This was about much more than a football game, but, in the end, Midpark routed their rivals from Berea 63-0 in the Cleveland Browns High School Game of the Week, presented by PNC Bank.
The two neighboring schools have battled each other for 50 years, but, starting in 2013, the two will merge to form one high school. In front of 9,122 fans and a driving rain storm at Baldwin Wallace’s Finnie Stadium, both squads hoped to give their supporters one last reason to cheer. However, it was the Meteors coming away with the final bragging rights.
Led by Game of the Week MVP Doug Verbofsky, who finished the year throwing for over 3,300 yards, Midpark jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter and did not look back.
Verbofsky accounted for five touchdowns on the night, including two through the air, two rushing and one receiving.
“Everything worked out perfect for my senior year,” Verbofsky said. “It was truly an honor to play in this game with the history of these two teams. It’s hard to believe really.”
After leading 28-0 at halftime, Midpark started the second half on a terror as they recovered the opening kickoff and scored 50 seconds into the third quarter.
Meteors coach Dave McFarland, who took the job knowing it was a one-year proposition, knew what kind of team he was inheriting.
“Our kids have played well all year,” McFarland said. “The seniors did a heck of a job. They played with great passion, so I am really proud of them.”
With the victory, Midpark finished the year 6-4 while Berea fell to 3-7. Midpark won the overall Grindstone series 26-24.
Through the Game of the Week program, the Midpark athletic department will receive $4,000. Additionally, McFarland and Verbofsky will be honored during the Browns’ game against the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 4.
The Cleveland Browns Game of the Week program is presented by PNC Bank, in association with Russell Athletic and The Ohio Army National Guard.