Hoover 17 - Worthington Kilbourne 0Division II Regional First Round
October 29, 2021
North Canton Hoover football defense posts another shutout as Vikings advance past Worthington Kilbourne
Josh Weir, Canton Repository
NORTH CANTON — For much of Friday night’s high school football playoff game at Memorial Stadium, Worthington Kilbourne stayed within a play or two of Hoover on the scoreboard.
On the field, the visiting Wolves felt a mile away partly because the Vikings’ defense makes the field seem a mile long.
That dominant unit led Hoover to a 17-0 win in this Division II, Region 7 playoff opener.
Ends Mike Shimek and Drew Logan again set a destructive tone for the No. 2 seed Vikings (9-2), who earned their fourth shutout of the season.
“Our coaches were telling us it’s on us, on our D-linemen,” Shimek said. “We knew that and we had to step it up.”
They advance to host Federal League foe Green (a 53-21 winner Friday against Marion Harding) in a regional quarterfinal next week.
Led by defensive lineman Nana Amponsah and linebacker Marcus Gipson, No. 15 seed Kilbourne (4-7) stood up well to Hoover’s running game on a chilly night in front of 1,595 fans.
The game was scoreless after one quarter and Hoover led just 7-0 late in the third quarter.
But the Wolves never seemed like a serious threat to score.
Kilbourne finished with more punts (nine) than first downs (eight) and gained 160 yards of total offense — 41 of them on the ground.
The Wolves’ first two plays of the night lost a combined 11 yards as Hoover caved in the line.
“We knew they were extremely physical, extremely aggressive,” Kilbourne head coach Michael Edwards said. “We had some schemes we had to get out of after the first drive because we were like, ‘Oh (shoot), they come up field a lot harder than we thought.’ Very impressed with their size and ability up there, and their fight.”
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Shimek and the 6-4, 230-pound Logan took turns wrecking Kilbourne possessions with negative plays. The Wolves never drove deeper than Hoover’s 48 in the first half and never drove deeper than Hoover’s 34 until the final drive.
Luke Griguolo rushed for two short touchdowns and Robby Smart kicked a 44-yard field goal as the Federal League-champion Vikings won their eighth straight game.
They’ve allowed a total of 43 points during the streak.
Senior Christian Greco and sophomore Brady Sullivan join Shimek and Logan on Hoover’s defensive front.
“We feel comfortable with that D-line out there,” Hoover head coach Brian Baum said. “All four of those guys do a nice job. And really, the defense played well as a group again tonight.”
A third scoring opportunity and a short field proved to be the charm for Hoover to break a scoreless tie.
After Smart came up short on a 50-yard field goal attempt and Kilbourne stuffed Hoover on a fourth-and-1 from the Wolves’ 2, the Vikings got on the board with a 1-yard Griguolo touchdown run with 4:45 left in the second quarter.
Carson Dyrlund’s 20-yard run on third-and-12, with some hellacious blocking from Logan, keyed a drive that started on Kilbourne’s 27.
Dyrlund, Hoover’s sophomore QB, was 5-of-8 passing on mostly short attempts for 65 yards. He ran better than his 20 carries for 52 yards would suggest since he lost a huge chunk of yardage on two errant snaps. Zander Bugara caught four passes for 49 yards.
Hoover’s Luke Roach failed to reach 100 yards for the first time this season and finished with 83 yards on 19 carries. Logan carried the ball seven times for 56 yards. He broke a long one late in the game to set up Griguolo’s second TD run.
“We had to wear them out,” Baum said of the smaller Wolves. “That’s what we saw on film. They do a really good job first half, third quarter, even some fourth quarters where they’re in games. Then the other team takes it to them. That’s what we had to do tonight. We were able to execute.”
Kilbourne QB Nash Biglin, a 6-4 junior, completed 10 of 24 passes for 119 yards and no interceptions. Owen Glasser caught five passes for 67 yards.
HOOVER 17, WORTHINGTON KILBOURNE 0
Division II, Region 7
Kilbourne- 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 — 0
Hoover – 0 – 7 – 3 – 7 — 17
H—Griguolo 1 run (R.Smart kick), 4:45
H—R.Smart 44 FG, 2:28
H—Griguolo 1 run (R.Smart kick), 2:00
Kil — Hoo
First downs: 8 — 19
Rushes-Yds: 26-41 — 55-222
Passing Yds: 119 — 65
Comp-Att-Int: 10-24-0 — 5-8-0
Punts-Avg.: 9-39.9 — 4-38.5
Penalties-Yds: 5-25 — 3-30
Time of Poss.: 22:37 — 25:23
PASSING—Kilbourne, Biglin 10-24-119-0. Hoover, Dyrlund 5-8-65-0.
RUSHING—Kilbourne, Calip 13-24, Gipson 1-13, Biglin 12-4. Hoover, L.Roach 19-83, Logan 7-56, Dyrlund 20-52, Shimek 2-15, Ashby 3-8, Baxter 1-4, Griguolo 2-2, Bugara 1-2
RECEIVING—Kilbourne, Glasser 5-67, Henneman 1-33, Morrison 1-7, Calip 2-6, Brown 1-6. Hoover, Bugara 4-49, Reed 1-16.
Records: Kilbourne 4-7; Hoover 9-2.
Source: Canton Repository