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Lake County Sentinel
Blue Devils get redemption starting the season 1-0 with 18-7 win over Brookside 

Last year the Wickliffe Blue Devils opened their season against the Brookside Cardinals at Brookside and got the helmets handed to them 43-6. Friday night a Wickliffe Memorial Stadium was a time for redemptions as the Cardinals visited Wickliffe. Wickliffe got the redemption they wanted as they handled the Cardinals from beginning to end defeating the Cardinals 18-7 to move to 1-0 on the season and sending the Cardinals back to Sheffield Lake 0-1.

The Blue Devils got on the board late in the first quarter with a long drive after the Cardinals went three and out on the first drive of the game. The Blue Devils put together a 12 play 71-yard drive, taking 6:40 off the clock that ended with Junior quarterback EJ Mester keeping the ball and taking it into the endzone from nine yards out to give the Blue Devils a 6-0 lead with 3:44 left in the first quarter. The extra point by sophomore kicker Nunzio Zivnoska was blocked.

The game was a defensive battle for the next two plus quarters until 8:44 left in the fourth quarter and Wickliffe Junior Bobby Plumb scampered 26 yard to pay dirt when he crossed the goal line giving the Blue Devils a 12-0 lead after the two-point conversion failed.

It turned out the Wickliffe needed the second touchdown as on the first play of following drive by Brookside junior QB Ben Montgomery hit sophomore Anthony Robinson with a 60-yard touchdown bomb and after the extra point by sophomore Noah Adkins the Cardinals cut the lead to 12-7 with 8:23 left on the game clock.
The Blue Devils did exactly what they had to do as they got the ball back and took 3:40 off the clock on six plays and 60 yards when scored his second TD of the game this time from five yards out to give the Blue Devils an 18-7 advantage with 4:43 left in the game.

Brookside did get the ball back, but Wickliffe’s defense came up big when Zivnoska hit Montgomery who fumbled the ball, and it was picked up by junior Blake Primozic at the Cardinals nine-yard line with 1:44 left on the clock. Wickliffe ran the ball once and took two knees to seal the victory.

A huge difference in the game tonight compared to the game in 2021 was the turnover battle. Last year the Cardinals won the turnover battle 3-2, this year the Blue Devils did not turn the ball over at all and forced two Cardinals turnovers.
In 2021 the Blue Devils offense mustard only 69 yards offense against the Cardinals in the season opener as their defense gave up 289 yards to the Brookside offense, 211 on the ground. Tonight, Wickliffe racked up 264 yards on offense led by Plumb’s 175 yards total 154 of which were on the ground while allowing the Cardinals to gain only 165 on offense and only 53 yards on the ground.

The Blue Devils will host the Akron North Vikings at Memorial Stadium at 7 pm. The Vikings lost to the Fairport Harding Skippers 25-0.
tshirer@lakecountysentinel.com follow Tim on Twitter @TBBucsTim or follow us on Twitter @LCSentinelcom 
​POSTED 08/19/2021 23:24
Wickliffe junior QB EJ Mester rushes for a 1st quarter TD.              Photo by Tim Shirer