by Colin Harris | Reporter
Solon — Up against a talented, playoff-tested team like Chagrin Falls, job No. 1 for Ravenna was just trying to keep pace.
The Ravens’ defense came to play in the first quarter, but its offense struggled with five first-half three-and-outs.
That led to a four-touchdown halftime lead — and an eventual 49-21 Chagrin Falls’ win in a Division III regional semifinal game Nov. 10 at Solon High School.
“That’s just one heck of a good football team we played,” Ravenna head coach Jim Lunardi said. “If you want to beat a team like that, you have to win the battle up front and we did not do that.”
The Tigers (11-1) took a 7-0 lead after the first quarter and blew the doors off with three third-quarter touchdowns. Senior running back Jack Campbell scored twice in the second quarter, punching the ball in from one yards out each time.
The Tigers dominated the line of scrimmage all evening, rushing the ball 38 times for 206 yards. Campbell finished with 20 carries for a game-high 95 yards and three touchdowns.
Junior Joey Casarona finished with just 13 yards on seven carries, but the 5-foot-5 back scored two touchdowns to build on Chagrin Falls’ lead.
Senior quarterback Tommy Iammarino threw for Chagrin Falls’ only passing touchdown of the evening in the second quarter, hooking up with brother Matt Iammarino for a 22-yard pitch and catch to put the Tigers up 21-0.
Iammarino was extremely efficient under center, finishing 14-of-20 passing for 194 yards.
While Chagrin Falls was marching the ball up and down the field, Ravenna struggled to just gain a first down.
Ravens’ senior quarterback Kyle Spellman hooked up with senior Jo’siah Coman for an 11-yard pass on the Ravens’ second possession of the first quarter.
Ravenna did not earn another first down until the 24-second mark of the third quarter on a Spellman 76-yard touchdown run which ended a stretch of 42 unanswered points by the Tigers.
The Ravens (7-4) finished with 176 yards rushing on 22 carries. Aside from Spellman’s 76-yard keeper and a 64-yard touchdown run by Warren Bradley with 36 seconds remaining in regulation, the Ravens totaled just 36 yards rushing on 20 carries.
Spellman finished his prep career with a difficult night under center, completing just 8-of-20 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown — a 36-yard pass to Coman for Ravenna’s second TD of the evening. Spellman also carried the ball eight times for 78 yards.
“There’s really not a lot to say about the game,” Lunardi said. “I wish Chagrin Falls the best of luck because they’re a really good team and I wish the same for our departing seniors because they meant a lot.
“I don’t think that, when we lost [Spellman] in week one in an overtime win over Tallmadge that anyone thought we’d be playing in the second round 11 weeks later,” Lunardi said.
It was the second straight year Ravenna was eliminated by Chagrin Falls in the second round of the Division III playoffs. Last year’s game was a 24-6 victory for Chagrin Falls.