The Nordonia and North Royalton boys basketball teams will play each other this coming winter, and there's a chance that the two squads will not combine for 122 points in a game.

However, that's exactly what the Knights and Bears did on the football field Oct. 14.

North Royalton edged Nordonia in a shootout at Boliantz Stadium in Macedonia, claiming a 66-56 victory in what was the Knights' Homecoming Game.

With the loss, Nordonia's overall record slid to 3-5. The Knights are also 1-4 in the National Conference of the Suburban League.

"We knew going in that North Royalton is a good team," said Nordonia head coach Jeff Fox. "They're definitely a threat to put up points. They were a team we could not overlook, and they proved it. They made a lot of plays, enough plays down the stretch to win. It was a shoot-out, for sure."

How much of a shootout? There were 46 points scored in the first quarter alone. The Bears led the Knights 25-21 at the conclusion of the opening frame.

North Royalton extended its advantage to 38-28 at intermission. The second half was just as frenetic, but it was very evenly played. That's because the Bears and the Knights scored 14 points apiece in both the third stanza and the fourth frame.

As it has done all season, Nordonia had a number of tremendous performances on the offensive side of the ball. Once again, those performances started with quarterback Robby Levak.

Levak was a threat both on the ground and through the air. He completed 19-of-34 pass attempts for 313 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. He was also the Knights' leading rusher, racking up 104 yards on 16 carries.

Running back Anthony Perrine was a touchdown machine for Nordonia, reaching the end zone four times. He also compiled 51 rushing yards on 16 carries.

"We weren't able to get Anthony going like we wanted to, but he still did a great job," said Fox.

Tye Evans enjoyed another monster game for Nordonia. Not only did he catch seven passes for 146 yards and a touchdown, but he also rushed with the ball twice for 94 yards, including a 75-yard jaunt to the end zone for another score.

Perrine also caught four passes for 36 yards, while four Knights nabbed two receptions apiece. They were Donny Wizniak (83 yards), Alec Burkholder (28 yards), Julius Jones (21 yards), and Daniel Banks. Wizniak and Jones accounted for touchdown receptions.

"In the kicking game, Trey Crockett was as consistent as always," said Fox. "On extra points, field goals, kickoffs, onside kicks -- he's had a stellar senior season."

Defensively, Nyles Beverly intercepted a pass and returned it 10 yards.

However, the Nordonia defense largely struggled against North Royalton. The Bears rolled up 570 yards of total offense, including 385 on the ground.

"It's a situation where you wish it was just one thing," said Fox of his team's difficulties on defense. "That way, it would be an easy fix. But we're in a situation where we have to settle in and get back to the basics and the fundamentals. We have to learn to trust one another again and focus on each position group doing their job."

On Oct. 21, Nordonia will play its last home game of the regular season, hosting conference counterpart and traditional rival Twinsburg on Senior Night at 7 p.m.


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