Rangers Fall on Senior Night
After enjoying their victory last week over Westlake, the Lakewood football team returned to action Friday night at First Federal Lakewood Stadium. Unfortunately the Midview Middies returned the Rangers to the loss column, handing Lakewood a 51-10 defeat. The game, which was the final home contest of the season for LHS, was preceded by Senior Night activities. Football players, cheerleaders, band members, and athletes from numerous fall sports were introduced on field with their parents and thanked for their contributions to Lakewood Athletics.
Despite the final score, the Rangers moved the ball rather well offensively, especially in the first half. However, turnovers and mistakes resulted in empty drives. Meanwhile, the Middie offense was paced by the bruising running of senior Connor Wolfe. Midview scored on its opening possession, taking a 7-0 lead on a 10 yard TD run by junior Seth Sanders with 9:48 left in the first quarter. The Rangers countered with their own long offensive drive, going 63 yards on a solid mix of running and passing plays. The drive faltered at the Middie 17 yard line, with negative plays that resulted in a 41 yard field goal attempt by Attila Nagy. The kick fell just short, returning the ball to Midview. The Middies extended their lead to 14-0 late in the first quarter, when Alonzo Banks caught a 14 yard TD pass with 26 seconds left.
Midview extended the lead to 17-0 on a 31 yard field goal with 7:31 remaining in the first half. Lakewood responded on its next drive, going 54 yards to set up a successful Nagy field goal. The 38 yard kick made the score 17-3 with 4:02 left in the half. The Rangers forced a punt on the next Midview possession, and they had the ball at their own 27 yard line with 2:12 remaining before the half. However, they went “three and out” and punted back to Midview with 1:12 on the clock. The Middies cashed in, scoring a 36 yard touchdown with 17 second remaining to take a 24-3 lead.
Lakewood came out strong in the second half. On their first offensive play, senior Will Adams broke loose for a 75 yard run all the way to the Midview five yard line. The play breathed new life into the Ranger crowd, but it would be short-lived. Three plays later a fumble returned the ball to Midview, deflating the Lakewood faithful. The Middies would pile on three touchdowns in the third quarter, making the lead 45-3 at the end of the third quarter. Each team scored a fourth quarter touchdown during the OHSAA “running clock”. Lakewood’s score came on a run by Milan Jackson.
Lakewood (1-8 on the season) finishes its season next week on the road at North Ridgeville. The “other Rangers” defeated Westlake in overtime on Friday to raise their record to 2-7. Lakewood defeated Westlake last week, so the teams are comparably matched. Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm on Friday.
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