AKRON, Ohio- Dowed Field was packed full of families and friends as everyone gathered together for some Friday night playoff football under the lights. The top seed in Region 5, Archbishop Hoban Knights faced off against the 8-seed Barberton Magics in the quarterfinal round of the region to move one step closer to Canton.
Barberton received the ball first. The Magics got one first down but failed to get another one on the first drive. Hoban’s Eli Lee got a sack on third down for a three yard loss that forced Barberton to punt. A few plays later Jalen Hightower scored a 35 yard touchdown off a screen pass from Tylan Boykin. The Knights led 6-0 after missing the extra point.
Early on Barberton surrendered unnecessary yards on two penalties that gave Hoban an advantage. Hoban’s Ricky Williams made a huge third down tackle for the Knights late in the first quarter to add on to their advantage. The next play Rock Hill intercepted Barberton quarterback Dominick Wilson’s pass on fourth down.
Hoban’s onslaught continued into the second quarter. In the early parts of the quarter, Caleb Jones ran for a seven-yard touchdown to give the Knights a 13-point cushion and Hoban didn’t look back from here. Nicholas Crawford and Devin Bell combined for a sack for a loss of four on third down forcing another Magics punt.
Brayton Feister ran through Barberton's defense for a 60-yard touchdown, extending the Knights lead to 20-0 late in the second quarter. Hoban’s offense had nearly 200 yards at the end of the first half.
Barberton tried to shift the momentum after recovering Payton Cook’s fumble for a touchback and completing a 31-yard pass on the following drive.
Hoban continued to assert its dominance scoring a 43-yard touchdown in the first 12 seconds of the second half. The touchdown came on a slant down the middle where Tylan Boykin found Jalen Hightower wide open who had nothing but green grass ahead of him.
Hoban’s defense continued the fast paced tempo and relentlessness it’s shown all season in the third quarter. Jordan Pritchard-Sewell had a sack for a seven yard loss. The Magics were able to get on the board when Dominick Wilson connected with Angelo Harper for a 11 yard touchdown.
Hoban closed out the game with two big plays. Rock Hill had an 83 yard kick return touchdown that was followed by a 38 yard rushing touchdown from Brayton Feister. The Hoban Knights won the game 41-7 to advance to regional semi-finals.
The Hoban Knights will take on the Riverside Beavers next Friday in what is anticipated to be a ground game as the two battle for a spot in the regional finals.