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NEW PHILADELPHIA, OH – The Warren JFK Eagles came into Saturday night’s game at Quaker Stadium as the defending regional champions and wanted to make a trip back to the State Semifinal game. But they would have to cross the dangerous Danville Blue Devils, who won last week against the Lucas Cubs 21-20 when down 0-20. The Blue Devils would have to make no mistake in this regional matchup, for the Eagles would not leave room for error. However, it was not enough. For Warren JFK was victorious against Danville with a score of 22-21 in a thrilling finish. 


On the second drive for the Eagles, a long drive capped off with an 8-yard touchdown run by Caleb Hadley to set the tone in the first quarter. The Blue Devils had one big play in the first quarter that included a 24-yard pass completion from Walker Weckesser to Kaiden Colopy. That drive ended in a punt that caused Warren JFK to start their drive from the 7-yard line. On that drive, Antonio Smith got the ball stripped from him, and Weckesser recovered it and turned it in for the score making it 7-7. 


The first half didn’t have much action after that score, but the second half provided a classic duel of dominant forces. 


Danville received the ball at the start of the second half and had a drive that lasted 5:21 and capped off with a 5-yard touchdown run from Max Payne. The defensive line for the Eagles stepped up to block the extra point, which kept the score 13-7. The defense continued to step up to the plate on Danville’s second drive of the half. Thomas Easton intercepted a pass from Weckesser and took it to the Blue Devil’s 19-yard line. It only took four plays for the Eagles to tie up the score led behind Caleb Hadley, and the extra point made it 14-13 as they faded into the fourth quarter. 


Danville again responded well to the score from Warren JFK and led their team 12 plays, 61 yards down the field, which capped off with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Payne to Colopy with 5:51 left in the fourth quarter. They also converted in a two-point conversion on a special play from Colopy to Caleb Lucas making it 21-14. 


Kennedy on their final drive had plenty of special plays to help right this story to a finish. Hadley performed a spinning circus act dodging defenders and connected 31 yards downfield to Aidan Rossi on the opposing 33-yard line. A couple of short yards from Easton, Hadley, and Ambrose Hoso ended them up with 4th down and 11 yards to go on the 13-yard line. Hadley dropped back and dodged two blue devil defenders and sent a pass to a diving Rossi for a touchdown where only he could get it, making it 20-21. Coach Dom Prologo looked at his team, and made the gutsy decision to go for the two-point try. Rossi handed it off to Hadley behind his powerful offensive line and dove for the score with 37 seconds left on the clock. Danville received the ball back on the 33-yard line but got stopped in their tracks within four plays to give Warren JFK the win for the regional championship, 22-21. 


Danville will end the season with a record of 11-3 and Warren JFK will advance to the state semifinals next week to play a rematch with Newark Catholic in Orville. 

*Contributed By YSN’s Dom O’Brien 

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