Woodridge and Ravenna weren't originally scheduled to play for the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division boys soccer crown in the last week of the season.

Thanks to fate and Mother Nature, however, that's exactly what happened Oct. 11 at Portage Community Bank Stadium.

The two teams continued a game suspended by lightning Aug. 25. Play resumed with Woodridge leading 1-0 with 6:04 left in the first half.

When play resumed Oct. 11, it was pretty much all Woodridge -- or, more appropriately, all Caleb Whitaker.

The Bulldogs' All-Ohio senior captain scored twice in the second half, leading Woodridge to a 3-0 win and its third straight PTC divisional title.

Woodridge improved to 12-2-1 and finished 6-0-1 in the Metro Division. Ravenna dropped to 10-3-1, 5-1 in the Metro Division with one division game remaining.

Whitaker actually scored the game's first goal back on Aug. 25, giving him a hat trick for the contest.

Woodridge came out firing when the game resumed and only some heroics by Ravenna goalie Brady Starkey kept the game at 1-0 before halftime.

Starkey first denied Woodridge's AJ Wojcik and then Chris Mally from point-blank range before the half.

Ravenna's scoring chances were scant, as the Ravens attempted to counterattack the Bulldogs most of the night.

It was a Bulldog counterattack that make it 2-0.

Woodridge cleared a Ravenna free kick, allowing junior Devin O'Laughlin to run into Ravens territory.

O'Laughlin slid a ball across to the field to a charging Whitaker, who fired a laser beam into the lower right corner of the net, making it 2-0 in the 54th minute.

Woodridge came close to making it 3-0 several times, but Starkey made eight saves on the night, including a leaping stab to deny Whitaker in the 67th minute.

A corner kick in the 75th minute sealed the win for Woodridge.

Senior captain Carter Hartong took the kick and sent it into the six-yard box, allowing Whitaker to head it home right on the doorstep.

Woodridge finished with a 10-1 edge in shots on goal for the night, as Bulldogs keeper Brett Lemke needed to make only save to preserve the shutout.

Woodridge will close out the regular season by traveling to Hudson Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

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