Area teams prepare for second round
The Warren G. Harding and John F. Kennedy football teams will continue their playoff quests this week with regional semifinal games just a short road trip away.
LaBrae and Garfield, meanwhile, will face off against each other at Bo Rein Stadium in Niles, and Cardinal Mooney and Springfield Local also will stay in the Mahoning Valley for their second-round games.
See Page 5B for the complete second-round schedule.
All football playoff games in Ohio after the first round are played at neutral sites assigned by the Ohio High School Athletic Association. The game sites were announced on Sunday.
Harding (10-1) faces undefeated Chardon Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Ravenna. The Raiders, seeded third in Division II, Region 5, outscored Brecksville-Broadview Heights, 56-48, last week. Second-seeded Chardon (11-0) routed Bedford, 56-6.
The other semifinal in the region pits top-seeded Aurora (10-1) against fourth-seeded Hudson (9-2).
A year ago, Harding lost at this point of the playoffs, 23-21 to Mayfield.
Kennedy (10-1) also is seeded third in its region — Division VII, Region 25 — and the Eagles will face second-seeded Mogadore (9-2) Saturday evening at Salem. The Wildcats knocked JFK out of the playoffs last season with a 35-7 drubbing in the third round, the regional final.
Top-seeded Norwalk St. Paul (11-0) faces the No. 4 seed, Monroeville (10-1) in the other Region 25 semifinal.
LaBrae and Garfield both bring 8-3 records into their Saturday night Division V clash at Niles. The Vikings are seeded fourth in Region 17 and knocked off Wickliffe, 29-26, last week on a 22-yard field goal by Kris Foor with six seconds remaining in regulation.
Garfield knocked off top-seeded South Range, 31-21, in the first round, the first playoff victory ever for the G-Men.
LaBrae lost to Crestview, 27-7, in the second round last season.
The other semifinal in Region 17 pits third-seeded Canton Central Catholic (7-3) against seventh-seeded Sullivan Black River (8-3). The latter knocked out second-seeded Grand Valley, 48-24.
Cardinal Mooney (8-2) also will play at Niles, Friday night against Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin (8-3) in a Division IV, Region 13 semifinal. The Cardinals eliminated Hubbard, 27-9, last week, and NDCL edged second-seeded Crestwood, 28-27.
The other semifinal in the region is a battle of undefeateds, top-seeded Perry and fourth-seeded Woodridge which knocked out Struthers, 18-6, last week.