The Rangers needed a long ride to get that feeling. And the ride was a half-hour longer than normal due to some bad directions given to the bus drivers.
“We had to cut our pregame short because of getting here only an hour before gametime,” North Ridgeville coach Jeff Riesen said. “We (the coaches) were more worried about it than the team. Maybe that was good that we couldn’t take a long time preparing because of the way the kids responded.”
The response was a 40-0 thrashing of the Crimson Flashes.
After Willard started the game with two quick first downs that helped them move to the North Ridgeville 42, the Rangers defense stiffened and stopped them cold.
Following the punt, the Rangers put together a nine-play, 65-yard drive that took less than three minutes to score their first touchdown, a 1-yard Paul Sonego plunge. David Bowden added the extra point.
It didn’t take long for North Ridgeville to add to the lead. Starting at its 43 following a punt, the Rangers used quarterback P.J. Bunevich to move down the field and find an open Josh Hudson for a
24-yard touchdown strike. It was the first of three Bunevich touchdown passes on a
10-of-14 night good for 179 yards.
Bunevich then found an open Christian Watkins for
16 yards and touchdown with 7:11 left in the half.
“My O-line gave me the time with good protection and the receivers were getting open,” Bunevich said. “It feels great to come back after a loss last week and get untracked. The receivers were doing what they had to do to get open and they got into the end zone.”
North Ridgeville made it
27-0 with 2:17 left in the half as Bowden scored on a 7-yard run. His second score came after halftime on a 22-yard run.
Bunevich added an 11-yard strike to Watkins to wrap up the scoring and give some of the backups some playing time.
“It feels good to be going home 4-1 after the long trip out here,” Riesen said.