NORTH RIDGEVILLE – Home-field advantage usually matters when the Rangers and Demons get together.
North Ridgeville did nothing to change that Friday night.
The Rangers took control in the second half, scoring 20 points while shutting out Westlake with a strong defensive effort. The Rangers walked away with a 34-9 win.
In four plays and less than two minutes, North Ridgeville took a 7-0 lead keyed by a Paul Sonego 57-yard run up the middle for the touchdown. Once he broke through the line there was no catching him. David Bowden added the extra point.
“I felt so good tonight,” Sonego said. “I can’t thank the line enough. They opened the holes and I was able to run through them and there was nothing but daylight ahead.
“The coaches said if you have a good practice during the week you’ll have a good game, and they were right.”
It didn’t take long for the Demons to respond as Jonathan Brick returned the kickoff back 57 yards to the North Ridgeville 18.
Seven plays later the Demons tied the game as Brick took it the last 2 yards. Ferrell hooked the extra-point try to keep the Rangers in the lead.
Ferrell gave the Demons a 9-7 lead with 10:02 left in the first half by converting a 40-yard field goal.
Sonego put the Rangers back on top for good on a 13-yard run with 1:15 left in the half to cap a 70-yard, five-play drive.
The key plays in the drive were two completion for 37 yards by quarterback PJ Bunevich. Twenty yards went to Bowden and 17 to tight end Matt Dawson.
North Ridgeville took advantage of a 65-yard punt return by Christian Watkins following a Westlake three-and-out to start the second half.
Bunevich capped the drive on a 9-yard quarterback keeper and with Bowden’s kick the Rangers opened up a 21-9 lead.
Bunevich scored his second touchdown on a 5-yard keeper with 1:21 left in the third quarter.
The final touchdown was scored by another of the Bowden clan. Zack Bowden capped a 50-yard, three-play drive by going the last 7 yards for the score.
“On offense I think we are versatile enough where PJ can run and he can also throw the ball,” Rangers coach Jeff Riesen said. “Matt Dawson was a force for us at tight end tonight.
“I like it when we have that balance where we can run and pass to keep the defense off balance. I think that’s what we did best.”
HONORED: Three new members were inducted into the North Ridgeville “Wall of Fame” prior to the game.
Jim DiFranco, Brian Bontempo and Jim Bachna were all presented plaques by North Ridgeville athletic director Nori Okuma as a remembrance of their induction.