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High school football: Lorain downs Cleveland Heights in LEL opener for both teams

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Lorain's Daylin Dower runs in the first half Sep. 29. STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE


LORAIN — It was a game of highlights when Cleveland Heights visited Lorain on Friday night and the Titans were the stars of the show.

Lorain turned in big plays on both sides of the ball in a convincing 37-6 win over the Tigers. It was the Lake Erie League opener for both teams.

The Titans (5-1, 1-0 LEL) showcased the talent of numerous players while the Tigers (1-5, 0-1) struggled to keep pace.

“We’re starting to understand we have to pay attention to detail and our kids are starting to really understand the game,” Lorain coach Dave McFarland said. “We are getting better each and every week.”

The biggest highlight of the night came as time expired in the second quarter.

Lorain seemed to be content with letting the clock run out with a 22-0 lead, slowly lining up for a third-and-1 attempt at the Tigers’ 49-yard line.

Quarterback Justin Sturgill hiked the ball with just two seconds left, dropped back and found a streaking Tyshawn Lighty down the right sideline.

Lighty, with a couple defenders in front of him, cut back to the middle and sprinted to the end zone to give Lorain a 29-0 lead at halftime.

“I stopped for a second, saw the ball, caught it and just went,” Lighty said. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to score, but I made a move and got free.”

It was Sturgill’s third touchdown pass of the half. He opened the scoring with a touchdown strike to Zion Cross and found Lighty for a 27-yard score early in the second quarter.

“Our offense is clicking right now and I don’t see many teams being able to stop it,” Lighty said.

The passing attack was able to thrive thanks to the ever-steady ground assault led by sophomore Daylin Dower, who came into the game with 13 rushing TDs and added another with a 16-yard score.

Dower racked up 172 rushing yards against the Tigers, consistently churning out runs of 10-plus yards.

“The line is really the core of the offense and what helps us have the type of games we’ve been having every Friday,” Dower said. “It’s a blessing to have this opportunity and to have the ability God gave me.”

While the Titans’ offense was terrific, their defense wasn’t far behind.

Lorain held Cleveland Heights to just four first downs in the first half and the Tigers crossed the 50-yard line just once.

Lorain also recorded four sacks and senior Dakota Mincy intercepted Cleveland Heights QB Josh Harris at the Titans’ 1-yard line.

“We watched some film and knew we had to play physical and keep them in front of us and everybody did their job,” McFarland said of his defense. “When everyone does their job, good things usually happen.”

Contact Paul Williams at 329-7135 or


Lorain 37, Cleveland Heights 6

Cleveland Heights 0 0 0 6 — 6

Lorain 6 23 0 8 — 37


L -- Zion Cross, 38 pass from Justin Sturgill (run failed)

L -- Tyshawn Lighty, 27 pass from Sturgill (Tyshawn Nelson run)

L -- Daylin Dower, 16 run (Nelson run)

L -- Lighty, 49 pass from Sturgill (Blake Bartlome kick)

L -- Nelson, 2 run (kick failed)


CH -- Grayson Green, 25 pass from Lemaro Smith (kick failed)

Team statistics


First downs 10 16

— by rushing 5 12

— by passing 5 4

—- by penalty 0 0

Yards rushing 147 260

Yards passing 104 152

Total offense 251 412

Passes att./comp. 9/17 5/16

Intercepted by 1 1

Fumbles/lost 2/0 0/0

Penalties/yards 2/10 3/15

Individual statistics

RUSHING — (CH) Josh Harris 5-19, Xavier Pillar 18-107, Tyreke Smith 1-6, LeMaro Smith 1-4, Brandon Searight 2-11. (L) Lighty 1-11, Dakota Mincy 1-12, Sturgill 2-13, Davion Dower 3-9, Savon Chavis 1-13, Daylin Dower 22-172, Nelson 10-30.

PASSING — (CH) Harris 8-16-79-0-1, Smith 1-1-25-1-0. (L) Sturgill 5-14-152-3-0, Davion Dower 0-2-0-0-1.

RECEIVING — (CH) Webb 2-19, Green 5-71, Wilson 2-14. (L) Cross 1-38, Lighty 3-102, Dalyin Dower 1-12.

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