The Kirtland Hornets and the Rootstown Rovers both came into tonight’s game with perfect records. Kirtland started off strong with a powerful sack by defensive lineman Kevin Dages. Shortly after, running back Joey Torok, took the ball for nearly 30 yards to bring the Hornets into field goal position. The hornets were the first on the board with a field goal.
Although Rootstown couldn’t find the red zone in the first, wide receiver Giovanni Sibbio had an impressive one arm catch to bring the Roovers to the 40-yard line.
The second quarter started off with tight end Ryan Lipps wide open in the redzone and a run in for the first Kirtland touchdown. Following the score, Kirtland’s punt was fumbled and recovered to give the Hornets back to back possession.
At the half, Kirtland’s band took the field with numbers by Michael Jackson. Rootstown shortly followed with “Bang Bang” and “Shut Up and Dance”.
After the half, former High School Game of the Week MVP Jake Neibecker took it to the house. As if his touchdown wasn’t impressive enough, Neibecker intercepted the ball to give the Hornets possession once more.
Halfway into the fourth quarter, Gavin Schlaubach put the Rovers on the board with a touchdown. This was Rootstown’s only score of the night.
Kirtland emerged victorious, 17-7. They will be advancing to the State Semi-Finals next week. Match-ups will be announced on Sunday.
Of course no Friday night game is complete with our a feel good moment. A youth football player from Rootstown was out volunteering his time by serving as the Roovers water and ball boy. He has no ties to the team except for his love of the sport.
Rootstown finished their season tonight at 12-1. Congratulations to head coach Tiger Laverde and MVP Jake Neibecker on a tremendous game.