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Malvern rolls by Vikings

MALVERN — Doug Wood fired four touchdown passes and ran for another and the Malvern Hornets’ defense shut out the visiting Symmes Valley Vikings 43-0 in a Division VI Region 23 quarterfinal football game played at Malvern Stadium Saturday night.

The Hornets, who made it to the Final Four a year ago, improved to 10-1 on the season and will play Bridgeport next Saturday night at a site to be determined.

Bridgeport was a winner over Tuscarawas Central Catholic 54-28 Saturday night.

Wood was 12-of-13 passing for 140 yards and hooked up with Travis Tucci three times on touchdown passes. Tucci caught seven balls for 91 yards and Nick Palleschi caught five passes for 49 yards and a score.

Wood also rushed the ball 18 times for 151 yards and a touchdown.

Meanwhile, the Malvern defense shut out the ground-oriented Vikings, who end the season at 8-3.

“Malvern was the better team,” said Symmes Valley coach Rusty Webb.

“This is the first time we’ve been on this stage in a while (since 2005) and it showed that they’ve been on it.”

Symmes Valley was making its seventh playoff appearance overall.

Justin Payne led Symmes Valley with 79 yards rushing on five carries and Kyle Bowen added 46 yards on 13 carries. Evan Herrell suffered a leg injury before the end of the first half and did not play in the second half.

Herrell came into the game as the Vikings’ leading rusher in a balanced backfield with 634 yards and also led the team with 10 touchdowns.

Also in the other Region 23 quarterfinals Saturday, Grove City Christian beat Zanesville Rosecran 28-0.