Kukura doesn’t want streak to end on his watch

October 1, 2013

Sam Kukura was a ballboy the last time Kirtland lost a regular-season game.

He doesn’t want that four-year streak to end while he’s a player.

Kukura, the leading rusher for the Hornets, has watched as Kirtland has won its last 40 scheduled games dating from a 53-7 win over Burton Berkshire on Oct. 2, 2009.

He was in the eighth grade and retrieving pigskins on Sept. 24, 2009, when Kirtland lost to Cuyahoga Heights, 20-10.

“That’s crazy,” said Kukura, who had 189 yards rushing and four TDs in a 41-14 win over Cuyahoga Heights on Friday to stretch the streak to 40. “Wow. That was a long time ago.”

Kukura said winning regular-season games isn’t the goal. The Hornets lost in the Division V state final last year to Coldwater, 10-9, one year after winning the state championship. Kirtland is 34-1 over its past 35 games.

“It’s nice, but we don’t talk about it,” Kukura said of the winning streak. “We just focus on things we need to do to win the next week.”

SHORT WORK: Unbeaten Clyde was put on upset alert midway through the second quarter at Sandusky St. Mary (1-4), as the Panthers had forged a 21-21 tie after not scoring on the Fliers in four years. But the Fliers responded with five TDs in 6 minutes as part of a 42-point second quarter in a 63-28 win. Arlington is 5-0 for the first time since 1989, as John Solt returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a score, Austin Rettig scored on 25- and 50-yard runs and John Elledge scored on a 52-yard pass and a 25-yard interception return in a 42-6 win over Van Buren.

RUSH WEEK: Axel Bueter rushed for a school-record 335 yards on 18 carries helping Wauseon beat Liberty Center 38-6; Fredericktown’s Tyler Ruhl ran for 349 yards on 28 carries and scored five TDs in a 56-44 win over Galion Northmor; Sycamore Mohawk’s Gunnar Johnson celebrated his 17th birthday in a big way, rushing for 323 yards and five TDs in a 73-15 win over North Baltimore; Piqua’s Trent Yeomans had 305 yards rushing and four TDs in a 52-34 loss to Springboro; Christian Evans had 11 carries, 274 yards and four TDs as New Carlisle Tecumseh routed St. Paris Graham 49-13; Mansfield Senior’s Tyquan Vickers ran for three TDs and 237 yards in the first half — finishing with 282 yards — of a 45-0 victory over previously unbeaten Orrville; Tre Owens ran 13 times for 230 yards and three TDs in Middletown Madison’s 40-31 win over Milton-Union; Chillicothe Southeastern’s Dezmond Perkins had 25 carries for 226 yards and five TDs in a 41-31 win over Chillicothe Unioto; and Beavercreek defeated Fairborn 45-21 as David Lawrewnce had 26 carries, 209 yards and three TDs.

GAUDY NUMBERS: Lamar Carswell of Toledo St. Francis carried 45 times for 402 yards and scored five TDs — including a 97-yard kickoff return — in a 72-61 win over Lima Senior, which had Justice Graham complete 23 of 41 passes for 389 yards and four TDs; Archbold beat Swanton 85-35 to set a new scoring record in its conference, with the 120 combined points also setting a league mark; Haviland Wayne Trace jumped to a 67-0 lead at halftime en route to an 80-0 win over Holgate, breaking the school mark of 75 points as Colby Speice completed 15 of 22 passes for 399 yards and seven TDs; Alliance’s Kordelle Phillips completed 27 of 35 passes for 438 yards and seven TDs in a 60-41 win over Salem; and Germantown Valley View’s Clay Smith completed 15 of 21 passes for 355 yards and six TDs in a 56-21 beating of Monroe.

NOTEWORTHY: Columbus DeSales ended the state’s longest winning streak when it won 21-16 over Clarksville Clinton-Massie, which had won 19 games in a row; Chillicothe is 5-0 on the strength of a defense which hasn’t allowed more than 14 points in a game; Duane Miller threw for four TDs and ran for three more Edgerton’s 53-12 win over Antwerp; Maria Stein Marion Local has outscored its five victims 174-20 with three shutouts; St. Marys Memorial, which went winless for the first time in school history in 2012, extended its losing streak to 16 games with a 27-21 loss to Lima Bath; Glouster Trimble is 5-0, with four shutouts and only seven points allowed; with its 41-14 triumph over visiting Andover Pymatuning Valley, Conneaut made it back-to-back victories for the first time since Weeks 3 and 4 of the 2003 season; Fairfield is 5-0 for the first time since 1993; and Luke Kennard, an Associated Press All-Ohioan and national basketball recruit, completed 18 of 27 passes for 263 yards and three TDs in Franklin’s 39-0 win over Bellbrook;

LONG ROAD TRIP: Centerville traveled 1,000 miles on a chartered flight to take on a state-ranked and unbeaten Naples, Fla., team. And it was a great trip. Nick Bozzo kicked a 19-yard field goal at the end of regulation, then converted the winning extra-point kick as the Elks won 38-37 in double-overtime.

TURNAROUND: Doylestown Chippewa went just 1-29 over the last three seasons, but is 3-2 under new coach Mike Bohley. It’s the first time the Chipps have won three games in a season since going 4-6 in 2008.

Chippewa brought the “Big Chief” trophy back to Doylestown after dominating Rittman in the 114th matchup of the historic series. The teams have played since 1923 and in many decades played twice a season.

“Our rivalry is crazy,” said Chippewa’s Bo Whetsell. “It’s nuts, like Ohio-State Michigan.”

RECORD BREAKING: Athens altered the OHSAA’s offensive record book in a 55-46 win at Fairland. Heath Wiseman caught 12 passes for 270 yards and six touchdowns, the latter tying for the most in an Ohio high school game. Joe Burrow completed 28 of 37 passes for 492 yards and eight TDs, that number tying for second in an Ohio game. Coming off 47 TD passes last season, Burrow has 18 touchdown passes and 1,507 yards passing through five games.