Rootstown (10-0) 24, Mogadore (8-1) 7
Three years ago, Rootstown had just snapped a 19-game losing streak. My, how things have changed, as the Rovers took down the powerful Wildcats to cap an unbeaten regular season and all but clinch the top seed in the D-VI regional playoffs. Caleb Kaut put the team on his back, running for all 3 offensive touchdowns.
Midview (8-2) 17, Avon Lake (6-4) 13
The Middies are off to the D-II playoffs after winning what was a back-and-forth struggle. Seamus Higley's 46-yard screen pass to Isiah Johnson put Midview ahead with 6:43 left, and with Avon Lake driving late, the Midview defense forced a fumble to seal the victory. With the loss, the Shoremen will be staying home for the postseason.
Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin (8-2) 28, Padua Franciscan (8-2) 14
The Lions needed a win to get to the D-III playoffs, and they got it in dominating fashion by jumping out to a 28-0 lead. Zach Urda and Matthew Arko provided back-to-back pick-sixes in the fourth quarter for NDCL.
Alliance (9-1) 36, Marlington (7-3) 29
Both teams came in with playoff hopes on the line, and the game quickly turned into a shootout. With the score tied at 29 early in the fourth quarter, senior Deuce Johnson ran it in for his 3rd touchdown of the game to put the Aviatora ahead. The defense held from there, and Alliance clinched the Northeastern Buckeye Conference championship while also punching its ticket to the D-III playoffs.
Eastlake North (6-4) 28, Chardon (6-4) 7
For the first time ever, the Eastlake North Rangers are headed to the playoffs. They led just 14-7 heading into the fourth quarter, but 2 touchdown runs by Brett Payne put the game away. Meanwhile, the Hilltoppers' season is over after finishing with a three-game losing streak.
Cuyahoga Heights (8-1) 28, Independence (7-3) 21
The Blue Devils needed a win to get to the D-VI playoffs, but sadly, they could not get past their rivals on this night. Dylan Drummond caught all 4 touchdowns for the Redskins, who will host a D-VII playoff game next week.
There are still two big games to be played on Saturday as well:
Massillon Washington (6-3) vs. Canton McKinley (8-1) - 2 p.m.
The greatest rivalry in all of high school football will be renewed at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Saturday, with both the Tigers and the Bulldogs already headed to the playoffs. McKinley will be looking to avenge last year's 21-19 loss to Massillon.
St. Ignatius (8-1) vs. St. Edward (9-0) - 7 p.m.
Other than bragging rights in this classic rivalry between the area's most famous Catholic schools, the winner will earn the number one seed for region 1 in the D-I playoffs. The Wildcats beat the Eagles twice last year, including an overtime playoff win on their way to the state championship game. Regardless of how this one shakes out, many feel these teams are destined to meet again down the road.
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