ELYRIA — In spite of five losses to close the year, Medina football coach Dan Sutherland couldn’t help but be proud Friday night at Ely Stadium.
“Our seniors have not quit all year long,” he said after Elyria escaped with a 14-7 Northeast Ohio Conference River Division victory that sewed up a playoff spot. “They played their hearts out. Both teams played their hearts out.
“Sometimes in football you can do a lot of really good things. Then you make a play or two that doesn’t help you and it costs you.”
In the mud and on the slow track at Ely Stadium, Medina (3-7, 1-4) scored first on a 10-play, 74-yard drive late in the first half.
It was aided by an interference call on the Pioneers, with senior Jerry Klue getting the final yard and Dean McNeil tacking on the extra point with 1:57 to play in the first half.
Elyria managed to use its timeouts wisely and tied the game as time expired. Eric Eisom caught all three of his receptions to put the ball at the Medina 2-yard line and senior Jumarr Lewis, who capped a four-year varsity career by going over 1,000 yards, scored.
“I think we just finally figured out how to run in it,” Elyria coach Kevin Fell said of the field conditions. “Until you’re down here on it, you don’t realize it’s not like any muddy field. It’s a swamp.”
With 1:57 left in the game, Lewis added a second touchdown from a yard away. A facemask penalty on Medina gave Elyria a first down on fourth-and-5 at the Medina 31 to set up the score.
Klue finished with 49 rushing yards and added a key 20-yard reception. Junior Ian Crawley rushed for 50 yards on just four carries and junior quarterback Collin Minor finished with 83 yards in the air on 7-of-19 passing.
Defensively, sophomore Eric Hammer and senior Brent Lary played well for the Bees.
“We didn’t lose this game as much as Elyria won it,” Sutherland said. “We played our butts off, and I couldn’t be prouder.”
Contact Tim Gebhardt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elyria 14, Medina 7
MEDINA 0 7 0 0 — 7
ELYRIA 0 7 0 7 — 14
M — Jerry Klue 1 run (Dean McNeil kick).
E — Jumarr Lewis 1 run (Josh Lewis kick).
E — Lewis 1 run (Lewis kick).