All posts by Alex Furlong

Browns’ history doomed to keep repeating itself

The Cleveland Browns have had a poor record for a historically long time. Most fans say that the team is “close” to being on the next level, but others see zero signs of them being “close” in any aspects of the game.

For starters, the Browns have had 23 different starting quarterbacks since 2000. Even for people who do not understand a touchdown from a field goal, they can probably figure out this is not a good stat for the team.

It is not like any of the quarterbacks have had much potential either. Quarterback Brady Quinn had very high hopes coming into Cleveland. Fans believed he could have been the quarterback to take them to the next level; however, in 12 games, Quinn posted a 3-9 record.

All the blame cannot go on the quarterback, just like all the praise cannot go towards him. The quarterback needs to be surrounded with offensive weapons or a good defense in order to succeed. Neither of these have been the case. The Browns had high hopes in star wide receiver Josh Gordon. This was, of course, was until he could not stop smoking marijuana and found himself getting suspended more than he was actually playing. While Joe Haden has been a lockdown corner for the past five years, he has fallen off a cliff his past two seasons. This is due to him just getting burnt too often by Steeler wide receiver Antonio Brown or just getting injured every one out of every three games.

The signing of wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline were supposed to bring life to the Browns offense. They have done just about everything but that. The Browns have virtually zero weapons on the offensive side of the ball. If they had decided to trade away Joe Thomas before the trade deadline, some would come close to saying that their defense has more of a chance to score than the offense.

The defense has had tons of problems all year. They had high expectations coming into the season, and they did not meet any of them. The Browns rank in the bottom three for almost every category of run defense. They give up the most amount of yards and are bottom three in touchdowns and yards per carry.

It is just silly to say that the Brown’s are “close” to anything really. They do not have much potential to do anything unless they hire guys who know how to find players out of college who will succeed. No one knew the likes of Time Brady; however, picking Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel over Odell Beckham JR and Khalil Mack is just not going to get it done. Unless of course, the organization secretly wants to lose, because sometimes it honestly looks as so.

Bulldogs to progress to next round of playoffs

The Bulldog’s finished their regular season at a very impressive 10-0 record; however, if you ask the players, the job was not finished at that point in the season. The Bulldogs went into their first round playoff game facing the 15th seed, Berea-MidPark.

The Bulldogs went into the game with high confidence after finishing their season on a very high note. On the contrary, the Titans came into the game following a devastating loss during the final moments of the game. Whether these two things played in a factor when the two teams met Saturday night no one knows; however, everyone knows the Bulldogs came out on top with a 57-34 victory.

The Bulldogs got the game going early with a very effective rushing attack. Junior quarterback Kyle Vantrease led the team down the field before rushing it in himself for a 12-yard touchdown. This would come out to be one of Vantrease’s two rushing touchdowns this game alone.

Senior running back Jayson Gobble did not disappoint either as Gobble found the end zone three times, complementing his 284 rush yards.

At halftime the Bulldogs were winning 28-20, thanks to a last second touchdown before the half ended.

The Bulldogs did not waste this momentum going into the second-half. Stow score in under a minute into the second half from a 35-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Logan Lindsay.

Every time the Titans were within one possession of the game, the Bulldogs found answers immediately. It wasn’t until mid-way through the third quarter the Bulldogs started to pull away.

Junior Joe Gobble helped his team with a second half interception that he returned for 69 yards. This interception led to Sophomore Terrian Wray’s five yard touchdown run.

As the Titans’ season came to a close, they score the final touchdown of the game, making the final score 57-34 Stow.

The Bulldogs will travel to Infocision Stadium in Akron this Saturday to face the Solon Comets. Kickoff is at 7:00 pm and tickets will be sold starting this Wednesday.

Football VS Nordonia

The Nordonia Knights were supposed to be the Bulldogs biggest competition that they had to play thus far. Well, it was up until the final six minutes of the fourth quarter where the Bulldogs pulled away to win the game 65-37 Friday night.

It was a crazy game, and at point the Knights cut the lead to 38-30 in the fourth quarter, but at the end of the night the Bulldogs took better care of the football and leaned on their running attack to move the ball.

The Bulldogs improved to 5-0 while the Knights dropped to 2-3 on the season.

Senior running back Jayson Gobble had a huge night. Rushing for 253 yards on 34 carries, Gobble also added five rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown.

The receiving touchdown was on a trick play where junior Logan Lindsay ended up throwing it to Jayson for a 43-yard score. Gobble took a handoff and pitched it back to Lindsay for the easy touchdown; this gave Stow huge momentum very early in the game.

“I was indifferent when the trick play was called,” Gobble said. “I just saw it as a chance to get yards and we took advantage of the opportunity.”

At halftime the score was 24-7 but it felt all but over. The average fan would know the Knights would not fold over. On their first possession in the second half the Knights were driving. This was until the Bulldogs forced one of the three turnovers they created when senior Monte Board recovered a fumble on the Bulldog 27 yard line, ending the Knights momentum.

Junior quarterback Kyle Vantrease had a solid game himself. Vantrease rushed for two touchdowns, including a savvy 18-yard rush that really deflated to the Knights.

On the following drive sophomore Joe Gobble put the final bite in the game with a 63- yard pick-six.

Stow’s next game is on Oct. 2, when the Twinsburg Tigers come into town.

“We knew from the Wadsworth game and one it would only get tougher,” Senior Owen Fankhauser said, “We will get everyone’s best shot, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Bulldogs soar over the Falcons

     If one were to look at the score of the Bulldogs football game against the Firestone Falcons, he or she may think the Bulldogs were in control the whole game in a 42-16 routing; however, that was not the case.

     Firestone jumped out to a 10-0 lead in just the first three minutes of the game. After the Falcons quarterback threw a 68-yard touchdown pass into double coverage, Stow’s two defenders seemed to trip over each other allowing the touchdown.

     The following Bulldog drive, quarterback Kyle Vantrease overthrew his receiver leading to a Falcons interception. This was one of three of  Vantrease’s turnovers in the first half.

     After falling behind 10-0, the Bulldogs leaned on the running attack. Gobble who came into the game averaging 16.2 yards per carry finished 215 yards on 23 carries. He also had three touchdowns. Gobble continued his success over the Falcons, last year scoring six touchdowns against them.

     Despite having an off night, Vantrease still finished with two passing touchdowns and one rushing. One of these touchdowns was on the first drive of the opening third quarter as he led the team down and found Joey Andrassy for a 24 yard touchdown.

     After Andrew Schockling recovered a fumble, Vantrease threw a 22-yard touchdown to wide receiver Logan Lindsay.

     With a little under five minutes left in the game, the Falcons scored on a three yard touchdown run against the Bulldogs second team defense. This was the only turnover the Bulldog’s forced.

     Following the game, Stow head coach Mark Nori said, “We had no hint of panic” (highschoolsports.cleveland.com). This was in reference to being down 10-0 early on. Coach Nori also spoke of how Jayson Gobble was very vocal and supportive to his teammates throughout the game.