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Western Reserve Academy football team rolls in season opener

Published: August 31, 2016 12:00 AM
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Staff report

The host Western Reserve Academy football team made a stellar 2016 debut Aug. 27.

The Pioneers earned a commanding 44-13 victory over Whitney M. Young Gifted & Talented Leadership Academy (Cleveland).

Whitney Young fumbled on its first play at its 38-yard line and Reserve immediately got on the scoreboard when quarterback Owen Levine completed a touchdown pass to Michael Malen.

WRA also scored on its next possession, thanks to a 58-yard touchdown pass from Levine to Anthony Marshall.

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On the next series, the Pioneers put together a 40 yard drive that was capped off by an 8-yard TD run by Dakota Gibbons. Reserve's next scoring drive went 58 yards. Marshall concluded the possession with a 39-yard TD run.

Levine found Malen again on a 14-yard scoring strike for his third TD pass in four attempts.

Senior kicker Nels Lund added a 32 yard field goal to make it 30-0 in favor of WRA at halftime. Sophomore Evan Bongers had a 37-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

The fumble was caused by Anthony Cecchini as the defense carried a shutout into the fourth quarter. WRA's last score was a 15-yard TD run by Gibbons.

The Pioneers ran 24 total plays for 278 yards. Levine had four completions for 136 yards.

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Gibbons, Marshall and senior Jayden Demmy each had four carries for more than a 10-yard average.

Demmy led the way with 59 rushing yards and Gibbons and Marshall added 50 and 40 yards, respectively.

Malen finished with two receptions for 53 yards and Marshall had two catches for 83 yards.

Demmy also had a kickoff return of 55 yards in the second half.

"It was a very good first effort, especially considering that the team has only been together for 12 days," Reserve head coach Jeff Hildebrand said.

WRA is scheduled to visit Cardinal Stritch Sept. 3 in Oregon, Ohio. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

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