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HS Football: Medina Rallies on Senior Night, Tops Solon 24-20

 

MEDINA, OHIO – The third quarter ended with Medina trailing Solon 20-10 on their Senior Night.

But they did not give up as they scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to give them the 24-20 win over the Comets.

On both drives, they had to go over 50 yards to get to the endzone.

Drew Hensley, younger brother of Medina’s star Senior wide receiver Luke Hensley, made crucial catches to keep their drives going and even had a 15-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Drew Allar.

“Drew (Hensley) is a really good receiver,” Allar said.

“He’s reliable, he knows what he’s doing, and he’ll find open holes in the defense. The most important part is that he’s a great teammate and has a really high football IQ.”

Medina drove down the field with four plays to go 65 yards to make the score 20-17 and were one possession away with 9:26 remaining.

The Bee’s defense had stretches where they struggled to defend against Solon’s rushing attack with running back Khalil Eichelberger, who racked up three touchdowns on the ground and made plays in open space.

In the fourth quarter, Medina’s defense held him to 13 rushing yards, off of six rushing attempts (2.1 yards per carry).

“The big thing was our defense,” Bee’s coach Larry Laird said after the win.

“We had our back up against the wall for most of the game. Towards the end there in the fourth quarter, we really stepped up and got us a couple stops when we needed.”

Medina’s game-winning drive lasted more than four and a half minutes. They utilized their running game and completed passes when they had to move the chains. Drew Hensley had a 21-yard reception after running back Dorian Boyland converted a fourth-and-three.

Medina kept running the ball to get to the one-yard line. A false start pushed them back to the six to set up a third-and-goal. Under pressure, and needing a touchdown, Allar connected with Boyland in the endzone to give them the 24-20 lead with 3:43 remaining and eventually the win.

“We kind of drew that up in the dirt,” Allar said.

“We never ran that in practice before. But (Boyland did a really good job of finding the open space and catching the ball, which was the biggest part.”

The defense for the Bees came up with plays when it mattered, but it wasn’t always like that. Eichelberger rushed for a total of 164 yards, and three touchdowns, being the engine that drove the Comets’ offense on the night.

The presence was felt in the first drive as he rushed for 68 yards on their first drive of the game to set the tone and ended it with a 7-yard touchdown with 6:59 in the first quarter to open the scoring 7-0.

Eichelberger’s other touchdowns came just before the half with a 7-yard run to the endzone. The PAT was no good, and a 17-yard touchdown on their first drive of the second half to make the score 20-10 with 9:59 remaining in the third quarter.

After being down 7-0, Medina came right back with a 7-yard touchdown of their own on the ensuing drive, as running back Nathan Spatny scored to tie the game 7-7 with 2:59 remaining.

Medina had multiple opportunities to score on one drive in the beginning of the second quarter. Potential lead-taking touchdown passes to Luke Hensley and wide receiver Michael Rodak were dropped. The Medina Bees had to settle for a 21-yard field goal that kicker Ryan Miller made to give them the temporary 10-7 lead.

On the same drive, Luke Hensley caught a one-handed pass from Allar near the right sideline to keep the drive going.

“It was a bad ball,” Allar said about Luke Hensley’s one-handed catch.

“I left it behind him. (Luke Hensley) probably has the best hands in the state. I would say I see him come out here and see him make ridiculous catches in practice all the time. He’s a really talented receiver. There are no if’s, ands, or buts about it.”

Medina finished the regular season 3-3. 3-3 in the GCC. Despite the short season for Solon, they finish with an 0-3 record (0-1 in GCC).

However, both teams still have a spot reserved in the Division I, Region 1 OHSAA Playoffs. The Comets were given the 12th seed and will face No. 4 seed St. Ignatius. For Medina, they were awarded the eighth seed in the same bracket and will face ninth-seeded Strongsville. Both games will be played on Oct. 9th.

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