Chardon OH- The (4-1) Kenston Bombers made the trip to face longtime rival (3-2) Chardon Hilltoppers in the opening game of WRC play for both clubs. Both teams coming off losses in Week 5 looking to bounce back.
It was a slow opening frame. Both the Bombers and Hilltoppers exchanged punts throughout the entirety of the first quarter, moving us into the 2nd quarter scoreless.
Chardon with possession from the Kenston 42, a first down run from Andrew Bruce set up a Will Francis completion to Leo Colombi for a 25-yard gain on 4th&17.
The big gain set up Bruce's touchdown to put the Chardon Hilltoppers up 7-0 following the Sam Sacerich point-after try.
Lucas Kaltenbach and the Kenston Bomber offense were able to respond. Kaltenbach found Tymir Cardona for a first down, and Sean Patrick followed with a huge run to put Kenston on the doorstep of the Hilltopper red zone. Head Coach Jeff Grubich called a timeout as the Bombers had it on 3rd & 3 from the Chardon 6. A couple plays later, Patrick would nearly score, but fumbled it into the end zone as LT Sean Doyle recovered it for the score.
Grady Kucharson's extra-point was good to knot this game at 7-7 with 4:03 left in the half. AJ Bruce ripped off another big run, on the next snap Vinny Colombi picked up 5 on first down. Later in the drive Caleb Hewitt capped off his 22-yard run with a trip to the end zone. Chardon would lead 14-7 with 39.5 seconds left in the half. In just 31 seconds the Bombers answered. Sean Patrick ripped off a 23-yard run to paydirt.
With 8 seconds on the clock the Hilltoppers took a knee to send us to halftime.
Chardon began the 2nd half with possession, and it didn't take long for them to get on the board. Caleb Hewitt took the Francis hand-off for a 49 yard run to the end zone, being knocked out of bounds at the one.
With the ball at the one, Homecoming King Will Francis scored for Chardon, putting them up 21-14 following the successful point-after try.
As Kenston now trailed by a touchdown, Kaltenbach led a good drive, but it would stall out. Turning possession over on downs, but a bad snap to Will Francis popped in the air as Ashton Kolenic came away with, scoring to knot this one up at 21. Chardon turned it over on downs back, giving Kenston the ball on their side of 50. The Bombers punted it back to the Hilltoppers at the end of third with the score tied at 21.
Chardon began from their own 9, after a few Francis QB keepers, the Hilltopper punted to Kenston. With the ball inside the Chardon 40-yard line, Lucas Kaltenbach dialed up Dylan Krupp for the 39-yard touchdown strike to put them on top with 9:06 left in the 4th. Kenston forced another turnover on downs, but only mustered a punt that set Chardon up at their own 22-yard line. AJ Bruce picked up a first down on a 3rd & short, but Will Francis was intercepted by Tymir Cardona who returned it to the Topper 33. Kaltenbach and Patrick both carried a number of times to bring the ball down to the one. On 4th & 1, Grady Kucharson was called upon to give Kenston a 10-point lead. He did just that, his 8-yard FG attempt split the uprights giving the Bombers a 31-21 lead with 2:30 left in the game.
Charlie Thompson sealed the win for the Bombers with his interception. Kenston will travel to face Mayfield Wildcats next week as Chardon ventures to face the Willoughby South Rebels. Charon loses their first home game since 2018, and Kenston's first win against Chardon since 2017.
Lucas Kaltenbach: 9/14 pass - 130 yards - TD / 7 rush - 25 yards
Sean Patrick: 20 rush - 85 yards TD / 1 reception - 3 yards
Dylan Krupp: 2 catches - 38 yards - TD
Tymir Cardona: 5 catches - 82 yards / INT
Sean Doyle: Offensive FR TD
Ashton Kolenic: FR TD
Charlie Thompson: INT