SIDNEY — Kenton knew it had to get through the No. 1 team in the state to have a shot at being No. 1.
For three quarters, Kenton’s defense pummeled No. 1-ranked Kettering Alter’s high-powered offense.
Kenton was clinging to a 14-10 lead over the Knights by the end of the third quarter.
However, Alter put it together in the fourth quarter, scoring two touchdowns in the final seven minutes to pull out a hard-fought 25-22 victory over Kenton in a Division IV state semifinal game at Sidney Memorial Stadium on Friday night.
With the win, Kettering Alter (14-0) will take on Cleveland Benedictine (13-1) in the Division IV state championship game on a date and time yet to be determined. The state championships will be played Dec. 4-6 at Ohio Stadium at Ohio State.
Kenton ends its season 11-3.
Coming into Friday’s game with Kettering Alter, Kenton had won 11 consecutive games since starting the season 0-2.
“Our football team played great all year,” Kenton coach Brent Fackler said. “We went up against a very good team, the No. 1 team in the state. We played with them the whole time and had a very good chance of winning the game. I can’t be anything but proud of these young men.”
Kenton’s defense held Alter to 230 yards of total offense.
Kenton quarterback Trent Hites was 25-of-57 passing for 313 yards, two TD passes and three interceptions. Hites also ran for a score.
Colyn Blackford led the Kenton receivers with 13 catches for 197 yards and a TD. Kollin Stollar hauled in six passes for 76 yards and a score for the Wildcats.
“We played our hearts out,” Fackler said. “They (Alter) had some really good athletes tonight and our guys were up to the challenge. They didn’t flinch all night.”