MENTOR OH - The JTO was the venue of the clash of #7 seed Chardon Hilltoppers and the #3 seeded Aurora Greenmen. The winner would punch their ticket to the elite 8 in the OHSAA High School football playoffs.
The first quarter was riddled with punts. Chardon began the 2nd quarter from the Aurora 14 yard line.
Just a few plays into the 2nd frame, Sam Sacerich drilled a 20 yard field goal to put Chardon up 3-0 with just under 3 minutes gone in the 2nd quarter.
Another punt led to Will Francis' first touchdown of the night. From their own 30 following another Greenmen punt, Francis found junior Caleb Hewitt for the 70 yard score.
Kyle Kisley picked up a big 3rd down sack to give the ball back to his offense. A 59 yard burst from Vinny Colombi set up the 2nd score for Franics. At half, Chardon lead 24-0.
Chardon's opening possession ended in a Drago Vujaklia fumble. Alexander Ash came up with 3rd down sack, on the ensuing drive Francis kept on a 29 yard scamper for his 3rd trip to pay dirt, which would begin the running clock as the Hilltoppers were up 31-0.
Aurora would break up the shutout with a Brandon Liepins connection to Jayce Unverferth for the 15 yard gain, setting up the 3 yard keep from Liepins to score with 32 seconds left. With a kneel down from Drayton Allgood the Chardon Hilltoppers punched their ticket to the Elite 8 for the 5th straight season. The Hilltoppers held Aurora to only 8 rushing yards and 110 passing yards. Chardon will play Youngstown Ursuline next Friday at a site TBD.
Will Franics: 3/4 passing - 93 yards - TD / 20 rushes - 116 yards - 3TD
AJ Bruce: 8 rushes - 108 yards / 2 catches - 23 yards
Vinny Colombi: 3 rushes - 64 yards
Caleb Hewitt: 1 catch - 70 yards - TD
Sam Sacerich: 4-4 PAT / 1-1 FG (20 yards)
Brandon Liepins: 10/22 passing - 110 yards / 7 rushes for -32 yards - TD
Jayce Unverferth: 2 catches - 39 yards
Dylan Crasi: 2 catches - 23 yards
Zach Pannetti: 2 catches - 26 yards
Enzo Catania: 12 rushes - 38 yards