Eagles Defeat Akron Buchtel in Homecoming Game
St. Edward defeated Akron Buchtel 36-0 this afternoon at First Federal Lakewood Stadium. The gamewas part of the school’s Homecoming Weekend, which also featured the 50th reunion of the Class of 1967. The Griffins struggled offensively, as the Eagle Front Seven applied strong quarterback pressure all afternoon. Both teams faced unseasonably hot temperatures on the sunny afternoon, with the thermometer reaching well into the 80s.
St. Edward received the opening kickoff and quickly got on the scoreboard. Quarterback Zach Kincaid hit Devin Maddox for a 58 yard touchdown pass on only the second play from scrimmage. Blaine Stencil hit the extra point to make the score 7-0 less than 30 seconds into the game. Buchtel then made a 48 yard pass on its first play from scrimmage. Quarterback Mychael Leno hit receiver Zyeir Kareem in stride to take the ball down to the Eagles 22 yard line. The St. Edward defense tightened, and a pair of sacks pushed Buchtel back to the 37. They turned over the ball on downs, and the teams exchanged punts on their next possessions.
Buchtel appeared to stop St. Edward again on the next drive, but a fake punt on fourth and two gave them a first down. Omar Fattah, normally a linebacker, ran the ball six yards to keep the Eagle drive alive. Quarterback Garrett Dzuro eventually scored on a six yard touchdown run which capped a 64 yard drive. St. Edward led 13-0 with 38 seconds left in the first quarter.
On the second play of the second quarter, the Eagles forced a Griffin fumble and linebacker Robbie Mckovsky recovered it on the Buchtel 12 yard line. Dzuro hit Damerisse Freeman for a touchdown pass on the next play, and the extra point made it 20-0 with nearly 11 minutes remaining in the half. That score until late in the third quarter. The Buchtel front seven did a great job putting pressure on the Eagle quarterbacks, preventing more Eagle scores. However, the St. Edward defense never allowed the Buchtel offense to get on track, so the Griffins were never able to reduce the margin.
The Eagle special teams blocked a Buchtel punt in the endzone late in the third quarter, extending the lead to 22-0 with 1:33 left in the third quarter. A Buchtel player recovered the ball to prevent a St. Edward touchdown, but Eagle senior Luca Santillo recorded the safety. The combination of high temperatures and a physical Eagle offense wore down the Buchtel defense in the fourth quarter, resulting in two more St. Edward touchdowns. Running back Jordan Castleberry ran nine very hard yards to score a TD early in the fourth quarter. Then Tylan Rice scored on a four yard run midway through the quarter to make the lead 36-0.
St. Edward improved to 5-0 on the season, Buchtel fell to 2-3. The Eagles go on the road for the next two weeks for a pair of interstate games. They travel to Naperville, Illinois next Saturday to face Central High School, one of the top five teams in that state. “We’re really going to find out what our team is made of” head coach Tom Lombardo said after the game.
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