MASSILLON – Zanesville will wonder what might have been Friday night.
Trailing 26-14, Blue Devils quarterback Derek Grandstaff was intercepted by Akron Archbishop Hoban’s Tyler Gilchrist, who returned it 99 yards for a score to seal a 33-21 victory in the Division III state semifinal at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.
Zanesville ended its season at 12-2, while Hoban (13-1) will face Toledo Central Catholic in the state title game. TCC beat Trotwood-Madison 21-13 in the other semifinal. The day and time of the state title games will be announced later tonight.
The Blue Devils held the Knights to four field goals in the first half and trailed 12-7 at the break. The Knights had a 216-131 advantage in total yards in the first half.
Todd Sibley, who was limited to 30 rushing yards in the first two quarters, had touchdown runs of 81 and five in the third quarter to put Hoban ahead 26-7.
However, Zanesville answered when Leondre Crosby ran 41 yards for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 26-14 at the 2:14 mark of the third.
After forcing a punt, Zanesville was reached the Hoban 1, but a false start on a fourth-and-goal moved the ball to the Hoban 6, setting up Gilchrist’s interception return.
Crosby had a 1-yard touchdown after a turnover to put the Blue Devils up 7-0 in the first quarter, while Grant Kersh made field goals of 42, 39, 29 and 31 yards in the first half.
Grandstaff hit Ben Kaufman for a 65-yard touchdown late in the fourth to cap the scoring.
Full game recap
For more on the game and a photo gallery, see 1B in today’s print edition or visit zanesvilletimesrecorder.com.