Kirtland and Perry will play for regional championships on Friday after winning their respective semifinal games on Friday.
The Hornets will play in the regional championship for the 14th straight season after defeating Chagrin Valley Conference rival Cuyahoga Heights 53-19 at Nordonia on Friday. Ironically, it was the Red Wolves who ended Kirtland’s postseason run in a 2016 regional championship game, the last time the Hornets didn’t play for a state title.
Rocco Alfieri recorded a touchdown hat trick in the first quarter as the Hornets built a 20-0 lead and after a Fletcher Sturgill touchdown pass to Nick Armbrust cut Kirtland’s lead to 20-6 early in the second quarter, the Hornets reeled off 33 unanswered points to put the game away. Francis Connors scored two touchdowns for the Red Wolves, one on the ground and one on Sturgill’s second TD pass of the game.
Kirtland will return to Nordonia High School on Friday to play Mogadore in the Division VI, Region 21 championship game. Kirtland is 4-0 against the Wildcats with regional final wins in 2022, 2018, and 2013, and a semifinal victory in 2017.
Perry won a battle of undefeated teams when it knocked off Garrettsville Garfield in a Division V, Region 17 semifinal at Maple Heights on Friday, 42-14.
The Pirates improved to 13-0 thanks to big nights from Owen McKoon and Jayden Studio. McKoon ran for a three-yard touchdown and caught a 12-yard TD pass from Walter Moses. Studio ran for a game-high 201 yards on 17 carries and scored three touchdowns in the win. Moses completed 5-of-10 passes for 58 yards and two scores.
Perry advanced to play South Range at Streetsboro High School in a regional championship game for the second straight season. The Pirates fell to the eventual state champions, 49-21.