Connect with us

High School Football

HS Football: Stow-Monroe Falls Runs Away From Cleveland Heights 45-14

After a Cleveland Heights’ intentional grounding and a poor punt, the Stow-Monroe Falls Bulldogs had the ball on the Tigers’ 33-yard line with a 20-14 lead late in the first half.

Bulldogs’ quarterback Owen Bainbridge connected with William Luketich for a 33-yard touchdown with 17 seconds left in the first half to extend the lead to 28-14. The momentum this play had, carried over into the second half as Stow ran away with the 45-14 win in the first round of the Division I, Region 1, OHSAA playoffs.

“I felt like that set the tone for the second half,” Bainbridge said after the win.

Knowing how we can go out and without any time left and score. Willie (Luketich) and Costa, [who) blocked for him, made a phenomenal play and they got that touchdown.”

In the second half, the defense shutout Cleveland Heights. Stow forced one turnover and one goal-line stand.

“Our D-line and linebackers stepped up huge,” defensive back and running back Jack Brydens said.

“They had to tackle those big running backs. They were just stopping them [at the line of scrimmage]. Our corners did a good job keeping our leverage; keeping our space. Our defense executed perfectly.”

The goal-line stand happened in the third quarter. Tigers quarterback Darreon Fair completed a 42-yard pass to Jeremiah Dillard to set up a first-and-goal on the five.

Four plays later, Stow held on strong with an incomplete pass on a fourth-and-goal on the three yard line to get them off the field.

“Anytime you get a goal-line stand, it’s exciting,” Bulldogs’ coach Tom Phillips said.

“I don’t think I’ve had that in my first two and a half years (at Stow). You got players and they are making plays. Coaches did a great job and hats off to them.”

A few possessions later in the beginning of the fourth quarter, Stow forced a fumble that would set up a 9-yard touchdown run for Bainbridge.

“I feel like if I see an open guy, I’m gonna take it,” Bainbridge said.

“But, if I feel like, once I start getting my rhythm, I run (the ball) and I’m getting (rushing yards). I think it make (the defense have to respect you running so it opens up the pass [more].”

Bainbridge had quite the night.

Along with the touchdown run, he threw three touchdowns in the. All were in the first half. He passed for 160 yards.

Stow and Bainbridge started the game out strong with two touchdown passes to Justin Weightman (three yards) and Jack Costa (18 yards) on their first two drives.

“The plan was to get the ball out quick and keep doing what we were doing last week and just have the same game plan and try to keep (the momentum) rolling,” Bainbridge said.

“We came out pretty hot [in the beginning of the game], we slowed down in the second quarter, but we came back and we got it rolling again.”

In the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second, Cleveland Heights ran the ball down the field with running backs Elijah Fowlkes, Owen Brisker, and Fair.

100 percent of their plays on their touchdowns drives were runs. They both ended with quarterback sneaks from Fair into the end zone to tie the game at 14-14.

Stow’s offense was balanced with Bainbridge throwing and running back Bryden rushing.

Despite being the fourth running back on the depth chart, Bryden was filling the shoes like he was a full-time starter with 169 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

After Bryden scored his first touchdown, he intercepted Fair on a deep throw.

Stows record movez to 5-1 and Cleveland Heights finishes their season with a first round exit and a 4-2 record.

Stow advances to the second round of the Division I, Region 1 OHSAA playoffs and will face Mentor, the second seed next week.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





Show Your Team Spirit

NEO Sports Insiders Newsletter

Sign up to receive our NEOSI newsletter, and keep up to date with all the latest Cleveland sports news.

Recent Comments


More in High School Football