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Playoffs are next for Tigers, Wolves, Hawks
Playoffs are next for Tigers, Wolves, Hawks
By STEVE NOVAK
In Ohio high school football, the plan is that you play 10 good games in hopes that you can play five more.
If you play 10 good games in the regular season, it can mean a total of five playoff games leading to the state championship. For three area Chagrin Valley Conference teams, the possible five-game payoff trek begins this weekend.
Chagrin Falls 35
Chagrin Falls finished off a perfect 10-0 season last Friday with a 35-6 victory over CVC rival Perry. As has been the case all season, the Tigers combined a deadly running and passing attack with a stingy defense.
Tigers' quarterback Chris Trinetti connected on 13 passes for 135 yards and one touchdown. He also had a rushing touchdown. Senior running back Chris Gorman gained 102 yards in 14 carries.
The other Chagrin Falls touchdowns were scored by Bobby Winkelman, Gorman and Connor Clegg. Winkelman scored on a 6-yard run, Gorman on a 5-yard run in the second period and Clegg's touchdown came on a 10-yard pass from Trinetti in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers, ranked first in computer points in their region of Division IV team, are scheduled to host Campbell Memorial (7-3) Saturday night in the first round of playoffs. Last year, the Tigers advanced two games deep into the playoffs before losing to Walsh Jesuit.
West Geauga 28
Another CVC team which begins the playoff road is West Geauga. With the Wolverines' 28-0 victory over Wickliffe last Friday, the team finished the regular season with a 9-1 record.
By the end of week nine, the Wolverines had accumulated enough computer points in their region of Division II to already qualify for a playoff spot. However, with their defeat of Wickliffe, West Geauga sits in sixth place in overall computer rankings in Region V.
West Geauga will play at Ashland (9-1) Friday night. This is the first time the Wolverines have been in the playoffs since 2003.
"Now, it starts over. The season starts now," West Geauga coach Dave Bors said. "We're 0-0. You can either play one game in this (new) season, or possibly extend it up to five games for the state championship. It's up to us."
In the game last Friday, West Geauga rolled up a total of 312 yards, while holding Wickliffe to only 55 yards. The components of the triple-option offense all played prominent roles in the ground game.
The Wolverines' variable backfield of Kevin Sonnie, Vince Ziccardi and Joe Ziccardi accounted for more than 200 yards of the team's ground game. Sonnie rushed for 91 yards in 12 carries. Vince Ziccardi cashed in for 83 yards in seven carries, while Joe Ziccardi picked up 71 yards in only five carries.
Sonnie scored two touchdowns, while Joe Ziccardi added a touchdown on a 7-yard run. The other touchdown came on a 5-yard run by Zak Kucera.
Hawken School 35
Hawken School, the third area CVC team which advances, made it to the playoffs with a 35-0 defeat of Beachwood last Saturday.
Coach Cliff Walton's Hawks captured six straight wins this year before suffering back to back losses to Cuyahoga Heights and Independence. But the Hawks were still in the top eight ranking of playoff teams in Division V schools after defeating Cardinal in week nine. The win over Beachwood cemented Hawken's trip to a sectional playoff game.
This is the first time since 2001 that a Hawken football team has qualified for postseason play. Walton said winning a playoff spot is due largely to the veteran leadership of the team.
"We're just all really excited, especially the seniors," Walton said. "It's been an exceptional group of seniors. We had lots of goals this year, and this was certainly one of them."
Against Beachwood, the Hawks' John Wilson and Jake Willen both scored a pair of touchdowns. Willen rushed for 75 yards in 12 carries and Wilson picked up 56 yards in 10 carries. Pat Horsburgh scored the other touchdown on a 12-yard pass from Zach McMains.
Hawken is scheduled to play at Independence (9-1) in a Division V playoff game Friday. Independence beat Hawken 14-7 in a CVC contest earlier this season.
Kenston fell short of its chance for a possible playoff spot when the Bombers lost to Aurora, 20-2.
At the end of week nine, Kenston was in 11th place in computer rankings in Division II. A victory over Aurora could have moved the Bombers into the top eight, which would have qualified them for the playoffs.
However, the Greenmen defense proved to be a major factor in Kenston's loss. Aurora held Kenston's usually capable offense out of the end zone for the entire contest.
The Bombers' only points came on a safety late in the first half. The safety came after the Bombers' Weston Kondik had blocked an Aurora punt. The safety put the score at 10-2. Then, at the eight-minute mark of the third quarter, Kenston's Dan Sciortino stopped an Aurora drive with an interception in the end zone.
However, Aurora maintained possession of the ball for a major portion of the second half. On the occasions that the Bombers did have the ball, they weren't able to mount a sustained drive.
However, it was still a turnaround season for head coach Roger Vasey's Bombers. After finished 2-8 in the 2008 season, Kenston wound up 2009 with six wins and four losses.
"We lost to Kent Roosevelt early in the year," Vasey said. "And then, our other three losses were to playoff teams (Chagrin Falls, West Geauga and Aurora).
"But to go 2-8 last year, and then to have a chance for the playoffs going into week 10 is a credit to our seniors. We've come a long way in a year. I think we're close to turning the corner. I look forward to a good season next year."
Painesville Harvey 28
Orange topped Painesville Harvey, 34-28, in the regular-season finale.
With the game tied at 14-14 at the half, the Lions erupted for four touchdowns in the second half.
Orange quarterback Ryan Bitzer connected on 13 of 31 passes for 178 yards. Bitzer also ran for one touchdown and had a 21-yard touchdown pass. Tailback Chase Ullman ran for three touchdowns.
Cach Adam Bechlam said he was especially pleased the way his team put four touchdowns on the board in the second half.
"It took until the second half of the last game. I'm always saying we were one or two mistakes away. But we played a mistake-free half in the second half of that game," Bechlam said. "The kids did their job. They carried out their assignments."
He also singled out Bitzer for his control of the offense during the game. "He didn't have a single turnover," Bechlam said.
Orange, under its first-year coach, finished 3-7.
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