Euclid Panthers’ big first quarter burns Lorain Titans

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Euclid’s McKenny Mitchell, back, tackles Lorain’s quarterback Eddie Williamson after a short gain in the first quarter Friday night at George Daniel Field.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Euclid's Juwan Ford, left, drags Lorain's Chris Penny for a few yards in the first quarter on Friday night.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Euclid's Melvin King runs away from Lorain's Alex Wilson as he scores Euclid's first touchdown on Friday night.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Lorain's quarterback Eddie Williamson, left, fumbles the ball in the first quarter on Friday night against Euclid.

LORAIN — Euclid’s explosive offense led by running back Juwan Ford turned Lorain’s Senior Night into a nightmare with a 48-point first half to help roll the Titans 62-40 on Friday night in Lake Erie League action at George Daniel Field.

Ford rushed for 278 of his team’s 420 yards on 20 carries as the Panthers (5-3, 4-1) overpowered the Titans’ defense up front to pave the way to a big road win.

“The big guys came off the ball very well,” Euclid coach Tom Gibbons said. “As you can see, we’ve got some nice big backs. We just took control of the line of scrimmage and that was the key. When we do that, we’re awfully tough to beat.”

The Panthers’ defense feasted on Lorain (2-6, 2-3) sophomore quarterback Eddie Williamson, forcing him into five turnovers, four in the first half. Three of those turnovers turned into Euclid touchdowns.

“In that first series, they had us on our heels,” Gibbons said. “But we were able to get the turnover machine going and as turnovers go, they’re contagious. One came after another.”

Trailing 7-6, Euclid’s Ryshon Johnson found Rakeesh Nolden open for a 48-yard touchdown pass to give the visiting Panthers (5-3, 4-1) a 13-7 lead. The combo hooked up again later that quarter to put Euclid up 20-7 on a 30-yard connection.

The Panthers forced an Eddie Willamson fumble and turned that into a 14-yard touchdown run by Johnson for a 27-7 lead. Another Williamson fumble set up Melvin King on a touchdown run of eight yards for a 34-7 lead.

Euclid’s Harrison Roberts intercepted Williamson and three plays into the second after the Titans committed a roughing the passer penalty, Ford took it in from 10 yards out for his first score and a 41-7 Panthers lead.

Lorain finally broke the 35-point run when Williamson found Sherman Saunders in the left corner of the end zone on a 16-yard pass to cut the score to 41-14.

Five plays later, Ford finished a drive where he had runs of 41 and 14 yards with a 6-yard dash into the end zone, his second of the half, for a 48-14 Euclid lead. Euclid ended the first half with 374 yards of total offense.

Lorain started the second half strong when Williamson hit a wide-open Jordan Altpater for a 67-yard strike to cut the score to 48-21. Euclid’s McKenny Mitchell got that touchdown back on the next drive with a 2-yard score.

Maurice and Sherman Saunders each had touchdowns in the fourth quarter for the Titans to cut the margin to 55-33 following a missed extra point and two-point conversion. Ford came back on the field for Euclid in the fourth and responded with a 42-yard sprint on his 20th and final carry to give Euclid the 62-33 lead.

“Running behind our left side ... he’s hard to see,” Gibbons said. “He comes out there and he packs a punch when he runs that ball through there.”

Williamson added a late 12-yard touchdown run to cap off the night’s scoring.

The Panthers got the opening kickoff and King opened the scoring with a 21-yard run, but Louie Tortorici missed the extra point which made it 6-0. Lorain took their only lead of the game at 7-6 when Saunders ran it in from 16 yards away.

The Titans hit the road next week when they travel to Cleveland Heights, while Euclid travels to Maple Heights.

Euclid 62, Lorain 40

Lake Erie League

Euclid (5-3, 4-1) 34 14 7 7 — 62

Lorain (2-6, 2-3) 7 7 7 19 — 40


E — Melvin King 21 run (kick failed)

L — Sherman Saunders 16 run (Jimmy Morgan kick)

E — Rakeesh Nolden 48 pass from Ryshon Johnson (Louie Tortorici kick)

E — Nolden 30 pass from Johnson (Tortorici kick)

E — Johnson 14 run (Tortorici kick)

E — King 8 run (Tortorici kick)

E — Juwan Ford 10 run (Tortorici kick)

L — Saunders 16 pass from Eddie Williamson (Morgan kick)

E — Ford 6 run (Tortorici kick)

L — Jordan Altpater 67 pass from Williamson (Morgan kick)

E — McKenny Mitchell 2 run (Tortorici kick)

L — Maurice Saunders 22 pass from Williamson (kick failed)

L — Sherman Saunders 2 run (pass failed)

E — Ford 42 run (Tortorici kick)

L — Williamson 12 run (Morgan kick)


First Downs — E 20, L 25.

Yards Rushing — E 420 (Ford 278), L 177 (Sherman Saunders 134).

Yards Passing — E 111 (Nolden 78), L 228 (Altpater 67)

Passes Att.-Comp.-Int — E 16-6-1, L 25-14-2.

Fumbles-Lost — E 1-1, L 3-3.

Penalties-Yards — E 11-118, L 13-103.


Last Updated: 10/13/2012 12:08:18 AM EST

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