By: Tyler Danburg
FAIRVIEW PARK, OH— It was a beautiful night for Week 5 of the 2019 High School Football season, as the Fairview Warriors (2-2, 2-1 GLC) played host to conference rival Bay Village (3-1, 2-1 GLC) in front of a hostile crowd at Dr. James B. Daley Stadium. The Warriors came into the game following a 35-28 win over Parma, while Bay held off Valley Forge by a score of 22-19.
Bay started out with the ball and drove quickly down the field. Rockets QB Logan LeMere set himself up for a series of big passing plays, two of which went to main target Cullen Gergye. Gergye came into the game with big expectations after having a big game against Valley Forge with five receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown. However, the Rockets turned the ball over on downs trying to go deep in the endzone with the Warriors defense finally stopping Bay’s attack.
Fairview quickly came up with the football looking to support the defense that shut down a Bay offense who put up 369 total yards the week before. However, Matt Kaufmann, star running back for the Warriors coughed up the football on Fairview’s first play from scrimmage resulting in a Bay Village recovery. That was Kaufmann’s first career fumble as he is in his first year as starting running back.
Following the Fairview fumble, it was all Bay and the Rockets core of running backs, as Rockets main RB Nick Buttari (more from him later) rushed from ten yards out for the first score of the game. Another Fairview three-and-out later, Buttari scampered. This time thirty-three yards to the end zone to make it 14-0 Bay. Logan LeMere tore it up late in the 1st half, as 58 of his 133 total passing yards were accounted for on the last three plays before halftime.
The Warriors remained shut down by Bay’s defense and could not get anything going on the offensive side. Fairview QB Declan Jewitt spoke to the media after the game saying, “Bay was just bigger than us. We played hard but couldn’t find any holes to run through and [Bay’s defense] kept us out of our comfort zone.” Jewitt finished the day 4-12 for 36 yards and an interception.
Bay came out after the half and put up 21 more unanswered points, as FB Joe Galati found the end zone on a dive play, Logan LeMere finally found Cullen Gergye for a 24-yard touchdown pass, and Luke Herbruck ran for an eight-yard touchdown spreading the wealth for Bay’s running back depth. Bay Football Head Coach Ron Rutt does not see an end in sight to rotating touches between Rockets running backs, as Bay has proved through the first five weeks that they can efficiently implement a run-heavy offense.
The Warriors played to the final whistle by hanging tough despite trailing by 35 points. “That’s one of the things I love about this team, and having only thirty guys,” says Fairview Head Coach Dave Latkovic. “They play as hard as they can despite the score and continue to play until there are three zeros on the scoreboard.”
But that Bay lead would soon decrease as Matt Kaufmann finally put the Warriors on the board with 1:22 left to play in the fourth quarter with a 19-yard touchdown run. Kaufmann on the day ran for 42 yards on 10 carries with that garbage time touchdown, putting him at 372 rushing yards on the season and racking up his third total touchdown on the season. Week 4 addition Marty Rehor added 40 total yards with 30 of them running the ball.
With the final score Bay 35 Fairview 7, the Rockets advance to 4-1 garnering their GLC victory, while the Warriors fall to 2-3 and going to a GLC record of 2-2. Bay visits Holy Name next Friday, October 4th at 7 pm, while Fairview travels to Buckeye on the same day and time looking to bounce back against the GLC rival Bucks.