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FNTD Game of Week 1 Highlights: Kirtland at Eastlake North

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Each week during the 2013 high school football season, we will nominate four area games to receive extended coverage both on air, and online, on the Friday Night Touchdown webpage.

Students, staff, players, coaches, fans and FOX 8 viewers are invited to vote for their favorite school or game.

The first winner of the 2013 season for game of the week was Kirtland at Eastlake North.

FOX 8 Sports Director John Telich provided extended coverage of the game during Friday Night Touchdown.

Watch the highlights above.

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Here were the four nominees for week #1:

A.)  TWINSBURG  at  AURORA: The talented Tigers' promising 2012 season got off to a false start when workhorse RB John Barton went down with a knee injury in the first game. QB Jalen Washington used his elite athleticism to keep Twinsburg in many games, but this fall his skills will be on display on the baseball diamond at Ohio State. So Coach Joe Schiavone will hand the reigns to converted WR Mike Peelman to direct the Tigers’ ground and pounds offense. Meanwhile, Coach Bob Mihalik's Greenmen are eying another deep run in the Playoffs, after falling just short last year, against eventual D-2 State Champion Toledo Central Catholic in the Final Four. Senior QB and Kent State recruit George Bollas does it all for Aurora and he will be asked to do even more after the graduation of his future Golden Flashes teammate, Jack McVay. But look for Bollas to lead the Greenmen back to the Playoffs.

B.)  McDOWELL (PA)  at  MENTOR:  The Cardinals 2012 Playoff run was nothing short of spectacular, with heart-stopping, shootout wins over both St. Edward and St. Ignatius in consecutive weeks. But Coach Steve Trivisonno's exhausted defense just ran out of gas in a semifinal slugfest against eventual D-1 State Runner-Up Toledo Whitmer.  2013 will be a year of transition, as the Cards try to replace record-breaking QB Mitch Trubisky, who flew south last winter to start slinging the rock at the University of North Carolina.  Converted WR Conner Krizancic will start the season under center against a very tough opponent, McDowell (PA). The Trojans pushed Mentor to the limit last season and led in the fourth quarter, until the Cards closed the game with 20 unanswered points.  But this fall, Krizancic will rely on one Ohio’s most dynamic weapons, another Tar Heels commit, star WR Brandon Fritts, whose combinations of size, speed and hands make him nearly indefensible.

C.)  NDCL at WILLOUGHBY SOUTH:  The Lions started 0-2 in 2012, before rallying to win their final eight games, en route to their first North Coast League Title. NDCL's momentum ran out against eventual D-3 State Champion St. Vincent-St. Mary. But then longtime Coach Byron Morgan called it a career in January, after 33 seasons. So, new Coach Ben Malbasa will have big shoes to fill after making the jump from Benedictine to guide the Lions.  Meanwhile, the Rebels' explosive offense just keeps piling up the points under Coach Matt Duffy and innovative Offensive Coordinator Jeff Fox, and South looks primed to earn a fourth consecutive Playoff berth in rugged Region 1. But the Rebels have a huge hole to fill after 2012 'Friday Night Touchdown' Player of the Year, Kareem Hunt, ran off to Toledo.

D.)  KIRTLAND at EASTLAKE NORTHCoach Tiger LaVerde has transformed Kirtland into the dominant force in the CVC and perennial title contender. The Hornets simply refuse to lose in the regular season, and ride a 35-game winning streak into 2013. Their only setback in 2012 was a disappointing 10-9 loss to Coldwater in the D-5 Title Game that denied Kirtland back-to-back State Championships. Junior QB Sam Kukura returns a year older and a year stronger, and look for RB Adam Hess to emerge from the shadow of All-Ohio back Damon Washington, who took his game to Miami University.  The Rangers fell on hard times in 2012, struggling through a 1-9 season, just a year after going 7-3 and just missing a Playoff berth in Region 1. North will have the advantages of roster size and a loud home crowd, but will it be enough to take the sting out of the Hornets?