A recurring theme since the playoffs began for the Eastmoor Academy football team has been keeping turnovers to a minimum.

Last Saturday, the Warriors turned it over on their first offensive play and one other time in the first half but escaped with a 14-10 win over Licking Valley at Gahanna in a state semifinal.

In its 23-0 victory over Logan Elm on Nov. 15, Eastmoor was on the other end of the mistake battle as it intercepted two passes and forced a safety.

The Warriors will meet Aurora for the Division III state championship at 11 a.m. Saturday in Canton's Fawcett Stadium thanks in part to turnovers. The Greenmen used a fumble recovery and an interception to help fuel a 20-14 victory last Saturday over defending state champion Big Walnut.

While Eastmoor is 13-1 and will be making its first appearance in a state final, Aurora also will be in a state title game for the first time and is 12-2.

The Greenmen are the only team to make the playoffs four consecutive seasons in Region 9 and also were state semifinalists in 2006.

"They have a little bit of size on them and they emphasize their running game over passing game," coach Jim Miranda said. "They look like they have some weapons and it looks like it'll come down to who plays mistake-free football."

Aurora used a variety of weapons to beat Big Walnut last Saturday, but running back Steven Yung and quarterback Brendan Gallagher shined the brightest.

Yung (5-foot-7, 160 pounds) had 24 rushes for 129 yards and an 8-yard touchdown run with 5 minutes, 11 seconds remaining that proved to be the game-winner. Gallagher was 10-for-18 passing for 105 yards and ran for a 1-yard touchdown to score his team's first points.

Yung has more than 1,500 yards rushing on the season and Gallagher has thrown 22 touchdowns and just five interceptions.

Dee Brizzolara (five receptions) and Steve Snyder (70 yards rushing) were other contributors last Saturday.

Adam Bellamy, who is an Ohio State recruit, led the Greenmen with seven solo tackles and was the lead blocker on many rushing plays.

The Greenmen, like Eastmoor, show several different looks on offense. Usually they run an I-formation.

"I think the key to this game for us is to not let them get the quick-strike plays offensively with the athletes they have," said Aurora coach Bob Mihalic, who was on the sidelines last Saturday despite having pneumonia.

"Another key for us offensively is to get off to a fast start. We have to play good, solid defense and get off to a fast start defensively."

Eastmoor has used a group of versatile weapons offensively to keep its playoff opponents off-balanced.

Last Saturday, Aaron Flowe rushed six times for 70 yards, including the game's first touchdown, quarterback Malon Johnson completed seven of 12 passes for 75 yards, and Devon Ross ran for a 5-yard touchdown. Touche' Hopkins and Alex Coleman have been other weapons.

Defensively, the Warriors held Ohio State-recruit Storm Klein to 89 yards rushing and quarterback Drew Ryan -- the ThisWeek in Licking County Player of the Year -- to two pass completions for 36 yards.

"We have a lot of kids that are pretty talented and we're trying to spread the ball around to let a lot of different kids touch the ball," said Miranda, whose Warriors are the first City team to advance to a state final since Brookhaven won the Division II state title in 2004. "Those kids have been productive throughout the season. We've rushed for well over 4,000 yards now as a total and have over 1,300 yards passing.

"I watched three (Aurora) games last (Sunday) and I see why they're here. They have some good size up front and move their linemen up quick to create some lanes for their running attack. We'll have to keep the ball out of their hands. We're going to have to establish our running game. They have athletic kids so I think it's going to come down to making big plays and not having any turnovers."