POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Needing a win for a spot in the Division III, Region 7 playoffs, the Canfield Cardinals took the short trip down route 224 to take on undefeated rival Poland, who had already locked up a playoff spot. In a defensive battle, it was a missed extra-point that proved to be the difference as Canfield handed Poland its first loss on the season 7-6.
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After a scoreless first quarter and facing a 4th and goal with inches to go for the game’s first score, the Bulldogs’ defense stepped up to stop the Cardinals and took over possession of the ball. However, the Cardinals defense denied Poland anything on offense.
With 9:28 remaining in the first half, the Cardinals broke the tie on a 41 yard touchdown pass from Jake Cummings to Michael Rusu to give Canfield the 7-0 lead.
The Bulldogs would respond. With 4:02 remaining in the first half, senior running back Dylan Garver broke free for a 19 yard touchdown run. The missed extra point made it 7-6 Canfield.
The second half would prove to be a defensive battle as neither team could mount much offense.
With 0:44 remaining in the game it was the Cardinal defense that stepped up, stopping the Bulldogs on a fourth and seven, giving the Cardinals the ball, clinching the game and a playoff birth for Canfield.
Canfield (8-2) entered the game ranked ninth in Division III, Region 7.
Poland (9-1) entered the game ranked second in Division III, Region 7.