Ethan Sauder

Lucas running back Ethan Sauder looks for an opening in the Warren JFK defense as Andrew Smollen leads the way during Friday's Division VII, Region 25 championship game against Warren JFK at Warren's Mollenkompf Stadium.

WARREN — Cam Hollobaugh did it all for Warren JFK on Friday.

Hollobaugh rushed for two touchdowns, threw for another score and intercepted a pass deep in his own territory as the top-seeded Eagles blanked No. 2 Lucas 21-0 in the Division VII, Region 25 championship game at Mollenkopf Stadium.

The win sends JFK (8-2) into a state semifinal against Newark Catholic next week. Newark Catholic held off Shadyside 10-7 in the Region 27 final Friday in Newark.

Lucas, which has played in three straight regional championship games and was the Division VII state runner-up last fall, finishes the season 7-3.

Were it not for Hollobaugh, Lucas might be headed to the Final Four for a second straight season. The senior rushed for a 2 yard touchdown on fourth and 1 on JFK’s first possession, tossed a 33 yard touchdown pass to Sejjan Couto on the Eagles’ second possession and iced it with a 51 yard run in the fourth.

“Our goal was to play physical football and use our speed,” said Hollobaugh, whose interception at the JFK 2 yard line with 3:07 remaining in the fourth quarter preserved the shutout. “We’re not the biggest, but we play physical and we play fast.”

Lucas took the opening kickoff and marched deep into JFK territory, but turned the ball over on downs at the JFK 20 with 6:03 remaining in the first quarter. The Eagles responded when Hollobaugh’s pass was deflected and landed in the arms of Gabe Green, who raced all the way to the Lucas 24. Hollobaugh capped the drive when he bulled into the end zone from 2 yards out to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead with 45 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

On JFK’s next possession, Hollobaugh hooked up with Sejjan Couto on a 33 yard touchdown with 4:43 remaining in the first half.

After a scoreless third quarter, Lucas again marched into JFK territory but again turned the ball over on downs at the Eagles’ 40 yard line with 6:23 remaining. Three plays later, Hollobaugh ran through the heart of the Lucas defense for a 51 yard touchdown on third and one to make it 21-0.

“Our guys played really well defensively, well enough that it should have been a lot closer,” Lucas coach Scott Spitler said. “It was still a close game until we gave up that late one there.”

While the defense kept the Cubs in the game, the offense couldn’t get anything going. Lucas managed just 89 yards rushing and didn’t have a first down in the third quarter.

“The one thing that we were concerned about was their speed and getting off blocks,” Lucas coach Scott Spitler said. “We just did not sustain blocks well enough to get the chunks we needed.

“At times we moved the ball but it’s a regional championship. Everybody’s good.”

The Cubs were in the regional final for the third straight year.

“It hurts because we expect so much more of ourselves,” Spitler said. “But I couldn’t be more proud of these kids with everything they’ve had to go through this season.

“Hat’s off to JFK. They’re a great team. They got us tonight. With the leadership our seniors showed us this year, we’ll regroup this off-season and get after it again next year.”

Support Our Sports Coverage!

Help make local news that keeps you informed and connected with your community sustainable in Richland County. Be a member for less than $5/month.

I have covered high school sports in Richland County since 2000. Email him at curt@richlandsource.com or follow him on Twitter: Follow @curtjconrad on twitter.

Load comments