Rangers Find Offensive Spark, But Fall to Titans
The LHS football team fell 50-12 to Berea-Midpark on Friday night. The Ranger offense had its best outing of the season, highlighted by a pair of touchdown catches by sophomore wide receiver Evan Hampton. Senior wide receiver Garrett Waite had a pair of touchdown receptions for the Titans, helping them to build a big first half lead.
Berea-Midpark took the opening kickoff and scored on their third offensive play of the game. Senior running back Bryce Agnew made a 40 yard touchdown run to spot the Titans a 7-0 lead. Lakewood responded with a 26 yard pass play from junior quarterback Albert Wilhelmy to senior wide receiver Kyren Jefferson. The Rangers drove to the Titans 33 yard line, but then suffered the biggest play of the game. Wilhelmy’s fourth down pass into the endzone was intercepted by Titan senior Dwayne Holland, who ran the ball back 105 yards for a “pick six”. Instead of a tie game, the Titans suddenly led 14-0 with 9:18 left in the first quarter.
Berea-Midpark scored again on a 29 yard touchdown pass to Waite, making it 21-0. The Titans then exercised some poor sportsmanship by doing an onside kick. They recovered the ball, but were unable to score. The Ranger defense stopped the Titans on a fourth down play, getting the ball back. The Rangers went on another drive, this one led by a quarterback combination of Wilhelmy and sophomore Pete Patsouras. The Rangers reached the Berea-Midpark 24 yard line, but suffered another end zone interception to end the drive.
The Wilhelmy/Patsouras combination again had some success on the next drive, reaching the Titans 30 yard line. However, this drive was snuffed out on a fourth down sack. The Titans stretched their lead to 43-0 at the half, putting the OHSAA “running clock” rule into effect. Lakewood scored its first touchdown on the second drive of the third quarter, going 80 yards on 10 plays. Wilhelmy had a 33 yard completion to sophomore receiver Phoenix Jouriles and a 19 yard completion to Hampton. Patsouras made a key 12 yard run to convert on a third down. The drive was capped by a 13 yard TD pass from Wilhelmy to Hampton with 1:45 left in the third quarter. Lakewood had another strong drive in the fourth quarter, this one resulting in a 12 yard touchdown reception by Hampton. Berea Midpark scored again late to make the final margin 50-12.
After the game, Ranger head coach Tom Thome indicated that the quarterback rotation will continue. “We are going to put our kids in the best position to succeed”, he said. Thome was pleased with his team’s effort, as they fought for the whole 48 minutes. Lakewood returns home next Friday to face Olmsted Falls. The Bulldogs defeated Westlake tonight, improving their record to 2-1 on the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm at First Federal Lakewood Stadium.
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