Flyers, Comets square off in Game of the Week

Yaneek Smith

Press Contributing Writer

Separated by just over six miles via SR 795, Genoa and Lake are natural rivals. Dating back to 1996, when the Flyers left the Northern Lakes League for the Suburban Lakes League, the teams have been competing against one another for over 25 years. (Both were in the NLL from ’60-’72.)
Since 2016, the Comets have won five of the last seven games between the two teams, including a victory in the playoffs in 2018.
Genoa finds itself 2-3 and 1-1 in the Northern Buckeye Conference. Aside from the 35-14 loss to Archbold to open the season, the Comets’ last four games have been decided by one possession. The three teams that beat the Comets have a combined record of 13-2.
Genoa’s last game was a 34-26 loss to Eastwood. The Comets couldn’t contain Eagles QB Case Boos, who, as he’s been for many opponents, was too much to handle. He carried the ball 18 times for 220 yards and four touchdowns and threw a 62-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Bauer.
Genoa quarterback Aiden Brunkhorst rushed 14 times for 45 yards and completed 20-of-40 passes for 281 yards, accounting for four touchdowns and three interceptions. Mason Drummond caught eight passes for 100 yards, Robert Messenger had seven receptions for 89 yards and Austin Teet caught six passes for 35 yards.
The Comets’ other losses were to the Blue Streaks and Huron, 55-49. But Genoa did rally to beat Oak Harbor (28-25) and Rossford (32-28). The Comets are ranked 13th in the Division V, Region 18 standings with 5.0 points. Despite having a losing record, Genoa coach Bill Fisher feels good about his team’s status.
“I think we’re in a good spot. Even from a mental standpoint, we know we were in a meat grind for the first five games. We still have our goals in the forefront within our vision, and that’s to win as many games as we can and get into the playoffs and make as deep of a run as we can,” he said. “We’ve battled every single game, even with the mistakes that have been made. Everyone has a good head on their shoulders.”
The Comets run a variety of formations on offense, ranging from a three-back set to a five-wide set.
“I think it’s very difficult to prepare for (our offense). We have a great combination of size and skill. If we decide it’s time to ground and pound, with two tight ends and three running backs, we can use our size up front to lean on and drive on people,” said Fisher. “We have the skill on the outside to open it up and get the ball to our playmakers in space. Our quarterback is doing a heck of a job so far in two offensive systems. He’s a heck of a player and we want to put him in situations to be successful. We were averaging 400 yards per game, that’s nothing to sneeze at, and I’m very pleased with what the offense has been doing.”
Like Genoa, Lake has faced its share of good teams, losing to Bowling Green, Northwood, Archbold and Otsego.
The Flyers find themselves with a 1-4 record and are 1-1 in the league. Lake won its first game last week, 49-7, over Woodmore.
In the win over the Wildcats, David Parsons carried the ball 16 times for 203 yards and four touchdowns while Caleb Tobias completed 4-of-5 passes for 127 yards and two scores.
As a team, the Flyers rushed for a total of 302 yards.
Lake interim head coach Dave Rymers, a ’99 graduate of Genoa, says every week comes with new challenges as they prepare to take the field.
“There’s a lot of good that we do — and a lot of growth that can come from what we do on the field,” he said. “I think we have some talented kids; we have to start being a little more consistent, and hopefully there are a few more wins on our schedule for us.”
Rymers talked about preparing to compete against his alma mater, a place where he coached for years — football, basketball and baseball — before moving on to Lake.
“We try to do our homework and pay attention to what the NBC schools do in the non-league schedule and I know Genoa has played a very tough schedule. They do some really nice things on offense and are multiple in their looks. Their quarterback is really, really good at what he does, both in the running game and managing his offense and spreading the ball around to his weapons,” he said. “I don’t know Coach Fisher very well, but the people I know that know him speak very highly of what he does. His defense gives them a chance every single week. They’re definitely going to be a tough matchup.”


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