SOLON, OHIO – The playmakers of the Solon Comets stared up at the scoreboard midway through the fourth quarter, wondering where their 2019 season was headed trailing the Brunswick Blue Devils 29-19.
The Comets had lost the week before in stunning fashion to Stow 50-19, and now despite leading 19-14 at the half, they had been outscored by the Blue Devils 15-0 over the first 18 minutes of the second half.
That’s when great players respond, and the Comets rose up and did just that in front of a rabid home crowd.
Solon rallied back, led by quarterback Pat McQuaide, running back Khalil Eichelberger, and wide out Grant McCurry, the Comets scored 14 points in the final 6:54 of the fourth quarter to take home a huge 33-29 win to begin play in the Greater Cleveland Conference.
The game-winner came with eight seconds left, as McCurry pulled in his third scoring pass of the night from McQuaide after a frantic final drive from seven yards out to seal the comeback win.
“I kind of thought I was going to get the ball since we were in the red zone and it was man-to-man,” McCurry said.
“I was running a corner route and I knew he was going to get it to me, and he threw it up and I just tried to make the play.”
McCurry was the biggest playmaker of the night for the Comets, hauling in nine catches for 121 yards and three scores, including a 78-yard touchdown on the last play of the half to put Solon up 19-14.
“Grant is just a great player, when he gets the ball he’s just a threat to score,” Solon quarterback Pat McQuaide said.
“He’s had multiple 60 plus yard touchdowns this year, he’s just a player, there’s really nothing else to say, it’s my job to get the ball to him.”
McQuaide was 21-for-31 for 207 yards and three scores, and he also rushed five times for 18 yards and a score.
Eichelberger was the leading ground gainer for the Comets, rushing for 131 yards on 24 carries with a score.
It took a heroic effort from the Comets to hand the Blue Devils their first loss of the season. After winning just one game in 2018, Brunswick was one of the great feel good stories in the area in the first three weeks, allowing just seven points total in wins over Lorain, North Royalton and Rhodes.
“We thought they were a really good team,” Solon coach Jim McQuaide said.
“We were embarrassed by Stow last week, we knew the exact time we left there, and we just needed to play harder, that was our focus, we hung in there against a good team, we always appreciate winning.”
The Blue Devils were led by quarterback Jacob Scherette, who rushed for 85 yards and three scores, and throwing the football went 7-for-16 for 76 yards as Solon focused in on stopping Brunswick’s passing game.
The Comets scored the first touchdown of the affair, putting together a nifty 11-play, 80-yard drive on their first possession to take a 6-0 lead.
The drive saw a number of runs by Eichelberger to get the Comets close, and then from the two-yard line McQuaide took it in to make it a 6-0 game.
The Comets went for two and it failed, as McCurry tried a pass on a trick play, which fell incomplete.
The Blue Devils took awhile for their offense to get into sync, but on their second possession they were able to put together a well formulated 60-yard drive in nine plays to take a one-point lead.
Scherette rushed for 14 yards to put the ball on the Solon 45, and from the Comets 32 the Blue Devils quarterback hit a big pass to Jack Miler down to the Solon three-yard line.
Two plays later Scherette went in, and with the extra point the Blue Devils led it 7-6 with :30 left in the first quarter.
Solon would use up a big chunk of time in the second quarter on their next possession, which covered 64 yards and 16 plays, ending in another touchdown to make it 13-7.
McQuaide hit McCurry from the five-yard line on third down for the go-ahead score with 3:48 left in the first half.
The back and forth affair continued as the Blue Devils put another good drive together to take back the one-point lead in the final minute of the half.
A good return by Connin Som to the Comets 46 started the Brunswick drive, and they marched down using the legs of Scherette and Quinten McKinley to eventually get the ball to the Solon one.
Jonah Clement dove in for the score with :40 left in the half, and with the extra point Brunswick took a 14-13 lead.
It wouldn’t last long, as the final play of the half saw Solon hit a huge play, with McQuaide hitting a pass to McCurry, who broke a few tackles and get free in the secondary, and he raced the final 55 yards for the score making it 19-14.
The pass play ended up covering 78 yards. The Comets again tried for two and it failed, putting them up by five at the break, 19-14.
At the half Solon was led by McQuaide who was 12-for-14 for 137 yards and a pair of scores. McCurry had four grabs for 86 yards and two scores.
Brunswick at half were led by Scherette, who rushed for 51 yards and a score, and was 2-for-5 passing for 33 yards.
Overall Solon outgained Brunswick in the first 24 minutes 226-109 in terms of yards. They also held the ball for 12:14 while the Blue Devils had it for 8:28.
The Blue Devils took the lead back in the third quarter, as they went on a 60-yard drive in 10 plays, with a fake punt rush by Alexander Dinger setting up Brunswick at the Solon 23.
Scherette rushed for 21 yards on the next play, and then two plays later took it in, and Brunswick converted the two-point conversion to go up 22-19.
Early in the fourth quarter the Blue Devils struck again, as again it was Scherette scoring from seven yards out to make it a 29-19 game after the extra point.
The Solon offense was going nowhere as their drives in the second half had netted a turnover and two punts to that point which saw the Blue Devils lead by 10.
That’s when the Comets finally got going, scoring on a nine-play drive that covered 80 yards, and then their defense made a huge stop to allow them to get the ball back with a shot to go down and win it, and they converted the winning score with eight seconds left.
“We have some experience on offense and we have some playmakers on offense,” coach McQuaide said.
“That’s why we punted with four minutes, we trust our team, we talk about playing complementary football, it was a good football game, I’m sure to watch it was entertaining.”
Check out the Photos Below from the Wild Battle Between the Blue Devils and Comets!
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