High School Sports

Safety lifts unbeaten North Meck over Rocky River in penalty-marred game

The longest play from scrimmage in the game ended in a turnover and the teams combined for 220 yards in penalties on two dozen yellow flags.

Otherwise, it was just a typical Friday night at the stadium for Rocky River and North Mecklenburg in a nonconference high school football game Friday night at North Meck.

North Meck senior linebacker Dantevian Byrd tackled Rocky River quarterback Brent Jones in the Ravens’ end zone for a safety with 2 minutes, 43 seconds to play for the winning points in a 16-14 victory, the final plot twist in a game that had plenty.

Running back Emmanuel Wilson rushed 23 times for 160 yards and touchdowns of 7 and 34 yards to keep the Vikings unbeaten in three games.

James Maye returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and Jones scored on a 2-yard run for Rocky River, which couldn’t hang on to a 14-8 halftime lead.

Observations: It was an odd game from the opening series, thanks to the frequent penalties, and no play was odder than the game’s first score. Rocky River led 2-0 after one quarter after North Meck punter Randy Martinez kicked the ball through his own end zone when a center snap sailed over his head. And the quarter ended on the game’s longest play, a 55-yard pass from North Meck quarterback Aaron Scott to wide receiver Will Watts. Rocky River pounced on a Watts fumble at the Ravens’ 2.

Records: Rocky River 0-4; North Meck 3-0.

Worth mentioning: Rocky River continued its run of close games this season. The Ravens’ first three losses were by a combined 11 points.

What's Next: North Meck is at Cox Mill at 7:30 p.m. on Friday; Rocky River has a bye on Friday. The Ravens play at Butler on Sept. 22.