MASSILLON, OH- Sometimes it’s not how you start, and it’s not how you finish- but the work you put in between that matters the most. Surely enough, for Warren JFK on Friday night, they put in the time, the effort, and the game plan and executed incredibly to win the Division VII State Semi-Final 20-13 over Newark Catholic.
In a contest that came down to the final play, the Eagles owned the night- but Newark Catholic made the game quite interesting toward the end.
Newark scored with 16 seconds left to make the game 20-13 in what many thought would be the last shot of the night for the Green Wave to be felt. A stellar onside kick on the ensuing kickoff have Newark Catholic the pigskin on the Eagles 41-yard line, where Cole Canter delivered a 22-yard strike to Brandon Buchanan, rushed the line up to spike the football with six ticks left on the clock, and set up the games final play- the Hail Mary. For JFK- it was the big-frame and basketball IQ of Nick Fordeley who broke up the pass in the endzone to send the Eagles to Columbus next weekend.
JFK’s scores would all come from the legs of Cam Hollobaugh who plunged in from 3, 2, and 3-yards out respectively. The JFK Superman totaled 125 yards on 29 carries and dialed up 5-5 night through the air with 74 yards, and also had a 55-yard kickoff return to open the second half and set the Eagles up with great field position and momentum to start the second half.
“I compared him this week to Tim Tebow, and he legit is. You watch him play and every time he does something special- I think to myself about Tim Tebow. ‘Give me the ball, I’m not losing…and that’s who Cam Hollobaugh is.” said JFK Head Coach Dom Prologo of his QB1.
The “Blue Storm” defense was incredible for JFK as well, coming up big in several moments throughout the night, and keeping pressure on Cole Canter seemingly every play. Sophomore Ambrose Hoso made his presence felt from up the middle while Eddie Kiernan and Michael Gumino continued to set the edge each play. Perhaps one of the biggest plays of the night came deep in Eagle territory when Gabe Green had great coverage on a receiver, and rose up like LeBron James to snatch an interception and hold the Green Wave to an empty possession.
With the victory, JFK will pack their bags and look to leave enough space to bring home the state championship trophy next Friday against New Bremen at 2 pm at Fortress Obetz in Columbus. The game is scheduled for 2pm.