June 25, 2016

Mostly clear

Ficyk makes most of chance

Brian Dulik

The Gazette

BRUNSWICK — Steven Ficyk’s sophomore season ended prematurely because of a broken leg.

Now that he is healthy, the 6-foot-4 quarterback is quickly making up for lost time.

Ficyk threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for a two-point conversion Friday, leading Brunswick’s football team to a 49-7 non-conference rout of Padua.

Tight end Ethan Engelke and running back Richie Norman caught the scoring throws from Ficyk, who completed 9-of-10 passes for 169 yards in his second varsity start.

“I appreciate the compliments, but my offensive line and receivers are making my job easy,” said Ficyk, who is 18-of-25 for 385 yards with five touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 153.8 NFL passer rating through two games. “Coach (Luke) Beal also has called two really good games and our running backs have come up big. My job is just to go out and execute, like everyone else on our team.”

The Blue Devils (2-0) executed almost perfectly on their way to figuratively executing the Bruins (0-2). They built a 36-0 lead midway through the third quarter by outplaying their guests in every facet of the game.

Speedy senior Norman rushed for 74 yards, including a 42-yard TD, and gained 47 yards on three receptions. His 12-yard TD catch came with 6:24 left in the third and sent many Padua fans racing to the exits.

“Richie’s big run was probably my favorite play of the night,” Ficyk said. “He deserves it because he is one of the nicest kids I’ve ever met.”

Fullback Chase Reig added 63 yards on the ground, while Jake Ambrose, Joe Pinzone and Nick Horton accounted for Brunswick’s three other rushing scores.

Engelke had three receptions for 46 yards, including a 13-yard TD that opened the scoring. Nine Blue Devils running backs finished in positive yardage, while five receivers made at least one catch.

“We don’t have a superstar, but we have a lot of real good athletes who don’t want to lose,” said Beal, whose squad did not commit a turnover. “That’s true on both sides of the ball and on special teams. There are a lot of people on this team that can make plays.”

Senior cornerback David Kelty epitomized Brunswick’s performance by making a pair of nifty plays in the second quarter.

The 6-foot-2 cornerback made a terrific read in the right flat on quarterback Brett James and picked him off in stride. Kelty ran 32 yards untouched into the end zone to extend the Blue Devils’ lead to 21-0.

Six minutes later, Kelty bobbled the snap on an extra point, but didn’t panic. He grabbed the ball, rolled to the right and threw a perfect pass to Engelke for two points and a 29-0 lead.

“We heard what everyone was saying about us all summer, giving Brunswick no respect,” Kelty said. “We still have a lot of work to do, but we’ve played awesome twice to start our season.”

The Blue Devils, who crushed Medina 42-13 in their opener, will carry an undefeated record into Week 3 for the ninth year in a row. Their next foe is Austintown Fitch, which easily beat Brunswick last year at Falcon Stadium.

The rematch occurs at Judy Kirsch Stadium, where the Blue Devils plan to keep the good times rolling.

“We feel that Medina and Padua are a lot better than they were last year, so we’re off to a really good start,” Beal said. “Tonight, we were a little worried about our kids having an emotional letdown after beating one of our rivals, but they showed great intensity from the start.

“Fitch is going to be another test, but I feel really good about the focus and the effort we’re getting from everybody on our team.”

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com.

Brunswick 49, Padua 7

PADUA                                         0   0    7   0  —   7

BRUNSWICK                             6  23  14  6  — 49


B — Ethan Engelke 13 pass from Steven Ficyk (kick blocked), 5:35.


B — Richie Norman 42 run (Ficyk run), 8:20.

B — David Kelty 32 interception return (Kyle Hotz kick), 8:06.

B — Jake Ambrose 2 run (Engelke pass from Kelty), 0:12.


B — Norman 12 pass from Ficyk (Hotz kick), 6:24.

P — Kyle Oktavec 17 pass from Brett James (Ian Madden kick), 3:38.

B — Joe Pinzone 29 run (Hotz kick), 2:21.


B — Nick Horton 19 run (run failed), 4:16.