Rangers Fall at Olmsted Falls

Senior Joe Byczek looks on during late game action.

It was a long night for the Lakewood football team, which traveled to Olmsted Falls Friday to play the Bulldogs. Olmsted Falls won handily by a score of 49-7, boosting their record to 3-1 on the season.  The Rangers were dominated both offensively and defensively in the first half, a contrast from their first three games of the season. Unlike Berea-Midpark’s aerial attack last week, the Bulldogs inflicted their damage almost entirely on the ground.

                Lakewood received the opening kickoff, and things quickly deteriorated. The Rangers fumbled the return, and the ball rolled back within their five yard line. Junior Michael McCollum successfully recovered the ball, but the Lakewood offense was pinned at its own three yard line. Olmsted Falls held, forcing a Ranger punt from the endzone. The Bulldogs partially blocked the kick, which rolled out of the endzone to the Lakewood one yard line. That’s where Olmsted Falls started their first drive. Senior Luke Lombardo quickly scored on a one yard touchdown run only two minutes into the game.

                Olmsted Falls defense forced another “three and out” on the next Ranger possession. Lombardo capped a 54 yard touchdown drive with a five yard touchdown run to make the score 14-0 midway through the first quarter. The same pattern repeated in each of the next three series – a Ranger “three and out” followed by a Bulldog touchdown drive.  The score was 35-0 with 9:30 remaining in the second quarter.  

                The Ranger offense started clicking at this point, driving into Bulldog territory on their next possession. The drive was highlighted by a 22 yard screen pass from senior Austin Mahar to junior Will Adams. The drive stalled in Bulldog territory, forcing a punt. Olmsted Falls extended the lead to 49-0 by halftime, causing the OHSAA “running clock” to take effect for the second half.

                The Ranger defense stiffened in the second half, keeping the Bulldogs out of the endzone. Sophomore Spencer Reynolds made a key play late in the third quarter, recovering an Olmsted Falls fumble. Adams then scored on a 48 yard touchdown run with 1:19 left in the third period. Senior Attila Nagy added the extra point to make the game 49-7.

                Lakewood returns home next Friday to face Avon Lake at First Federal Lakewood Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm, and the game is designated as “Youth Night”. Avon Lake defeated Westlake tonight 38-0 to even their record at 2-2.   

Mike Deneen

Mike Deneen has extensive experience covering sports and community stories for the Lakewood Observer. Mike has been a Senior Industry Analyst for the Freedonia Group in Cleveland, Ohio, since 1998. He has appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell, NPR’s MarketPlace and has been quoted multiple times in The Wall Street Journal. He has made multiple guest appearances on ESPN Cleveland radio. Mike also writes for Inside Northwestern, a website that covers Northwestern Wildcat Athletics. You can reach him on Twitter at @MikeDeneen1 

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Volume 13, Issue 18, Posted 11:36 PM, 09.15.2017