2023 Week 15 (Ohio & Pennsylvania)

2023 Week 15 (Ohio & Pennsylvania)

Week 15 started with some turmoil. One, there was an issue with my credential request for the Ohio state finals. Which eventually got worked out. And secondly, I had to find a new camera. I wanted to get another t8i, but it looked like none were available. And with the swithcover to mirrorless, finding an older DSLR was a priority. As I did not want to use an adapter for my lenses on a mirrorless.

So, I bought a used Canon 6D Mark II. It was a fantastic camera and was had for a good price. I bought a few extra batteries, and was ready for the weekend. Or, so I thought.

Thursday was going to open with the most anticipated game of the weekend. Massillon looking for their first OHSAA playoff title against Archbishop Hoban, one of their key nemesis in that endeavor.

I had originally planned to attend all seven Ohio state finals. But, while waiting in limbo for credentials, i agreed to cover the Friday night contest between Fort Cherry and Redbank Valley. It was one of the few games in the state that had no one scheduled to be at it for PFN. But, I had still planned to drive over to Canton Friday morning. Saturday would be three games in Canton, however.

On Thursday afternoon, I drove to Canton to pick up my parking pass from a hotel in Belden Village. And then down to the stadium. Arriving, the media lot was overrun with cars as someone took down a barrier and everyone was pulling into the lot. Myself and another vehicle parked at the end of a row, and simply hoped they weren’t going to tow or require us to move. THough so many in the lot did not have the media passes on their mirrors like we had.

#64 – Massillon Washington v. Akron Archbishop Hoban

This was the 8th time I’ve seen Massillon play. Sporting just a 4-3 record in games I’ve attended. Two of those three losses were at Steubenville. While the third was a state semifinal loss to Cleveland Glenville at Akron’s InfoCision Stadium. The wins were over Steubenville (3x) and at Warren’s Mollenkopf Stadium against Youngstown Ursuline.

Interestingly, I’ve only seen Archbishop Hoban, the Knights, three times. Once at Cleveland Benedictine, once at home against Harrisburg from Pennsylvania, and last year’s Division II Championship Game against Toledo Central Catholic. The Harrisburg game being the only win I had seen of theirs.

This game was a defensive struggle, if only because of Massillon struggling to take advantage of some clear advantages early. One pass nearly becoming a pick-six though falling incomplete. While Hoban was content with a slogging game on the ground playing field position mostly.

Massillon would score the lone TD of the game in the first half, and give up a safety. With the lead, they seemed to avoid risk like the plague.

The end of the game came down to a good drive by Hoban that ended on fourth down with an incomplete pass to the right front corner of the endzone. Massillon got to kneel out the clock to win their first on-field state title with the unusual 7-2 score.

After the game, I drove home and got to work on photos. With rain forecast in the daytime, I passed on the hour drive to Canton and took the morning off. It would’ve let me see Versailles for the first time. But I had the night game in Farrell to cover for my Friday.

#65 – Redbank Valley v. Fort Cherry

I got into Farrell a little before 6, and got one of the last spots near the field before the traffic started to overflow onto surrounding streets and in front of the school. It threatened rain, but was otherwise pretty comfortable to start. Though the humidity was notable.

This was my second straight weekend seeing Fort Cherry. As they had played last week at Acrisure Stadium. And seen then twice before at Greensburg Central Catholic and once at home. While Redbank Valley was my 7th time seeing them. Most notably their state championship loss to Bishop Guilfoyle.

The game was fairly low scoring to start. And I was not expecting the second half explosion that would happen.

Fog would roll in during the fourth quarter and make photography difficult. And Fort Cherry’s Matt Sieg would take over the game and bring home the state title berth with a 33-23 victory.

It was another short drive back home and finished up photos quickly. In the morning, I had an hour drive west to Canton. And luckily, I already had my pass to get in and not have to stop at the media office.

#66 – Marion Local v. Dalton

I had seen Marion Local three times previously. All state title victories by the Flyers. While this was my first time seeing Dalton. Dalton Bulldogs were from just west of Massillon.

It was on the second touchdown by Marion Local that disaster struck. The camera I had bought gave an error code. I reset the camera. But, it returned. I pulled the battery and reset the camera again. For a moment I thought it fixed it. It took a few more photos. And then, the code returned. Permanently. Searching for it online, the only suggestion was to have the camera serviced. And with the threat of rain, I did not bring in my t7i. So, I had to walk from the east endzone to the far reaches of the Lot A to get to my truck, get the camera, and walk back. Missing most of the first half. By that time, Marion Local had a a commanding lead. And I stayed in the press box.

I decided to salvage what photos I had of the first couple drives for the game, and deal with photographing the second game. Marion Local would win, 38-0 for their 14th state title overall.

The second game was scheduled to start around 3:30pm. Between Perry and Liberty Center. It would be my first time seeing the Tigers of Liberty Center. While I had seen Perry play Steubenville at Warren’s Mollenkopf Stadium in a playoff game.

#67 – Perry v. Liberty Center

I headed downstairs to get as much of this game as I could with my t7i. Same issues that I had at Acrisure Stadium. A broken shutter that would only let you shoot in live view. Which causes some issues getting some quality shots since it’s harder to gauge what you’re shooting at. But, I did my best. As this was my most interested game of the day.

This was a fun back-and-forth type game. The Perry Pirates would hang on to win, 21-14 for their first state championship.

After the game, we had quite a bit of time to kill. And headed up to the pressbox to process photos and get dinner for the first time at the stadium. A build-your-own burger bar and some potato salad.

I finished up the photos and got them posted. And then moved back downstairs for the final game.

#68 – Cleveland Glenville v. Kettering Archbishop Alter

This was my 7th time seeing Cleveland Glenville. And third time seeing them in a state championship game (losing to Hilliard Davidson and Loveland). I had also seen them in the state semifinal against Massillon. And two Herbstreit Kickoff games in Columbus. As well as a Senate League game at John Adams.

This was my fourth time seeing Archbishop Alter. Twice in state championship games against Steubenville. The epic in 2006 won by Steubenville, 34-33, and their victory in 2008. As well as their 37-7 victory in 2009 over Chagrin Falls.

This game was unfortunately one-sided, as Glenville would go on to win their second straight state championship, 38-3.

After the game, it was a short 64 mile drive home.


For the weekend, I drove 308 total miles and spent only $1.76 total. That was on a drink at McDonald’s on the way to Canton.

Statistically, I saw two new teams for the weekend. But no new stadiums.


2023 HSF Wk 15 Ohio

2023 HSF Wk 15 Ohio

2023 HSF Wk 15 Ohio

2023 HSF Wk 15 Ohio

2023 HSF Wk 15 Ohio

2023 HSF Wk 15 Ohio

2023 HSF Wk 15 Ohio

2023 HSF Wk 15 Pennsylvania

2023 HSF Wk 15 Pennsylvania

2023 HSF Wk 15 Ohio

2023 HSF Wk 15 Ohio

2023 HSF Wk 15 Ohio

2023 Statistics

68 Games
129 Teams
39 Stadiums
15 States

64 New Teams
27 New Stadiums

1,557 different teams
495 different stadiums

1,442 total games


The season will continue with the PIAA state championships in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

For photos from this game, and others this weekend, click HERE.

For photos from previous weeks and seasons, visit http://www.flickr.com/sykotyk/sets/

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