SOLON: The Perry football team is heading to Columbus to play for the Division II state championship.

Senior Keishaun Sims and junior Tevion Cleveland each performed at an impressive level on offense and defense Friday night to lead the Panthers to a 10-7 victory over Hudson in a state semifinal game on Solonís Stewart Field.

Perry (12-2) will play defending state champion Cincinnati La Salle in the Division II state final at 8 p.m. Friday at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.

La Salle, which defeated Nordonia in last yearís title game, beat Perrysburg in a state semifinal on Friday.

Hudson bows out at 11-3 under coach Ron Wright. The Explorersí season ended last year with a Division I state semifinal loss to eventual champ Lakewood St. Edward.

Perry coach Keith Wakefield called on Sims to rush the ball 35 times Friday, and the senior gained 111 yards and scored a touchdown to surpass the 3,000-yard rushing mark for the season.

Hudson made a valiant comeback attempt after falling behind 10-0, but three missed field goals hurt the Explorersí chances.

Perry took a 7-0 lead into halftime on a rushing touchdown by Sims and an extra point by junior kicker Mason Brown. Sims rushed for a 2-yard score with 6:22 to go in the second quarter to cap a 14-play drive that covered 51 yards.

The drive featured a heavy dose of Sims, Cleveland and sophomore quarterback Max Baker running the ball, but it also included two pass completions by Baker ≠ó one apiece to Cleveland and senior Shane Myers.

The Panthers extended their lead to 10-0 when Brown converted a 21-yard field goal with 11:58 remaining in the fourth quarter. The drive included a creative play on which Cleveland found Baker for a 40-yard pass play.

Perry sophomore Robby Kirchner and Cleveland each snagged an interception in the fourth quarter with 10:18 and 7:39 to go in the fourth quarter, respectively, but the turnovers ultimately led to no points though.

Hudson got the ball back after the second turnover and tried a field goal, but it was blocked.

The Explorers cut into their deficit when junior quarterback Jackson Parker tossed a 24-yard touchdown pass to junior Matt Restifo and sophomore Grant Gonya booted the extra-point kick with 2:40 to go in the fourth quarter.

Hudson tried an onside kick after the score, but Perry sophomore Zach Blackiston covered the ball with 2:38 to go and the Panthers ran out the clock after Sims gained a first down with a 3-yard run on 4th-and-one.

Sims set a Stark County record for most rushing yards in the regular season with 2,194 yards. He entered Friday after three playoff wins with 2,993 yards and 42 rushing touchdowns, both county records.

Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or mbeaven@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the #ABJVarsity high school blog at www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ.