Photos by Kelsey Leyva | Civitas Media
Firelands senior Aaron Stevanus attempts to break a tackle in the first quarter of the Falcons home game against Clearview Sept. 18. The Falcons came out on top with a score of 42-0.
Touchdown runs weren’t hard to come by Friday for the Firelands Falcons as they shut out the Clearview Clippers 42-0.
Clearview and Firelands both seemed to have a slow start in the first quarter. The Clippers had a quick three-and-out on their first possession and the Falcons’ Nicholas Denny followed the quick pattern with a fumble.
Firelands quarterback Brad Thrasher broke the ice by scoring with just under four minutes left in the first quarter. Larry Verhovec ran it in for a two-point conversion, bringing the score to 8-0.
Thrasher brought the crowd to its feet again early in the second quarter when he ran 40 yards to score his second touchdown of the night. Ethan Hayes made the extra point, giving the Falcons a 15-0 lead.
The senior quarterback’s third and final touchdown was scored with slightly more than two minutes left in the half. Hayes kicked for the extra point and brought the Falcons up to 22-0.
Switching it up in the second half, junior Michael Whitacre made an 11-yard run to the end zone. Also scoring in the third quarter was Denny, who ran 52 yards.
The 30-point spread kept the clock running the rest of the game with few exceptions.
Senior Kaleb Abfall put the icing of the cake for the Falcons with a 73-yard touchdown run at the start of the fourth quarter.
“We’re nowhere near done,” head coach Mike Passerrello told his players in the huddle after the game, comparing the win to an appetizer.
“They came out from play one and were really focused,” he said. “The kids were really determined to get out there and play football tonight and they did a heck of a job.”
During the half, Passerrello said he talked to his team about ball security and making sure there’s always two hands on the football.
Passerrello said he was on the lookout for Clearview’s senior Lance Billings.
“You’ve always got to keep and eye on him because he can make a play on either side of the ball and get to the end zone,” he said.
Overall, Passerello said he was proud of his team’s performance: “Offense did a great job of controlling the line of scrimmage. Defense did a great job of making sure where number nine was.”
Looking ahead, Passerello said his players can always get better at blocking and tackling and minimizing penalties. He thinks the last two games are great momentum builders, but noted the team needs to remain grounded.
“It’s one week at a time and one game at a time,” he said.
Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.