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Lake County Sentinel
Blue Devils lose heart breaker to Bison 20-13

Friday night at Wickliffe Memorial Stadium it was a renewal of the rivalry between the Blue Devils and the visiting Beachwood Bison. Both teams came into the game battling for their playoff lives. The Blue Devils entered the game 3-2 and 15th in Division 5 Region 17. The Bison entered 4-1 and 7th in Division 5 Region 18. After a battle for four quarters the Bison came out on top with a 20-13 win.

After Wickliffe was forced to punt to the Bison in the middle of the first quarter Beachwood turned the ball over on an interception to Donnell Jackson and Wickliffe took over at the Beachwood 48 with 4:55 left in the first quarter. At the 1:49 mark of the quarter junior Isaiah Bolon took the ball into the end zone on a 7-yard run. Bolon as converted the extra point to give the Blue Devils a 7-0 lead.

On the first drive of the game Blue Devils junior Division 1 recruit Chase Fortkamp left the game with a sprained ankle. He did not return and was scheduled for an MRI Saturday.

Beachwood came right back down the field and scored from one yard out when Dawann Gray, jr. ran the ball in. The Bison converted the extra point to the game 7-7 with 8:15 left in the 2nd quarter.
The Blue Devils drove down the field after the Beachwood score aided by a 36-yard run by Senior quarterback Evan Rypinski to the Beachwood 31. Wickliffe could not score and turned the ball over on downs. Beachwood took over at their own 34-yard line with 4:54 left in the half. And did nothing, punting to Wickliffe. The Blue Devils took over with 3:01 left in the quarter and were not able to turn the drive into points.

The score remained tied 7-7 at half time.

Beachwood got possession first in the second half but did nothing with the possession and ended up punting. Wickliffe took over at their own 26 with 8:54 left in the 3rd quarter.

After gaining possession the Blue Devils fumbled on the first play of the drive and the Bison took over at the Wickliffe 17 with 8:13 left in the period. The Bison took advantage as junior Desmond Horne, jr. ran the ball in on fourth and one from eight yards out with 6:31 left in the 3rd quarter.
  The extra point was good, and the Bison led 14-7.

The Blue Devils got the ball back and turned it over on an interception. Beachwood took possession of the ball at the Wickliffe 48 after the Bison were charged with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a dangerous and illegal crackback block. Beachwood scored on the drive when Deonte McCutcheon, jr. scored on a 25-yard run with 3:32 left in the 3rd quarter to give Beachwood a 20-7 lead after the kick failed on a bad snap.

The Blue Devils kept fighting and scored on the second play of the next drive when Rypinski kept it and went 56 yards for the touchdown with 2:37 left in the third quarter. Bolon could not convert the extra point and the score was 20-13 Beachwood.
Wickliffe then quick-onside kicked and recovered at their own 48-yard line. On second and 20 Bala uncorked an 18-yard run to the Beachwood 40. On third and six Rypinski then ran 21 yards to the Beachwood 23 with :48 left in the third quarter. Rypinski was injured on the play. The Senior QB was able to return, missing only one play. Wickliffe faced a fourth and goal at the four with 9:24 left on the game clock. The Blue Devils failed to convert, and the ball went back to the Bison at their own four-yard line with 9:18 left in the contest.

Beachwood then attempted to run the clock out. The crucial play of the game came with 2:49 left when Beachwood faced a fourth and four and decided to punt to Wickliffe. The punt went only 18 yards and Bala returned it for the Blue Devils five yards. Wickliffe began the drive with 2:41 left at their own 40-yard line. The game came down to a fourth and three with 1:31 left in the game, but the Blue Devils could not convert as Rypinski was stopped at the line of scrimmage and the ball went over to the Bison on downs effectively ending Wickliffe’s chances to tie or win the game. The Bison ran the clock out to capture the victory.

The Blue Devils outgained the Bison on offense 243 to 192. All of Wickliffe’s yards came on the ground with 41 rushing attempts. The Blue Devils did attempt six passes but none of the six were successful. Beachwood was not much better through the air going just 1 for 7 for a 13-yard completion early in the game.

Next week Wickliffe will be at home and celebrate homecoming against the Berkshire Badgers at 7:00 p.m.
tshirer@lakecountysentinel.com or follow Tim on Twitter @IndiansTim Check out our High School Scoreboard
​POSTED 10/04/2019 22:59
Photos by Tommy Shirer