It certainly worked out that way Friday night, as the Middies opened Ross Field — their new Revolution 2.5 FieldTurf football field — with a 42-13 victory over the Lorain Titans.
“(The turf) allows our wide receivers to do so much more,” Middies coach Bill Albright said. “When you have sloppy conditions out here, it limits what you can do. I think seven of our 10 games this year we play on turf. It does help.”
Quarterback Cody Callaway might have enjoyed the new playing surface more than anyone. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound junior threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns — all to wide receiver Eric Lauer — and ran for a team-high 42 yards and two touchdowns. David Bakos, who tied Callaway’s 42 rushing yards, scored the other Middies touchdown.
Like many outstanding quarterbacks, Callaway deferred the credit to his teammates.
“It was a great all-around effort,” he said. “The receivers caught everything I threw, and the offensive line protected me the whole game — I didn’t get sacked one time.”
Callaway was pulled after the Middies’ opening drive of the second half. He led them to touchdowns on six of their first seven drives.
“That quarterback is really good,” Titans coach Mark Solis said. “He’s improved dramatically since we saw them last year. I think the game has really slowed down for Cody.”
Lauer seems to be seeing the ball in slow motion, too.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior hauled in six passes for 120 yards. Callaway hit Lauer for a team-high nine touchdown passes last season.
“They work together all the time,” Albright said. “They play baseball together, and I’m sure when they had downtime in baseball they’d stop and throw a football around.
“They remind me of (Avon’s Justin) O’Rourke and (Matt) Eckhardt from last year. We coached Eckhardt in the Big 33 game and you could see the way he reacted to the ball, and the way he ran routes so well. We feel we have the same thing in Eric as well.”
That’s solid praise for a kid who lists football as his second sport.
“He has a full ride to play baseball (at Kent State),” Albright said. “We’re just happy to have him out here catching footballs for us. I’m convinced that if it weren’t for baseball, he’d be playing football for a Division I college somewhere next year.”
Lorain was hurt early by penalties, accumulating seven before Midview was hit with its first. The Titans were particularly stung by four offsides penalties on the Middies’ opening drive, which ended with a 12-yard touchdown run by Callaway.
“We had a lot more than that go wrong,” Solis said. “We made a lot of mistakes tonight. Usually in Week 1, the team that makes the least mistakes, executes the best and tackles on defense wins the game. We didn’t do any of that.
“We didn’t have any of those problems during our preseason scrimmages, and you’re supposed to have those things happen during the preseason.”
Lorain did have its moments. Sophomore running back Sherman Saunders, who finished with a game-high 91 rushing yards, broke off a 19-yard run on the game’s first play and was able to help the Titans move the ball effectively in spurts.
“They showed a couple formations we weren’t prepared for,” Albright said. “They took advantage of it.”
Sophomore quarterback Eddie Williamson also bounced back from a rough first three quarters to throw a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, which should help his confidence heading into Week 2.
“He competed and kept competing throughout the game,” Solis said. “He threw three picks and most quarterbacks might have cashed it in at that point. He’ll learn from this.”
Besides opening the new field in style, the Middies also avenged a pair of season-opening losses by earning their first win in the three-year-old rivalry.
“Both (of our losses) were very physical and tight games that could have gone either way,” Albright said. “But we lost them, and I think the kids wanted to come out and make a statement tonight.”
HUT, HUT … HUT: Callaway was able to draw the Titans offside six times in the game, including the first two plays to earn the Middies a first down without the quarterback having to take a snap. “It sounds simple, but we’ve really worked on his cadence a lot this week,” Albright said. “He’s been able to establish a nice rhythm and he did a nice job with it tonight.”
Contact Shaun Bennett at 329-7137 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.
Midview 42, Lorain 13
Lorain 0 0 0 13 — 13
Midview 7 28 7 0 — 42
M — Cody Callaway, 12 run (Brendan Matcham kick)
M — Eric Lauer, 35 pass from Callaway (Matcham kick)
M — Lauer, 35 pass from Callaway (Matcham kick)
M — Callaway, 18 run (Matcham kick)
M — David Bakos, 1 run (Matcham kick)
M — Lauer, 8 pass from Callaway (Matcham kick)
L — Sherman Saunders, 20 pass from Eddie Williamson (Jimmy Morgan kick)
L — Rashod Berry, 27 pass from Williamson (kick failed)
First downs 15 20
— by rushing 7 9
— by passing 7 9
— by penalty 1 2
Yards rushing 68 139
Yards passing 170 224
Total offense 238 363
Passes att./comp. 15/27 18/28
Intercepted by 0 3
Fumbles/lost 4/0 3/0
Penalties/yards 10/69 7/80
RUSHING — (L) Sherman Saunders 16-91, Pablo Gonzalez 3-(-2), Jordan Alpater 2-(-6), Eddie Williamson 6-(-15). (M) Cody Callaway 5-42, David Bakos 5-42, Kolby Hirschfelder 8-28, Edd Johnson 4-24, Brendan Matcham 1-5, Brett Bartone 1-3, Tyler Stephenson 1-(-5).
PASSING — (L) Williamson 15-27-170-2-3. (M) Callaway 17-26-224-3-0, Stephenson 1-2-0-0-0.
RECEIVING — (L) Rashod Berry 7-86, Saunders 4-45, Luther Washington 2-16, Alpater 1-18, Gonzalez 1-5. (M) Eric Lauer 6-120, Zac Wilson 3-41, Stephenson 3-30, Bakos 2-26, Zach Bates 1-6, Johnson 1-1, Matcham 1-0, Logan Bolin 1-0.