TALLMADGE — Senior quarterback Drew Cross rifled a short pass over the middle to senior receiver Brandon Heigelmann, who broke a tackle and raced to the end zone for a 64-yard touchdown on the opening play of the game.
That set the tone for Tallmadge in a 33-13 victory Friday night over visiting Ellet.
“We got man-to-man coverage with Heigelmann, who’s a first year receiver who I think has the potential to be one of the better receivers in the area,” Blue Devils coach Mike Hay said. “When we get one-on-one chances with him we’re going to take them.”
Cross finished with four touchdowns passes in the first half, and three of them went for more than 50 yards.
“He’s such a smart kid,” Hay said of Cross. “He’s a 32 ACT kid. He’s the kind of kid that you want to check plays at the line of scrimmage. I know when we’re installing the game plan during the week he’s going to get us in the right play [to counteract] what they’re doing defensively.”
Cross finished the first half with 337 passing yards and the four scores as Tallmadge (1-1) took a 33-0 halftime lead over the Orangemen (1-1).
Three different senior receivers caught touchdowns for the Blue Devils — Heigelmann, Evan Teeling and Luke Thomas — and each had one or more catch of at least 50 yards. Teeling and Heigelmann turned short passes into long touchdowns, and Thomas caught a ball that traveled 50 yards through the air for his lone touchdown.
“It makes us very open,” Hay said. “We can do lots of things. You can try to take away one guy, but we have two or three athletes that are pretty good in other areas.”
Tallmadge was forced to punt only once in the first half, when it was forcing Ellet into four three-and-outs and a turnover.
The Blue Devils stifled Ellet’s offense, limiting junior quarterback Ethan Jones to just six rushing yards. Jones left the game in the third quarter with an injury, but was able to walk off under his own power. He scored three touchdowns last week, including one rushing, in a 22-12 win over Springfield.
“We challenged the kids to stop the run,” Hay said. “We knew [Jones] is a good ball player, and we challenged our kids to take away what they do best. We felt good about our game plan, and we executed it.”
Ellet took advantage of a bad punt to start a drive at the Tallmadge 16-yard line, and David Haverstick capped it with a five-yard touchdown run to avert the shutout. Heath Longville then caught a 22-yard touchdown pass to complete the scoring.