Khennedy Scagliozzo made a 33-yard sweep for a touchdown Friday, the lone Comets scorer in what proved a bizarre game.
Amherst lost 23-7 in a Southwestern Conference match-up at North Ridgeville, suffering a safety, a blocked punt returned for a TD, and a blocked field goal. Both teams also had an aversion to kicking toward the uprights, with an abnormal hunger for fourth down conversion attempts.
Held at the Rangers’ brand new stadium, the game looked promising in the scoreless first quarter as the Amherst defense held solid.
The Comets ground down to the four yard line, capitalizing on North Ridgeville holding and pass interference calls. But they fell short of the goal on a fourth down push, the first of several conversion attempts in the red zone by each team.
The second quarter started with a third-and-38 setback at the Comets five. Quarterback Johnny Matakovich rolled out to Evan Shawver to set up a punt.
At the 3:27 mark in the half, buried at his own two yard line, Matakovich was harried with no open receivers and let the ball slip loose in the endzone.
The referees ruled it a safety, putting two points up on the Rangers side of the scoreboard.
North Ridgeville added seven more just a minute later as junior Tyler Sycz snatched up the blocked Amherst punt and hoofed it across the line.
Scagliozzo’s heroics pulled Amherst within two and hope remained until the midpoint of the final quarter when Forest Croxton made a catch for 31 yards and a touchdown.
Shomari Williams added to the Rangers’ tally with a 40-yard catch and one-yard run across the goal line.
At 0-2 on the season and 14 straight losses, coach Bill Fishleigh now has to worry about Midview.
The Middies, whom the Comets will face this Friday at home, have opened the season with wins against Lorain (29-26) and North Olmsted (41-6). Kickoff is at 7 p.m. and will mark the first game at the newly-renamed Mercy Health Stadium.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Khennedy Scagliozzo gains big yardage in Friday’s 23-7 loss to North Ridgeville, where he was the only Comet to get in the endzone.