Medina, OH- The Highland Hornets (2-0) ranked 12th in the state in division II were at home to take on the Brunswick Blue Devils (0-2) Brunswick is off to a rough start, but looking for their first win behind sophomore QB Ethan Roksandich. Highland is lead by seniors QB Andrew Lurtz and RB/LB Lukas Stiles, who are looking to keep the Hornets undefeated.
The opening kickoff went out of bounce for the Hornets allowing the Blue Devils to start from their own 35 yard line. Brunswick QB completed a short pass to WR Caid Som on 2nd and 10 bringing up a third and short. The Hornets were able to stuff the run and force the first punt of the game.
After a few series back and forth, the Hornets struck first on a near eight minute drive that leaned heavily on the run game of RB/LB Lukas Stiles and QB Andrew Lurtz, culminating in a two yard touchdown run by Hornets by Lurtz. The Hornets couldn't handle the snap on the extra point and threw it away.
Hornets led 6-0 starting the second quarter, and just receiving a short punt from Brunswick starting at their own 42. The Hornets would drive down the field after QB Andrew Lurtz threw two passes of 13 and 19 yards to WR/CB Johnny Siliko. A facemask by Brunswick on the 19 yard pass to put the ball on the 2 yard line. RB Lukas Stiles took the ball into the end zone for Highlands second score of the game. The Hornets led 13-0, with 7 minutes to go in the half.
Brunswick struggled in the first half to move the move the ball at all on a very stout Highland defense. The Blue Devils best drive of the first half was their last drive, which went 20 yards, but ended in a punt with one minute left in the half.
Highland took the ball with 1:01 left in the first half and drove down the field to the 9 yard line before time ran out in the first half. Highland dominated Brunswick in the first half in every category and led 13-0 as both teams headed in the locker rooms.
The Hornets received the kick to the start of the second half. RB/LB Lukas Stiles broke off some big runs of 29 and 21 yards to bring the Hornets to the 18 yard line. RB/S Noah Robinson took it to the house on a 18 yard jet sweep. After a good extra point Highland extended the lead to 20-0.
Brunswick started moving the ball down the field with some nice passes by QB Ethan Roksandich. Highland tightened up their defense though. OL/DL Zach Waibel recorded his 3rd sack of the game on a second and 10. The next play Blue Devils QB Roksandich threw the ball over the middle of the field and S/WR Creed Hill made a perfect play on the ball, laying out, and getting an incredible interception, again stopping Brunswick in their tracks.
Brunswick who is a very young team, had been showing a lot of guts and determination against the much more experienced Hornets heading into the start of the 4th quarter.
The first play of the 4th quarter was a punt by the Blue Devils that was dropped by Highlands WR/DB Matt Ciryak at the 45 yard line. He then picked it up regained his composure and ran it back 55 yards back for the Hornets fourth touchdown of the game. Hornets 27-0.
The Blue Devils determination paid off as they were able to put together a solid three minute drive which was capped off by a perfect 47 yard throw by Brunswick's QB Ethan Roksandich to WR James Snider Jr for Brunswick's first touchdown of the game, and longest completion by either team. The point after was blocked, but the Blue Devils finally got on the board 27-6.
The Hornets had the ball for the final four minutes of the game, putting in their reserves, and finally running out the clock to win the game 27-6. That win keeps Highland perfect on the season at 3-0 and drops Brunswick to 0-3.
The Highland Hornets look like a team that has miles of talent up and down their roster and will continue to grow throughout the season, which could potentially lead to a deep playoff run. Brunswick on the other hand is a very young team that never gave up, even though they were overmatched and could a great team in the next few years.
Highland has the talent to keep rolling next week as they play on the road to take on the Tallmadge Blue Devils. Brunswick's next game is also away against the 0-3 Waite (Toledo) Indians.
I talked to Highland Coach Mike Gibbons after the win I ask what were the keys to victory.
"I think the defense played outstanding, from start to finish we really played well. We played lights. I don't know how many sacks we had, but I know we had a ton, and they couldn't really establish anything offensively".
Player of the Game-
Highland Hornets DL/OL Zach Waibel
9 Tackles, 4 Sacks, 4 TFL, 1 FF
This game recap is brought to you by our sponsor Brunswick Auto Mart!