The Austintown Fitch High School football team opened a 17-6 lead at halftime on its way to a 31-21 win over visiting Marysville in a Division I, Region 1 first-round playoff game Nov. 9.
The fourth-seeded Falcons improved to 11-0 and advanced to play fifth-seeded Westerville Central in a second-round game Nov. 16 at a site to be determined.
Central defeated 12th-seeded Solon 55-7 on Nov. 9.
The 13th-seeded Monarchs finished 7-4.
Fitch played the second half without leading rusher Darrin Hall, who injured his shoulder in the second quarter, according to Marysville coach Morgan Cotter.
Quarterback Antwan Harris led the Falcons, rushing for 188 yards on 22 carries.
Marysville quarterback Matt Mulholland completed 17 of 32 passes for 159 yards with a touchdown and an interception and rushed for 46 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.
Fitch rushed for 284 yards and held Marysville to 80. The Monarchs finished with 259 total yards.
“They had a pretty good rushing attack,” Cotter said. “Their main running back went down in the second quarter and their quarterback did some real nice things. He was elusive, but nothing that we hadn’t seen all year long. … They just made some plays in the first half for both their (touchdowns) and we had trouble in the red zone.”
— Frank DiRenna