Bison Football Finishes Season With Tough Loss to Orange
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Going into Friday’s game, the excitement around the team was electric.
“This game is going to be strictly business,” junior quarterback Ben Connor said.
Finally, the Bison would play a Friday night game at home against rival Orange. For the first time the rivalry unfolded on turf and under the lights of the new stadium.
It was a cold and windy night. The Bison honored the senior athletes before the game.
Beachwood won the toss and chose to receive but had to punt on their first drive.
The Lions struck on their first play, completing a long pass that got them all the way to midfield.
The drive continued, and Orange running back Jake Sonkin opened the scoring with a short run. The extra point made it 7-0 Orange.
Beachwood returned the ensuing kickoff to the Orange 45-yard line, giving them great field position to tie the game.
Connor began the drive with an electric run, bringing the team within the 10-yard line, and two plays later, senior running back Josh Bialosky punched the ball into the endzone for a Bison score.
The extra point by senior kicker Griffin Davis tied the game at 7-7.
The next two possessions were all Orange, with Beachwood unable to muster any meaningful plays, and Orange scoring on both, bringing the score to 21-7.
Beachwood struck back, with another touchdown run by Bialosky, bringing the score to 21-14.
The next possession, Sonkin darted and dashed through the opposition for a 50-yard touchdown run, putting the Lions up 28-14.
Ben Connor threw a deep pass to senior receiver LeKendrick Robinson for a Beachwood touchdown, and the Bison fans went bonkers. The extra point was good, narrowing Orange’s lead to 7.
Beachwood forced a fumble with 1:49 left in the half and retained the ball at their own 30-yard line. The two-minute drill had begun.
But Beachwood was unable to convert on the turnover, and Bialosky punted. The Lions had 35 seconds left to score, but they could not, leaving the score at 28-21 Lions at the half.
Both bands performed, and Orange’s Lionettes danced with their flags.
Elementary school kids participated in a punt, pass and kick competition.
Orange started the second half with the ball but had to punt.
Beachwood echoed with their own scoreless possession, followed by a touchdown run from Orange, bringing the score to 35-21 in the third.
The rest of the quarter was a relatively boring affair, with no one else scoring.
The Bison opened scoring in the 4th quarter with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Connor to Mark Farrell. However, senior kicker Griffin Davis’ extra point was blocked, leaving the Bison trailing 35-27 with 8:13 left in the game.
Both teams ran long drives followed by turnovers, and Orange finally put the nail in the Bison coffin with another rushing touchdown and extra point, bringing the game to 42-27 with 1:10 left.
That is how the game would end. The Bison had lost to Orange for the 9th straight year.
There was a sense of encouragement, however. This game was much, much closer than 2015’s 70-17 shellacking by the Lions, and was more reminiscent of the games of year’s past, which, despite the Bison losing, were much closer and exciting. Perhaps the 10th year will finally be the year in which the streak is snapped.
Beachwood finishes the season 3-7.
Photos by Livia Eppell