October 23, 2014

Medina
Partly cloudy
41°F

New-look Bucks struggle

Brian Dulik

The Gazette

YORK TWP. — The Revere football team proved to be a rude guest in spoiling the debut of the new-look Buckeye Bucks.

Quarterback Zeck Lehman and running back Nick Zimmerman each scored three first-half touchdowns Friday, powering the Minutemen to a 55-7 non-conference win.

Revere amassed 356 passing yards on the warm evening — 302 by Lehman in the first two quarters — and sacked Bucks quarterback Christian Petek seven times.

“The positive was our kids fought through some adversity tonight and never gave up,” said Bucks coach Mark Pinzone, who wore a dress shirt and orange tie on the sideline for his initial game at the school. “At no point did they ever put their heads down and feel sorry for themselves.

“The negative, obviously, was not a lot of good things happened on the field for Buckeye.”

The Bucks’ lone score occurred 2:59 into the second quarter on a 70-yard touchdown pass from Petek to sophomore wide receiver Trevor Thome. George Rusinko added the extra point to cut Revere’s lead to 21-7, but that was as good as things got for the home team.

The Minutemen — 1-19 over the last two seasons — answered just 27 seconds later with a 65-yard TD throw from Lehman to Zach Lalkowski. The duo hooked up for a second time with 3:38 remaining in the half to make it 35-7, while Zimmerman cashed in his third score just before the break.

Revere carried a 41-7 lead into intermission, reducing the second half to a learning experience for the young players on both squads.

“We’ve worked hard every day in practice and we know what we have to do to win games,” Buckeye two-way lineman Matt Stricklett said. “We just need to get tougher and tackle better.

“But I still believe in this team. We all believe in each other and so do our coaches. This was just one game.”

Petek symbolized the Bucks’ resilience by bouncing up from numerous hard hits. The senior completed 5-of-9 passes for 92 yards while also carrying the football a game-high 17 times against the Minutemen’s large line.

“Christian really gutted it out and played like a trooper,” Pinzone said. “He truly is the kind of leader that every football coach wants to have. My only disappointment is we couldn’t show more of what he could do because we fell behind so quickly.”

Pinzone, previously the head coach at Holy Name, brought five familiar names with him to Buckeye. His assistants are Medina County legends Rich Nowak and Tom Fasko, along with fellow ex-Brunswick staffers Joe Yarwood, Mark Weidus and Brit Musal.

Also pointing toward good days ahead for the Bucks was their ball control. Their three quarterbacks did not throw an interception, while their one lost fumble came in the closing minutes.

Junior punter Ryan Cobb provided another bright spot, averaging 34.8 yards on eight kicks, while senior running back Matt Hritz rushed for a team-high 51 yards on six carries.

“We’ve got a great punter in Ryan and a great kicker in George,” Pinzone said. “They are going to do big things for us — winning the field position battle and making field goals — this season.

“More good things are going to happen for our entire team. This was just a rough night and a tough way to start the season.”

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com.

Revere 55, Buckeye 7

REVERE                                       14  27  7  7  — 55

BUCKEYE                                       0  7  0  0  —   7

First

R — Nick Zimmerman 45 pass from Zeck Lehman (Christian Burlotos kick), 9:17.

R — Zimmerman 2 run (Burlotos kick), 6:27.

Second

R — Jason Londrico fumble recovery in end zone (Burlotos kick), 9:22.

B — Trevor Thome 70 pass from Christian Petek (George Rusinko kick), 9:01.

R — Zach Lalkowski 65 pass from Lehman (Burlotos kick), 8:34.

R — Lalkowski 18 pass from Lehman (Burlotos kick), 3:38.

R — Zimmerman 1 run (kick failed), 1:13.

Third

R – Austin Hawkins 27 run (Burlotos kick), 7:18.

Fourth

R — Everett McGregor 66 run (Burlotos kick), 10:25.

Buckeye's Alex Wilk, right, and Zachary Diaz tackle Revere's Austin Hawkins for a loss in the first quarter. (JUDD SMERGLIA)