EATON TWP. — It took a couple of years, but Midview receiver Dante Redwood was finally able to pay tribute to a friend he lost two years ago.
Redwood dedicated his first career varsity touchdown, a 55-yard punt return, to North Ridgeville resident and player Alex Sismour, who passed away in 2011.
It was one of three touchdowns Redwood scored in the Middies’ 35-16 win over Amherst at Ross Field.
“I wanted my first varsity touchdown here,” Redwood said. “It was for Alex Sismour, and after I scored the touchdown I put my hand in the air to thank the Lord that I could get that for him.”
Redwood finished with five catches for 109 yards, scoring on passes of 25 and 60 yards in the second half as Midview (2-0) pulled away.
Senior quarterback Cody Callaway had a big night for the Middies as well, rolling up 390 all-purpose yards (260 passing and 130 on the ground) while throwing for three scores.
“Cody is special and he’s great to coach,” Midview coach Bill Albright said. “To be able to have that arm, to go vertical like that … that’s good.”
Last season the Middies’ offense, for the most part, consisted of Callaway throwing the ball long and former receiver Eric Lauer running under it and scampering into the end zone. This year, Albright said, things are different.
“What’s nice about this group is that last year it was Lauer, Lauer, Lauer, Lauer, Lauer … that’s all we heard and all anybody heard,” Albright said. “This year we’ve got Dylan Eason, we’ve got (Logan) Bolin, who had a big week for us last week. You’ve got Dante, you’ve got (Zac) Wilson and Kolby running the ball hard.
“That makes us a very tough offense to defend.”
Eason caught four passes for 60 yards, and Wilson pulled in two for 71 yards and a touchdown.
“Lauer was a big part of our offense last year, but this year we have more of a variety to go to,” Callaway said. “That keeps defenses on their heels. We have five or six great receivers that I think are going to step up big for us this year.”
The Middies made a few big plays that made a difference. Amherst, which fell to 0-2, made numerous little plays that did not add up to enough points to stick with the Middies. The Comets gained 184 rushing yards in 50 attempts, a 3.6 average.
They completed 16 passes for 146 yards, just 9.1 yards per completion. They had a 20-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that ate up 10:14 of the second quarter and an 11-play drive that led to a field goal in the third, but each time they would get back into the game the Middies would strike quickly to rebuild their lead.
Midview had a pair of touchdown drives that covered more than 65 yards and took less than a minute off the clock.
“Midview has some tremendous athletes and those kids made plays in the clutch,” Amherst coach Chad DiFranco said. “They put the ball in Cody’s hands on every play and he was able to make some plays.”
Callaway’s 60-yard touchdown pass to Redwood with 8:57 left in the fourth quarter proved DiFranco’s point.
A Derek Eibon 1-yard touchdown run with 9:21 remaining in the game pulled the Comets within 21-16. Two plays later, with Comets free safety Tyler Eaton trying frantically to get his defense in the right position, Callaway found Redwood streaking up the seam uncovered for the score that put the game away.
“We had a mix-up in our coverage,” DiFranco said. “That’s the thing that’s so good about Callaway. If you make a mistake he makes you pay. He’s a very smart quarterback. There are a lot of high school quarterbacks who would not have seen that, but he does.”