At the halfway point of the season, the Tigers are optimistic


Courtesy of Zach Muckle, Yearbook

One Friday, cheers as students rushed the field and high fived the players after a win,  silence and footsteps walking away from the field the next week.  

The Chagrin Falls High school football team has had an up and down beginning to their exciting 2021 season, where students finally returned to the seats of C.S Harris field. With tough blowout losses against Kenston and Perry, and commanding wins against Trinity and Brookside, the team looked to get back on track against Orange on Friday September 13.

 “We had a lot that we needed to prove, we needed to come out and get a win,” said  junior defensive back Michael Moisis. 

That’s exactly what they did, taking control throughout the game and winning 34-0 at home. Senior wide receiver Cole Ettinger had an electric punt return touchdown that set the tone for the game, stepping on the gas pedal that the Tigers never took their foot off of. 

The Defense anchored the win with great performances all around and a total of 8 sacks on Orange’s quarterback, leading to the shutout. 

Starting running back Donny Hardy led the team with 4 rushing touchdowns and over 150 yards.

“It felt great, we worked hard at practice, came out strong and did what we were supposed to do,” said Hardy, who had fallen ill the week before and not been able to play against Perry, along with 15 other players also out with illness or injury. He bounced back in the perfect way along with quarterback Nick Vinci, returning from his own illness, who led his team down the field with quick drives, running through Hardy for touchdowns. 

Chagrin now faces off against Kirtland, arguably their toughest contest yet. Kirtland is undefeated through 4 years, a 46 game winning streak. The Hornets streak is the third longest in the country, a looming number for the Tigers. 

“We gotta work one week at a time, with Kirtland this week,” continued Hardy, “We need to be ready, work hard at practice and stick to our game plan.”  The team is prepping for an important matchup. Motivating themselves with “end the streak” being said wherever it can be, when the team breaks after practice or when Coach Scott gives an important speech. 

“Coach has been saying that we need to give it our all and come to play,” Moisis recounted “He continuously said ‘why not us’ when it comes to breaking Kirtland’s streak,” he continued by explaining how important the win against Orange was for the team and their morale. 

“Getting back on track really boosted our confidence and made us more prepared,” Moisis said that game motivated the team past the current matchup. 

“We have a good chance to make the playoffs this year,“ the team would need to continue their strong play.

The Tigers mentality is very clear: to take the momentum from their victory against Orange, and ride it all the way to a playoff berth. ”We need to work hard and focus,” Moisis said.