WESTFIELD TWP. — Green football coach Ed Cybak carried a tennis ball around in his pocket to send the message to his team that it needed to bounce back after falling to Nordonia a week ago.
That message carried into the Bulldogs’ 47-21 Suburban League win over Cloverleaf on Friday.
Green gave up 19 unanswered fourth-quarter points in falling to the Knights 29-26 a week ago, but came through with 21 straight second-quarter points over a 3:57 stretch to pull away from the Colts (3-3, 0-3).
“They really wanted to respond,” Cybak said. “That’s what we told them all week — don’t let defeat have the last word.”
Cloverleaf running back Devin Cunningham raced 39 yards to stake his team to a 21-19 lead with 7:03 to play in the second quarter before the Bulldogs (4-2, 2-1) bounced back hard and fast.
Jamie Dawson capped a seven-play, 33-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to regain the lead at 27-21 after a 52-yard kickoff return by Tyler Booth set Green up on the plus side of the field. Darryl Corrin found Seth Wieland for the two point conversion.
“We had to step up near the end of the second quarter,” Corrin said. “We stepped up and started making some plays on defense and helped our offense get the momentum going.”
After a Colts punt on the ensuing possession, it took Green just two plays and 33 seconds before the lightning-quick Wieland hauled in a 77-yard pass from Corrin and expanded the lead to 33-21.
“Our offense started rolling,” Wieland said. “We understood each other and what we needed to do. We have been practicing this all year, and our offense is just stepping up its game.”
The Colts’ next possession managed just two plays — an incomplete pass and an interception by linebacker Keith Jarvis, and the Bulldogs needed only 7 seconds for Corrin (11-of-17 passing, 282 yards, 4 TD) to hit Andrew Ventura for a 36-yard touchdown on a deep slant to complete the stunning turnaround.
“I thought we could just do what we do on offense,” Cybak said. “I didn’t think there was anything that was going to limit us tonight. Up front, we’re blocking really well and our schemes were really sound.”
In an instant, a two-point Cloverleaf lead turned into a 19-point halftime deficit.
“They made some big plays,” Colts coach Bob Lake said. “They’re a good football team and they are high-powered.”
Both defenses finally settled in and Green shut the Colts out the rest of the way.
Wieland was a one-man show for the Bulldogs, totaling a ridiculous 335 yards of offense (162 rushing, 173 receiving) and three touchdowns. The senior running back had scoring plays 36 and 72 yards in addition to his big 77-yard catch that opened up the game.
The Colts made a big move on offense, moving starting quarterback J.D. Schleich to wide receiver in an effort to bolster a group missing Division II All-Ohio wideout Robby Buckwald and inserting Garrison Flora as the new signal caller.
Flora (16-for-28, 118 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs) played well at times and sparked the Cloverleaf offense, but Schleich was injured early and had his left arm in a sling on the sidelines for most of the game.
Cunningham played yet another solid game for the Colts, rushing for 130 yards and a touchdown and hauling in eight passes for 68 yards and another score.
“I was impressed by how our football team kept fighting,” Lake said. “We did some different things this week. We went more spread, wide-open offense and they responded. We moved the ball better and got more points this week than last week. I was proud of the way we played.”
Contact Chad Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Green 47, Cloverleaf 21
GREEN 13 27 7 0 — 47
CLOVERLEAF 7 14 0 0 — 21
G — Seth Wieland 72 pass from Darryl Corrin (Marc Owens kick), 11:43.
C — Devin Cunningham 1 pass from Garrison Flora (Noah Berg kick), 6:31.
G — Corrin 5 run (kick failed), 2:44.
C — Matt Vespucci 5 pass from Flora (Berg kick), 11:33.
G — Wieland 13 pass from Corrin (run failed), 8:38.
C — Cunningham 39 run (Berg kick), 7:03.
G — Jamie Dawson 1 run (Wieland pass from Corrin), 5:11.
G — Wieland 77 pass from Corrin (pass failed), 1:41.
G — Andrew Ventura 36 pass from Corrin (Owens kick), 1:14.
G — Keith Jarvis 11 run (Owens kick), 0:54.