CHARDON, Ohio — Saturday night the Chardon Hilltoppers football team will have an opportunity to win a state title in Division III when they clash with St. Francis DeSales, something their head coach Mitch Hewitt felt they were capable of even before this unprecedented 2020 season kicked off.
"I thought as a team we had the potential to get to this point," Hewitt said, "but with all the other factors I think there were weeks where it was more uncertain. And it wasn't so much because it had to do with the quality football team you had, but more the external factors."
Between dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and other off-field distractions, Hewitt has called this an "exhausting" season. "We've never asked any high school athlete what we've asked these kids to go through," he said.
Hewitt, who played for the Chardon football program in the 90s, has helped guide the Hilltoppers to an undefeated record and the No. 1 ranking in the state of Ohio in Division III.
Chardon has yet to play a close game this season, is sporting a record of 11-0 and is fresh off a 47-7 win over Columbian in the state semifinals.
Columbus DeSales won their semifinal match up with Archbishop Alter last week 23-13 and comes into the Division III state title game with a record of 9-1 on the season.
WATCH BELOW: 3News' Nick Camino catches up with Chardon head football coach Mitch Hewitt to talk about the Hilltoppers season and the upcoming state championship.