BRUNSWICK — The drive for a fourth football state championship in a row will continue for Archbishop Hoban in Canton next week.
Hoban established its rushing and passing attacks on offense Friday night, and its defense continued to be tenacious in a 42-7 win over Avon in a Division II state semifinal game at Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium.
Hoban (14-0) will meet Massillon (14-0) in the Division II state championship game at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Massillon beat Cincinnati Winton Woods 41-20 in Friday’s other Division II state semifinal at Gahanna Lincoln.
Hoban is aiming to win a 2018 state title to go along with the Division II state title in 2017 and the Division III state crowns in 2016 and 2015.
Hoban senior Tyris Dickerson and junior DeaMonte Trayanum each rushed for two touchdowns, and sophomore Shane Hamm threw a touchdown pass and ran for a touchdown.
“I give all the credit to the kids and we have got a hell of a coaching staff,” Hoban coach Tim Tyrrell said. “I think we have the best staff in the state of Ohio that really prepares them, but we also have a bunch of kids that really, really are not satisfied on making mistakes and being average.”
Dickerson rushed for 176 yards on 12 carries and Trayanum added 103 yards on six carries. Hamm completed 7-of-7 passes for 132 yards and gained 35 yards on six carries.
“I gotta give credit to our offensive linemen Nolan Rumler, Jacob Petit, Owen Robinson, Jaden Baxter and Walter Ganous, and our fullbacks Quan Easterling and Matt Blanchard,” Dickerson said. “They blocked their butts off tonight and executed perfectly. The holes were there, and me and Chip [Trayanum] know how to read holes.”
Hoban scored on its first two possessions in the first quarter, driving 80 yards on seven plays and 80 yards on five plays. Dickerson capped the first drive with a 43-yard touchdown run at 9:04, and Trayanum concluded the second drive with an 8-yard touchdown run at 5:04. Senior Jacob Branham followed with his first two of six extra points.
Each drive included receptions by senior Mason Tipton. Hamm threw two 10-yard completions to Tipton on the first drive, and a 39-yard completion on the second drive.
The Knights extended their lead to 21-0 with 5:17 remaining in the second quarter when Hamm rushed for a 2-yard touchdown. Hamm gained 25 yards on three carries during the drive, and also tossed a 19-yard pass to Tipton.
Avon made it 21-7 with 5:34 left in the third quarter on a 14-play, 81-yard drive that ended with senior Ryan Maloy throwing a 24-yard touchdown pass to senior Ryan Jones.
Hoban responded with a 3-play, 74-yard drive that took 64 seconds. The two big plays were a Hamm 38-yard pass to junior Caden Clark and an 18-yard touchdown pass from Hamm to senior Matt Blanchard with 4:30 to go in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Dickerson sprinted 85-yards for a touchdown run and Trayanum contributed a 78-yard touchdown run.
Junior Devin Hightower grabbed an interception for Hoban, which also received solid defensive efforts from Trayanum, seniors Matt Salopek, Nick Griffith, Marcus Saahir and Joe Michalowicz and sophomore Luke Bauer.
“I was hurt last year and didn’t get the chance to enjoy this moment,” Saahir said. “My team picked me up last year and they told me that we would be right back here.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com.