CUYAHOGA FALLS: The latest installment in the rivalry between the Stow Bulldogs (3-7) and the Cuyahoga Falls Black Tigers (3-7) started off with both teams fighting for the early momentum.
Stow looked as if it was poised to gain the lead, but their once promising opening drive ended in a missed field goal.
After the Black Tigers regained possession, they took advantage to gain a 3-0 lead late in the first quarter after kicker Tyler Green connected on a 32-yard field goal.
He later converted from nearly the same distance to extend the slim lead to 6-0, midway through the second quarter.
Cuyahoga Falls head coach Mike Miller said the team must score in the red zone.
“We were down in the red zone and should have gotten seven points, but instead we got three, and missed opportunities like that will come back to bite you,” Miller said.
Stow coach Mark Nori said the difference in the game was the Stow defense being able to hold the Tiger offense to three field goals instead of touchdowns.
“We knew we had to hold up on defense, and they were moving the ball very well,” Nori said. “Offense, defense and special teams all did their part tonight.”
Brian Groves of the Bulldogs stepped up in a big way by returning a kickoff 84 yards for the go-ahead touchdown to give Stow a 7-6 lead.
Stow coach Mark Nori said the Black Tigers looked to shut down their running game so the Bulldogs had to adjust.
“We did ran some motions to try and soften them up,” Nori said. “We made the switch from Andy Wargo to Brian Groves at quarterback, and that is always a different dynamic for someone else to come in.”
Green responded for the Black Tigers by adding his third field goal conversion of the game on a 37-yard attempt as the first half clock expired as well. But, the Bulldogs’ offense picked up where the special teams left off near than the end of the half. Stow’s offense put together a drive that ended with running back Matt Beech scoring on a 68-yard run to extend the lead to 14-9.
The second half saw both teams battle for field position through the heavy rain showers. Neither team scored in the third quarter, but early in the fourth Stow once again executed a big play.
Quarterback Andy Wargo found wide receiver Jake Flinn for a 44-yard touchdown to add to the lead 21-9, which ended the chance for a Black Tiger comeback.