Published in The Chagrin Valley Times
October 25, 2018
Kenston at Willoughby South
The Kenston boys (8-1, 5-1) will be playing with a little bit less of a gridiron gut when they travel to take on Western Reserve Conference foe Willoughby South (2-7, 1-5) at 7 p.m. Friday at Harry E. Winters Stadium in Lake County.
Like seventh-year head coach Jeff Grubich said after a 27-24 loss against Chardon last week, the Bombers must play hungry and can no longer afford to be fat and happy. Kenston had 10 penalties for 95 yards, including three personal fouls, in defeat.
While 8-1 sounds like a mighty fine record, it sounds a lot less mighty fine after an 8-0 record. Nonetheless, Division III AP No. 4-ranked Kenston enters this week’s game with the top spot in the Region 9 computer rankings and will clinch a home playoff game and at least a share of the WRC banner with a win.
Although Kenston gained 364 yards against Chardon, it was the Bombers first time not eclipsing the 400-yard mark since a week-one victory against Streetsboro, 44-14.
Defensively, Kenston surrendered 348 yards, including 296 yards rushing against Chardon’s wing-T, but failed to produce a turnover for the first time this season. And the Bombers couldn’t get off the field on fourth downs during Chardon’s 98-yard, game-winning drive.
South, under 15th-year head coach Matt Duffy, has suffered five straight losses, including a 45-14 defeat against Mayfield (5-4, 4-2) last week in a game the Rebels struck first on a 94-yard touchdown toss from Justin Grosel to fellow junior Rico Small, but they couldn’t get much going after that.
A 55-yard blocked punt return gave Mayfield a lead, 14-7, it never relinquished. Four cough-ups by South didn’t help the Rebels’ cause.
South owns a 4-1 series advantage against Kenston, with the Bombers’ lone win coming by way of a 38-8 rout last season.
TONY’S TAKE: Kenston wins, 42-21.