Amherst Dominates Rangers in Conference Opener
The LHS football team fell 56-0 to Amherst on Friday night in the conference opener for both schools. The game was played at Memorial Field in Amherst, where a pregame ceremony honored fallen Ohio Trooper Kenneth Velez. Velez, a father of three Amherst student athletes over the years, died in 2016 while directing traffic on I-90 along the Lakewood/Cleveland border.
Amherst took control early, stopping Lakewood with a “three and out” on their first two possessions. The Comets subsequently scored a touchdown on their first two offensive plays, taking a 14-0 lead less than three minutes into the game. Amherst senior Khennedy Scagliozzo scored both the touchdowns; the first came on a 49 yard run, the second on a 16 yard run.
The Rangers then came alive on their third offensive possession. Junior quarterback Albert Wilhelmy hit sophomore Phoenix Jouriles with a 48 yard pass, taking the Rangers to the Amherst 22 yard line. The Comet defense stiffened, forcing Lakewood into a 4th and 19 play from the Amherst 31. Wilhelmy sent a pass into the left corner of the endzone, where it was caught for an apparent touchdown by sophomore Evan Hampton. The Ranger crowd erupted with joy…until a late penalty flag nullified the play. Instead of cutting the lead to 14-7, the Rangers were forced to punt. Amherst went on a seven play touchdown drive, capped by another Scagliozzo touchdown run to make the score 21-0 after the first period.
Scagliozzo scored two more rushing touchdowns in the second quarter, and the lead expanded to 49-0 at the half. That put the OHSAA “running clock” rule into effect for the second half. Freshman Lucas Winters entered the game at quarterback for the Rangers, and suffered an interception on his first drive. However, he later completed three passes, including a nice 20 yard completion to Jouriles. Amherst added another touchdown to make the final score 56-0.
LHS head coach Tom Thome was disappointed with the team’s mental mistakes, but felt they played hard for the entire game. “The effort was there” he said after the game, “’We’ve got to get smarter.” He says that the team will continue to work to get better. “We’re going to have growing pains” he added. The Rangers play next Friday at Berea-Midpark High School. The Titans are 1-1 on the season, having defeated Westlake 57-35 on Friday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm at Finnie Stadium in Berea.
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