BY BOB STASCAK
The Perkins Pirates (12-1) rallied late, but could not catch the Glenville Tarblooders (11-3) in the Division IV Regional Finals football playoff on a cold, rainy Friday night at Ely Stadium in Elyria, 36-26, as Glenville powerhouse running back D’Shawntae Jones ran for a dominating 242 yards on 20 carries.
The defending state champions, Glenville will move on to the Division IV state final four on Friday, Nov. 24. Glenville won the title in 2022, while Perkins won the state championship in 1999.
To open the game, Jones had an eight-yard rushing touchdown for the Tarblooders and a two-point conversion to give Glenville the early 8-0 lead. A Glenville interception and 35-yard run quickly pushed Glenville to 16-0.
Perkins’ Joey Diedrich recovered a fumble, putting the ball on the 28-yard line, and Pirates quarterback Logan Lesch completed a 13-yard pass to Wyatt Nemitz for a touchdown as Perkins kept the game close, 16-7.
Glenville wasted no time getting back on the scoreboard, however, with a 57-yard touchdown run by Ruel Tomlinson to give Tarblooders the halftime lead, 22-7.
Glenville kicked off to Perkins to start the third quarter and the Pirates started from their own 36-yard line. Lesch found Braylon Collier for a six-yard touchdown pass to close the scoring gap to 22-13.
Glenville began its next drive from the 50-yard line as a Jones run would give Glenville a 28-13 advantage. Perkins rallied in the third quarter on a Lesch 35-yard pass to Weston Sturzinger for a touchdown, trimming Glenville’s lead to 28-20.
Glenville would start the fourth quarter, however, with a three-yard rushing touchdown followed by a Jones two-point conversion to give the Tarblooders a late game cushion, 36-20. Perkins’ Lesch threw a long pass to Isaac Burns to reach the Glenville 21-yard line, then connected with Braylon Collier for a touchdown to close the scoring at 36-26.