CVCA's offense keeps roaring as Royals rout Loudonville

Roger Gordon
Correspondent

Life has been good recently for the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy football team’s offense.

In week three, the Royals scored 41 points in routing Principals Athletic Conference rival Orrville. In week four, they hung up 62 points in outscoring PAC-7 rival Tuslaw.

On Sept. 25, CVCA continued that trend, pounding conference foe Loudonville 56-23 at Royals Stadium to improve to 3-2 both overall and in the conference.

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“The outcome in the Loudonville game was never really in doubt.” CVCA head coach Dan Larlham said. “It was another week where everything worked offensively. Everything just feels really easy and really good. We could do whatever we wanted on offense.”

CVCA piled up 679 yards of total offense to 239 for Loudonville. The Royals had 24 first downs to just seven for the Redbirds.

CVCA senior quarterback Michael Bevington played an almost perfect game. He completed 13 of 14 passes for 288 yards with three touchdowns. He also ran the ball 11 times for 121 yards with a touchdown.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a quarterback play a better football game than Michael did,” said Larlham. “He had one incomplete pass, and even that was the correct read. He took big shots when he had the chance to take big shots. He took check downs when he was able to take check downs.

“Michael is in a spot where he knows exactly where I want the ball to go as a play caller, and that’s really comforting to me. We design runs for him. He was able to move around and get some good gains for us.”

Sophomore running back Kyle Snider had 13 rushes for 136 yards, including a 25-yard run.

“Kyle and Michael did exactly what they were supposed to do, and the statistics show it,” Larlham said.

Junior wide receiver Brennan Darr had four receptions for 153 yards, including a 63-yard catch. Senior wideout David Lewis caught six passes for 92 yards.

“David and Brennan are deep threats,” said the coach. “We don’t take a whole lot of shots to them, but when we do, we’re looking for 40-yard chunks, and that showed up on the stat page.”

Defensively, Larlham was pleased with his team’s performance.

“Loudonville has some really good players,” he said, “and we gave up a few big plays early that hurt us, but other than those, our guys were really dialed in, were really playing well.

“Logan Scranton, a freshman linebacker, recovered a fumble early in the game when Loudonville was driving and in the red zone. He was just active and making tackles in the backfield.

“Brandon Riley, a junior defensive lineman, had another good game. He kind of rotates on the defensive line, but every time he’s in, he’s doing things that hurt the opposition. He’s making a lot of plays for us right now.”

CVCA took an early 7-0 lead on a five-yard touchdown run by Snider.

“We ran Kyle on a sweep play to the left side, and he got in around the edge,” said Larlham.

Later in the first quarter, Bevington threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Lewis to make the score 14-0.

“It was second-and-two, and that’s always a good down and distance to take a deep-ball shot,” Larlham said. “David got behind everybody and made a great catch off his shoelaces and walked into the end zone.”

Two minutes later, Bevington completed a 43-yard TD strike to Darr to increase the CVCA lead to 21-0.

“Michael can move in the pocket really well,” said Larlham. “He kept the play alive and gave Brennan a chance to get open and threw a contested post route. Brennan had to make a great catch at about the three-yard-line, and then he kind of drug the defender into the end zone.”

Midway through the second quarter, Snider took it up the middle from two yards out for a touchdown and a 28-0 Royals advantage.

Loudonville showed some life less than a minute later, cutting its deficit to 28-7, on a 62-yard touchdown run by Sam Williams-Dixon. Less than two minutes later, Williams-Dixon caught a 47-yard touchdown strike from Logan Huffman to make the score 28-14.

The home team struck back very late in the half on two more TD runs by Snider – for 23 and five yards, respectively – that ballooned the CVCA lead to 42-14 at the intermission.

“On the first one, we were in an up tempo situation where we wanted to score before halftime,” the coach said. “We caught Loudonville in a situation where they just weren’t aligned properly. We ran the same play three plays in a row. The third play, after gaining about 10-15 yards on the previous two, Kyle was able to bounce it around the right side and score.”

A 26-yard touchdown run by Bevington and a 55-yard scoring pass from Bevington to Snider gave the home team a 56-14 lead entering the fourth quarter.

“On the run, Michael zigzagged all over the field,” said Larlham. “He ran way off to the right, cut back against the grain and ended up scoring on the left side of the field. The second touchdown was on a screen pass. Kyle had to break a tackle in the backfield, but when he got in the open field … he’s really good in the open field.”

A safety and a short TD run by Peyton Regan accounted for the final points of the game.

CVCA was scheduled to conclude the regular season at home against conference rival Manchester Oct. 2 at 7 p.m.