PARMA — After two tough losses to playoff-bound foes, Brunswick’s football team bounced back in historic fashion Friday night.
Joe Pinzone and Richie Norman Jr. each rushed for two first-half touchdowns as the Blue Devils manhandled Normandy 56-0 in a Northeast Ohio Conference cross-division game.
Brunswick’s 56 points equaled the school record set Oct. 31, 1969 against West Holmes, which was roughly 30 years before most of its current players were born.
“It was great to come out and play like that because we needed to get our minds right after the last two weeks,” Blue Devils junior quarterback Steven Ficyk said. “Everyone is feeling great tonight because we worked our butts off to get back on track.”
Brunswick (3-2) scored on its first six possessions at Byers Field, steamrolling the Invaders (0-5) from the opening kickoff. Pinzone opened the fun with a 6-yard TD, while senior Norman cashed in on runs of 4 and 34 yards before the opening period ended.
“We went hard all week and had very good practices, which I think came through in the way we played,” said Pinzone, a junior wingback. “This was a great team win because so many guys contributed. It also should be a great pick-me-up for next week against Elyria.”
Pinzone’s second scoring run, a 9-yarder, occurred with 4:04 left in the second quarter and extended the Blue Devils’ lead to 42-0.
Just 76 seconds earlier, Brunswick blocked a punt to give it possession deep in Normandy territory.
At that point, Blue Devils coach Luke Beal demonstrated great sportsmanship by pulling most of his starters. The bad taste of losses to Austintown Fitch and Hudson had been washed away, so it was time to allow Brunswick’s inexperienced players to take the field.
“There were a lot of smiles on the sideline tonight, which was exactly what we needed,” Beal said. “We also wanted to make the most of it, and we did.
“We had a number of guys banged up who didn’t have to play much, plus we were able to give our younger guys the chance to play against some good talent, as opposed to going against (fellow junior varsity players) late in games. Everyone got a taste of what varsity football was like on a big stage here.”
Ficyk threw a 43-yard pass to junior tight end Ethan Engelke for Brunswick’s fourth TD, while senior fullback Chase Reig accounted for its fifth on a 3-yard run.
Junior fullback Sean Magalski added a 3-yard TD run late in the third and sophomore tailback Marc Davis scored on a 9-yard sprint midway through the fourth.
“We’ve got a lot of playmakers and very good offensive linemen throughout our roster,” Pinzone said. “How well all of them played should provide great motivation. It’s full steam ahead for us now.”
The only question as the clock wound down was if the Invaders would be held off the scoreboard. They drove into the red zone in the final minute, but lost a fumble on second-and-goal.
“It was great to see our young guys on defense find a way to preserve the shutout,” Beal said. “We left it in their hands and they got the job done. Really, everyone did tonight.”
As a result of their very limited workload, Norman led all players with 102 rushing yards and Ficyk threw for 64. Sophomore running back Jordan Sadler and Norman shared team-high honors with just six rushes.
Contact Brian Dulik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brunswick 56, Normandy 0
BRUNSWICK 21 21 7 7 —56
NORMANDY 0 0 0 0 — 0
B — Joe Pinzone 6 run (Kyle Hotz kick), 7:13.
B — Richie Norman 4 run (Hotz kick), 4:19.
B — Norman 34 run (Hotz kick), 2:12.
B — Ethan Engelke 43 pass from Steven Ficyk (Hotz kick), 11:53.
B — Chase Reig 3 run (Hotz kick), 7:16.
B — Pinzone 9 run (Hotz kick), 4:04.
B — Sean Magalski 3 run (Alex Sabetta kick), 1:37.
B — Marc Davis 9 run (Sabetta kick), 4:15.
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