HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL Fitch takes playoff hopes on road to Perry



South Range and Lowellville will battle for top spot in the ICL.
VINDICATOR STAFF REPORT
The Fitch Falcons will find themselves in an unfamiliar place on Friday: away from home.
Fitch, which plays just three away games this season, will travel to Massillon Perry (2-2) with a chance to solidify its claim as a playoff contender.
But winning won't be easy.
"They're a lot like us," Fitch coach Neal Kopp said. "They like to keep the ball on the ground and if we don't step up on defense, they'll eat the clock."
Fitch (3-1) surrendered more than 400 yards passing in a 48-40 win over Canfield and must improve defensively to stop the Panthers' potent attack.
"We've just got to step it up a lot," said senior fullback Eric Chine, who rushed for a school-record five touchdowns against the Cardinals.
"We've been playing well offensively, but this week we've got to get way better on defense. We need to give it to Perry both offensively and defensively."
Massillon Perry lost a heartbreaker to North Canton Hoover 13-7 on Friday and also lost to Cleveland Glenville in its second game. The Panthers have wins over Wooster and Hilliard Darby.
One notable bit of trivia: Panthers coach Keith Wakefield coached at Fitch from 1980-81.
Strong schedule
The regular season is close to the halfway point, and some of the league races are starting to heat up.
South Range will travel to Lowellville in a battle of Inter-County League unbeatens. The teams have won the last two league titles. Springfield will travel to Mineral Ridge in a crucial early season matchup.
Hubbard (3-1) will look to rebound from a loss to Newton Falls when the Eagles play host to Liberty (2-2) in a Trumbull Athletic Conference game.
Howland (3-1) will try to stay unbeaten in the Metro Athletic Conference against Canfield. The Cardinals (1-3) have played well in their four games, but don't have much to show for their effort in the win column.
Chance for redemption
Warren Harding will travel to Lakewood Stadium to take on Lakewood St. Edward on Saturday in a game that could bring the winner plenty of computer points.
The Raiders have defeated St. Edward in the playoffs the past two seasons, and you can be sure the Eagles will have revenge on their minds.
Ursuline and Mooney will look to continue their strong seasons in non-league contests at YSU on Friday.
The Irish will take on Rochester (N.Y.) Aquinas at 5:45. Mooney will then battle Painesville Riverside at 8:15 p.m.

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