John F. Kennedy may have the skill to match up with rival Cleveland Hill. But up front, the Eagles were simply too overpowering in a Class C showdown on Saturday afternoon.
Cleveland Hill controlled the game up front on both sides of the football from start to finish and secured its fourth Class C North championship in the last five seasons with a dominant 52-6 win over JFK at Carl J. Kuras Field.
“Our coaches have always raised us to be ready to hit and go through it like a hammer into a nail,” senior lineman and linebacker James Purpura said. “That’s how we play. Our line really showed up. I told my guys as long as we block, we’ll be able to get our backs out into the open. Defense played amazing. The team really bonded together and that’s what took us through.”
Cleveland Hill beat JFK for the fifth straight time in the annual rivalry game. The winner was guaranteed the top playoff seed out of Class C South. The Bears came ready to play but simply could not match up physically.
“We felt the difference would be the guys up front,” Cleveland Hill coach Glen Graham said. “Athletically, they’ve got some fantastic skill kids but we felt O-and D-line we had the advantage. And the game plan worked out the way we wanted.”
The game also worked out real well for Cleveland Hill senior Ryan Majerowsk, usually a standout blocker doing his work behind the scenes. But on Saturday, he scored four touchdowns – three on offense and another on defense.
“He’s been really unselfish all year long, blocking well and playing good defense,” Graham said. “Today things just opened up for him and I was really happy to see that. He had a heck of a day.”
Majerowski was one of three 100-yard rushers on the day for Cleveland Hill (6-1 overall, 4-0 Class C North), joining Asron Wahler and Jovan Thomas. Wahler ran for 111 yards and
Thomas ran for 105 yards, the bulk of that coming on a 75-yard TD run in the second quarter.
“We knew that they’re tough so we had to keep our minds in the game,” Majerowski said. “We were trying our best with that. I could see that they weren’t ready for us so I told our line we got this and we just kept pushing as hard as we could.”
Brett Kochanski also had a 34-yard TD run and David Grant added an 11-yard TD run for the Golden Eagles. For JFK (3-4 overall, 2-2 Class C North), record-setting quarterback James Bailey threw for 132 yards and a 21-yard TD pass to Jordan Snyder.
“With a passing attack that they have, until we got into the third quarter, I never felt like thwey were out of it because they’re capable of putting up a few qucick scores,” Graham said. “Today was just a good day for our kids”