Published in The Chagrin Valley Times
October 30, 2014
A lot is on the line for Kenston (7-2, 6-0) when the Bombers host the unbeaten, state-ranked Aurora Greenmen (9-0, 6-0) at 7 p.m. Friday.
Since rejoining the Chagrin Valley Conference in 2005, Kenston has yet to win sole ownership of the league championship. The only time the Bombers won a conference title was when they shared it with Chagrin and Aurora in 2010. That’s also the last time Kenston beat Aurora, 20-13.
Also on the line is a third consecutive playoff berth for the Bombers, which hasn’t been done since the school first took the gridiron in 1952. Entering this week, Kenston controls its own destiny in the eighth and final spot in Division III, Region 7.
Three teams – Howland, Revere and Hoban – still have a chance to overtake Kenston’s spot. A Revere win against Copley or a Hoban win against Benedictine are the biggest threats.
The Bombers are riding a seven-game win streak, however, with all facets clicking on both sides of the pigskin – well, everything but penalties, which cost them 104 yards last week and 848 yards this season.
Aurora, meanwhile, enters this week as the third-ranked Division III team statewide, according to AP pollsters, and the Greenmen have already clinched a playoff spot, but they will be competing for home-field advantage in their postseason opener.
During the past two weeks, Aurora beat Perry, 38-35, in a game that senior quarterback Alex Smierciak scored the winning touchdown with 19 seconds remaining, and then went on to beat Harvey, 34-0, with four different touchdown scorers.
A player Kenston must keep a target on is 5-foot-10 receiver Joe Dinardo, who had an 84-yard kickoff return last week – his third special-teams touchdown this season.
In 2013, Aurora beat Kenston, 63-28.
TONY’S TAKE: Kenston claims the CVC title, 31-30.