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    Hornets open postseason with 49-0 win over Western Reserve


    Throughout Kirtland’s six-year playoff run one thing has become clear, it’s bad to play the Hornets in Week 11.

    Berlin Center Western Reserve found that out the hard way on Saturday as Joey Bates ran for four touchdowns and returned a fumble for another and the Kirtland defense pitched its fourth shutout of the season in a 49-0 win.

    “The defense played very well,” said Kirtland coach Tiger LaVerde. “Turnovers gave us some short fields and the kids took advantage. It was a good start to the postseason.”

    Kirtland has now outscored its last six Week 11 opponents, 289-22.

    Bates, who carried 13 times for just 53 yards, scored on first quarter runs of 2, 1 and 6 yards to give the Hornets an early 22-0 lead. He added a 1-yarder in the second quarter then returned a fumble 65 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter before giving way to Vinny Mattticoli, who ran for touchdowns that covered 57 and 29 yards in the fourth quarter.

    “For the seniors, this was our last home game ever and it's our last chance to leave a legacy here,” Bates said. “We knew we had to come out quick and set the tone for the playoffs. Our coaches prepare us every week and put us in the best positions for us to be successful. Everyone did their jobs and it was a great team win.”

    Bates credited teammate Evan Madden for his scoop and score touchdown.

    “That play was all Evan,” he said. “He made a great play on the ball and knocked it out. The ball bounced right into my hands and I just saw the open seam.”

    Kirtland (10-1) will play Brookfield (10-1) on Saturday at a location to be announced. The Warriors defeated Lisbon David Anderson, 39-28, in the first round.

    The Hornets and Warriors have played one common opponent. Kirtland defeated Berkshire, 39-7, back on Sept. 25 while the Warriors knocked off the Badgers, 42-7, on Sept. 11.


    Steve Hare
    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.
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