RAVENNA — The traveling road show that is the East football team concluded its 2018 season in frustrating fashion Friday night in Portage County.
Canfield scored 30 unanswered points on its way to a 30-7 victory in a Division III, Region 9, semifinal game on Gilcrest Field at Portage Community Bank Stadium.
“It was a real good run,” East coach Marques Hayes said as snowflakes fell. “I wish we could have gone further … but in the playoffs, it is either you win and you go on or you lose and you go home.”
East (9-3) topped host Chardon 39-28 last week in a regional quarterfinal, but the Dragons' season came to an end on a chilly evening against Canfield (11-1), who will play Chagrin Falls Kenston next week in a regional final.
Canfield senior Mehlyn Clinkscale gave East fits in the final three quarters and finished with 161 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.
“He is a fantastic athlete,” Hayes said of Clinkscale. “The whole week of practice we made it imperative to make sure that we mentioned his name.”
East juniors Amarian Robinson and Bangally Kamara grabbed interceptions in the second quarter.
The Kamara interception gave East the ball on its own 45-yard line with 5:14 to go in the second quarter. Junior Romeo Felton rushed 50 yards to the Canfield 5 at 5:03. Senior Kyre Williams followed with a 4-yard run and then scored from 1-yard out with 4:18 remaining in the second quarter. Kamara converted the extra point kick to make it 7-0 East.
Canfield responded with a touchdown and field goal in the final minute of the second quarter to hold a 10-7 halftime lead. Clinckscale gained 38 yards on a drive that ended with junior Nick Crawford rushing for a 2-yard touchdown with 40.2 seconds to go, and senior Jad Jadallah followed with his first of three extra points.
The Cardinals kicked the ball short on the ensuing kickoff and it bounced off an East player. Junior Seth Hull pounced on the ball on the Dragons' 46-yard line with 37.9 seconds left. Three plays later, Jadallah converted a 40-yard field goal as time expired.
Clinkscale rushed for a 30-yard touchdown and an 8-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and Crawford added a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
“I am proud of these guys,” said Hayes, in his seventh season as East’s coach. “Like I told these guys, I keep on going back to my first year at East when we were 0-10. Now I look at this group of seniors, and the only thing they have ever known is winning.
“They went to four straight City Series championship games, won two of them, and they made two playoff berths and won two playoff games. When they leave this field, even though the score says what it is, I hope these guys leave with their heads up because you know what, they’ve made the entire East community proud, they’ve made the school proud and definitely they’ve made me proud.”
Hayes will bid farewell to several seniors, including impact players Williams, Dee’Arius Reese, Yah’seen Franklin, Ryan Collins, Michael Grimmett, Claude Williams, Derveonte Russell, Jonathan Russell, Emil Jackson, Kam’ron Williams, Daiiyon Somerville, Derell Glover, Robert White and Austin Collins.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org.