Twinsburg showed that they are a football team that could compete with and pass the eye test against a quality league rival in North Royalton.

The Tigers just could not do it for four full quarters in a 34-14 loss on Homecoming Night.

"We are continuing with some growing pains, but the guys are getting better and improving," noted head coach Mike Bell, after the loss that made Twinsburg to 1-2 in the National Conference of the Suburban League.

North Royalton (4-2) moved to 2-1 behind outstanding performances by quarterback Joe Marousek and Simon Antonio, who excelled on defense and offense.

In fact, there was not a corner of Tiger Stadium that the speedy Antonio didn't touch as he ran all over the field on both sides of the ball.

This was a contest where Twinsburg had some opportunities to do some damage.

Paced by senior back Jamir James, Twinsburg tied the game 14-14 at the 6:03 mark of the third period. Senior kicker Brett Callow hit his second PAT.

James, who finished with 121 yards rushing on 25 carries and two touchdowns, scored on a two-yard TD dash to tie things up.

Twinsburg was set up for the score when defensive lineman Tyson Jacobs recovered a fumble at the Bears' 10-yard line.

Jacobs, a promising 6-foot-1, 235-pound sophomore, jumped on the loose football just after the Tigers failed to convert on a fourth-down-and-2 with an incomplete pass in the flat at the Bears’ 14.

A 37-yard toss by Marousek to Michael Singer converted a crucial 3rd-and-18 play on the next drive, which resulted in a TD run two plays later.

Twinsburg responded with a 9-play drive to the North Royalton 15 that ended with an incomplete pass to junior receiver Logan Genos near the sideline on 4th and-2 with 45 ticks left in the third stanza.

Junior quarterback Aiden Corrigan, who had 130 total yards, had a big 18-yard run in which he ran over two would-be tacklers. He had 99 yards rushing on 19 attempts.

It was a missed opportunity, but junior end Jordan Maxwell had one of his many quarterback pressures and had a sack to push the Bears back to the 10.

Two plays later, Marousek found Antonio in the middle of the field with a dart, and the speedy Antonio split the Tiger secondary and sped 86 yards for a score to make it 28-14 with 11:18 left in the game.

Antonio, a speed merchant who has great size (6-2, 200 pounds), was all over the field for the Bears.

Used as a hybrid defender, who played linebacker, safety and corner against Twinsburg's spread formations, Antonio had at least a dozen or so solo tackles. He ran 20 times for 158 yards and had three TDs.

After a Tiger punt, Antonio had a great 46-yard TD run to seal the win as he broke two tackles in the Twinsburg secondary. It was 34-14 with 4:49 left in the game.

Twinsburg had two quick first downs, but then fumbled the ball away.

Marousek, who had 304 total yards, ran around right end for a TD to open the game on fourth-down and-goal from the Tiger 6-yard line. On the drive, Marousek had several big completions.

The University of Akron recruit had three TDs as Marousek was 10-20 passing for 225 yards and he connected with seven different receivers. He also had 12 rushes for 79 yards and two scores.

Early in the second period, Twinsburg (2-4) reached the Bears' 14, but were pushed all the way back near midfield in a drive that had seven combined penalties.

Despite a sack by Maxwell, North Royalton then marched 91 yards for a score when Antonio ran over left tackle for five yards in a full house backfield. It was 14-0 with 4:35 left in the first half.

Corrigan's running, passing and reads in the option ground attack along with the hard running by James, made Twinsburg's offense move the ball.

The hosts capped a 60-yard scoring drive when James exploded up the middle 10 yards.

"Jamir (James) had a very nice game for us in the running game, which was effective," said Bell, whose club had over 200 yards rushing. "We came in wanting to establish the run and Jamir did a great job."

Bell liked what he saw of his offensive line, which has worked hard as Maxwell has seen increased reps on defense.

It was 14-7 with 1:49 left as the Tigers’ offensive line excelled — senior Jacob Sablack, senior Alexa Bova, junior Xavier Branch, junior Mario Piccilomini, and junior Michael Penny.

"Jamir (James) had a very nice game for us in the running game, which was effective," said Bell, whose club had over 200 yards rushing. "We came in wanting to establish the run and Jamir did a great job."

Junior Dylan Crouch has also helped on both ends and in his second week of being used as an H-back on offense.

Sophomore linebacker Joe Bova also played well and junior corner Amaree Cunningham had a big pass break up near the pylon as the first half expired.