TWINSBURG, Ohio — The Archbishop Hoban Knights are headed to the state semifinal after taking down the Walsh Jesuit Warriors in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II regional championship game at Tiger Stadium.
Hoban scored first after regaining possession on a De'Vonta Baskerville interception that put the Knights in the red zone. With a 17-yard rushing touchdown from Lamar Sperling, the Knights took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
Walsh answered back quickly with a 17-yard rushing touchdown of their own from quarterback Matt Natale, tying things up 7-7 with just over three minutes in the first quarter.
Sperling got the wheels moving for the Knights again before the first quarter wrapped up with a 38-yard touchdown rush to give Hoban a 14-7 lead.
The back and forth continued with the Warriors blocking a punt and eventually scoring on a 1-yard rush from Justin Bremner to tie it up again, 14-14.
Driving up field, the Knights regained the lead with a 1-yard touchdown rush by Jayvian Crable to move the score up 21-14.
Walsh closed the deficit headed into the second half with a 32-yard field goal by Cooper Kirda to make the score 21-17, but quickly after the third quarter began, Sperling rushed for a 3-yard touchdown to bump the Knights' lead to 28-17.
Sperling dominated all night, scoring again on a 45-yard touchdown run, putting Hoban up 35-17, and later in the third quarter sprinting into the end zone on a 61-yard touchdown run to put Hoban up 42-17.
Walsh scored again, lowering the Knights' lead to 42-24, but a rushing touchdown from Markhim McKinnie shot Hoban's lead back up to 49-24.
Natale found Christian Ochei for a 14-yard touchdown with just over three minutes in the fourth quarter, but the Warriors couldn't score again and Hoban came out on top 49-30.
Hoban will advance to take on Avon in the state semifinal matchup next Friday.
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