Five touchdowns, a blocked punt, a safety and two Richmond Heights fumbles led to 35 points in the first quarter alone as Beachwood eased past the Spartans 49-20 on Homecoming. The Bison continue their strong start to a promising season, improving to 3-1.
“We had a lot of unforced errors that killed us in that first quarter,” Richmond Heights head coach William Cloud said. “Our kids got frustrated in the first half so we had to regroup. We reduced the errors and played strong in the second half.”
Beachwood took the opening kick and immediately marched down to Richmond Heights’ 17-yard line thanks to a 12-yard run by Ari Sobel and a 26-yard pass from Alex Hohl to Howard Sobel. Howard Sobel finished the drive on a 15-yard touchdown run putting the Bison up 6-0 after a missed extra point.
Four plays later the Bison blocked a Spartan punt attempt and Ari Sobel powered through a gaping hole for a 20-yard touchdown. Again Beachwood missed the extra point for a 12-0 lead.
The Spartans took over at their own 15 and the very next play Richmond Heights center Eric King sent the snap to the back of the end zone for a safety. King started in place for injured sophomore Jimmy Leanza.
“The first day he snapped was Wednesday, but and came out and played his tail off. That’s all I asked him to do,” Cloud said. “He did pretty good.”
Beachwood junior Darrell Sullins took the ensuing punt 46 yards to Richmond Heights’ 9-yard line and Hohl finished the drive off with a 9-yard touchdown scramble. The Spartans took over on their own 15-yard line. Hohl then recovered a fumble the very next play and ran it in 15 yards for another score.
The Bison capped off the first quarter with another fumble recovery just after Richmond Heights advanced to their own 40-yard line thanks to a face-mask call. Hohl hit Jacob Sabroff on a 20-yard screen play and Howard Sobel finished the drive with a 25-yard touchdown run.
“It all started eight or nine months ago in the weight room,” Beachwood head coach Ryan Williams said. “When you play certain teams you have to take advantage of what you did in the offseason in preparation.”
Richmond Heights added three scores in the second half thanks largely to their athletic quarterback Arthur Christian. The junior hit junior Jimmy Virant for a 33-yard score in the third and then found him again in the fourth for a 25-yard touchdown pass.
“We need to work on our tackling and containment on quarterbacks who like to run,” Williams said.
Beachwood’s Homecoming was more a tradition than an actual return from the road as the Bison haven’t played a game on the road this season. That changes Friday night when they travel to Chagrin Valley Conference rival Independence for a 7 p.m. kickoff. A win would break quite a long losing streak against the Blue Devils.
“We haven’t beat Independence since, last I heard, the '90s or even the late '80s,” Williams said. “It’s been at least 20 years. Last year we played a really good game but they got the better of us in the second half. Our guys are ready to go out there and take care of them.”