The Red Raiders, who almost upset Solon in week one, are 1-1 and they will have two more home games following.
By BRYANT K. KIZER
High School Beat Reporter
Derek Burgess, a senior wide receiver, will remember September 1 for a very long time. That is the day that he scored the very first touchdown on the new Shaker Heights’ state-of-the-art football field.
Burgess, who scored on the very first offensive play, helped his team to a 35-0 victory over the John F. Kennedy Eagles, last Saturday.
Burgess beat Eagles' defensive back senior Leroy Draper on a fly-pattern and senior quarterback Jimmie Pope hit him in stride and Burgess' speed did the rest for a 37-yard touchdown.
The Red Raiders’ played outstanding defense as they stopped the Eagles three consecutive times in the red zone.
“That was huge,” said senior wide receiver/cornerback Melran Leach. “Our defense bent a little, but we did not break.”
After the Red Raiders’ score, the Eagles mounted a drive. A big 29-yard run by senior quarterback Trayvon Williams and a 34-yard run by freshman Derron Hookfin had the Eagles settled at the Red Raiders seven-yard line. But four plays later, no score.
The Red Raider went down and scored on a seven-yard run by Ramses Owens. Senior Leo Katz’s extra-point and the Red Raiders led 14-0 with 4:32 left. The Red Raiders drove 91-yards on 14 plays and it took up over four minutes.
A huge 50-yard run by senior running back Raymond Bell aided the Eagles’ second drive. They got as far as the Red Raiders’ 17-yard line, but again no pay dirt.
On their next drive, Hookfin had three consecutive runs totaling 33 yards. Once again, they got in the red zone (opponents’ 20-yard-line), but they did not score. Hookfin, who is listed at 205 pounds on the roster, finished with 130 yards in the first-half. He is about 15 pounds heavier than that. He finished the game with 150 yards.
“That really hurt them,” said Leach. “That is what good defense does, though.”
The Red Raiders led 14-0 at the half.
The Eagles offense could not sustain any kind of a drive in the second half as the Red Raiders score three more times.
Junior running back Greg Claytor had touchdown runs of six and 18.
Second-year head coach Jarvis Gibson Sr., said that he is happy with the win, but there is a lot that needs to be cleaned up. “We are moving in the right direction. But we have a lot of things that need to be done. (Jimmie) Pope was okay, however he missed some reads. I am happy with Ramses Owens who carried the load for us. Also Claytor, who is playing with a slight injury, hung in there and had a great game,” said Gibson Sr.
Gibson Sr. on playing on the new turf. “It was slightly difficult because we do not to get to practice on it. Because we have so many teams playing on it. We have the soccer teams, lacrosse teams, field hockey teams and it is so difficult to go from grass to turf. But the players adjusted well. We have some slips but nothing that is glaring.”
The Red Raiders, who almost upset Solon in week one, are 1-1 and they will have two more home games following. They will host Cleveland Central Catholic (1-1), this Saturday. The Ironman will be ticked off as they went scoreless against Euclid.
The Eagles (0-2), who have been outscored 89-22, open up Cleveland Senate play against hosting Rhodes (2-0), this Friday.