PARMA, Ohio — It's going to be hard to top last week, but we'll give it a try.
Unbeaten Mentor took down St. Edward 36-35 last Friday night in a classic WKYC.com Game of the Week between nationally-ranked foes. The Cardinals won it with a two-point conversion in overtime, and remain alive for their first-ever state championship.
That game took place at Parma's historic Byers Field, and this Friday, WKYC.com will be back there when the 13-0 Avon Eagles face off against the 13-0 Massillon Washington Tigers in the Division II state semifinal. The winner will play either Toledo Central Catholic or La Salle for the state title.
Avon is back in the semis for the third straight year, following two straight blowout losses to Archbishop Hoban. Despite being decimated by injuries, the team has breezed through the playoffs behind a strong defense and a running duo of Devon Hunter and Joey Lance. The most recent victory came 20-3 over archrival Avon Lake.
No one has doubted the strength of Massillon, which sports a slew of Division I college recruits like Jayden Ballard, Andrew Wilson-Lamp, and Luke Murphy. The Tigers went mostly unchallenged throughout the regular and postseason, and during last week's regional final they outlasted Hoban 17-14 to avenge 2018's state title game loss.
Massillon, perhaps the most historic high school football program in all of America, has not won a state championship since 1970 (two years before the advent of the playoff system). Avon, which has only recently emerged as a Northeast Ohio power, has never captured a state crown.
Dave "Dino" DeNatale and Dennis Manoloff will have the call live from Parma starting Black Friday at 6:50 p.m. It will air on WKYC.com, the 3News app, and the 3News Facebook and YouTube pages.