By Chad Bryan
The Chardon Hilltoppers (9-0) will play in the Division III Region 9 championship game Friday night against the Canfield Cardinals (9-0) at Memorial Field in Chardon.
Both teams will take the field with the goal of continuing down the path of adding a state title to their respective trophy cases. Chardon last won in 1994, bringing home a Division II championship with a 17-6 win over Rayland Buckeye Local under then Head Coach Bob Doyle. Canfield has never won a football state championship, narrowly losing to Toledo Central Catholic, 31-29 in the 2005 Division II state title game.
If Chardon is going to advance, they’ll have to slow down Canfield Quarterback Broc Lowry who has been dangerous both with his arm and his feet. In last week’s 24-6 win over Streetsboro Lowry led the Cardinals with 114 yards on the ground and 146 through the air. Canfield is led by Head Coach Mike Pavlansky.
Offensively, Chardon’s dangerous ground game is led by James Pettyjohn, who has run for almost 1200 yards on the season with 15 touchdowns. In the Hilltoppers’ 31-0 victory over New Philadelphia last week, Pettyjohn became the school’s all-time playoff rushing leader, surpassing current head coach Mitch Hewitt. Pettyjohn now has 80 career postseason carries for 805 yards. Quarterback Drew Fetchik has added 1,337 total yards on offense with 20 combined touchdowns.
Defensively, Chardon is led by Vince Ferrante and Myles Mendeszoon. Ferrante has 70 total tackles on the season, including 23 tackles for loss. Mendeszoon, headed to Iowa State next fall to continue his football career with the Cyclones, has 17 tackles for loss and has added four sacks.
Whomever moves on from this regional final matchup is the presumptive favorite to bring home a Division III state title.
Kickoff is scheduled for Friday night at 7:00 pm at Memorial Field in Chardon.
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