Eagles set for semi
JFK faces Harvest Prep at New Philly
Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium in New Philadelphia will be the site of John F. Kennedy’s Division VII football state semifinal game Saturday against Harvest Prep School of Canal Winchester.
The two teams advanced to the state semifinals with wins Saturday in regional title games. Kennedy (12-1) beat Norwalk St. Paul, 48-13, and Harvest Prep (10-3) won, 29-15, over Waterford, the top-seeded team in Region 27.
Harvest Prep was seeded seventh and posted previous playoff victories over No. 2 Shadyside, 40-37, and sixth-seeded Danville, 44-21.
Harvest Prep is a private school located in Canal Winchester, just southeast of Columbus. The school has 62 boys and 43 girls enrolled, according to the latest Ohio High School Athletic Association numbers.
The Warriors opened the 2016 season with three straight losses to eventual playoff teams, then won seven in a row, including the last six by at least 37 points. Only two of those last seven opponents finished with winning records.
In fact, Harvest Prep almost missed out on the playoffs, jumping from 10th in the Region 27 standings to seventh as a result of the final week of the regular season. The Warriors are in their third straight season in the playoffs, but are making their first appearance in the final four.
JFK, by contrast, is in its seventh final four appearance — the last time in 2006 — and those appearances have resulted in one state title (1991) and three runner-up finishes.
The Eagles were the third seed in Region 25 and began the playoffs with a 38-0 rout of sixth-seeded Toronto, then bested the No. 2 seed, Mogadore, by a 16-3 score. St. Paul was the No. 1 seed in the region, making Kennedy’s 48-point outburst against the Flyers all the more surprising.
The JFK defense has been outstanding, pitching six shutouts, and holding three other opponents to single digits.
The other state semifinal in Division VII matches Minster (9-4) against McComb (12-1) at Wapakoneta.
One other state semifinal matchup of interest to Mahoning Valley fans comes in Division IV where Boardman will play host on Friday night for the Steubenville (12-1) vs. Perry (13-0) game. Game time for that contest is 7:30 p.m.