Mayfield 38, Beechwood 14

By · November 29, 2010 · Filed in Uncategorized

By Matt Mulcahey
Enquirer contributor

Football is often a game of inches, tiny increments that can determine victory and defeat. But sometimes it’s instead the enormous swings that define a game – seismic shifts in momentum that tilt a contest one way or the other.

On Friday, it was those enormous swings that doomed Beechwood as it fell at home in the Class A state semifinals, 38-14, to unbeaten Mayfield for the second consecutive year.

The Tigers (10-4) have advanced to the semifinal round seven of the last nine years, including state championship runs in 2004, 2007 and 2008. Those achievements did little to lessen the sting of Beechwood’s playoff exit for coach Noel Rash.

“Our expectations are state titles. That’s exactly what this senior class expected,” Rash said. “We just came up short. We’ve got to get back to the drawing board and find a way to beat (Mayfield) and that’s not going to be an easy task.”

The first of the game’s enormous swings came on the opening possession when Beechwood running back Cameron Vocke fumbled after the Tigers had driven all the way down to Mayfield’s 28-yard line. The Cardinals took full advantage, marching 78 yards in the opposite direction capped by a 57-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Luke Guhy to Javarius Richardson.

The next swing came late in the second quarter after a 28-yard Tiger touchdown pass from Michael Colosimo to Corey Cruse cut Beechwood’s deficit to14-7 with two minutes left to play in the half. That was more than enough for the Cardinals, who needed only 80 seconds to advance down the field and score to take a 21-7 halftime lead.

“(That touchdown) gave us some breathing room and got our guys pumped up in the locker room,” Mayfield coach Joe Morris said.

The Cardinals’ touchdown before the break forced the run-first Tigers to take to the air. Colosimo, who averages 14 pass attempts per game, threw 30 times on Friday. Mayfield’s lead also effectively took Vocke out of the game. The junior halfback entered the contest with 1,841 yards and 32 touchdowns. He managed only 47 yards on 10 carries versus the Cardinals – all of them in the first half.

The final swing in momentum arrived late in the third quarter. A 9-yard touchdown pass from Colosimo to Cruz pulled the Tigers to within 24-14. On the ensuing kickoff Mayfield senior Devin Jones muffed the return, but managed to scoop up his fumble at his own 1-yard line and bolt 99 yards for a touchdown.

“That kickoff return was the dagger. We got a little momentum swing and then they just stuck it too us,” Rash said. “It was a few things here and there, but that’s what (games) always come (down) to You’ve got to make breaks for yourselves and we didn’t.”