For Bedford’s head coach, he finally opened up the season with a win.
By BRYANT K. KIZER
High School Beat Reporter
When you talk about Taylor Jones, you can throw the sophomore label out the window, the same place he threw Toledo St. John’s Jesuit’s defense. He had four touchdown passes against the visiting Titans in Cleveland Heights’ 56-21 victory. The victory gave the Tigers ten consecutive regular season victories.
Jones had as much poise as a seasoned, ten-year veteran.
Jones started his first varsity game at quarterback with touchdown passes of 70, 25, 6 and 14 yards.
“I was not nervous at all,” said Jones, who transferred from Shaw. “I trust my offensive line to get the job done and they did.”
Jones has a lot of weapons to choose from. Weapons like world-class speedster seniors Shelton Gibson, Marcus McShepard and Dorien Hudson. All three were on Cleveland Heights’ relay team.
Gibson opened up the scoring for the Tigers’ (1-0 and ranked #6 in the Kizer’s/Call and Post’s Top 15 poll) first drive when Jones connected to Gibson on a 70-yard touchdown pass, with Gibson running fifty of those yards after the catch.
“You get me alone like that, you are not going to catch me,” said Gibson, who finished second in the state in the 200.
The Jones and Gibson connection hooked up again. With the Titans’ big defensive lineman closing down on him, Jones calmly lofted the ball over his outstretched hands into the hands of Gibson on a beautifully drawn screen play. The play went for a 25-yard touchdown.
The Tigers’ defense was sinking its teeth into the Titans’ spread-offense. They had a lot of one-on-one talks. McShepard is not only valuable on the offensive side, he is a great cornerback. He scored on a pick-six, 65-yards to give the Tigers a 14-3 lead in the first.
“That wide receiver [underestimated] me. He was like “I am open, I am open”. He kept running up the sideline, I cut in front of him and caught the ball and went down the other side,” said McShepard.
The Tigers’ multiple offense kept the pressure on. On the strength of a pancake block from fullback Ashton Austin, running back Braxton Gamble followed him for a 53-yard touchdown run. The Tigers has seized command at 28-3.
However, the Tigers were not perfect that night. They had some crazy penalties that got their head coach Jeff Rotsky steamed. A fumble near their goal line almost sent him into a frenzy. The Titans scored on a one-yard run by running back Collin Korte and it seemed with two minutes left until halftime that the Titans, who would get the ball back after halftime, might have momentum. But that is why teams have that special momentum killer. McShepard was the culprit. His 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown turned the lights out for the Titans. Tigers led at the half, 35-10.
“I guess they thought that, not kicking in the direction of Gibson, that they could relax,” said McShepard.
The Tigers have something special over there at Lee and Cedar.
In other games…
#4 Solon 24, Shaker Heights 21
Shaker Heights almost pulled off a big upset against hosting Solon. The Red Raiders had a 21-10 lead with almost two minutes remaining in the game. But the heroics of Michigan State recruit Darin Hicks helped the Comets to a 24-21 comeback win. Hicks caught two long touchdown passes in the last two drives. Hicks, from Boston College recruit quarterback Drew Barksdale, had touchdown receptions of 38 and the game-clinching 54 yards with 19 seconds left. This was a game of big plays in the fourth quarter. For the Red Raiders, Mel Leach had an 82-yard touchdown reception, and Nolan Jackson-Daniel had a 69-yard touchdown reception.
The Comets (1-0) will host #8 Glenville (0-1), this Friday at 7 p.m.
Bedford 47, Olmsted Falls 14
For Bedford’s head coach, he finally opened up the season with a win. The Bearcats would score 47 consecutive points in their 47-14 rout over host, Olmsted Falls. The Eagles built a 14-0 lead in the first seven minutes of the game. The Bearcats had two long touchdown runs by senior Jovun Washington, (52 and 63). He finished with 116 yards for the day. Senior Taylor Williams had a 63-yard touchdown run. The Bearcats had a total of nearly 300 yards on the ground. Sophomore Frank Sumpter had a 37-yard touchdown reception from senior quarterback Dion Carter.
The Bearcats (1-0) will be on the road again this Friday as they face Eastlake North (0-1) 7 p.m.