Marion Franklin Red Devils 43-19 in a Division 2 Region 7 quarterfinal
Friday. The Cardinals amassed 307 yards rushing in the game, led by senior Pat
Fening who gained 116 yards on 13 carries. Canfield controlled the line
of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. After the game, Marion Franklin
head coach Brian Haffele admitted that the line play made the
The Cardinals amassed 307 yards rushing in the game, led by senior Pat Fening who gained 116 yards on 13 carries. Canfield controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. After the game, Marion Franklin head coach Brian Haffele admitted that the line play made the difference.
“They’re a very good team. Extremely physical up front, and that’s where the game was won,” Haffele said. “Our problem was that we just couldn’t stop them.”
On the other sideline, Canfield head coach Mike Pavlansky knew his team would be ready for a physical game.
“It always is (physical) in the playoffs,” Pavlansky said. “For our seniors this is their eighth playoff game, they knew what to expect. Our lines controlled the ball for most of the game and we rode that to a win.”
Aside from Fening’s performance, fullback Dan Banna gained 70 yards on 12 carries, and quarterback Mark Carrocce added 72 yards on 14 carries.
The game was filled with momentum swings and big plays, with perhaps the biggest coming from Canfield sophomore Kyle Vaclav.
The Cardinals nursed a three-point lead, 15-12, after the Red Devils score 12 unanswered points and grabbed momentum. With just under two minutes remaining before halftime, Vaclav intercepted Marion Franklin quarterback Jeremy Hill at the Red Devil 30 yard line.
The next play, the Cardinals reached into their bag of tricks as Banna took a pitch and then tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Hudson, to stretch the Cardinal lead to 10 at halftime.
Pavlansky credited that series of events with being the swing his team needed.
“Kyle is only a sophomore and we’ll think he’ll be a special player for us, he makes a big interception at a time we needed it,” Pavlansky said. “Coach Brian Fedyski called the halfback pass play, it worked perfectly for us.”
Canfield jumped out to an early lead, starting on the game’s first series when Colin Hoelzel intercepted a pass from Verlon Reed at the Red Devil 27. Three plays later Canfield found the end zone on a 26 yard pass from Carrocce to Hudson. On the extra point, senior holder Neil Sorice saw a weak spot in the Red Devil special teams and called a fake field goal that Sorice turned into a two point conversion.
The Cardinals added to their lead on their next possession going on a 6 play 45 yard drive that Fening capped off with a three yard run, his first of two touchdowns on the night.
After that, Marion Franklin turned the game in their favor, utilizing the speed and athleticism of their playmakers. The Red Devils marched on a 10 play 80 yard drive that Hill finished off with an 11 yard quarterback keeper for the first Marion Franklin score.
The Red Devils kept the momentum going the next time they touched the ball. Tyrell Massey, almost as if being shot out of a cannon, burst through the Canfield defense for a 90 yard touchdown run that cut the lead to 15-12.
It took the Vaclav interception to take back the momentum from the Red Devils.
Coming out in the second half, each team exchanged scores, first Canfield got a big run of their own as Fening raced 42 yards for a touchdown. Then the Red Devils took a page from Canfield’s book with a halfback pass of their own, as Bobby Harris threw a 13 yard touchdown pass to Reed to cut the lead back to 10.
To keep momentum from sneaking back across the field, Hudson took the kickoff for Canfield 67 yards to the Marion Franklin 34 yard line. Three plays later, Banna broke off a 20-yard touchdown run. On the next Cardinal possession they finished off the Red Devils on the legs of Carrocce. Carrocce rushed 35 yards on an option keeper and two plays later, put it in the end zone from 6 yards out, pushing the lead to 43-19.
Marion Franklin’s season comes to an end with a 9-2 record. Canfield will move on to face the No. 1 seed in the region, Columbus St. Francis DeSales in a regional semifinal next Friday at a location TBD.