It was a task that had to be met head on for Nordonia football — stopping a red-hot Brecksville unit and standout college quarterback prospect Joe Labas.
One issue is that Labas is not the only weapon for the Bees.
Brecksville has a strong offensive line and a good ground attack.
There were times that the Knights fared well on defense – especially in a 6-3 opening quarter, but it makes it tough when most of Brecksville’s plays came in Nordonia territory.
Nearly two-thirds of the Bees plays on offense came in Knight territory as Brecksville won its fifth straight game in a 53-30 win over visiting Nordonia.
The victory vaulted the Bees to 5-0 in the Suburban League National Conference and to 6-2 overall.
Nordonia (3-5) slipped to 2-3 in the National Conferenc.
"We are a good football team, but we just need to get over the hump – our kids will get back to work," offered Nordonia head coach Jeff Fox.
Behind 254 total yards and five touchdowns by the 6-foot-4 Labas, Brecksville couldn’t be stopped after the modest lead in the first stanza.
Brecksville amassed 27 first downs and 503 yards as Labas had three TDs through the air and two more on the ground.
"They have a very good offensive unit, a good line, and quality backs, plus Labas is the real deal," Fox explained. "He has the physical tools, and he made a lot of clutch plays on third and fourth down."
A four-yard TD burst by Sal Perrine at the 9:26 mark of the third period sliced the Brecksville lead to 26-16.
However, the Bees responded quickly as Labas hit wide receiver Ronny Wilson on a 60-yard TD pass as he got loose out in the flat.
"We made a mistake and they slipped out in the flat," Fox said.
Another huge blow came at the end of the first half as Labas connected with wide out Jeremy Jonozzo on a 9-yard scoring strike as the first half expired. A 2-point conversion pass made it 26-9.
"We did well, but Brecksville controlled the ball early and converted some first downs," said Fox.
Meanwhile, the Knights were productive on offense with 20 first downs and 397 total yards against a solid defense.
Quarterback Billy Levak connected on 16 of 32 passes for 246 yards, one TD, one interception, and added a 5-yard rushing score.
"The second half was a shootout and we moved the ball," observed Fox.
Perrine also was effective for the Knights with 91 yards rushing on 20 totes and the TD jaunt.
Levak’s favorite target was wide receiver Joel Jones, who had six catches for 104 yards and a TD.
Nordonia has playmakers as Cooper Rusk had four receptions for 69 yards and Jon Henderson added four catches for 61 yards.
Jon Banks had two rushes for 46 yards and a score while placekicker Andrew Lastovka booted a 28-yard field goal.
For Brecksville, Garrett Kubitz rushed 19 times for 132 yards and a pair of TDs. Labas was 17-23 passing for 188 yards and three TD’s, and added 66 yards rushing and two more scores.
In upcoming league action, Nordonia hosts Cuyahoga Falls (2-6, 0-5) Friday.
"We’re ready to get back to work, and this game we will honor our seniors, who have worked so hard in the program for four years," noted Fox.