Friday, Jul 29, 2016
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Irish, Patriots put it on the line

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Central's Brodie Wagener kicks the game-winning field goal against Dayton Carroll that sent the Irish to today's state final.


It all comes down to this.

After summer conditioning, two-a-day practices, a 10-game regular season and four playoff games, Central Catholic and Patrick Henry find themselves playing today for state football championships.

Both schools are seeking their first state playoff title, although the 1962 Irish team finished No. 1 in the Associated Press state poll in an era before playoffs.

Central Catholic (13-1) takes on Canfield (14-0) at 7 tonight in Massillon in the Division II final.



A pep rally will be held to send off the team at 10:40 a.m. in the school's front gym.

If the Irish win, there will be a celebration at about 3:30 p.m. tomorrow in the Sullivan Center following the girls basketball game against Findlay.

Central and Canfield have similar numbers. The Irish have averaged 28.4 points per game while allowing 13.3. The Cardinals have scored 29.8 points per game, but have had a stingier defense, yielding just 8.3 points per game. The Irish are in the playoffs for the seventh time. The Cardinals have made the playoffs five times.

Central's attack is led by quarterback Kevin Jansen (1,817 yards passing), tailback Chris Willis (1,401 yards rushing) and wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher (67 catches for 1,284 yards).

Patrick Henry (14-0) hopes to finish a perfect season when it takes on Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (14-0) at 3 p.m. in Canton for the Division V title. Both are seeking their first state crown. The teams match high-

powered offenses.

The Patriots, behind quarterback Zack George (3,029 yards, 38 TD passes) have averaged 46.6 points to the Eagles' 39.1.

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