Falcons fans came out in full force Friday as Firelands took on the rival Vermilion Sailors in an emotionally charged football game.
Even before the first kick off, both student sections were already leading chants and taunting the opposing team.
Firelands was the first to score in the first quarter with a little more that six minutes left on the clock. Nicholas Denney successfully caught quarterback Bradley Thrasher’s throw and ran the ball 60 yards for a touchdown.
A penalty during the extra point kept the Falcons in the lead at only 6-0.
But that minor lead didn’t last long.
A safety brought the Falcons up to 8-0 with just under eight minutes left to play in the first half. Minutes later, Thrasher threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Victor Bauer.
Vermilion managed to block the extra point and keep the Firelands lead to 14-0.
With about a minute left in the half, Falcons running back Aaron Stevanus ran for a two yard touchdown. The extra point brought the score to 20-0 at the half.
The pace lagged in the third quarter when neither team was able to score a point.
Within minutes of the start of the fourth quarter, Thrasher ran the ball one yard for the Falcons’ third and final touchdown of the night. The extra point brought the overall score to 27-0.
Firelands’ defense managed to keep the Sailors under wraps the entire night and the team didn’t so much as make a field goal attempt.
Falcons head coach Mike Passerrello noted the large number of seniors he has on the roster this year and their desire to go out on top.
“The kids overall did a great job of making things happen,” he said. “The assistant coaches put a great game plan together.”
Passerrello said with a rivalry game emotions and intensity are always high.
“You go in every time feeling confident that you’re going to win but you also have to take a step back and realize that it is a rivalry game and the intensity level is at another level,” he said.
Passerrello said his players did an excellent job of controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. As far as weak areas go, the coach thought the team endured some self-inflected wounds with early penalties.
“When we went to the half I told the kids that we were our own worst enemy,” he said. “The penalties were racking up whether they were holding penalties or anything else and we left some touchdowns on the board in the first half.”
Despite the few minor set-backs, Passerello said he was pleased with the team’s performance.
This win improves Firelands’ record to 3-1. The Falcons take the field again at home on Sept. 18 against the Clearview Clippers.
Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.
Kelsey Leyva | Civitas Media
The Falcons’ Tyler Allomong is the first to charge through the break-away banner before kick off.