GRANGER TWP.: The stage is set for a Suburban League football showdown next week when undefeated teams in Highland and Nordonia are slated to meet in Macedonia at Boliantz Stadium.
The Hornets (8-0, 5-0) did their part Friday night by steam-rolling visiting Green 45-20 in a game that wasn’t that close. In the meantime, Nordonia (8-0, 5-0) defeated Revere 42-7.
After taking a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, Highland erupted for four touchdowns in a span of eight offensive snaps in the second quarter and blew it wide open, leading 42-0 with 4:08 to play until halftime.
“We played a complete first half,” Highland coach Tom Lombardo said. “I’m real proud of the guys.”
During the second-quarter blitz, Highland’s defensive unit was forcing turnovers and its high-powered offense was quickly turning Green’s miscues into touchdowns.
Furthermore, the offense, led by senior quarterback Bruce Kinsey, operated penalty free.
“One thing we strive for is perfection,” said Kinsey, who is listed at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, and who completed 10-of-15 passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns. He also had a 9-yard scoring run.
Senior wide receiver-defensive back Collin Paich had touchdown grabs of 23 and 43 yards, along with an interception during the second-quarter flurry.
“We knew we had to jump on them like Wadsworth did last week,” he said. “This is everything I’ve dreamed of since I was little.”
The Hornets marched 61 yards on eight plays with the game’s first possession and Kinsey capped it with a 23-yard strike to Paich.
“It was probably one of the cleanest offensive halves that we’ve had,” Lombardo said. “All year long we’ve stressed taking it one game at a time, and improving each week in practice, and give the seniors credit, they’ve really done that.”
Senior running back Alex Harris carried 18 times and gashed the Bulldogs for 132 yards and touchdown runs of 1 yard and 3 yards. The 5-foot-8, 170-pounder also had long gainers of 28 and 23 yards, and holds a martial-arts black belt.
Highland outgained Green 300 yards to 96 in the first half and had 12 first downs to the Bulldogs’ five.
Defensive leaders for the Hornets were seniors James Friedl III, Jonny Zaz, Cory Moncol, and junior defensive ends Nick Corvo and Nick Haas.
Friedl, a linebacker, moved into the Highland district from Fort Wayne, Ind., before the start of his junior year.
“It’s been the best two years of my life playing with these guys,” he said.
Hornets junior Luke Allen added a 26-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
For Green, the lopsided loss was a head scratcher for coach Ed Cybak, whose team won at Jackson in Week 3.
“We’re just going to keep working these last two games and try and put our best effort out there and try to get two wins,” Cybak said.
The Bulldogs (4-4, 2-3) are aiming for their third consecutive winning season under Cybak.
Green’s touchdowns were scored by junior quarterback John Davies on a 5-yard keeper, senior Keith Jarvis on a 2-yard run, and junior Ziggy McPeters on a late-game 17-yard scoring toss from senior quarterback Blake Suponcic.
Green senior linebacker Sean Nischwitz had two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.
Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps.