The Hartley High School football team will try to take another step toward a Division III, Region 11 playoff berth when it travels Friday, Oct. 20, to North Canton Hoover for the first meeting between the programs.
A 23-21 victory over DeSales on Oct. 13 also moved the Hawks closer to another major goal -- winning the CCL championship -- that can be completed if they win their regular-season finale Oct. 27 against St. Charles.
Hartley is 7-1 overall and 2-0 in the league after holding off a late rally by DeSales, which scored with 25.6 seconds left but didn't recover the onside kick.
Senior two-way lineman Patrick Gilliland left the game with an ankle injury but later returned.
"We knew (DeSales was) a great team and it's been a big matchup the past couple years, so our emotions were through the roof," Gilliland said. "It's an amazing and rewarding feeling because of all the hard work and focus we put into this game to come out with the victory.
"Our offensive line is really starting to jell coming towards the end of the regular season. We still have work to do, but we have a very strong bond and will always work together to get the job done."
Hartley will face a Hoover team that was projected to be ninth in Division II, Region 7 this week.
The Vikings are 4-4 but have won back-to-back games over Uniontown Lake (51-21 on Oct. 6) and Uniontown Green (42-17 on Oct. 13). All of their losses have come by eight points or fewer, and three of their setbacks came to teams that are a combined 22-2.
Running back Luke Reicosky has rushed for 1,270 yards and 16 touchdowns and quarterback John Keller is 92-for-152 passing for 1,166 yards with six touchdowns and has rushed for 597 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Against DeSales, Elijah Carter rushed for 148 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries.
"We know how good (DeSales is) and for us to play a game good enough to beat them is so very gratifying," coach Brad Burchfield said. "Every year our No. 1 goal is to be good enough to win the CCL.
"Hoover is very good. (They play) in one of the top leagues in Ohio (Federal League) and they're fighting for their playoff lives."