EATON TWP. — If it was a sibling rivalry, the Stripes gave the Stars a wedgie, patted them on their butts and sent them on their way during the Sliman’s Lorain County All-Star Football Classic on Friday night.
“Coach (Polevacik) was talking all week about how he wants us to have fun, but he did a comparison about a big brother-little brother fight in the locker room,” Elyria Catholic receiver Conner Riddell said. “We wanted to get serious, we wanted to start the fight and we were able to pull it out in the end.”
Riddell caught three passes for 70 yards and a pair of touchdowns — earning team MVP honors along the way — and the Stripes rolled to a 23-7 victory at Midview High School.
Avon quarterback Tommy Glenn and receiver Braeden Friss put the Stripes on the board in the first quarter, connecting for a 21-yard touchdown pass on the team’s opening drive.
“It was a good way to start the game, a good way to get in the rhythm of it … and we were just doing what we were used to doing,” Glenn said. “(Assistant) coach (Jeff) Riesen called a great play. It was primarily to Braeden, he made some moves and I hit him and he made a great catch.”
Avon kicker Logan Juhl made it 10-0 with a 22-yard field goal in the second quarter, before Glenn and Riddell put the game away with touchdown connections in the third and fourth quarters.
“Glenn has a great ball … we did have a connection,” Riddell said. “Me, him and Braeden have been working hard all week.
“(The two TDs were) two beautiful balls … I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
The Stars team ruined the shutout bid with a four-play drive after Riddell’s second touchdown pass made it 23-0.
Avon Lake quarterback David Winkel hit Columbia’s Ben Verbus for an 18-yard pickup, Midview’s Derek Ruffner ran up the middle for 17 yards, Oberlin’s Kiylan Bugg ran a pitch to the left for 7 yards and Winkel lofted a 27-yard touchdown pass to Midview’s Jack Duffner.
“Everyone’s always said that as soon as your high school career is over you’re going to miss it more than anything in the world, and I did … I missed it a ton,” Winkel said. “To get out here and play was great … that touchdown felt amazing. I’m glad I got one more in. It took three or four quarters, but I got it in there.
“I saw we had a mismatch out there so I threw it up. Thank God he’s 6-5, 6-6 or whatever. He just jumped up and caught it. It was different throwing to different guys, but we had three or four practices and the chemistry was there.”
Ruffner only played the final two series as the Stars fullback, but won the team MVP award for his play at linebacker.
“I think I was in on maybe 25 to 30 plays,” he said. “It’s really cool because I originally wasn’t in (the game), but I’m glad I got to play and I had a great time.”
It was a fun way for all the seniors on the field to put a ceremonial cap on their high school careers, but it was even more special for Ruffner and the other seven Middies players to trot onto Ross Field one last time.
“It’s very emotional,” Ruffner said. “I’m trying to keep it happy because the last time I came off really upset. It’s great to walk off this field one last time.”
While the Stripes members had the most fun Friday night — “Great way to finish (my career). It was a fun game, I met some new friends and we put a good whupping on the board,” Glenn said — the seniors on each side seemed to enjoy the weeklong experience that makes up the all-star game.
“The fun was unbelievable … I’m going to remember this moment for the rest of my life,” Winkel said. “Even the rivals were sitting out there laughing with each other, having a great time.
“I met new kids, I’m sure I’ll hang out with these kids at least 20 more times before I leave for college in two months. It was unbelievable experience and I loved every second of it.”
- Elyria Catholic quarterback Jeremy Holley was on the original roster, but didn’t play Friday night because he was just coming off a foot injury and his sister, Tyler, was running in the state track meet.
- The Stripes attempted two trick plays. Friss took the ball from Winkel and rolled to the right, then pulled up and hit Eagles teammate Rhys Ratino for a 48-yard gain. The team then tried a double-reverse option pass late in the first half, but Riddell’s long bomb to Bugg was ruled out of bounds.
- Bugg had the top rushing play of the game, breaking around the left end and streaking down the sideline for a 55-yard gain before being tackled out of bounds.
Stripes 23, Stars 7
Stripes 7 3 6 7 — 23
Stars 0 0 0 7 — 7
Stars — Braeden Friss, 21 pass from Tommy Glenn (Logan Juhl kick)
Stars — Juhl, 22 field goal
Stars — Conner Riddell, 43 pass from Glenn (kick failed)
Stars — Riddell, 22 pass from Glenn (Juhl kick)
Stripes — Jack Duffner, 27 pass from David Winkel (Brendan Matcham kick)
First downs 14 9
— by rushing 4 6
— by passing 9 3
— by penalty 1 0
Yards rushing 50 154
Yards passing 226 61
Total offense 276 215
Passes att./comp. 20/12 13/8
Intercepted by 0 0
Fumbles/lost 0/0 0/0
Penalties/yards 5/35 5/30
RUSHING — (Stripes) Arin Pruitt 5-35, Emaje Payton 7-14, Connor Hrobat 3-6, Tommy Glenn 8-(-2), Will Washington 1-(-3). (Stars) Wyatt Ohm 10-69, Kiylan Bugg 3-57, Derek Ruffner 2-23, Zac Wilson 2-4, Jacob Kleinhenz 4-1, Sean Nagel 1-1, David Winkel 5-(-1).
PASSING — (Stripes) Glenn 11-18-178-3-0, Braeden Friss 1-1-48-0-0, Conner Riddell 0-1-0-0-0. (Stars) Winkel 8-13-61-1-0.
RECEIVING — (Stripes) Riddell 3-70, Rhys Ratino 2-71, Payton 2-19, Friss 1-21, Pruitt 1-15, Zac Zidek 1-11, Hrobat 1-11, Washington 1-8. (Stars) Ruffner 2-1, Kleinhenz 2-(-2), Jack Duffner 1-27, Ben Verbus 1-18, Austin Walaszewski 1-13, Ohm 1-4.