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2008 OHSAA Football State Championships

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2008 OHSAA Football State Championships - Recaps and Statistics

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OHSAA Division VI Football State Championship
Delphos St. John's 34, Bascom Hopewell-Loudon 14

Friday, November 28, 2008
Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium
Click to view game stats and box score

Winning its fifth state football championship in five tries, Delphos St. John’s scored the game’s final 27 points and held the ball in the second half for all but four minutes and 26 seconds to top previously undefeated Bascom Hopewell-Loudon, 34-14, Friday at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium for the Division VI title.

The Blue Jays finish the season 13-2 and join previous St. John's teams in 2005, 1999, 1998 and 1997 to win state championships. Their two losses during the 2008 regular season were both to defending state champions in their own Midwest Athletic Conference (Marion Local and Coldwater), now giving the league seven football state championships in the last four years.

The state runner-up in 2007, Hopewell-Loudon (14-1) scored a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter, but had only three possessions in the second half and turned the ball over to St. John's each time with a pair of interceptions and a fumble.

St. John's took control to start the second half with an eight play, 77-yard drive that took 8:49 off the clock, capped by a six-yard touchdown run by sophomore Jordan Leininger. The Blue Jays kept the ball for 19:34 of the final 24 minutes in the game.

Overall, St. John's held the ball for 32:11 and gained 389 yards, including 299 on the ground. Junior quarterback Wes Ulm ran for 198 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown, a 26-yarder to tie the game at 14-14 with 7:16 left in the first half. Two of his three completions in the game went for touchdowns, including a 26-yarder to senior Jay Leininger with 50 seconds left before halftime to give the Blue Jays their first lead.

Leininger scored three touchdowns for St. John's; a nine-yard run in the first quarter, a six-yard run in the third quarter and a 53-yard pass in the fourth quarter from Ulm.

St. John's sophomore AJ Klausing had an interception and a team-high five tackles to lead the Blue Jays defense, while senior Brad Hoffman also had an interception.

Hopewell-Loudon, which averaged 42 points in its four previous playoff games, was held to 238 total yards, including 56 on the ground, and was limited to 15:49 time of possession. The Chieftains, who lost the 2007 state championship game to Newark Catholic 28-14, have only two losses the last two seasons, both of which came in the state championship game.

Senior Jay Yost had eight catches for 105 yards and a touchdown for Hopewell-Loudon. Senior quarterback Tyler Brown competed 14-of-27 passes for 182 yards.


OHSAA Division IV Football State Championship
Kettering Archbishop Alter 21, Steubenville 6
Friday, November 28, 2008

Canton Fawcett Stadium
Click to view game stats and box score

Sixth-seeded Kettering Archbishop Alter built a 21-0 lead and went on to beat top-seeded Steubenville , 21-6, Friday in the OHSAA Division IV football state championship.

In winning its first state title, fifth-ranked Alter rushed for 303 yards in the game, which led to an 11-minute advantage in time of possession. It was a rematch of the 2006 Division III state championship game that saw Steubenville hold off Alter for a 34-33 victory and the Big Red’s fourth state title.

Second-ranked Steubenville had a pair of 10-play drives in the first half, but came up empty both times. The Big Red had won their four previous playoff games by an average of 21.5 points, but on their first six possessions, they punted four times and turned the ball over twice – once on downs the other on an interception.

Alter, meanwhile, scored touchdowns to cap off drives of seven, eight and 10 plays behind a pair of 100-yard rushers – senior running back Chris Borland, who had 130 yards on 15 carries, and senior quarterback Austin Boucher, who had 111 yards on 19 carries. >

Boucher completed 7-of-11 passes for 81 yards and an eight-yard touchdown to Borland with 4:54 left in the first quarter.

Steubenville junior quarterback Dwight Macon threw for 196 yards on 11-of-22 passing and also led the Big Red in rushing with 68 yards on 14 carries. His 33-yard touchdown pass to junior Trey Wiggins with 9:43 left in the game capped a five-play, 67 yard drive, but Steubenville lost the ball on downs to end its last possession.

Junior Connor Cummins and junior Tom Armstrong both had interceptions for Alter, while Borland posted a team-high six and a half tackles. Senior Philip Sowar had two tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including a 13-yard quarterback sack.


OHSAA Division II Football State Championship
Sylvania Southview 29, Cincinnati Anderson 25
Friday, November 28, 2008
Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium
Click to view game stats and box score

MASSILLON – Sylvania Southview senior quarterback Alex Pidcock accounted for all 80 yards on the game-winning drive, including a 16-yard touchdown pass to senior Paul Murphey with 32 seconds left, as the Cougars came from behind to beat defending state champion Cincinnati Anderson, 29-25, Friday night in the Division II football state championship game at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

The win gives the sixth-ranked Cougars their first state title and caps a perfect 15-0 season. Anderson, which began its postseason run unranked, ends its season 12-3.

Pidcock completed 23-of-30 passes for a Division II state championship record 333 yards. His favorite target, senior Shaun Joplin, caught eight passes for a Division II state championship record 166 yard and a touchdown.

Pidcock also rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown.

Southview intercepted an Andersonpass on its own 1-yard line with 6:19 to play and took a safety on fourth down with 4:44 left rather than risk a blocked punt in the end zone. Anderson looked to spoil the tactic when junior Kyle Slater scored on a 20-yard run – his third touchdown of the game – with 2:33 remaining to put the Redskins on top, 25-22.

But Pidock led Southview 80 yards in 2:01 for the comeback win. Beginning at his own 20-yard, Pidock completed a pair of 18-yard passes, ran twice for gains of eight and 14 yards, then passed for six more to advance the ball to Anderson’s 16-yard line. Pidcock then eluded a diving defender, moved out of the pocket to his right and found Murphey open in the middle of the field and he scampered into the end zone untouched.

Anderson drove the ball into Cougar territory in the short time the Redskins had to work with, but a desperation heave on the final play was knocked down to end the game.

It was a back-and-forth game that saw 765 yards in total offense (300 for Anderson, 465 for Southview) and seven lead changes.

Southview scored on a hail-mary pass just before halftime when Pidcock connected with freshman Allen Gant on a 38-yard strike that tipped in the air off another Sylvania receiver and an Anderson defender. That gave the Cougars a 16-13 lead at the intermission, but Anderson tied the game on a senior John Howard 33-yard field goal with 8:18 left in the third quarter.

Slater rushed for 177 yards on 26 carries to go along with his three scores. Redskin senior quarterback Daniel Rod completed 7-of-12 passes for 80 yards.


OHSAA Division III Football State Championship
Aurora 21, Columbus Eastmoor Academy 10
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Canton Fawcett Stadium  
Click to view game stats and box score

CANTONAurora scored touchdowns on all three of its second quarter possessions, two of which came off Columbus Eastmoor Academy turnovers, and the Greenmen went on to win the OHSAA Division III football state championship, 21-10, Saturday at Canton Fawcett Stadium. 

It marks the first state championship for Aurora (13-2), which rebounded from a 1-2 start and beat defending state champion Sunbury Big Walnut in the state semifinals.  

Aurora senior quarterback Brendan Gallagher was 7-of-15 passing for 120 yards and two touchdowns – a 49-yarder to senior Dee Brizzolara with 8:39 left in the second quarter and a 26-yarder to senior Steven Yung with 52 seconds left before halftime. Those two scoring strikes, coupled with a three-yard touchdown run by junior Eric Schultz, proved to be enough to send the Greenmen to the title.

Field position was controlled in large part by Aurora senior Andy Heacox, who punted five times for a 43.4 yard average and placed two punts inside the 20-yard line. He also kicked all three extra points and had seven tackles on defense.  

Eastmoor (13-2) out-gained Aurora 197-191, had 17 first downs compared to 10 for Aurora, and averaged 5.0 yards per play, but a fumble and two interceptions halted potential scoring drives. The Warriors kicked a 35-yard field goal on their first possession after intercepting an Aurora pass, but the Warriors did not score again until a 12 play, 93-yard drive in the third quarter. Eastmoor had the ball back twice, but could not produce points.  

Aurora junior Eric Schultz led the Greenmen with eight tackles, a quarterback sack and an interception.  

Eastmoor senior quarterback Malon Johnson completed 10-of-19 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown, a 30-yard pass to senior Alex Coleman.


OHSAA Division V Football State Championship
Youngstown Ursuline 21, Findlay Liberty-Benton 0
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium  
Click to view game stats and box score

MASSILLON – Top-ranked Youngstown Ursuline scored three second-half touchdowns, including two on interception returns in the final four minutes of the game, and shut out third-ranked Findlay Liberty-Benton, 21-0, Saturday in the OHSAA football Division V state championship game at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

It marks the second state championship for Ursuline (15-0), which won its first state title in 2000. The Fighting Irish were the 2007 state runner-up, falling to Maria Stein Marion Local, 20-14.

Liberty-Benton (14-1) had scored at least 34 points in four previous playoff wins and had outscored opponents 649-36. The Eagles out-gained Ursuline 241-152 in total yardage and had 17 first downs compared to eight for Ursuline, but they threw four interceptions that were returned for a combined 178 yards, including touchdowns of 44 yards by senior Dale Peterman with 4:20 left to play and 40 yards by senior LaVance Turnage with 2:57 remaining.

Liberty-Benton junior quarterback Aaron Craft completed 18-of-27 passes for 157 yards, but Ursuline sacked him four times. Craft rushed 24 times and gained 79 yards, but sacks cost him 30 yards for a net gain of 49 yards.

Prior to Peterman’s 44-yard interception return for a touchdown, he returned his first interception 40 yards and added four tackles. Sophomore Jeff Podolsky led the Fighting Irish with nine tackles and a sack, while Junior Jamel Turner had seven and a half stops and one and a half sacks.


OHSAA Division I Football State Championship
Cleveland St. Ignatius 28, Cincinnati Elder 20
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Canton Fawcett Stadium  
Click to view game stats and box score

CANTON Fourth-ranked Cleveland St . Ignatius built a 21-0 lead and held on to top fifth-ranked Cincinnati Elder, 28-20, Saturday night for the OHSAA Division I football state championship at Canton Fawcett Stadium.

St. Ignatius senior quarterback Andrew Holland completed 12-of-22 passes for 208 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Wildcats, who overcame a record-setting performance from Elder junior quarterback Mark Miller, who set Division I state championship game records with 399 yards passing and 27 completions.

The 10 state titles for St. Ignatius builds on its state record for most championships, which is now two more than the next school on the list (Newark Catholic with eight). The next Division I school on the list is Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller with seven titles.

St. Ignatius and Elder have now combined for 12 state championships since 1988, but it marked the first time they had met to decide the title. St. Ignatius’ stretch of 21-consecutive years in the state playoffs is the longest in the state and its all-time postseason win total of 55 is the second-most (Newark Catholic, 62).

One play after Miller was shaken up, Elder backup quarterback Joe Hetzer’s two-yard touchdown pass to junior Tim O’Connor with 1:22 left in the game brought the game to within one possession, but St. Ignatius recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock to end the game.

Miller was 27-for-50 in the game, which also marks a Division I state record for attempts, and his 399 yards is the fifth-most among all divisions in a state championship game. His favorite target was O’Connor, whose 15 receptions are a state record among all divisions and his 184 yards ranks seventh (fourth among Division I games).

Holland threw two of his three touchdown passes in the first quarter, both 21-yard tosses, to junior Brenden Carozzoni with 8:28 left and senior Connor Ryan with 25 seconds left. When senior Patrick Hinkel scored from two yards out with 8:56 left before halftime, the Wildcats were in control, up 21-0.

Scoring once in the second, third and fourth quarters, Elder scored three of the next four touchdowns to get back in the game as Miller found O’Connor from nine yards out with 3:10 left in the second quarter and senior Josh Jones from 45 yards away with 6:07 left in the third.

Holland ’s 51-yard pass to Ryan with 17 seconds left in the third quarter marked St. Ignatius’ final touchdown, putting the Wildcats up 28-13 before Elder’s last score.

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