Published in The Chagrin Valley Times
September 10, 2020
Chardon at Kenston
Chardon has had Kenston’s number the past two years in a pair of down-to-the-wire battles, and another victory remains in the Hilltoppers’ favor when they hit the road for week-three action at 7 p.m. Friday in Bainbridge Township.
The visiting Chardon gridders (2-0) are polished, while the Bombers (1-0) are young and determined, but logical forecasts are out the door in this Western Reserve Conference clash of Division III Geauga County foes – not too many anticipated Chardon taking down Kenston, 27-24, during the Bombers’ state-title campaign in 2018.
Chardon, under 10th-year head coach Mitch Hewitt, who owns a 72-31 record at the helm, began its 2020 campaign with wins against Eastlake North, 42-7, and Willoughby South, 50-0, with the Hilltoppers’ defense suffocating South to negative-63 yards last week.
Chardon’s defense has little-to-no weaknesses, but, if opposing offenses can somehow provide their quarterback some protection, the Hilltoppers’ secondary, which had three interceptions last week, is susceptible to pass interference calls.
Offensively, Chardon does what Chardon does – plays chess against checkerboard defenses through its deceptive wing-T ground attack. And once the Hilltoppers lull defenders to sleep running the ball, senior quarterback Drew Fetchik makes them pay in the air. He was five-of-seven passing for 62 yards with two touchdowns last week.
Kenston, under ninth-year head coach Jeff Grubich, who has a 58-33 record at the helm, is coming off a 21-14 victory against Madison (0-2) in a game the Bombers showed balance from 205-pound senior running back Stanley Sell, 29 carries for 189 yards, and 5-foot-11 sophomore quarterback Nikko Georgiou, nine-of-15 passing for 107 yards.
With young bucks all over the gridiron, Kenston did suffer self-inflicted wounds, losing a pair of fumbles deep in Madison territory, but they also showed fight in overcoming adversity, specifically with freshman defensive back Sean Patrick coming up with two interceptions in his own end zone.
Overall, the Chardon-Kenston series is locked at 22-22-1, with the Hilltoppers winning last year’s battle, 17-16.
TONY’S TAKE: Chardon wins, 31-21.