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High School Football

High school football playoffs: Buckeye falls to Kenston, ending longest season in school history

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Buckeye's Anthony Watkins (2) and Dom Monaco break up a pass intended for Kenston's Tyler Mintz. Aaron Josefczyk/Gazette

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BEDFORD HTS. — When time finally ran out on the longest Buckeye football season in history, the snow was coming down on the Bearcat Stadium field, but none of the Bucks seniors were leaving anytime soon.

Buckeye played Kenston to a tie after the first quarter of a Division III, Region 9 semifinal Friday night, but the Bombers scored 33 straight points to power their way to a 40-21 victory.

The Bucks (10-2) ended their season after the school’s first playoff victory a week earlier, and said to a man they savored the extra time they got to spend playing high school football.

“I loved it,” senior Anthony Watkins said. “This class has done something no one here has ever done before.”

“It’s been the most fun week ever,” senior lineman Austin DiBiasio added. “Building up to this has just been crazy. I’ve been thinking non-stop about this game all week.”

The game started with a bang, as Kenston (11-1) took just three plays and 37 seconds to score a touchdown. But Buckeye methodically drove 66 yards in 10 plays, with quarterback Jacob Doerge scoring from 3 yards to tie the game.

Both teams were forced to punt on their next series and as the quarter ended, the teams were tied 7-7.

“Definitely, we were right there,” Watkins said. “It was just some small mistakes that let them get ahead.”

Kenston, which was driving with the ball when the first quarter ended, punched it in on a 5-yard pass from Jon Tomcufcik to Tyler Mintz — the latter had a touchdown receiving, a touchdown rushing and two interceptions — to go up 14-7.

On the second play of the next series, receiver Jay Middleton (4 catches, 125 yards) broke a pair of tackles after catching a fly pass down the right sideline and raced in for a 53-yard score.

By the time the teams went to the locker rooms, the Bombers led 26-7. Kenston scored on its first two possessions of the second half to go up 40-7 and start a running clock before the Bucks got a pair of rushing touchdowns from senior Dom Monaco (15 carries, 63 yards) to close out the scoring.

Kenston, which converted on eight straight third downs at one point, got 132 yards and a TD on 25 carries from running back Jack Porter, who added two catches for 30 yards and a TD, while Tomcufcik finished 11-for-15 for 185 yards and three TDs while directing a four-receiver offense.

“Shout out to them,” Buckeye junior running back Armondo Nigh (12 carries, 90 yards) said of the Bombers. “They were very aggressive and playing downhill. We kept fighting back every time.”

Although the rain and snow that fell in the second half didn’t lead to the mud bowl Buckeye played in while beating Alliance a week earlier, the Bucks’ magic run came to an end.

“They were a good team, but we played hard and kept fighting,” DiBiasio said.

“You cherish every week with them,” coach Greg Dennison said of his players. “We didn’t have a lot of seniors, but we knew we had quality over quantity. Every one of them contributed to this.”

Nigh, a junior, said it would be different playing without the seniors next year.

“Lots of love for this senior class. I’m going to miss them,” he said. “I’ve played with these guys for a while. They played their hearts out.”

Contact Chris Freeman at sports@medina-gazette.com.

Kenston 40, Buckeye 21

Division III, Region 9 Semifinal at Bearcat Stadium

BUCKEYE 7   0   0  14  —  21

KENSTON 7   19   7   7   —  40

First

K — Jack Porter 8 run (Anna Sanders kick), 11:23.

B — Jacob Doerge 3 run (Clay Gunkelman kick), 5:21.

Second

K — Tyler Mintz 5 pass from Jon Tomcufcik (Sanders kick), 11:03.

K — Jay Middleton 53 pass from Tomcufcik (run failed), 8:00.

K — Porter 5 pass from Tomcufcik (pass failed), 0:49.

Third

K — Tomcufcik 3 run (Sanders kick), 5:26.

Fourth

K — Mintz 32 run (Sanders kick), 10:15.

B — Dom Monaco 2 run (Gunkelman kick), 3:54.

B — Monaco 5 run (Gunkelman kick), 1:13.

B K

First downs 20 22

— by rushing 15 14

— by passing 3 8

— by penalty 1 0

Rushing 44/223 38/195

Rushing average 5.1 5.1

Passing 5/11 11/15

Passing yards 81 185

Avg. per attempt 7.4 12.3

Avg. per completion 16.2 16.8

Total offense 55/304 53/380

Avg. gain 5.5 7.2

Punting 3/27.7 1/20.0

Third-down conversions 2/10 8/10

Fourth-down conversions 3/4 1/1

Penalties 8/50 4/45

Fumbles 1/0 1/1

Time of possession 28:23 19:27

BUCKEYE

Rushing

Name No. Yds. Avg. TD

Monaco 15 63 4.2 2

Armando Nigh 12 90 7.5 0

Doerge 10 30 3.0 1

Anthony Watkins 6 39 6.5 0

Michael Knoll 1 1 1.0 0

Receiving

Name No. Yds. Avg. TD

Watkins 2 30 15.0 0

Nigh 1 35 35.0 0

Gunkelman 1 18 18.0 0

Monaco 1 -2 -2.0 0

Passing

Name Com. Att. Pct. Yds TD-I

Doerge 4 8 .500 46 0-2

Knoll 1 3 .333 35 0-0

KENSTON

Rushing

Name No. Yds. Avg. TD

Porter 25 132 5.3 1

Tomcufcik 5 -7 -1.4 0

Mintz 3 37 12.3 1

Bransen Stanley 2 22 11.0 0

Middleton 2 5 2.5 0

Stanley Sell 1 6 6.0 0

Receiving

Name No. Yds. Avg. TD

Middleton 4 125 31.3 1

Porter 2 30 15.0 1

Stanley 2 22 11.0 0

Mintz 3 8 2.7 1

Passing

Name Com. Att. Pct. Yds TD-I

Tomcufcik 11 15 .733 185 3-0

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