EASTLAKE — The Medina football team fumbled the ball on its first play Friday night at Eastlake North.
That was the only negative the Bees experienced, as they rallied from a one-touchdown deficit and rolled to a 56-7 drubbing in non-league play.
“We have to come out of the gate better, but I like how our kids responded,” Medina coach Dan Sutherland said. “They came out and executed the game plan. It was nice.
“We knew after Brunswick (a 42-13 loss in Week 1) that we were a better team than how we played, and we went back and we fixed our mistakes and got better. It showed tonight.”
The Bees (1-1) did it by carving up North’s defense for 484 yards on the ground behind the two-headed monster of starting running backs Jerry Klue and Ian Crawley, along with imposing their will on defense.
“I think we ran about six plays the whole game. We just did what we do,” said Klue, who finished with a game-high 142 yards on six carries. “We just stuck to our basic game plan and our basic plays. We didn’t add anything new. We just tried to get good at what our offense is.”
After Medina’s poor opening drive and a host of unnecessary penalties over the first quarter, the Bees picked up the pace late in the opening period and never looked back.
Klue did a little bit of everything in the opening half, as he caught a 46-yard bullet up the middle from quarterback Collin Minor to give Medina a two-touchdown lead late in the first quarter and followed with 40- and 65-yard touchdown runs — both off the same sweep play.
Toss in a pair of scoring runs from Crawley (12 carries, 117 yards) thanks to gaping holes from the offensive line and the lead ballooned to 35-7 at halftime.
“That’s the great thing about this offense, because a lot of guys are getting a lot of touches,” Sutherland said. “We told them, ‘You’re going to get your plays and you’re going to get your carries, so make something happen’ and tonight those guys did a great job of spreading the ball around.”
While the offense was clicking, the defense sealed the deal with junior Cale Walter coming up with a pair of key sacks of North quarterback Zane Bunnell (4-of-10, 2 yards) and an all-around performance from Matt Whittaker, who had a pair of tackles for loss and an interception that set up the second Crawley score.
“Everyone did their part,” Whittaker said. “We stuck to what we do best and ran simple plays, using three or four schemes the whole time. We stuck to the basics and everyone had a good game.”
With the game in hand, the Bees starters took a break, but freshman running back Jim Daw picked up where his older teammates left off.
After a third Crawley TD early in the third, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound rookie was dominating, carrying the ball 12 times for 90 yards and scoring the first two touchdowns of his young career.
“Let’s be honest: It’s been awhile,” Klue said of the offensive explosion. “After Jimmy’s score, we were really excited for him, asking him how it felt, so this feeling is awesome.”
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Medina 56, Eastlake North 7
MEDINA 14 21 21 0 — 56
NORTH 7 0 0 0 — 7
N — Zane Bunnell 5 run (Elijah Morrison kick), 9:46.
M — Ian Crawley 5 run (Dean McNeil kick), 5:03.
M — Jerry Klue 46 pass from Collin Minor (McNeil kick), 1:52.
M — Crawley 10 run (McNeil kick), 4:48.
M — Klue 40 run (McNeil kick), 2:00.
M — Klue 65 run (McNeil kick), 1:01.
M — Crawley 41 run (McNeil kick), 10:59.
M — Jim Daw 3 run (McNeil kick), 4:37.
M — Daw 4 run (McNeil kick), 1:16.