The Perry Panthers will be prepping to face the LaSalle Lancers based out of Cincinnati Thursday for the Division II State Championship.
Keith Wakefield, head coach of the Perry Panthers spoke with Aaron Coleman Wednesday ahead of tomorrow's game.
Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.
As they prepare to face Columbus Franklin Heights in the Division II playoffs, head coach of the Perry Panthers Keith Wakefield said that by playing physical, disciplined football, they'll be in a good place come Friday night.
Two teams from the "PTO" will be making their way down to Columbus to compete for a state championship, bring pride to their respective schools, and to Stark County.
The Perry Panthers led by Keith Wakefield and the Crusaders of Central Catholic coached by Jeff Lindesmith are focused and ready to compete for the final time this season, and both coaches know that they will need maximum effort from their kids if they are to bring it home.
Coach Wakefield joined Sam to talk about the win over Hudson, and as they prepare for Cincinnati LaSalle, who will be their opponent in the Division II State Championship Friday night at 8 p.m.
"We knew it would be a fight," Wakefield said, speaking of Hudson. "We knew we had to be physical, and limit big plays."
As far as LaSalle, Wakefield knows there's a lot of talent on that side of the ball, and it's going to come down to the trenches.
"It comes down to, can our guys block their guys," he said. "They're real big up front, and their kids defensively aren't as big, but their quick."
Canton Central Catholic, meanwhile will be taking on Coldwater in the Division V State Title contest, and Jeff Lindesmith says that it's a unique experience to play them once more this year after playing them in 2014.
"This group has been such an interesting group, and it's been great to see them get better each week," he said.
For some of our local high school teams, the road to Columbus has one more step to go.
Two Stark County teams are representing themselves well in the playoffs, Canton Central Catholic and Perry High School.
Jeff Lindesmith, the head coach of the Crusaders of CCC joined the Sam Bourquin Show earlier in the week to talk about his team as they prepare to face Milan Edison in the Division V State Semifinals.
"They(Milan Edision) are a real impressive team," Lindesmith said. "They run the triple option, very similar to Navy, their quarterback is a four-year starter and they rotate a couple of good fullbacks."
The Crusaders defeated Crestview last week to earn their State Semifinal berth. The game will be played at Wooster Triway Jack Miller Field.
For the Perry Panthers, they will face a stiff challenge against the Hudson Explorers in the Division II State Semifinals.
Head Coach of the Panthers Keith Wakefield joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about his club and how they need to match the physicality of Hudson in order to move on to Columbus the following week.
One of Wakefield's primary concerns is stopping Hudson quarterback Jackson Parker.
"He's a good runner, they run a lot of zone read with him, and we have to get him on the ground," he said.
The Perry Panthers are one of the nine area teams that will be making an appearance in the third round of the playoffs, and will look to impose their will on Worthington Kilbourne in the Division II Regional Finals.
Keith Wakefield the head coach of the Perry Panthers joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the matchup and his team's focus and talent as they prepare for Worthington.
One of the keys will be stopping the opposing offense, including their quarterback.
"It'll be our job to get him down, he gets the ball out quickly."
One of the keys to Perry's Wing-T offense is star running back Keishaun Sims, who has racked up some big numbers this season.
"He's a humble kid, he works hard, and his mental toughness, and grit are what makes him good," said Coach Wakefield.