McDonald remains unbeaten
Senior tight end Corey Grombacher scored the first two TDs of his career.
By JOHN BASSETTI
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
MCDONALD -- The statistics would indicate that the Blue Devils dominated the game.
But which Blue Devils?
McDonald, of course, especially when the home-team Blue Devils had a lopsided advantage early, thanks to 14 points on their first two possessions en route to a 20-7 victory over the Western Reserve Blue Devils.
Senior tight end Corey Grombacher caught three passes for 112 yards, including two for touchdowns for Dan Williams' unbeaten team (4-0).
Grombacher's scores were the first and second of his varsity career.
"I never had an opportunity [to play offense] my junior year," said Grombacher, who was a starter on defense last season. He is nicknamed "Mad Dog."
He also had some big plays as linebacker Friday, including a sack for a 6-yard loss on quarterback Brandon Moherman when Western Reserve was making a push late in the game.
Long TD pass play
McDonald took the opening kickoff and quickly put up seven points when Matt Krumpak and Grombacher hooked up on a 72-yard pass play.
"We put him at tight end to utilize him more as a pass-catcher," Williams said.
Grombacher lined up in on the right side of the line and was expected to run a flag route.
"It was a play-action and he came wide-open. The play-action fake by our quarterback [Krumpak] was great because their backs bit up on it. That's when Grombacher got behind the secondary. Krumpak made a great throw and it was a great catch and run," Williams said of the game's third play.
Krumpak's pass to Josh Joynes covering 31 yards set up Dave Dugan's 1-yard touchdown run with 3:38 remaining in the first quarter.
Jack Breegle's second point-after kick put McDonald up, 14-0.
Scoreless middle quarters
The middle quarters were scoreless, but Shawn Bryant chewed up the yardage to help Western Reserve get on the board with 10:09 remaining in the game. Justin Cooper's PAT pulled the visiting Blue Devils within 14-7.
McDonald took the kickoff and marched 64 yards with a 23-yard gain by Joe Witkowski as impetus. Krumpak's 14-yard touchdown pass to Grombacher finalized the score.
On Western Reserve's final possession, the Blue Devils were mowed down quickly on consecutive plays totaling 10 yards in losses. To seal their fate, Reserve (1-3) was penalized for pass interference.
McDonald got the ball back and ran out the clock.
Krumpak completed 8-of-13 passes for 194 yards, while McDonald rushed for 154. Chris Mark was the winners' top ground gainer with 74 yards.
Bryant, a senior running back, had 73 yards for Reserve.
Moherman was two of seven for 40 yards with Chris Truitt catching one pass for 33 yards.
Williams said he was pleased with his team's first two possessions.
"We were pretty happy and things were going smooth for us, then we got the drops. We started dropping passes and putting the ball on the ground [fumbling]. I wasn't happy with the turnovers and the way we dropped the football catching it. But the kids hung in there and we played good defense most of the way."
Samir Awadallah and Chris Tofilski recovered the fumbles in the second and third quarters, respectively.
Good defensive attack
Reserve coach Mike Kopachy said that McDonald's first-half pressure on Moherman was a credit to McDonald.
"They have good scheme. They were throwing things at us and their guys hit the right spots. We could have played could-a, would-a, should-a all we want and say we could be 4-0 right now. But the reality is, we didn't make plays when we needed to make plays.
"We can't blame game on the officials. We've got to take care what we're in control of. Take away their long drive at the end that kind of iced the game and take away their big plays and the game's a lot closer than the final score indicated. Our kids played hard, but we just need to learn how to win."