Following a difficult loss at Aurora to open the season, a satisfying week two victory was just what the doctor ordered for the Twinsburg Tigers.
The Tigers (1-1) rolled to a 38-7 victory over Nordonia (0-2) on Friday night at Boliantz Stadium in Macedonia. Quarterback Jalen Washington led the attack through the air, passing for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Running back John Barton rushed for 58 yards and two touchdowns, bringing his season total to three. However, perhaps the biggest performance of the night belonged to wide receiver Mitch Harrison, who was the focal point of a double pass that resulted in one of Harrison's two touchdown receptions.
Facing a second and two from the Knights' 17-yard line, Washington threw a backwards pass to wide receiver Zack Buckeye, who then turned lofted the ball over a defender along the left endzone boundary to Harrison.
"We've been running that for the last two years," Washington said. "We ran it in JV, and every single game it worked, so coach said 'why not, let's throw it in there.'"
Twinsburg opened the game with a defensive stand, and then quickly went to work offensively. Starting at Nordonia's 36-yard line, the Tigers scored on the third play of the drive, a 30-yard touchdown run up the middle by Barton.
Nordonia quickly responded, converting a middle screen pass from quarterback Nick Rodriguez to wide receiver Alex Reasbeck for a 55-yard gain. The Knights completed the drive on a 14-yard play action bootleg pass from Rodriguez to Reasbeck, and the extra-point conversion gave the Knights their first and only lead of the game, 7-6.
Twinsburg head coach Joe Schiavone was clearly displeased with his defense's lack of urgency on the drive and let them know it as soon as they reached the sideline. When asked what he said to his players, Schiavone did his best to paraphrase his words.
"We need to do a better job, and that's probably where I'm going to stop with that one," Schiavone said with a laugh.
The Tigers continued to put points on the scoreboard, reaching the Nordonia two-yard-line before Barton bullied his way into the endzone for his second touchdown of the night.
Three touchdown passes put the game out of reach for Nordonia, and Twinsburg's second-team players took the field for much of the fourth quarter. After the game's conclusion, Schiavone and his team began to look to next week's game at Lancaster.
"We always need to improve," Schiavone said. "We'll go back and look at the film, we'll figure out what we did wrong and what we need to tighten up."
Harrison shared his thoughts on the Tigers' upcoming game.
"It's going to be a tough game," Harrison said. "They've got a good running game, but I think we can handle them.
Twinsburg will travel to Lancaster for their third-straight road game on Friday. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.