Published in The News-Herald
November 17, 2018
WARREN >> Kenston coach Jeff Grubich got roars of approval from his players when he announced a 10:30 a.m. practice on Thanksgiving Day.
There is still work to do in the quest for the school’s first football state title.
The Thanksgiving feast will be even more savored this year after the Bombers routed Canfield, 33-7, in the Division III, Region 9 championship game Nov. 16 at Mollenkopf Stadium.
Improving to 12-1 with the wire-to-wire win, the Bombers advanced to the D-III state semifinals on Nov. 23 against Columbus Eastmoor Academy. The site will be announced on Nov. 17.
This is the third regional title in Kenston history, the other ones achieved in 1986 and 1995.
An emotionally charged Grubich urged his players in the postgame huddle to consider the history they’d just made and enjoy the moments to come with fans, family members, fellow players and classmates.
“Take your time,” Grubich said. “It’s been 23 years, man.”
As has been the case throughout this increasingly memorable season, the Kenston offensive and defensive units worked in harmony to vanquish a quality opponent.
On offense, the junior backfield dynamic duo of running back Jack Porter and quarterback Jon Tomcufcik, along with other Kenston regulars, were more than the Cardinals could handle.
Porter piled up 151 rushing yards and three rushing TDs on 34 carries.
“We were prepared and focused on being physical and controlling the ball,” Porter said.
Tomcufcik was 14-for-20 passing for 217 yards and one TD pass.
“Canfield is a team that wants to come out and set the tone,” Tomcufcik said. “We turned the tables and got them back on their heels,” Grubich said.
The Bombers’ potent offense played an effective brand of keep-away in the first half. Kenston had 35 plays from scrimmage in the half, Canfield a mere 14.