FNTD Week 4 Preview: Conference Play Begins
CLEVELAND — Week 4 of the high school football season begins the quest for countless teams to capture their conference crowns.
And the toughest early season test will come in Chagrin Falls as two Chagrin Valley Conference powerhouses square-off. The Tigers welcome Aurora to town in a Chagrin Division game that could go a long way towards deciding the champion at season’s end.
Aurora tossed the ball all over the field last week in a 49-0 win over Revere. Quarterback George Bollas played a near perfect game in completing 17-22 passes for 230 yards and four touchdowns.
Coach Bob Mihalik’s group can run the football too, but the health of fullback/linebacker Zach Quinn is a concern for the Greenmen. Quinn has been vital to the Greenmen’s offense that has progressively scored more points, 29, 37 and 49, so far this year.
The home squad Tigers feature an explosive offense that is averaging 48 points a game.
In a 56-42 win last week over Wooster, quarterback Tommy Iammarino tossed seven touchdown passes.
Iammarino, who had 17 touchdown passes all of last season, has already thrown 14 so far this year. No team in northeast Ohio has done more winning over the past three years than Iammarino’s Tigers, who are now 43-4 with the senior signal caller under center.
In Hudson, the Explorers will welcome the Brunswick Blue Devils to town.
The Blue Devils are coming off one of the more bizarre losses of the season last week. The Blue Devils actually gained more yards than Austintown Fitch, 318 to 308, yet they were dominated on the scoreboard 35-7. One week earlier the Blue Devils were amazing on offense in a 38-10 thrashing of Lake Catholic.
Brunswick needs to get tailback Nick Roberts going. The senior will soon become the leading rusher in school history but he only has 229 yards so far on the season.
The unbeaten Hudson Explorers used a dominant second half last week to pull out a 38-21 win over Brecksville.
The Explorers piled on 31 second half points thanks to the continued great play of sophomore quarterback Mitchell Guadagni.
Guadagni threw three touchdowns last week after tossing a school record tying four touchdown passes in his first game as a starter during the second week of the season.
Down in Stark County, the Massillon Tigers head over to Perry to take on the Panthers in a battle of 2-1 teams.
Massillon found their groove on the ground last week in a 34-12 win over Maumee. The game was called at halftime due to lightning and storms.
Tailbacks Ryne Moore and Kentrell Taylor combined for 235 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
Perry went down to Dublin Coffman last week and ran into a buzz-saw in their 40-7 loss. The Panthers turned the ball over four times and the Shamrocks capitalized, especially in the second quarter when they poured in 20 points.
For Perry to upend the Tigers sophomore running back Braxton Berry will have to have a big night.
And the Friday Night Touchdown Game of the Week features one of the most pleasant surprises of the young season, the Newbury Knights.
Coach Randy Perrotti’s Knights come into their biggest game of the season
against Kirtland at 3-0. The Knights have not won more than two games in a season over the past decade.
Perrotti’s success with the program starts with his team’s ability to win close games this season. Newbury average margin of victory is six points.
Last week Newbury went on the road and relied on the big play ability of Greg Clark, who had an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, in a 28-20 win over Sebring McKinley.
The Hornets on the other hand are not only 3-0, but 18-0 over their last two seasons with a Division V State Title in tow.
The play of running back Damon Washington has been exceptional thus far this season, but senior signal caller Scott Eilerman has been the biggest surprise.
Eilerman has ran coach Tiger LaVerde’s spread-option offense to a tee in wins over West Branch, Harvey and Orange.
Make sure to tune in to Fox 8′s Friday Night Touchdown for highlights from these games and dozens of others from around northeast Ohio. The show kicks off each week at 11:00 p.m. immediately following Fox 8 News at 10.