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Canfield to finish tonight

Correspondent photo / Michael Taylor Canfield’s Ethan Fletcher, right, runs for a short gain Friday night against St. Vincent-St. Mary.

CANFIELD — It was 7:36 p.m., and the officials on Bob Dove Field called a delay to Friday’s Division III, Region 9 quarterfinal between Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and Canfield.

No rain in sight. It was up by the Cleveland area, moving toward Youngstown.

The 30-minute delay for lightning passed as the Canfield and SV-SM athletic directors were discussing when the game would resume today.

Canfield’s boys soccer team hosts Hawken at 4 p.m., today in a Division II sectional bracket final.

An official announcement came at 8:44 p.m. on the Canfield Local School District Twitter page, the game would resume tonight at 7:30.

Canfield had the ball second-and-10 at its own 20 with 7:15 left in the half before the delay happened as the Irish led 6-0.

Canfield coach Mike Pavlansky said how the teams respond to this delay will go a long way in determining who wins tonight.

SV-SM had a 5-2 record coming into Friday’s game, while Canfield is 7-0.

“They’re sitting in there resting and relaxing,” Pavlansky said of the delay. “We made a couple of adjustments as we do at halftime. Our guys are ready to play.

“They’ll be back with a great attitude and really ready to play again.”

Before the delay, both teams punted on their initial drives in the first quarter, but SV-SM went on a lengthy drive on its second time out on the field.

The Irish had 14-play drive that spanned 75 yards and resulted in a Luke Dobson 39-yard field goal with 11:44 left in the half for a 3-0 SV-SM lead.

Pelfrey had the pocket collapse on him with 2:26 left in the first quarter around midfield, facing a third-and-seven at the Irish 48. He saw the opening in front of him and scampered 15 yards for a first down to the Canfield 37 — eventually setting up Dobson’s field goal.

Canfield didn’t have any luck on its second drive as it fumbled on the Cardinals’ 32. The Irish jumped on the errant ball.

SV-SM went for some trickery on first down as it completed a reverse to Darrian Lewis, who tried to connect with an Irish receiver near the end zone. The pass was incomplete.

Canfield was called for pass interference on the next play, giving SV-SM the ball on the Canfield 17. The Irish had a steady diet of Josh Nickerson the next five plays, eventually settling for a 1-yard dive by Pelfrey.

Dobson came on again for a fourth-and-goal at the 4, kicking a 21-yard field goal for a 6-0 Irish lead with 7:18 left before halftime.

Canfield took over on its own 20 after Pelfrey booted the kickoff out of the end zone.

The Cardinals threw an incompletion, but before the next play the officials saw lightning — calling a delay at 7:36 p.m.

Pavlansky couldn’t be prouder of his team’s defense, holding the Irish to two field goals.

SV-SM had 16 carries for 28 yards and quarterback Evan Pelfrey was 4-of-6 for 43 yards.

“Our defense has done a great job,” he said. “We put them in bad situations.”

The Cardinals only ran 10 plays so far. Canfield had five rushes for 0 yards and quarterback Broc Lowry was 2-of-4 for 12 yards before the delay.

“That’s certainly not us,” Pavlansky said. “We can’t do that when this thing resumes. We’ve got to figure out a way to maintain the football.”

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