Late score leads Brush past North

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Dylan Froelich

Mitchell Kellogg’s eight-yard touchdown run with 19 seconds left in the game helped Brush beat visiting North in a Western Reserve Conference shootout on Friday, 55-54.

The Arcs scored 21 unanswered points in the final 4 minutes, 2 seconds of the game to pull out the win.

“They were just a tough matchup for us,” said North coach Shawn Dodd. “Sometimes you run into those. Give them credit, they have some playmakers that stepped up and made some plays.”

Brett Payne scored on a 13-yard run and added a two-point conversion to give the Rangers a short-lived 8-0 lead. Andree Franks Jr. returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to pull the Arcs to within 8-7 with 5:47 left in the opening quarter.

Payne carried just four times for 19 yards before leaving the game with an injury.

That forced the Rangers to go the air and Dylan Froelich stepped up to the challenge. He finished the game 15-of-19 passing for 273 yards and one touchdown pass. He also ran for 179 yards on 28 carries and scored five times.

“I was really proud of the effort from the kids all around,” Dodd said. “Offensively, I thought we really did some good things. We had to open up the passing game a little bit–we lost Brett Payne early on. I thought Dylan Froelich really stepped up. What an outstanding game he had.”

Froelich scored on a three-yard run with 4:20 left in the opening quarter to put the Rangers on top 16-7.

Again the Arcs responded.

Anthony Shorts completed a 44-yard touchdown pass to Kellogg, who then ran for a five-yard score to give Brush a 21-16 lead with two seconds left in the first quarter.

Froelich ran for two scores in the second quarter as the Rangers took a 32-28 lead into the locker room.

“Our offense was playing as a team,” Froelich said. “Everyone was doing their assignments and we took over the game as a unit.”

That momentum carried over into the second half as Froelich ran for two scores and threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Justin Fair to push the North lead to 54-34 with 4:03 remaining in the game.

Andre Shorts threw two touchdown passes Franks and after the Arcs recovered a North fumble, Kellogg crossed the end zone for the final time in the game.

Kellogg finished the game with 165 yards on 28 carries and scored three times. Shorts threw for 186 yards and four scores.

“They were a big matchup nightmare for us,” Dodd said. “They have a running back that is outstanding. He’s the best back we’ve seen this year. We tried to load up the box and that put us in some one-on-one matchups on the outside. We just couldn’t run with them so we put our kids in a little bit of a bind trying to run with those guys. We had to give them some help over the top and once we started doing that they started audibling to a run and we had guys outside of the box.”

Fair finished the game with five catches for 136 yards for the Rangers.

North dropped to 2-5 on the year and 1-3 in the Western Reserve Conference while Brush improved to 4-3, 2-2.

The Rangers are ready to put the loss behind them and focus on winning their three remaining games.

“The seniors have come a long, long way in their four years so hopefully, we can send them out on a winning note in these next few games,” Dodd said. “Our kids are really good about playing for each other and playing for something bigger than just the outcome. They’re not in it just for the wins and losses–but yeah, they want to win the ball game and state titles like everybody else–but our kids do a nice job grabbing the big picture. You see the things they do out in the community and with the band and other sports teams. They get the big picture and I think they’ll play hard. Whether we win the next three or lose the next three, I think we’ll get a great effort out of them.”

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The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, 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 IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com 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.