It sounds like a mistake.
After having the ball for just five seconds in the third quarter and less than four minutes of the second half, North Olmsted had just 41 yards of offense in that half. Running back Jared Kelley had just 2 yards and quarterback Xavier Balson passed for just 4 yards.
Yet, the Eagles won by a 42-point margin.
The strange stats were correct as the visiting Eagles spoiled Senior Night for Rocky River by a 56-14 score Friday.
The game allowed the Eagles to improve to 6-3 overall and 4-1 in the Great Lakes Conference East Division, while the Pirates dropped to 4-5 and 3-2.
“It was tough, very tough,” Rocky River Coach Josh Wells said.
North Olmsted's offense, which was held in check for most of its 42-21 loss to Elyria Catholic in its previous game, exploded against Rocky River. The reason for the low second-half stats was high first-half stats.
In the first 24 minutes, the Eagles gained 137 yards rushing, including 105 by Kelley, and had 187 yards passing in jumping out to a 35-0 halftime lead.
The Pirates actually had a chance to cut the lead to 21-points with seconds left in the half, but defensive lineman Daniel Furdui scooped up a fumble then raced 91 yards for a touchdown. Grant Beck's extra point gave the Eagles the 35-point cushion at halftime.
“All of the touchdowns hurt,” Wells said. “I can't say one hurt more than another.”
Coming into the previous game, the Eagles offense had put up impressive numbers. Even before facing Rocky River, it was averaging 42.6 points per game.
“It was a good week of practice,” North Olmsted Coach Tim Brediger said. “We had a couple of practices that got their attention.”
That attention was lost for most of the third quarter. The Pirates opened that quarter by driving 65 yards in 10 plays with sophomore quarterback Josh Mommers scoring on a 13-yard scramble.
Mack Massad's extra point cut the lead to 35-7, and then the kicker executed a perfect onside kick.
Seven plays later, the Pirates cut the lead to 35-14 when Mommers connected with Stan Heuler on a 4-yard touchdown pass with five seconds left in the quarter.
“We came out in the second and lost our focus,”Brediger said. “They came out in the second half and ate up the clock. They had it forever.”
“It was too little, too late,” Wells said. “We dug ourselves in a hole and couldn't get out.”
Another onside kick failed and the Eagles scored seven plays later when Bolson threw a 4-yard scoring strike to Colin Willard for a 42-14 lead.
North Olmsted's final points came when Massad was tackled while attempting a rugby-type punt, and Matthew Chalkwater returned the fumble 48 yards.
Opening the game, North Olmsted had the ball for most of the first quarter, running 26 plays to Rocky River's five.
In that time, the Eagles jumped out to a 14-0 lead on an 11-yard pass from Balson to Willard and a 5-yard run by Kelley.
A 16-yard touchdown run by Balson increased the lead to 21-0 midway through the second quarter.
The Eagles shocked the Pirates on their next drive when Balson hit Mitchell Bub on a 69-yard pass before Logan Dangerfield scored on a 4-yard run with 3:33 left.
The Pirates looked as if they'd be able to cut the lead to 21 right before the half, driving 64 yards on 13 plays, but a bad snap was scooped up by Furdui who rambled untouched for 91 yards to build the 35-point halftime advantage.
“Basically, we got through there and stripped the ball,” Furdui said.”I scooped it up and 91 yards later, I took it to the house.”
In an abbreviated night where he played a little over a half, Kelley gained 107 yards on 15 carries, while Balson completed 9 of 18 passes for 162 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
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