ORRVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – Two programs (Newark Catholic and Warren JFK), rich in history, will meet once again on Saturday for the opportunity to return to the state championship game.

Last season, Newark Catholic came away with a 7-point win (14-7) over Kennedy in the state semifinal. The year prior it was JFK that registered a 7-point victory (20-13) en route to their state runner-up finish (to New Bremen).

The Green Wave and the Eagles have combined to compete in 21 title tilts.

The winner will meet either New Bremen (11-3) or Lima Central Catholic (10-4) in the Division VII State championship game at 3 p.m. Saturday, December 3.

High School Football Playoffs – Division VII State Semifinal
Saturday, November 26, 2022, at Orrville
Warren JFK (12-1) vs. Newark Catholic (11-1)

Team statistics:
Scoring Offense: Newark Catholic, 37.0; Warren JFK, 30.8
Scoring Defense: Newark Catholic, 8.3; Warren JFK, 10.6

Playoff history:
Post-season wins: Newark Catholic, 87; Warren JFK, 49
Regional championships: Newark Catholic, 28; Warren JFK, 10
State championships: Newark Catholic, 8 (1978, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1991, 2007); Warren JFK, 2 (1991, 2016)

Game notes:

Warren JFK

  • Trailing late to Danville, Caleb Hadley found Aiden Rossi on a touchdown throw with under a minute to play. Instead of attempting the kick, the Eagles decided to go for 2 points and the win. Hadley went in and sent Kennedy to the Final Four, 22-21.
  • The Eagles defense has been such a strength of the team’s success for many years. This year, there’s no difference as they’ve held the opposition to 12 points or less in nine of their 13 games.
  • Coach Dom Prologo has won 31 of 38 games during his three-year run as Kennedy’s head football coach.

Newark Catholic

  • The Green Wave opened the year by playing in just one game before September 9, a 45-0 victory over Nelsonville-York. Their season opener (vs. Bishop Ready due to storms) and their third-week game (due to a tragedy at Columbus Academy) were both canceled.
  • Newark Catholic defeated River (27-12) this past Saturday to earn their third trip in a row to the state final four.
  • Coach Ryan Aiello is coaching in his fifth season with Newark Catholic. His 2018 team went 3-7. Since then, the Green Wave has recorded a mark of 41-11.
  • With its 11-win season this year, it’s just the second time in over 25 years that the Wave has accomplished back-to-back double-digit win seasons (2012-13, 2021-22).

2022 Results
Warren JFK (12-1)
Eagles 22 Danville 21*
Eagles 35 Southern 0*
Eagles 13 Springfield 6*
Eagles 37 Fairport Harding 9*
Eagles 50 Southeast 0
Eagles 44 Cleveland Central Catholic 8
Eagles 33 Rootstown 0
Mogadore 28 Eagles 14
Eagles 28 Marlington 7
Eagles 20 Sandusky Perkins 12
Eagles 22 Garrettsville Garfield 21
Eagles 37 Delta 12
Eagles 44 Champion 14

Newark Catholic (11-1)
Green Wave 27 River 12*
Green Wave 35 Waterford 7*
Green Wave 35 Notre Dame 0*
Green Wave 49 Bishop Rosecrans 0*
Green Wave 49 Northridge 0
Green Wave 35 Heath 7
Green Wave 42 Lakewood 25
Green Wave 42 Johnstown 14
Green Wave 42 Utica 0
Licking Heights 27 Green Wave 17
Green Wave 27 Fort Loramie 9
Green Wave 45 Nelsonville-York 0