High School Hysteria Week One

By Will Burge

As I stepped out of my truck last Thursday into a parking lot on RT 306, the sweet sound of Lake Catholic’s high school band filled the air and I knew it was best time of year. High School football is upon us!

Each week, I will walk you through the top games, player performances, and look ahead to the next week’s High School gridiron action.

Let’s look back at Thursday night’s feature game.

Strongsville @ #9 Euclid

Euclid (1-0) grabbed a much-needed early season win over Strongsville (0-1), 9-5 on Thursday night. The Panthers displayed what many believe will be their strength this season, defense and special teams. Allen Crawford was a weapon in the kick return game with 79 yards and out of the backfield with 129 yards on 24 carries. Euclid’s kicker Mike Ruscin will be huge for them all year long.

First we start with our High School Hysteria Game of the week:

Avon @ Avon Lake

Check out our video preview at

www.ESPNCleveland.com/highschool

Other feature games this week:

Olmsted Falls @ Padua:

The breakdown:

Padua is about as inexperienced as they have been in a decade. They only return 5 starters but Padua is a machine and should have another good season. Early in the year however there will be an adjustment period. Olmsted Falls Junior Quarterback Brennan Laird is healthy and ready to lead his offense that boasts eight returning starters.

The prediction:

Olmsted Falls should give the young Padua defense fits in a close battle. I like Olmsted Falls to start their season 1-0.

Bedford @ # 6 Mayfield:

Bedford is in a transitional period with a new coach and in search of the power they used to wield. Mayfield is in transition because they graduated a class which boasted one of the state’s top defenses and made their move into D-1 seamless.  Both squads will look to rekindle some of their old mojo in the season opener.

The prediction:

Mayfield might have lost a ton of players but they have not lost Coach Larry Pinto. The defense should be stout enough to limit Bedford’s big play ability and enable Mayfield to squeak out a victory.

Also on the schedule:

Amherst @ Elyria – Amherst will be a power relying heavily on their running game while Elyria has an easier schedule towards the end of the year. Success in the first few weeks could mean a playoff run for Elyria.

Brecksville @ North Royalton – North Royalton is a very good team who returns many of their starters from a playoff run one year ago.  Brecksville played a ton of young kids last season which should translate into quite a few victories this year.

  • Other games our reporters will be covering Friday night:

Brush@ Eastlake North

# 5 Maple Hts @ Nordonia

NDCL @ Benedictine

Hudson @ Medina

West G @ Chardon

Shaker Hts @ #3 Solon

Geneva @ Kirtland

#10 Perry @ Riverside

Kenston @ Kent Roosevelt

Also 10 Lorain county games and multiple out-of-area games…

Saturday’s Charity Games:

St. Edward’s vs # 7 Mentor

The Breakdown:

Coach Finotti has his work cut out for him after the Eagles went 3-7 last season. This year will be no easier as they have the 11th hardest schedule IN THE COUNTRY! Mentor will have to reload the quarterback position and will do so by committee. Colton Wallace and Mitch Trebisky will share time at QB which means tons of carries for Mike Korecz.  Both teams want to keep the ball on the ground and control the clock.

The Prediction:

Mentor’s running game should be too much for ED’s defense but I do expect this game to be close. Turnovers haunted the Eagles last year and they need to stop that trend. Mentor wins by a touchdown.

# 2 St. Ignatius vs # 4 Lake Catholic

The breakdown:

One of the best games of the season will be happening in week 1 as these two powers butt heads. The best opportunity to defeat Ignatius is in week 1 where they have turnover at just about every position on the team. By the end of the season 5-7 players will be household names but for now the name power lies with the Cougars. Chase Hounshell and Richie Sanders anchor the offense and defense on this powerhouse team who has its sights set on a state title. The question is can Lake Catholic’s players stay fresh playing both ways?

The Prediction:

It is week 1 so fatigue shouldn’t come into play. I like Lake Catholic to pull out a victory in a game for the ages. You may not know many names on Ignatius now, but after this game you will.

For the best High School Football coverage – Follow us on Twitter @ESPNCleveland

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