The top of Division III, Region 7, is crowded at the top and coming into Week 9, the Kenston Bombers sat eighth, barely holding onto a playoff spot while West Geauga sat in the top-15.
When the two teams squared off on Oct. 24, it was the Bombers who imposed their will with a 50-27 win over the Wolverines, setting up a Week 10 showdown with undefeated Aurora carrying playoff implications.
West Geauga opened up with a 36-yard kick return from junior Kyle Roberts that set the Wolverines up with good field position at their own 40, but after a first down, a bad snap over the head of sophomore Carmen Engoglia put West G into an unmanageable 2nd-and-24 scenario. After a Wolverine punt, Kenston’s offense stalled out in enemy territory when Roberts broke up a Parker Gdula pass on fourth down to give the ball back to West Geauga.
Kenston's hurry-up offense is detailed to take what defenses give it, but the Bombers' chain gang treated itself to healthy portions of both the run and pass games during a 63-14 triumph last Thursday at Orange.
For his second consecutive game, Kenston junior quarterback Parker Gdula finished interception-free. Through week six, he has thrown four picks – one being a long chuck pass to finish a half – and has tallied eight touchdown tosses.
Against Orange, Gdula completed eight of 14 passes for 163 yards.
One never would have guessed a calendar-circled rivalry game was about to brew with so many open seats in the visitor stands at game time on Friday night.
It's not like the capacity is all that impressive at Kenston's Bombers Stadium, and so, when the neighboring Chagrin hopefuls only accounted less than 50 percent of their usual ticket quota, doubt resonated in a Tiger community that has had the pleasure of six consecutive playoff-win seasons and two state championship appearances.
The host Bombers weren't feeling sorry, especially after a 14-7 loss last year.
This could be the last time these two schools compete for years since both are changing conferences.
The Kenston football team got up early, then rolled to an emphatic 38-10 victory over rival Chagrin Falls Friday night at Bomber Stadium.
The victory was the Bombers' third straight, as they sit at 3-2 and 2-0 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division. The Tigers dropped to 1-4, 0-2 against a brutal schedule. The five teams the Tigers have played are a combined 20-5 thus far.
This also marks the last time the two teams will meet for at least two years, as Kenston will leave the CVC, which will disband, next season. Both teams' schedules are tied up for at least the next two years with other non-conference opponents.
Solon's run defense was so stifling that Kenston's offense toyed with lining up five wide receivers at times during last week's season opener of Friday night lights at Stewart Field.
Inflicting 11 tackles for loss, including seven quarterback sacks, and a safety, the Comets' front-seven tacklers created more than enough havoc to neutralize the Bombers' hurry-up offense. The outcome was just 13 rushing yards for Kenston.
SOLON — The No. 25 Solon Comets football team held off a late Kenston rally Friday and came away with a 20-14 win in a Week 1 game at Stewart Field.
Solon junior quarterback Johnny Mooney, making his first career start, threw two touchdowns to lead the Comets.
"We did some really good things in the game and we did some really bad things in the game," said Solon coach Jim McQuaide. "Give them (Kenston) some credit."
Solon seemed in control through most of the contest, but Kenston hung around and closed the lead to six on a five-yard touchdown pass from Parker Gdula to Jeremy Wyers with less than three minutes remaining.
5 keys for making it back to the playoffs
1. Continue to play well at home: The Bombers lost their opener at home last season, but got things rolling at their place by winning their final four games at home. Defending home turf this season will be key as the team only has four home games this season, compared to six games on the road. If the team is going to get back to where it did last season, the taking care of business at home is a must.
A step back was much better than a step away for George Burich. After seven years as head coach at North, Burich stepped down following last season. His hiatus from the sport didn't last long. Burich has accepted an assistant coaching position at Kenston, where he will coach the Bombers' defensive line.
"I'm an assistant coach now," Burich said. "I can go back and coach and not worry about all the management things.
"I'm enjoying being involved and trying to help kids get better."
Joe Valvoda (2000) played o-line for Edinboro University.
Valvoda played offensive line for the Fighting Scots from 2000-03, playing in 44 games and starting the final 34 of his career.
He was named to Edinboro's all-time team after helping pave the way for two 1,000-yard rushers, according to the university.
On Monday November 18, Coach Grubich opened up the weight room to all football players that plan on playing this coming fall. This will jump start our off-season workouts and help prepare the Bombers for the tenuous winter conditioning and summer workout schedule. The weight room is now open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the fall. There are coaches that supervise and provide exercises for the players to do. If you plan on playing football this fall and do not play a winter sport, come to the weight room after school to start your lifting early!
Whether losing a blowout or losing a nail biter, season-ending games hurt in one way or another.
For Kenston (7-4), it was the former of the two defeats, as the Bombers ran into a juggernaut in St. Vincent-St. Mary (11-0) during the first round of the Division III, Region 7 tournament on Friday in Akron.
The host Fighting Irish roughed up Kenston, 52-7, behind a four-touchdown performance by Ohio State University running back recruit Parris Campbell.
Kenston head coach Jeff Grubich said the outcome is what it is.
No need to call the jeweler.
The Kenston gridders polished the stone and made it shine quite fine with a 38-24 triumph against West Geauga in Chagrin Valley Conference action on Friday during the Bombers' senior night.
With the win, not only are the 7-2 Bombers' hopes for a back-to-back playoff appearance looking better than ever, but Kenston also will compete for a share of the CVC title for the first time since 2010.
In his last regular-season home game, Kenston's Drew Weninger wanted to do everything he could to earn a win.
Even he likely didn't think it would go so well.
The senior scored three touchdowns in three different ways and had one of the game's biggest defensive plays in Kenston's 38-24 win over West Geauga on Friday.
West Geauga Drops Another in CVC
Bombers March Toward Playoffs with Home Win
Drew Weninger knew Friday night's game between his Kenston Bombers and the West Geauga Wolverines would be the last regular season home game of his high school career — and he made the most of it.
The senior defensive back scored three touchdown, blocked two punts — one of which he scooped up and returned for a 30-yard TD — and made the key defensive play of the first half to lead Kenston (7-2, 5-1 CVC) to a 38-24 win on senior night at Kenston Bombers Stadium.
West Geauga at Kenston 7 p.m. Friday
When the West Geauga Wolverines (6-2, 4-1) travel to take on the Kenston Bombers (6-2, 4-1) at 7 p.m. Friday, fans should expect the most physical game of the Chagrin Valley Conference season.
Both teams are gunning for a conference title and for a top-eight spot in the Division III, Region 7 computer rankings in order to secure a postseason berth.
Before the Bombers take the field every Friday night they have a strict routine that stays the same from week to week. One of the parts of the routine is the team dinners. The team dinners are either bought by the Bomber Elite organization or donated by local restaurants. During team dinners the Bombers discuss the upcoming game and enjoy delicious hot meals. Usually the team dinners consist of chicken, pasta, salad and a roll. It is required that the Bombers consume at least four cups of Gatorade or another sports beverage. Kyle Richter said, "The food is great, and its fun to eat with my defensive squad." The team dinners are a way to fill up on a good meal for the game. We thank everyone who has made the team dinners possible. Go Bombers!
Come out and support your Kenston Bombers as they take on the Orange Lions Friday night at Kenston Bomber Stadium. Expect a fun, action packed game to kick off the homecoming weekend. The Bombers, 3-2 hopes to come off a tough loss to division rival Chagrin Falls and beat Orange. The Bombers have exciting wins over Chardon, Brush and Wickliffe. "I hope it's a dry night, the camera doesn't like to get wet," said Mr. C. Come out Friday night and support your Bombers and enjoy the homecoming festivities!
It was the kick heard around Northeast Ohio on Friday.
Kenston junior Parker Deuley stepped on the gridiron to attempt a game-winning field goal with just a few ticks left on the clock and his team trailing, 22-20.
Bombers kicking coach Bob Madden was up in the host Brush press box as he phoned in to head coach Jeff Grubich on the headset.
It took a while — two days — but the payoff could be huge for the Kenston football team.
For Parker Deuley, his field goal with as time expired will last a lifetime.
Deuley's 34-yard field secured the Bombers' wild 23-22 nonconference victory over Brush that started Thursday night at Korb Field and finished Friday afternoon.
At this point last season, the junior RB Pedro Velasco had no varsity carries.
By the end of the season, Velasco had one carry for one yard.
A combination of a crowded backfield and a tender shoulder -- Velasco was the team's shutdown cornerback -- limited his play.
Yet this year, with five TD's and 250 yards in two games, the senior has proven quickly he is a varsity ballcarrier.
CHARDON, Ohio — Pedro Velasco scored three touchdowns for Kenston to give the Bombers their first win of the 2013 football season, defeating host Chardon 31-21 on Friday night. Velasco had 27 carries for 159 yards and scored on touchdowns run of 2, 2 and 7 yards. Kenston QB Parker Gdula added a touchdown throw to Jake Silbermann. Gdula threw for 215 yards and completed 19 of 25 passes. Kenston scored 14 unanswered points in the third quarter and added a field goal in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
Parker Deuley wanted his coach to know everything was all right.
The junior kicker for the Kenston football team, playing football for the first time, had just missed a field goal early in the game between the Bombers and the host Chardon Hilltoppers on Friday.
He trotted off the field, looked at Coach Jeff Grubich and said, "I got the next one, coach."
Deuley made good on his promise.
Kollyn Crenshaw took the opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown as the visiting Solon Comets pulled away from Kenston in the second half en route to a 48-21 non-conference win at Kenston Bombers Stadium last Friday night.
The Comets also got an 87-yard TD run from senior Antwain Hamilton with 4:45 left in the first half to break open a close game, 24-14. On the night, Solon outgained the Bombers 401-292 total yards, including 260-120 on the ground.
"We knew coming in here we had a young football team and what I was afraid of would happen happened," Kenston head coach Jeff Grubich said. "We gave up too many big plays."