By TIM CLEVELAND
For most teams with two wins entering Week 10, they know they’re just playing out the string, perhaps hoping to play spoiler against a team with playoff hopes.
That was not the case Saturday night at Mollenkopf Stadium as Warren JFK had a chance to make the playoffs with a victory against Cleveland Central Catholic.
The Eagles took a 14-point lead in the first quarter, but Central Catholic rallied for a 28-20 victory to end JFK’s season.
“It was a good game against a good football team,” Warren JFK coach Dave Pappada said. “There was a possibility to make the playoffs and you’ve got to use anything you can to motivate kids. They were ready to play the game, we just fell short.”
Warren JFK (2-8, 1-3 North Coast League) jumped out early and it appeared the game could be a rout. The Eagles marched 89 yards in 11 plays, using up 5:22 off the clock.
Junior quarterback Michael Roscoe accounted for 68 yards on the drive and connected with Austin Munno for a 5-yard score.
Cleveland Central Catholic (8-2, 4-0) went three-and-out on the next possession. On fourth down, punter Brandon Brown fumbled the snap and the Eagles had the ball on the Ironbirds’ 7.
Two plays later, Dimaje Clinkscale went in from the 3.
“We had a couple nice drives,” Pappada said. “The first one went 11 plays and consumed about six minutes, then we had a 15-play drive that we didn’t even score on.”
Central Catholic tied the game on TD runs by Davon Robinson and Desmond Lundy. In the third quarter, Curtis Parks fumbled and the Eagles’ Munno recovered on the 50.
Carl Zallow accounted for all 50 yards on the drive as the Eagles scored for a 20-14 lead with 3:59 left in the third quarter. Zallow had 110 yards on 18 carries.
Early in the fourth, Roscoe had a pass tipped into the air. He caught the ball himself, but for a 19-yard loss back to the 4. The subsequent punt gave the Ironmen the ball on the Warren JFK 43.
Central Catholic took advantage of the field position, scoring in six plays. On fourth-and-7 at the 40, Lundy hit Brandon Brown for 34 yards.
Two plays later, Curtis Parks scored to give the Ironmen their first lead, 22-20 with 8:34 to play.
Later, Warren JFK failed to convert a fourth down at the Central Catholic 34, and the Ironmen took advantage. They went 66 yards in nine plays, with Parks scoring from 13 yards out. The lead was eight with 48 seconds to play.
On Warren JFK’s last chance, Roscoe threw his third interception of the game. He finished with 131 total yards and a TD pass.