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Lake County Sentinel
Blue Devils silence Smithies 41-0

Saturday night the Wickliffe Blue Devils hosted their first playoff game in the football program’s history. They welcomed in the Smithville Smithies. The Blue Devils are the second seed in Ohio’s Division VI Region 21. The Smithies were the 15th seed. The seeding turned out to be accurate as the Blue Devils ran all over the Smithies on the way to a 41-0 shutout.

Once again, the Blue Devils running game was dominant as Senior D-1 recruit Chase Fortkamp scored four touchdowns in the game. The first came with 7:21 left on the first quarter when the senior took the ball into the endzone from four yards out. After Senior Isaiah Bolon converted the extra point the Blue Devils led 7-0 and never looked back. That was the only score of the first quarter for Wickliffe.

The second quarter was a different story as Wickliffe put three touchdowns on the board. They spread out the wealth as Fortkamp scored his second TD of the night when he ran for an 11-yard TD with 11:52 left on the second quarter clock to increase the lead to 14-0.

Just 3:58 later Bolon bolted to the endzone from seven yards out and Senior Quarterback Mason Bala finished the scoring in the first half with 4:31 left in the half when he kept the ball and took it in from seven yards away, giving the Blue Devils a comfortable 28-0 advantage at the half.

Once again the Wickliffe defense that has been stellar all season allowing only 46 points in their first six game pitched it’s third shut of the season (Wickliffe beat Independence 41-2, the points were scored on a safety when the ball was snapped over the punters head and out of the endzone). Fortkamp led the hard-hitting defense with major efforts coming from Bala, Bolon, Seniors Duke Stanczak, Zak Esteves. Tyler Fisher and Mickey Moon. Junior Thomas Wenz also came up big at nose tackle as he continued to take on two Smithville blockers on most every play to open it up opportunities for other Wickliffe defenders.

Wickliffe put the ball in the endzone for the fifth time in the contest with 10:02 left in the third quarter when who else, but Fortkamp sprinted 24 yards to give Wickliffe a commanding 35-0 lead.
The final points of the night on perhaps the play of the game when Fortkamp ran 79 yard for a touchdown as he shook off and avoided Smithies the entire 79 yards until he dove into the endzone with 3:47 left on the fourth quarter clock.

The Blue Devils lethal ground attack racked up 338 yards on 36 attempts in another dominant effort. Meanwhile the Smithies only managed 103 yards of total offense, 68 on the ground on 32 attempts and 35 through the air on seven completions on 17 attempts. Wickliffe allowed only nine first downs in the game, while forcing three more turnovers including an interception by Stanczak and two fumble recoveries by Senior Mario Ceferatti.

Wickliffe will host LeBrae next Saturday at Wickliffe Memorial Stadium at 7:00 p.m. LeBrae defeated Brookfield 55-54 on Saturday night, LeBrae is the 10th seed, Brookfield was the seventh seed. Wickliffe has lost to LeBrae Twice in the last five years in the playoffs, both games however were played at LeBrae.
tshirer@lakecountysentinel.com follow Tim on Twitter @TBBucsTim or follow us on Twitter @LCSentinelcom 
​POSTED 10/17/2020 23:02
Photo by Chaz Matyja