Western Reserve improved to 6-1 overall (4-0 Firelands Conference) with the 40-20 win at Bachelder Field. The Roughriders remain undefeated in the FC, while Monroeville (1-6, 0-4) is looking for its first league win.
Running back Cody Benesh was Western’s workhorse once again, notching 286 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries.
“The kids played well early on. … I thought Cody had a good night,” Western coach Ty Stevenson said. “I thought we threw a little better than we had (been), so that’s good. They ran the ball on us pretty well, so we’ve to shore that up a little and be a little bit better next week.
“We threw the ball better than we had, so that helped, too,” he added.
Benesh’s longest scoring run was for 68 yards in the first quarter on Western’s second possession of the game.
“Cody ran it really well. He found some holes (and) our line blocked pretty well up front and did a good job,” Stevenson said.
The ’Riders scored on their first possession. Benesh found the end zone from 16 yards out to complete a 54-yard drive. Dalton Webb’s kick made it 7-0 with 9:16 in the first quarter.
Monroeville answered immediately with a 66-yard drive. Senior Anthony Dublo, who played both wide receiver and running back, ran it 32 yards and the PAT by junior Gunner Howell tied the game at 7.
“We only dressed 18 kids tonight, so for the most part, we played with them for a while. We moved the ball well,” coach Scott Stecher said.
Western scored the next three touchdowns.
Benesh, on the ’Riders’s second possession, took it 68 yards to the house. The two-play drive left 4:51 in the first period.
Up 13-7 to end the first stanza, Benesh scored his third TD early in the second quarter. His 10-run yard run and a failed two-point conversion gave Western a 19-7 lead.
The ’Riders marched 99 yards for their last score of the first half.
Senior wide receiver JJ Weisenberger grabbed a ball from a Monroeville defender’s hands near the end zone with 2:06 until halftime. His 34-yard catch from quarterback Jude Muenz and the PAT made it 26-7.
“We didn’t knock the ball down (near) the end zone. So that was a two-score, 14-point flip,” Stecher said.
Monroeville’s Dublo second score of the game came with 32 seconds until intermission. He hauled in a 25-yard pass into the end zone from sophomore QB Isaac Roeder. The Eagles went into the locker room trailing 26-13.
“He (Dublo) did a good job playing multiple positions tonight,” Stecher said.
“Aiden Schafer ran the ball well tonight. We put guys in different positions to ante it up. Defensively, (linebacker) Cody Stewart played a really good game. Some of our kids fought really well — our younger kids, so credit to them.”
Benesh’s 58-yard gallop and the extra point widened Western’s lead to 33-13 with 7:38 in the third quarter.
Muenz’s 5-yard touchdown with 7:35 left in the game made it 40-13.
Less than 45 seconds later, Monroeville’s Roeder had a 46-yard TD run up the middle for the final score of the game.
Western’s second team drove down near the Eagles’ end zone late in the game, but turned over the ball on downs with six seconds left.
The ’Riders play St. Paul (6-0, 3-0) at Whitney Field on Oct. 19. The Flyers host South Central (4-2, 2-1) on Saturday.
“They’re really good. It’s obviously the best program in our area, so we will have to play well,” Stevenson said of the Flyers.
On Friday, Monroeville hosts Plymouth (4-2, 2-2).
Monroeville 7 6 0 7 — 20
W. Reserve 13 13 7 7 — 40
WR — Cody Benesh 16 run (Dalton Webb kick)
MON — Anthony Dublo 32 run (Gunner Howell kick)
WR — Benesh 68 run (Webb’s kick blocked)
WR — Benesh 10 run (two-point failed)
WR — JJ Weisenberger 34 pass from Jude Muenz (Webb kick)
MON — Dublo 25 pass from Isaac Roeder (kick failed)
WR — Benesh 58 run (Webb kick)
WR — Muenz 5 run (Webb kick)
MON — Roeder 46 run (Howell kick)