By Rob Todor
Youngstown Christian School’s football team continues to enter uncharted territory.
The Eagles have passed every test so far.
Needing to win each week to maintain their bid for the first postseason berth in school history, the Eagles reeled off eight consecutive wins to finish the regular season.
Then, on Saturday night, Youngstown Christian played host to Mogadore, a program that had more playoff victories (46) than the Eagles had wins (41) in the program’s history.
Not to worry. Youngstown Christian used a powerful running attack, led by Anthony Abeid, and got touchdowns from Ryan Grier, DeVaun Adams and Darrien Townsend, to defeat the Wildcats 20-17.
The path never traveled continues this weekend, in the regional semifinals.
The Eagles (9-2) will play Shadyside (8-3) in a Division VI game on Saturday night. The game will be played a historic Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium in New Philadelphia.
Like last weekend’s opponent, Shadyside brings a tradition of success in the postseason.
The Tigers are in the playoffs for the 13th season, and while they’ve never won a state title, they did play for the Div. VI championship last season, losing to Delphos St. John’s 77-6.
“Like Mogadore they have a great tradition,” Youngstown Christian coach Brian Marrow said Sunday. “They’ve got a real tough running back [Brooks Ramsey] and their quarterback [Chase Kinemond] is good, too.”
This season Shadyside finished the regular season with a 7-3 record and opened the postseason with a 46-6 thrashing of Wellsville.
The teams did play one common opponent — Imani Christian Academy of Pittsburgh, Pa.
The Eagles defeated Imani 27-14 in week 7, four weeks after Shadyside lost 13-7.
“We saw film of the Imani game,” said Marrow, “and their running back [Ramsey] didn’t play.”
Marrow said the Eagles aren’t satisfied reaching week 12.
“I keep asking our kids what we’ve accomplished,” he said, “and they say we haven’t accomplished anything yet. You don’t get a trophy for playing in week 2 of the playoffs.”
Youngstown Christian isn’t the only area Div. VI team still playing.
Top-seeded Western Reserve (11-0) looked impressive in defeating Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph 33-6.
Next up for the Blue Devils is a regional semifinal against Malvern (10-1) at Leopard Stadium in Louisville.
Also on Saturday will be a regional semifinal in Div. IV, where top-seeded Girard (10-1) will take on Black River of Medina County.
The Indians looked sharp in their first-round win, 35-12 victory over Canton Central Catholic.
There’s two games on Friday night, and one is generating interest state-wide.
Cardinal Mooney (7-3), coming off a 42-22 win over Northwest, will take on No. 1 seed Steubenville (11-0) at Fawcett Stadium in Canton.
These two programs have met six times — all in the playoffs — and the Cardinals have won five of those meetings. The last meeting was in 2009, when Mooney won 45-7 in the state semifinals on its way to the Division III state championship.
Also on Friday, Crestview will battle St. Thomas Aquinas, at Ravenna Stadium.
The Rebels (10-1) pulled away in the second half against Cuyahoga Heights to win 44-20, while St. Thomas (7-4) opened its postseason with a 34-12 win over Monroe Central.