CLEVELAND HEIGHTS — There are wins and there are wins.
And then there’s Open Door’s 21-0 win over Lutheran East on Saturday afternoon that gave the Patriots the first varsity football victory in its three-year history.
“It feels great, we’re really excited,” Open Door coach Ray Lowe said. “These guys have put in all the blood, sweat, tears and hard work. The win is a culmination of that. We’re putting in our time each and every day and getting better and better. This win brings the whole program up.”
After gaining just 12 yards in the first half, Open Door came on strong in the second half.
The Patriots are 1-6 after going 6-2 last season while playing a junior varsity schedule.
Both teams struggled through a steady, cold rain and a wet field, but it was Open Door that was able to finally beat the elements as quarterback Danny Stintsman scored on a 34-yard touchdown run up the middle on the Patriots’ second possession of the third quarter.
“I followed behind my main blocker (Dennis Robinson), who was having a heck of a game,” Stintsman said. “I stepped one way, the defender over-pursued, he slipped, and I just ran right past him.
“It feels amazing, we waited too long for this win. We weren’t going to let this game go. We did our best to come out with the win. We finally put it together and it paid off.”
The Patriots defense forced a three-and-out on the Falcons’ next possession before Stintsman came up big on special teams, blocking a Lutheran East punt and recovering the ball on the Falcons 25-yard line.
Five plays later, running back Zack Anderson scored on a 5-yard run to put the Patriots up 13-0 late in the third quarter.
“That score helped sealed the win, and that’s a credit to our offensive line, they cleared a great hole for me,” Anderson said. “When I got to the outside of the line, I just went for it.”
Jacob Lowe added the final touchdown in the fourth quarter, capitalizing on a Lutheran East fumble. Lowe ran in the from the 9 after the Falcons racked up 30 yards of penalties during the drive.
Stintsman ran in a 2-point conversion after a botched snap to make it 21-0.
“Getting this first win feels really great,” Lowe said. “On my touchdown, I was just trying to get 4 yards for a first down, but I saw a hole open up. I went for it and scored.”
Both teams struggled to hold onto the ball in a sloppy first half.
Open Door used a strong defensive effort to keep the Falcons out of the end zone to end the second quarter. With 30 seconds left and a fourth-and-goal from the 7, the defense stepped up and caused a fumble to halt Lutheran East’s best drive of the game.
The Falcons had the ball on the 2 at one point, but three straight penalties moved the ball back. Lutheran East committed 10 penalties for 75 yards in the game.
Contact Steve Walker at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Open Door 21, Lutheran East 0
Open Door 0 0 13 8 — 21
Lutheran East 0 0 0 0 — 0
OD — Danny Stintsman, 34 (Tyler Haas kick)
OD — Zack Anderson, 5 run (run failed)
OD — Jacob Lowe, 9 run (Stintsman run)
First downs 7 8
— by rushing 4 6
— by passing 0 2
— by penalty 3 0
Yards rushing 118 83
Yards passing 0 40
Total offense 118 123
Passes att./comp. 5/0 13/5
Intercepted by 1 1
Fumbles/lost 2/0 6/3
Penalties/yards 8/57 10/75
RUSHING — (OD) Danny Stintsman 16-63, Jacob Lowe 6-39, Zack Anderson 5-16. (LE) Mark Churchill 19-60, Isaiah Jackson 17-17, Bryce Harper 1-8, Rodney Paradise 1-0, Derrick Moten 1-(-2).
PASSING — (OD) Stintsman 0-5-0-0-1. (LE) Jackson 5-13-40-0-0.
RECEIVING — (LE) Andru Brantley 2-23, Harper 2-20, Churchill 1-(-3).