RAVENNA OH- The (13-0) #1 seeded Ursuline Fighting Irish and the (10-3) #7 seed Chardon Hilltoppers dueled for a shot at the Regional Championship at Ravenna High School. The winner would go on to face the winner of Toldeo Central Catholic or Tiffin Columbian (Region 10 championship).
Ursuline's first possesion concluded in a punt, as Chardon took over at their own 30 with 10:49 to go in the opening frame. A hefty dosage of Will Francis keepers set up a 5 yard trip to paydirt for FB Vinny Colombi. Chardon used just under 5 minutes on the scoring drive. Before Chardon knew it, Joe Balog took a short 5 yard plunge into the endzone to tie it up at 7. With the scored tied 7-7, we headed to the 2nd quarter.
Just a few plays into the 2nd quarter Chardon was forced to punt, but Beckett Dotson came up with a big hit to force a fumble that was recovered by Austin Green. With the ball at the 24 of Ursuline, it only took a few plays before Vinny Colombi found the endzone again to put the Hilltoppers up 14-7. Both teams traded punts before Dotson came up with a sack setting up another Irish punt. Chardon went into the half with the 14-7 lead as they were set to receive the 2nd half kick.
The opening Topper possesion was settled with a 28 yard field goal from Sam Sacerich. Ursuline answered with a big time touchdown. Jack Ericson found Tairan Davis for the score to cut the Chardon lead down to 17-14. They immediately turned around and forced a Chardon punt, but Austin Green came up with a clutch interception to turn the tide as the 3rd quarter ended with Chardon up 17-14.
Caleb Hewitt opened up the 4th with a back-breaking 34 yard rushing touchdown giving the Toppers a 24-14 edge. A Kyle Kisley sack and Alexander Ash deflection lead to a turnover on downs. AJ Bruce would come up with the dagger on his 13 yard trip to the endzone that put Chardon on top 31-14. Kisley and Ash combined on a sack late in the 4th quarter lead to the end of the game. The Hilltopper faithful in Ravenna rewarded the team with a standing ovation as the clock ticked down to all zeros. With the win Chardon will face D3 powerhouse in Toledo Central Catholic, who dismantled Tiffin Columbian 41-6.
CHARDON HILLTOPPER STATS -
Will Francis: 14 rushes - 139 yards / 5-of-5 passing - 26 yards
Caleb Hewitt: 9 rushes - 87 yards - TD
AJ Bruce: 10 rushes - 48 yards - TD
Leo Colombi: 3 catches - 23 yards
Vinny Colombi: 8 rushes - 24 yards - 2TD
Kyle Kisley: 2 Sacks
Austin Green: INT and Fumble Recovery
Beckett Dotson: 1 Sack - 1 Forced Fumble
URSULINE FIGHTING IRISH STATS -
Jack Ericson: 16/37 passing - 223 yards - 1TD to 1INT
DC Ferrell: 8 rec. - 141 yards
Tairan Davis: 5 rec. - 63 yards - TD