9.5.13 FOOTBALL: Cavs Fall in Thriller in Karras Debut
(Canton, OH) Walsh (0-1) opened the Ted Karras Era with the most exciting season opener in the history of the program. Despite scoring twice in the final 6:15, Walsh fell 35-34 to Edinboro University (1-0) in a contest that came down to a failed two-point conversion. Walsh drove 90 yards in 17 plays, and came to within a single point (35-34) with eight seconds to play when Paul Kempe (6-1, 190, Jr. Girard, OH/Ursuline) connected with Anthony Schrock (Jr., 6-3, 210 Jr., Wadsworth, OH/HS) from two yards out for six. Walsh then opted to go for the win, but Kempe's pass was a step behind a crossing Darryl Gary (5-9, 157, Jr., Fort Myers, FL/South Fort Myers) in the end zone. Despite having just eight seconds to play, Walsh recovered an onside kick on the Edinboro 46-yard line and gave themselves one more chance. Kempe rolled left, and threw into the end zone, but the pass was knocked away.
The Cavs came out of the gate firing on all cylinders and marched 70 yards in eight plays, and scored on Aaron Male's (5-11, 192, R-Fr., Akron, OH/Ellet) one-yard run. Edinboro would tack-on two scores in the first period and led 14-7 after one.
Each team put points on the board in the second period. Walsh tied the game at 14 when Male scored his second TD of the game, this time on a three-yard run. The Fighting Scots answered the score with one of their own and led 21-14 at the half.
The visitors took a 28-14 lead at the 11:12 mark of the third quarter when Cody Harris connected with Kevin Sonnie from 10 yards out. Harris would complete 36 of 47 passes for 306 yards and four TDs. Sonnie caught seven passes, two for scores.
Walsh scored on their next possession to make it a one score game, when Kempe connected with Jerald Robinson (6-2, 230, Jr., Canton, OH/South/Michigan) in the corner of the end zone from six yards out. Walsh trailed 28-21 after three quarters.
Edinboro took a two-score lead again (35-21) when Jeremy Donaldson scored on a two-yard run with 10:33 to play. Walsh answered with a 14-play, 68-yard drive, that culminated with Kempe again finding Robinson in the end zone for a four-yard strike with 6:15 to play to trim the lead to 35-28.
Edinboro then marched down the field in an attempt to ice the game, but came away empty handed with Benjamin Griggs (6-5, 224, Jr., West Lafayette, IN/HS) blocked a 22-yard field goal attempt with 2:40 to play.
It was a record setting night for Paul Kempe in his first Walsh start. The southpaw shattered records for pass attempts in a single game with 67, and for completions with 39. Both records were previously held by Matt Jenson. Kempe nearly broke Jenson's mark for passing yards in a single game with 289. Jenson holds the record with 300 yards against Geneva in 1998. Kempe also led Walsh with 63 yards on the ground.
Gary and Brody Tonn (6-0, 175, Fr., Massillon, OH/Washington) each caught seven passes. Schrock caught seven passes for a game-high 96 yards and Robinson caught seven passes. The biggest passing play came when Justin Keith (6-2, 230, Jr., Canton, OH/South) hit Schrock with a 43-yard strike on a halfback option in Walsh's final scoring drive.
Walsh totaled 492 yards total offense and had 33 first downs, also a single game record.
The Cavs are home on September 14 when they host Northwood University in their GLIAC opener. Kick-off is 12 pm.