The Kenston Bombers believed they were better than the No. 8 seed and they proved it Friday night with a 26-23 upset victory over top-seeded Tallmadge in the Cleveland Browns High School Game of the Week, presented by PNC Bank.
In a game full of momentum swings, Kenston took advantage of several Tallmadge mistakes and also added on some big plays of its own, as it earned a rematch with Chardon in the Division II regional semifinals next week.
“We had two rough weeks and tonight, they got back to playing Kenston Bomber football,” Kenston coach Jeff Grubich said. “They had fun and you saw that tonight. They played their hearts out.”
Led by quarterback and Game of the Week MVP Darryl Richards, the Bombers were able to keep Tallmadge’s defense off balance all night.
Richards rushed for over 200 yards and had three touchdowns on the ground. He also added a 60-yard touchdown pass for good measure.
“We haven’t had a playoff game in 17 years and to come in here with the No. 8 seed and knock them off feels great,” Richards said.
Tallmadge was plagued by miscues, including a fumble on Kenston’s two-yard line late in the third quarter. Blue Devils quarterback Anthony Gotto also appeared to suffer from cramps for much of the second half, hindering a usually dual-threat player.
Kenston’s rematch with Chardon comes after a regular season contest that came down to the wire with the Hilltoppers coming from behind for a 29-28 victory.
“We are looking forward to meeting up with them again,” Richards added.
The Cleveland Browns Game of the Week program is presented by PNC Bank, in association with Russell Athletic and The Ohio Army National Guard.