Mantua, OH- It was a crisp fall night at Jack Lambert Stadium in Mantua as the Crestwood Red Devils welcomed in the visiting Grand Valley Mustangs in a Chagrin Valley Conference matchup. The Red Devils were looking for their 4th win of the season while the Mustangs came in with a record of 1-7.
The first quarter was all about defense as neither offense was able to get anything going until late in the quarter when the Mustangs drove to the Crestwood 12 yard line before the quarter expired. After the 2nd quarter got underway Grand Valley QB Nathan Bolarski hit WR Aidan Whitright for a 5 yard TD pass on the 4th play of the quarter. The extra point was converted putting the Mustangs up 7-0. The big play of the 14 play 80 yard drive was a Bolarski 27 yard completion to Robert Rogers.
The ensuing kick return was fumbled by Red Devils RB Nate Blasiole turning the ball over to the Mustangs, but the Red Devils defense bailed them out as they held Grand Valley to a turnover on downs at the Crestwood 31 yard line.
From there the Crestwood offense kicked it into gear on a 12 play 69 yard drive that included a 4th & 4 conversion on a Blasiole 12 yard run. The drive was completed with a Charlie Sommer 21 yard TD strike to Jonas Honeycutt. The PAT was good and the game was knotted up at 7.
That would be all of the scoring in the first half as we went into halftime tied at 7.
The second half would provide more fireworks. Crestwood opened up the 2nd half with a 3 play drive that was all Nate Blasiole as he had runs of 6, 5 & a 52 yard TD to cap it off. The PAT was missed putting the score at 13-7 Red Devils. Blasiole eclipsed 100 yards on the TD run.
The Mustangs next drive was hampered by two penalties on one play as after a holding call Dylan Hivick was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty which pushed them back a combined 25 yards. They were forced to punt, and what a fine punt it was as Nathan Bolarski dropped it inside the Crestwood 5 yard line at the 3.
From there the Red Devils put together a nice drive as Blasiole ran for 60 yards on the possession but was stuffed on a 4th & 5 for no gain turning the ball over to Grand Valley at their own 35 yard line. The very next play was a Mustang 65 yard TD run by Bolarski who looked like he was headed for a loss, but quickly reversed his field that was wide open allowing him to take it to the house. The PAT was no good and with 3:12 left in the 3rd quarter Grand Valley tied the game up at 13.
Crestwood would answer right back driving 61 yards and opening the 4th quarter with another Sommer to Honeycutt connection from 19 yards out for their 2nd TD hookup of the game. The 2 point conversion attempt failed and Crestwood took a 19-13 lead.
After 3 and outs by both teams, Grand Valley would take their first lead of the game after a 26 yard pass from Bolarski to Hivick setup a 3 yard TD run by 225 lb RB Casey Turner. They were able to convert a 2 point conversion giving them a 21-19 lead with just over 4 minutes to play in the game.
Once again the Red Devils answered on their next possession as Charlie Sommer and Jonas Honeycutt hooked up for the 3rd time from 34 yards out. Nate Blasiole ran in the 2 point conversion putting Crestwood up 27-21 with 1:55 to play. Sommer was 3 of 3 for 51 yards on the drive.
Grand Valley would get one more opportunity but a Bolarski completion to Robert Rogers resulted in a fumble after a big hit by a Red Devils defender jarred the ball loose near midfield. From there the Red Devils would take a few knee's and run out the clock for a hard fought 27-21 victory over the visiting Mustangs.
Nathan Bolarski: 14-30, 144 yards, TD - 6 rushes, 121 yards, TD
Dylan Hivick: 3 receptions, 50 yards
Charlie Sommer: 7-14, 108 yards, 3 TD
Nate Blasiole: 43 rushes, 254 yards, TD
Jonas Honeycutt: 4 receptions, 85 yards, 3 TD
I caught up with a happy Crestwood coach Jack D'Amato following the game.
This game recap is brought to you by Daystar Ford in Garrettsville.