Wednesday, September 28

    LaVerde throws for three scores in Kirtland’s win over Geneva

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    Geneva opened Friday’s showdown at Kirtland with a long scoring drive but it wouldn’t matter as Jake LaVerde threw three touchdown passes in leading the Hornets to a 43-13 Homecoming win over the Eagles.

    LaVerde completed 3-of-6 passes for 155 yards and the three scores.

    “It was definitely different coming out and Geneva scoring first but we weren’t shook up, we just knew we had to go out hard and score the next drive,” LaVerde said. “The boys were pumped up and we just went right down the field and pounded it in.”

    Geneva used a 10-play, 64-yard drive to open the scoring on Kenny Young’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Giavonni Rice with 8:19 left in the opening quarter.

    Kirtland needed just one minute and 24 seconds to respond.

    LaVerde ran for a 16-yard touchdown and Rocco Alfieri punched in the two-point conversion to give Kirtland an 8-7 lead.

    Alfieri added a 33-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter to push the Kirtland lead to 15-7.

    Geneva’s Bryce Peet ran for a five-yard touchdown with 7:55 left in the first half but the point after try missed and the Eagles were shut out the rest of the game.

    LaVerde closed out the half with three touchdown passes that left Kirtland in the lead at the break, 35-13.

    The first was a 75-yarder to Will Sayle and then he threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Gino Blasini and closed out the half with a 55-yard scoring strike to Tommy Gogolin.

    “I’m starting to read the defenses better and getting used to it,” LaVerde said. “I’m just trying to get better every game and work on my stuff.”

    Alfieri led the Kirtland rushing attack with 96 yards on 11 carries with two touchdowns. Gogolin added 59 yards on seven carries.

    LaVerde has now completed 19-of-35 passes for 410 yards and six touchdowns to just two interceptions this season.

    “We run the ball a lot so when we pull up to pass I have to be able to deliver,” he said. “This team is good at adjusting and switching it up when we need to.”

    Kirtland, which extended its regular season winning streak to 50 straight games, travels to Chagrin Falls on Friday.


    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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