quarter without their own points. Stephen Borgman sent the ball flying to Dae’Shawn Henderson for a 78 yard touchdown pass. That would be the longest pass of the game. Tashawn Chavis’s kick was good and the score was now 14-7.
West Geauga took control of the board and answered back with a Krouse 3 yard run for a touchdown with four minutes left on the clock. Judson put up the final point of the Wolverines run making the score 21-7. Have to give credit to Charlie Drain and Paul Donato. They forced a sack on Borgman, stopping their drive. The Panthers were forced to punt. Although West G wasn’t able to score again, they ended the quarter in the lead with a score of 21-7.
Orange held onto the possession after the end of the first and took advantage of it. This time it was Rhonald Houston’s turn to make his mark. He caught a 14 yard reception from Borgman for another Orange touchdown. Chavis’s kick was good and the score was now 21-14.
Now is when we start the back and forth scores. West G was up next. Engolia and Krouse marched up the field and ended it with Krouse and a 10 yard run. Judson did his part and the Wolverines were up 28-14. Like I said this was a back and forth second quarter. On Orange’s drive, Borgman chose a new man. With a 68 yard pass to tight end Chris Von Hendrix, Borgman put up the Panther’s third touchdown. Chavis put the ball up and brought the score to 28-21.
Again, Krouse wasn’t going to go unanswered. This time he took the ball in for a 4 yard touchdown run. With a penalty on the play, Jusdson was forced to attempt a 35 yard point after kick. He easily put it through, and the score was now 35-21, ending the second quarter.
It was now half time and time for a walking taco. My favorite staple at the games. The bands showed us their stuff and it was time for some more football!
The third quarter was scoreless, but it wasn’t a boring quarter. West G’s Sean Larrick sacked Borgman, holding them scoreless on one of Orange’s possessions. Krouse threw a 39 yard reception which was one of only five passes that he completed during the game. Both defenses worked hard, and although there were a lot of mistakes and penalties, they were ready for the fourth quarter.
The West Geauga offense, being frustrated, weren’t going to go down without a fight. Engoglia and the rest of them took two and a half minutes to make their next points. He took the ball in on a 14 yard run lighting a match on the crowd. Everyone began to get louder and cheering on their boys in blue. Even though the Panther’s Von Hendrix ran the ball in for a one yard touchdown with the point after kick being good, the Wolverines weren’t worrying. The score was 42-28. With 24 seconds on the clock, West G finished off the game with a one yard touchdown run by Engoglia. Judson’s kick was good, and the final score was 49-28!
Engoglia and Krouse may have been the only two that scored touchdowns with Judson finishing off the score with his 7 point after kicks, but the whole team was a strong force. Yes, there were quite a few penalties that brought back several touchdowns, but they didn’t let that stop them. Larrick and Donato each marked another sack. Dan November had a sack plus several great tackles. Zach Suba only had a few punts. The entire team worked together as a whole to keep a win in their stands.
They worked hard in the off season so that they could make sure they were going to improve on last year’s record of 4-6. They have already done that. Are they going to let up? Not until the season is over….and not even sure if they will then. They have one goal: to win a title.
Next week is their last home game as they take on their neighbors, Chagrin Falls. Go cheer these boys on. They won’t let you down. Plus, you will get some bonus entertainment with West G’s drum line and the rest of the band. How can you beat football and drummers banging on the quads while standing on their heads playing with blue light up drumsticks?