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Dream season comes to a Close
by Eric Leventhal, Editor-in-Chief

The season couldn’t have ended in a worse fashion for this year’s West Geauga football team. After racking up the best record in West G. football history at 11-0, the Wolverines were shut out 21-0 by Lake Catholic at Euclid’s Dibiasio Field in the second round of the Division III Playoffs.

Disaster struck just seven minutes into the game when Senior quarterback Pat McDonald suffered a serious concussion after being hit on a scramble. “My heart just dropped. It was tough to continue playing,” recalls reciever Paul Cirino.

With McDonald out the of game, and backup quarterback Jeff Javorek unavailable on account of a broken hand, Coach Mr. Matt Rosati was forced to turn to senior David Oriani. Oriani, who is normally a reciever, hadn’t played quarterback a single play all year. “It was totally unexpected. I was very nervous,” said Oriani.

Without their star quarterback, the previously dynamic offense sputtered. Relying on the running game, West Geauga attempted only four passes after McDonald’s injury. The Wolverines only had two serious scoring opportunities all night long, both resulting from spectacular catches by senior Joe Lubelski.

Lake Catholic’s offense wasn’t dominant, but they capitalized on several critical Wolverine turnovers. After recovering two fumbles deep in West G. territory, the Cougars came away with an easy touchdown on both occasions. Lake wrapped up their 21-0 rout with a 47-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter.

The disappointing loss came just one week after West Geauga’s first- ever playoff victory, a thrilling 20-13 defeat of NDCL. Lubelski caught the winning touchdown pass with just over one minute left in regulation, breaking a 13-13 tie. “It was sweet. It’s just an exhilarating experience to make a game winning catch like that,” said Lubelski.

Although the Wolverines had hoped to advance deeper into the playoffs, the season was by no means a failure. West Geauga finished the regular season with a 10-0 record, hosted its first ever home playoff game, and won the CVC title outright. Seniors Pat McDonald, Joe Koniezcny, and Joe Lubelski set new West Geauga career passing, rushing, and receiving yards records, respectively. “It was the most successful season in West Geauga history. I’m very proud of all of our seniors,” said Rosati.

 





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