BRUNSWICK — Defensive domination paved the way for another easy victory by Brunswick’s football team.
The Blue Devils forced four fumbles, made one interception and only allowed six first downs over the first three quarters Friday on their way to a 30-7 Northeast Ohio Conference cross-division win over Garfield Heights.
Brunswick limited the visiting Bulldogs to 56 yards — and a 1.6-yard average per play — in building a 30-0 lead with 3:41 left in the third quarter, then turned the rest of the contest into on-the-job training for its younger players.
“Our coaches had a great game plan and just got us really prepared for tonight,” Blue Devils senior cornerback Patrick Shaugnessy said. “Being able to play this well in our homecoming game in front of all our fans meant everything to us.
“Now, we can start looking ahead to playing Mentor. They’re coming to our house next week and we couldn’t be more excited about it. We’re ready.”
Brunswick (4-1) tuned up for its showdown with the Cardinals by putting together a tremendous all-around performance against Garfield Heights (2-3).
Defense, though, was the driving force.
Linemen Garrick Koermer and Justin Boey, linebackers Brad Darlington and Jake Ambrose and cornerbacks Keith Yohman and Shaugnessy made life miserable for Bulldogs quarterbacks James Bennett and Jameel Miller.
Bennett and Miller went 7-for-20 for 68 yards, rushed for 10 yards on 13 carries and accounted for all four of Garfield Heights’ fumbles.
“We prepared for both quarterbacks all week, and our kids bought into the game plan and executed it very well,” Blue Devils coach Luke Beal said. “They really played fast and tackled well tonight.
“And because of how well our defense played, it gave us an opportunity to get everybody in the game in the fourth quarter, which was really nice to see on homecoming weekend.”
On offense, Brunswick senior standouts Nick Roberts, Dan Yohman and Keith Yohman combined for 219 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
Tailback Roberts gained 117 yards on 20 carries, moving past Dave Harris into second place in school history with 2,704 yards. He scored on runs of 9 and 13 yards, both behind strong blocks from fullback Danny Stepp.
Quarterback Dan Yohman was very solid in running for 41 yards and throwing for the same amount without turning over the football. He scored on a 10-yard scamper and had the Blue Devils’ longest rush of 21 yards.
“My brother tells me to go down and slide when I’m running with the ball, but I just can’t do it,” Yohman said. “We need to make a few more offense adjustments this week, but we’ll be ready for Mentor when they get here.”
The aforementioned twin brother, running back Keith Yohman, rushed for 61 yards, added 41 more on receptions and had a 69-yard interception return.
Keith Yohman’s 19-yard TD run put the Blue Devils up by 30 points and essentially ended the game with 15:41 still to play. As if that wasn’t enough, he was part of the homecoming court that was introduced in a pregame ceremony.
“The whole (homecoming court) experience was all right, but it was kind of difficult for me to prepare for the game while we were standing out there,” he said. “It turned out well, though, and it’s always fun to put on a performance like this at any home game.”
Yohman’s royal evening also amused his teammates, including Shaugnessy, who said, “We all voted for Keith because we wanted him to win.”
Though Garfield Heights scored a late touchdown to spoil the shutout, Brunswick managed to add several highlights in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore quarterback Steve Ficyk went 2-for-2 passing for a game-high 59 yards, while sophomore wide receiver Gary Clift Jr. hauled in his first varsity catch for a 38-yard gain.
The Blue Devils also stopped the Bulldogs on a fourth-and-goal from the 1 on the final play of the contest.
The lone concern coming out of the game for Brunswick is the status of Boey. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound junior had to be helped off the field after suffering a right knee injury. Boey exited the stadium on crutches, but Beal said the preliminary medical exam revealed no major ligament damage.
Contact Brian Dulik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brunswick 30, Garfield Heights 7
GARFIELD 0 0 0 7 — 7
BRUNSWICK 10 7 13 0 — 30
B — Triston Wasil 27 field goal, 6:05.
B — Dan Yohman 10 run (Wasil kick), 1:34.
B — Nick Roberts 9 run (Wasil kick), 5:45.
B — Roberts 13 run (Wasil kick), 9:02.
B — Keith Yohman 19 run (kick blocked), 3:41.
G — Craig Sloan 5 run (Lucas Novak kick), 9:19.
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