RAVENNA, OH- On a freezing cold night in northeast Ohio, The Canfield Cardinals met the Chardon Hilltoppers in the regional final for the second time in three years. Chardon won 15 consecutive playoff games before meeting the Cardinals after winning back to back state championships in 2020 and 2021. The Cardinals defense fought hard all night long to hold the Hilltoppers to just seven points, which was enough to go back to state for the first time since 2005.
Neither team scored in the first quarter as Canfield opened up the game with a turnover on an interception by Chardon’s Caleb Hewitt. In the second quarter, the Hilltoppers struck first on a 35 yard touchdown run by Andrew Bruce to make it 7-0. After both teams fumbled inside Chardon’s 10 yard line, the Cardinals capitalized with a 8 yard touchdown reception by fullback Dom Marzano to tie the game at 7-7. Both teams went to the locker room deadlocked at 7-7.
Both teams had just one scoreless possession in the third quarter to setup a tie for the final 12 minutes of play. The Cardinals made the biggest play of the game late in the fourth quarter on a 56 yard touchdown run from junior tailback Danny Inglis to take a 14-7 lead. On the next possession, Chardon moved the football inside Canfield’s 40 yard line, until they turned it over on downs with a stop by linebacker Dom Marzano on a fourth and one. Canfield goes back to the state semifinal for the first time since 2005. The Cardinals will play Holy Name next Friday at Euclid Community Stadium at 7 P.M. Our YSN crew got a chance to talk with Canfield head coach Mike Pavlansky after the victory. Here is what he had to say: