TWINSBURG — Brecksville-Broadview Heights’ rags-to-riches tale has been quite alluring thus far.
Just don’t bring up the Bees’ fairy tale of a season to the members of the Twinsburg football team.
Pardon the Tigers if they find such a fantasy repulsive.
Brecksville earned its fourth consecutive win after smashing host Twinsburg 38-0 at Twinsburg Tiger Stadium.
With the victory, the Bees, who finished 0-10 last season, improved to 5-2 overall and 4-0 in the Suburban League National Conference. Amazingly enough, Brecksville is the lone unbeaten team in the conference.
The Tigers, on the other hand, were overmatched in just about every way imaginable. Twinsburg dropped to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the conference.
"We have to find a way to come out and play up to our capabilities and with the willingness to compete across the board than we did [Friday]," Tigers head coach Mike Bell said.
How rough was it for the home team?
The Bees scored 31 points in the first half. Twinsburg? It had a total of 31 … yards.
When the Tigers moved the chains for the first time in the second quarter, Brecksville already had 18 first downs.
If there was any light at the end of the tunnel, it was Twinsburg’s special teams. The Tigers blocked three of the Bees’ five point after tries.
As for Twinsburg’s worst-to-first opponent, it has been a season to cherish thus far. Of course, there is one critical reason for the Bees’ success in 2019.
Their starting quarterback is standing upright.
Six-foot-4 junior Joe Labas missed most of last season as Brecksville struggled mightily.
Not this year.
Thanks to a fully healthy Labas, who is getting offers from Division I schools, the Bees have averaged a fraction of a point per game more than what they posted Friday night.
"They are a very good football team," Bell said. "The kid at quarterback might be the best player in our league. I’d put him up there with the best of anybody. He’s that competitive and that tough."
Brecksville slammed on the brakes after halftime as the running-clock rule was in full effect. Sadly, Twinsburg could do nothing to deactivate it.
Labas, who relied mostly on short passes that led to many yards-after-the-catch, chain-moving plays, completed 9-of-18 passes for 154 yards in two quarters.
His favorite target was junior wide receiver Jeremy Jonozzo, who finished with four receptions for 74 yards.
Even when they didn’t drop back and fire away, the Bees had a knack for toying with the Tigers’ defense.
Brecksville dominated the line of scrimmage as its running backs found massive holes to navigate throughout the game.
The Bees’ two-headed monster of senior Ethan Hatcher and junior Garrett Kubitz overwhelmed Twinsburg with their punishing style.
The Brecksville duo had a knack for busting through tackles with alarming regularity.
Hatcher finished with 114 yards and two touchdowns in 14 attempts and Kubitz also ran for two scores and 84 yards on 10 carries.
Sophomore Keayon Miller added a rushing touchdown late in the game.
"Getting ready for them all week, you could tell up front, they were much improved on the lines," Bell said. "We knew we were going to have our hands full up there."
The Tigers had their best sequence early in the fourth quarter.
Twinsburg forced a fumble and then its offense got near the red zone, thanks to a 42-yard pass from junior quarterback Aiden Corrigan to Dominick Glenn
The senior wide receiver promptly turned on the afterburners after catching the short pass on the right side.
Glenn eluded a tackler and nearly went the distance before he was tackled at the Bees’ 25-yard line.
Alas, the Tigers didn’t get much further.
Two players later, sophomore safety Matt Rose intercepted Corrigan’s pass and Brecksville marched right down the field for its final score of the night.
The Bees outgained the Tigers 390-157 and converted six of their eight third-down opportunities.
Brecksville’s defense also had a knack for invading Twinsburg’s restriction zones rather frequently. Corrigan found himself scrambling on just about every passing play as an array of Bees constantly swarmed him. Fortunately, Corrigan was sacked only twice by Brecksville’s imposing front line.
"I like to think we didn’t give up the ship at all," Bell said. "We have to dig down deep and play with a little more heart and a little more pride and give our best effort every chance we get."
The Tigers’ road doesn’t get any easier. They are scheduled to visit National Conference rival Stow-Munroe Falls this Friday at Bulldog Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.