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Lions move to 3-0 in MCFL play
Cleveland defeats Columbus, 28-14

Albert Wilhelmy's return to the MCFL is becoming a thing of beauty.

Cleveland's veteran quarterback threw for four touchdowns as the Lions defeated the previously unbeaten Columbus Fire 28-14 Saturday afternoon at Bexley High School. It was the second consecutive MCFL game in which Wilhelmy has posted gaudy numbers. He threw for three scores last week in a victory over West Michigan and currently sits second in the league in passing.

Despite the victory, the Lions (4-2, 3-0 MCFL) got off to a rocky start. After recovering a fumble on the opening kickoff, the Cleveland offense sputtered in Fire territory. An errant snap on a Lions' field goal attempt was scooped up by the Fire's Lawrence Jones who returned the fumble 58-yards for a touchdown. A two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, and the Fire held the early 6-0 lead.

Cleveland got on the board late in the 2nd quarter after a Melvin King interception gave the Lions' great field position deep in Fire territory. Albert Wilhelmy hooked up with Dave Soucie over the middle for a 28-yard touchdown and Joe Lindway's extra point gave the Lions a lead they would never relinquish.

The score remained 7-6 at half, but the Lions' passing attack was about to open up.

On their first drive of the second half, the Lions marched 70 yards in seven plays, using a wide-open, no-huddle attack. The drive was capped off with a 13-yard touchdown connection from Wilhelmy to wideout Vernell Jackson. The extra point pushed the lead to 14-6.

Cleveland's defense, the top rated unit in the MCFL, continued to frustrate the Fire offense throughout the 3rd quarter. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Cleveland linebacker Craig Vavrock recovered a Maurice Douse fumble at the Fire 25-yard line and returned the mishap 15 yards to the Fire 10-yard line. On the ensuing play, Wilhelmy again found Jackson, who tip-toed his way along the back line of the endzone for the touchdown and a 21-6 lead.

A Chip McClain fumble late in the fourth quarter gave the Fire new life. Columbus parlayed the turnover into a touchdown, as Douse pushed his way across the goaline from 1-yard out. Fire quarterback Duane Milton's shovel pass on the 2-point conversion was snared by Kenny Hampton, who dove into the endzone and narrowed the deficit to 21-14 with 4:30 remaining.

The Fire's onside kick attempt was recovered on a nice play by Cleveland's Dan Skalecki at the Fire 44-yard line. Three plays later Wilhemly tossed his fourth touchdown of the evening, finding Dave Soucie alone along the left sideline. Soucie made a move on a Fire defender and trotted into the endzone for a 45-yard touchdown, securing the win and capping off a breakout performance for the second-year receiver. Soucie posted 120 receiving yards on five receptions in addition to his two scores.

After three weeks of league play, Cleveland sits atop the MCFL with their unblemished league record. They will look to continue their march to the MCFL title Saturday, August 18th as they face the Flint Fury at home. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm at John Marshall Field.


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