Playoff Preview: Canfield vs. Akron St. Vincent St. Mary - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Playoff Preview: Canfield vs. Akron St. Vincent St. Mary

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CANFIELD, Ohio -

Canfield football coach Mike Pavlansky remembers the match-up against Akron St. Vincent St.Mary in 2015 very vividly.

"We were down 21-0 and had no idea what happened," recalled Pavlansky whose team lost 49-28 in the first round game. 

The teams play again Friday at Reilly Stadium in Salem with a berth in the final four on the line.

"They're still big, fast and physical and certainly the names have changed, but there's no doubt we'll have our hands full," said the veteran coach whose last playoff loss came to the Irish.

According to Cardinals safety Will Dawson, the rematch does have more meaning. "We want to go out and do everything we can to win, but at the same time, it's just another game."

"It would be nice to get revenge (from 2015 loss), but it's a completely different team than it was two years ago," said Nick Ieraci.  The wide receiver/defensive back adds the Cardinals have to take this game like the previous 12 and that's one game at a time.

The Cardinals are undefeated in 12 games while the Irish are 9-3, with losses coming to Akron Hoban, Barberton, and LaSalle.  All three teams are playing Friday as well.

"The best defense we can have this week is keeping their explosive offense off the field," said Pavlansky. "We have to maintain drives and convert third downs."  

Pavlansky knows if the Cardinals advance, they'll earn it. "There is no doubt in our minds, watching tape, that they are the best team we've faced this year."

Kickoff from Reilly Stadium in Salem is 7:30 pm.

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