Blue Devils run over Brooklyn 35-21
BY TIM SHIRER
(WICKLIFFE, OH) - It is not an understatement or an over exaggeration to say that the Wickliffe Blue Devils could easily be 5-3 or even 6-2 this season as they have a talented roster. Mistakes and turnovers have played a key role in the season and their current record of 2-6 (1-2 in the CVC). Friday night they traveled to Brooklyn to take on the Hurricanes who also entered the game 2-6 (1-2). Wickliffe won the battle prevailing 35-21 in a high scoring second half.
The first quarter was a scoreless quarter. Brooklyn did have a long drive to start the game driving inside the Wickliffe 10-yard line when Hurricanes QB Jackson Diller threw an interception to Blue Devils Junior Nunzio Zivnoska in the end zone which he returned 54 yards. The Blue Devils were called for holding and retained possession and started their first drive at their own 35-yard line with 4:58 left in the first quarter. The Blue Devils drove 65 yards on 14 plays. The drive was capped off on a six-yard touchdown run by Senior EJ Mester, giving the Blue Devils a 7-0 lead after Senior Eliza “Automatic” Wills kicked the extra point with 9:04 left in the second quarter.
The Blue Devils second touchdown came after a Brooklyn punt with the Blue Devils taking over on the 50-yard line with 2:18 left in the second quarter. The Blue Devils put together a five play 50-yard scoring drive once again capped off by Mester as he rumbled 25 yards to the end zone and “Automatic” Wills once again hit the extra point to give Wickliffe 1 14-0 lead with :26 left in the first half.
The second half of the game was completely different than the first, both teams went up and down the field scoring a combined six times in the third and fourth quarter.
The half started with the Blue Devils fumbling on the first play after the kickoff and committed an unsportsmanlike conduct on the play giving the Hurricanes the ball at the Wickliffe 13 with just :34 gone in the third quarter. Brooklyn took advantage when Senior quarterback Jackson Diller hit Sophomore Wide Receiver Rajon Foster with a 12-yard pass to cut the Blue Devils lead to 14-7 after Senior kicker Tyler Pallotta hit the extra point with 9:02 left in the third quarter.
After the two teams punt on their next series things did not go well for Brooklyn as their punt travel -18 yards it was a bad angle off the punter’s foot going sideways and then bouncing backwards and landing at the Brooklyn 15 giving Wickliffe great field position. Just four plays later on a three-yard run by Mester. It was his third TD of the game. “Automatic” Wills hit the extra point and gave the Blue Devils a 21-7 lead with 4:13 left on the third quarter clock.
The Hurricanes responded just 4:07 seconds later when Diller hit Foster once again, this time from 13 yards out to pull Brooklyn to with seven points at 21-14 after the extra point with just :06 left on the third quarter clock. But the scoring in the third was not over. On the kickoff after the Brooklyn TD Wickliffe’s Zivnoska took the kickoff back 81 yards to extend the Blue Devils lead back to 14 at 28-14 with no time left on the third quarter clock.
The fourth quarter’s pace was slower. The Hurricanes took the kickoff to start the fourth quarter and drove 57 yards on nine plays in 4:56. The drive was capped off once again by a Diller TD pass. This time he hit Sophomore Lyle Taylor from 13 yards to cut the Blue Devils lead to seven once again after Pallotta converted the extra point with 7:04 left on the fourth quarter clock.
The Blue Devils scored the final TD of the game on their next drive using the ground power of Senior Noah Dohm who was reminiscent of Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Mike Alstott as he carried the ball six times for 59 yards, completing the 59-yard drive with a four-yard TD run giving the Blue Devils a 35-21 lead after “Automatic” Wills hit the extra point with 4:02 left on the game clock.
The Hurricanes did get the ball back and drove to the Wickliffe 20 when Diller threw his second interception of the game to Zivnoska who returned it 25 yards and sealing the Hurricanes fate and giving Wickliffe the 35-21 win.
Dohm ended up as the leading rusher for the Blue Devils with 82 yards and a TD on 12 carries. Mester also had nine rushes for 60 yards and three TD’s. While Zivnoska had a combined (rushing, interceptions, kickoff returns) 173 yards for Wickliffe.
The Blue Devils will finish the regular season next Friday at Beachwood to take on the Bison at 7 pm.
POSTED 10/13/2023 23:32