By Sara Welch | Correspondent
After marking Champion up as a win for back-to-back seasons, Garfield wasn't prepared to handle the Flashes' physical level of play in 2013, falling 49-19 in a non-league contest on Friday night in Garrettsville.
"This is the first year we've beaten them in a while," Champion head coach Terry Howell said. "Last year we lost on the last play of the game when they ran a hook-and-ladder, and the year before that there was a power surge that shut down the lights in the stadium. After the delay, we finished the game around 11:30 p.m. We're happy we could come here and get a win this year."
Champion held the G-Men to just 15 yards of rushing offense on 23 carries, sacking Garfield's quarterback five times for a total loss of 39 yards.
"I think up front we were really able to control the line tonight, which gave our linebackers room to run," Howell said. "I was really happy with our secondary. They stepped up tonight against a good passing team and were able to limit them. We've been struggling with that."
On the other side of the ball, the Golden Flashes managed 305 yards on the ground in 54 carries, averaging 5.6 yards per carry.
The nimble legs of running backs Mason Brown and Brandon McFarland, along with the swift moves of quarterback Jacob Rasey, got the Flashes across the goal line seven times.
Rasey had four touchdowns, with his longest coming from 27 yards out. McFarland accounted for touchdown runs of 4 and 6 yards, respectively, adding three successful 2-point conversion runs.
Brown added another touchdown, running 58 yards down field to claim the longest run of the night.
"They were just more physical. They came off the ball and punched us in the mouth every time," Garfield head coach Mike Moser said.
Garfield's overall performance was highlighted by offensive efforts made by senior tight end Fred Maxey.
Maxey caught two touchdown passes, one that went for 74 yards after he fought his way up the sideline, and a second one from 34 yards out. Maxey caught a total of four passes from signal-caller Chase Chapman for a total of 134 yards, accounting for over half of the G-Men's offense.
"Fred did great tonight. He's a really special player and to be successful, we're going to need him to be that for us all year," Moser said.
Garfield's final touchdown resulted from freshman running back Dalton Michael's effort in the fourth quarter.
Forgetting that his team had plenty of misfortune rushing the ball throughout the game, Michael rushed for 24 yards on three carries and scored the final touchdown of the game from six yards out, putting the G-Men back in positive numbers for their total rushing yards.