Beautiful weather, loud and excited fans, fresh painted field, and the smell of hot dogs and pizza. That means one thing. Friday night football! This time we were in Chagrin Falls to watch them take on rivals, Aurora Greenmen. The matchup would be the last time the two teams would play each other in the Chagrin Valley Conference. You could feel the energy fill the stadium as the teams ran onto the field. Whistle blew, crowds roared, and it was time for the Tiger and Greenmen matchup.
Aurora received the opening kickoff. Chagrin’s defense came out ready for battle. They weren’t able to hold the Greenmen from scoring, but they sure made them work for every inch. They defended the ball in the air and on the ground. With a little more than 7 minutes left in the quarter, Aurora was able to take off the last 3 yards with a Ryan Devine run for a touchdown. Joey Melchiori’s kick was good, giving them a 7-0 lead. The Tigers received the kickoff and used up every minute on the clock of the quarter. They slashed yard after yard off the field until the whistle blew signaling the end of the quarter.
With the first play in the second quarter, Chagrin Falls made their mark on the scoreboard. Michael Brigeman sent a 12 yard pass to Corey Tull for a Tiger touchdown! Brennan Izzo’s kick went directly through the uprights, making the score even at 7-7. It wouldn’t take long for the Greenmen to respond. Ben Nelson took the ball in 2 yards for a second Aurora touchdown. Melchiori’s kick was good, making the score 14-7.
Chagrin Falls marched the ball all the way down to the Greenmen’s 25 yard line. Unfortunately, Aurora forced a turnover that was recovered by Joe Dinardo, which he took advantage of. He ran the ball back 80 yards to give his team another touchdown on the board. Melchiori’s third kick of the night was good, giving Aurora a 21-7 lead with less than a minute on the clock. The last seconds ticked away and halftime began.
Aurora’s band got us on our feet with their upbeat show filled with dancing and the flag line. It was Chagrin, though, that got our spirit going. The band was decked out in red, white, and blue filling the field in patriotic spirit. The 8th grade students joined them for Middle School Night as they played a medley of songs representing the branches of the military. Rounds of applause were on all sides as members of the military, whether past or present, stood as their song was played. As they finished off the show with Grand Old Flag, the middle school students walked to the center of the field and proudly displayed the American Flag. It was a fitting end to the show. Now, it was time for the second half of action.
Chagrin Falls owned most of the third quarter. They fought all the way down to the Aurora 4 yard line. Aurora was doing all they could to hold them and make them go for a field goal. With 4th down and 1 yard to go for a first down, it appeared that the Tigers were going to do just what the Greenmen wanted. Just before the snap, Chagrin Falls called a timeout. When they came back on the field, there was Brigeman instead of Izzo. These boys were going for a touchdown. With just 4 minutes left on the clock, Brigeman capped off the final 4 yards with a pass to Cam Orzen, giving the Tigers their second touchdown of the night. Izzo’s kick was good, bringing them within a touchdown of Aurora.
Aurora would take advantage of their next possession to give them a cushion on the lead. Alex Smierciak would keep the ball and run in 8 yards for the touchdown. Melchiori’s kick went through, giving them a 28-14 lead.
On the kickoff to Chagrin Falls, Aurora made the decision to go for an onside kick. They were able to complete it giving them position on Chagrin’s 31 yard line. With less than a minute to go in the quarter, Aurora’s Dinardo would score his second touchdown of the night, this time while on offense. He ran the ball in 6 yards for another Aurora Greenmen touchdown. Melchiori’s kick was good, making the score 35-14. That would be the last score of the third quarter.
Aurora would be the only team with a score in the 4th quarter. Smierciak would sail the ball 41 yards to Stephen Pigza for the final touchdown. Melchiori was 6 for 6 when he made the last point after kick. The Greenmen won with a score of 42-14.
Even though the Chagrin Falls Tigers didn’t win the game, they should be proud of themselves. They have a quarterback who can target the ball exactly where he wants it. He knows how to be patient in the pocket and look down the field even when there is a defender nibbling at his heels. Don’t count out the two tight ends. Tull has the strength, speed and size to plow through the defenders when he has the ball. Those abilities also travel to defense where, as a linebacker, he can put fear in the offense.
You also have James Sferra who can run alongside his partner whether it’s special teams, offense, or defense. The senior recovered a fumble for his Tigers Friday night. Orzen is one of those wide receivers teams dream about. With his height, he can snag a ball out of thin air. He had several great catches in the night. Those young men are just a few of the great Tiger team. They are that. A Team. Keep your heads up, boys!
We would also like to give a shout out to Tyler Kennedy. He was forced to sit out the second half of the game with an injury. He joined his team on the sidelines cheering them on and keeping the spirits up. Have a speedy recovery!
This Friday, September 16, Chagrin Falls will be heading to Kenston to take on the Bombers! Good luck to both teams! As for us, we will be in Chardon watching them take on the Madison Blue Streaks!
CLICK HERE to see more photos from this game.
More Chagrin Falls school news can be found on their school page.
Chagrin Falls School News is sponsored by