Stow – The Bulldogs got off to a slow start on Friday when they welcomed the Medina Highland Hornets to Bulldog Stadium for a Suburban League crossover matchup. Stow entered the game with a 1-0 record after beating Barberton 16-8 in week 1 (Stow’s week 2 game vs Wadsworth was cancelled due a positive/suspected positive case on Wadsworth’s team). As for the Hornets, they entered the game fresh off a 41-40 shootout win against North Royalton in their season opener in week 2.
Stow would open the scoring for the night when junior Owen Bainbridge found senior Dalen Stovall in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown pass. Senior DeAnthony Becton then punched it in on the ground for the two-point conversion which gave Stow an 8-0 lead with 7:09 remaining in the first half. On the very next possession, junior quarterback Aaron Filips drove his offense 65 yards down the field to answer the touchdown by Stow. Filips connected with senior Max Kohmann on a 34-yard reception that set Highland up with a 1st & goal at the 1-yard line. Then on 2nd & goal, sophomore Lukas Stiles managed to score on a 1-yard touchdown run (extra point was good) and the Hornets managed to make it an 8-7 ball game with 3:56 left in the second quarter. Neither team would manage to score from that point on in the half and the Bulldogs went to the locker room clinging to a one-point lead.
The second half started off similarly to the first as neither team was able to get anything going offensively for the bulk of the quarter. However, Stow was able to extend their lead with 3:13 left in the third quarter when Bainbridge ran up the middle for a 3-yard touchdown run and then converted the two-point conversion when Bainbridge ran around the left side to push the Stow lead to 16-7. Stow’s defense would continue to prevent Highland from gaining any traction offensively for the remainder of the game. Meanwhile, Stow’s offense managed to tack on another pair of touchdowns on the ground in the fourth quarter. With 6:52 remaining in regulation, Becton blew straight up the middle and through the Highland defense for a 33-yard touchdown run and after a successful two-point conversion the Bulldogs had pushed their lead to 24-7. The final points of the night were scored a few minutes later when senior Mykal Azar ran around the left side and raced down the sideline for an 81-yard touchdown run and senior Brenden Horrocks successfully kicked his lone PAT on the night. That stretched Stow’s lead to 31-7 with 4:24 left in the game.
With the win, Stow improved to 2-0 on season and on the flip side, Highland fell to 1-1. Next up for the Hornets will be a road trip to Nordonia in week 4 to take on the Knights. Meanwhile for the Bulldogs, they will look to open Suburban League National Conference play when they travel to North Royalton next Friday (9/18).