MADISON TOWNSHIP —
Maybe it was inexperience.
Perhaps it was just a lack of execution at key times.
Nonetheless, the Madison Blue Streaks could not put Lakeview away.
The result was a hard-fought, 26-23, opening night loss against the visiting Bulldogs Friday at Blue Streak Memorial Stadium.
Both teams accumulated similar stats in the game. Madison gained a total of 303 yards to Lakeview’s 300. Both teams had 18 first downs. Both teams lined up to punt just three times each (Madison faked one).
But, critical mistakes (two interceptions and at least four kickoffs out of bounds that gave Lakeview favorable field position) and the inability to stop Lakeview’s running game in the second half was Madison’s undoing, despite holding a 9-7 halftime lead.
Lakeview, who had just 72 yards total in the half, including completing just 3 of 17 passes in the first half, went almost exclusively on the ground in the second half.
Running back Michael Mannella (112 yards, 1 touchdown) and standout receiver/running back Elijah Henderson (94 yards, 2 touchdowns) did most of the damage in leading the Bulldogs to touchdown drives the first three times they touched the ball in the second half.
“We beat ourselves,” Madison coach Tim Willis said of his team that lost 16 lettermen from a year ago. “We made too many mental errors. Our problem was defensively we could never get a stop when we needed to get a stop.
“If we are going to be a good football team, we’re going to have to get better.”
Madison looked anything like an inexperienced team at the onset, as the Blue Streaks scored the first two times they had the ball.
Senior tailback Mark Murray took a direct snap from center and scampered 3 yards for a touchdown, capping a 10-play, 65 yard drive to open the game to give the hosts a 6-0 lead.
Then senior Mason Kensinger converted a 25-yard field goal five minutes later, pushing the lead to 9-0.
But, Lakeview started to make some adjustments, allowing Henderson in shotgun formation to start taking direct snaps from center.
Consequently, the Bulldogs responded with its best drive of the half, marching 55 yards in 10 plays, capped by a one-yard run by Mannella with just under 11 minutes remaining in the half.
“Elijah has to touch the ball a significant amount of times for us to have a chance,” Lakeview coach Tom Palansky said. “You saw tonight, when he has the ball in his hands, he might fall into the category of being special.
“We beat a good, well-coached Madison team tonight. It was a good way to start the season.”
Negin is a freelance writer from Madison Township.
Madison can’t put Lakeview away
MADISON TOWNSHIP —
Maybe it was inexperience.
Jefferson comes up a run short vs. Chagrin Falls
Whether it was the mistakes of a largely youthful team or just a case of bad timing, the Jefferson Falcons struggled to get hits with runners in scoring position during a Division II district semifinal final against Chagrin Falls.
Edgewood can’t hold off charge of NDCL
Not many people expected a much out of the Edgewood Warrior baseball team this year.
With a young team featuring only two seniors, Edgewood advanced all the way to the district semifinal contest Monday night before losing an early lead and succumbing to a talented second-seeded Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin team, 8-5.
A Don McCormack column: Home fires burn for Fitch
Paying another visit to the variety store...
It didn’t take long for Ryan Fitch to find a new “home” as a basketball coach.
PAC-ing a familiar punch
The Madison and Riverside softball teams are quite familiar with each other at this point in the season after having played each other twice during the regular season.
High School Baseball Statistics:
Chargin Falls 3, Jefferson 2
at Cotton Field, Havens Complex
TUESDAY, MAY 21
at Havens Complex, Jefferson
(1) Chagrin Falls vs. (2) NDCL
Ashtabula County Finishers
Chris Sopko, Roaming Shores, Male, 34, 2:59:14
Jesse Sharp, Ashtabula, Male, 56, 3:23:26
Erik van't Veer, Ashtabula, Male, 44, 3:28:22
Daniel Loose, Ashtabula, Male, 50, 3:44:05
Benjamin Hawes, Dorset, Male, 27, 3:58:47
Shawn Van Buren, Ashtabula, Male, 28, 4:04:58
Sebastian Ornelas, Ashtabula, Male, 34, 4:10:18
Robert Sapatka, Jefferson, Male, 46, 4:21:26
Samual Spain, Geneva, Male, 44, 4:22:34
The next level
In a perfect world, Jefferson and Edgewood would prevail in their respective Division II district semifinal baseball contests tonight and square off Tuesday with a district championship on the line.
On their own
While Jefferson and Edgewood will be keeping an eye on each other as they enter the district-tournament waters tonight in Division II contests at Havens Complex, the area’s other two sectional-championship squads won’t have to worry about distractions.
A Don McCormack column: Tributes continue to roll in
Paying a visit to the variety store...
Man of honor
I’ve been flooded with messages, emails and telephone calls about the passing of Paul Demshar last Thursday in Jacksonville, Fla.
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- Jefferson comes up a run short vs. Chagrin Falls