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2017 OHSAA Football State Championships - Recaps

Division II

Akron Archbishop Hoban Defeats Cincinnati Winton Woods 42-14, Wins Third-Straight State Championship
CANTON, Ohio — No. 5 Akron Archbishop Hoban (14-1) used a potent offensive attack in the first half to claim its third-straight state championship Thursday night with a 42-14 win over No. 2 Cincinnati Winton Woods (13-2) in the OHSAA Division II football state championship at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.
The Knights won state championships in 2015 and 2016 playing in Division III.
“About all I can say is that it was an unbelievable team effort,” said Hoban head coach Tim Tyrrell. “Offense, defense, even our special teams. Winton Woods is an unbelievably well-coached team, but our seniors would not let the younger kids quit working. Our kids made plays when they needed to make plays.”
In a game that saw all points scored come in the first half, Hoban started off with a bang. On the first offensive play of the game, freshman quarterback Shane Hamm threw deep to senior Garrett Houser for a 73-yard touchdown pass. After a Winton Woods three-and-out on its first drive, Hoban senior Daviaun Pete blocked a Warrior punt and senior Donny Swain returned it 28 yards for a touchdown, a Division II state championship game record for longest blocked punt returned for a  touchdown, to put Hoban up 14-0 less than two minutes into the game.
Winton Woods responded with an 11-play drive into Hoban territory, but Daulson Fitzpatrick intercepted a Kenny Mayberry pass at the Hoban 34-yard line.
Hoban continued its offensive showing early in the second quarter with a 46-yard screen pass for a touchdown from Hamm to Houser to put the Knights up 21-0.
On the ensuing Winton Woods drive, Miyan Williams breathed some life into the Warriors with a 57-yard run on first play of the drive to set the Warriors up in Hoban territory. This time, Winton Woods capitalized with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Mayberry to Cornell Beachem on third down to put the Warriors on the board to cut the Hoban lead to 21-7.
A flurry of scoring came in a matter of seconds halfway through the second quarter. Tyris Dickerson capped off a six play, 80-yard drive for Hoban with a two-yard touchdown run. Winton Woods' Raequan Prince returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown to make the score 28-14 in favor of Hoban. Prince’s kick return tied a Division II state championship game record.
The air connection of Hamm-to-Mason Tipton accounted for the last 14 points of the half for Hoban. The duo’s first score came at the 5:06 mark on a 38-yard touchdown pass to put the Knights up 35-14. The second score came after an unsuccessful fake punt by Winton Woods deep in their own territory with 29 seconds remaining in the half. Hamm went back to Tipton on a 21-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds left in the half to give the Knights a 42-14 halftime lead and eventual final score.
Hamm finished 8-of-13 passing for 243 yards and four touchdowns for Hoban. Hamm’s four touchdown passes tied a Division II state championship game record. Houser finished with four receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Tipton added two touchdowns on two receptions and 59 yards.
Winton Woods was making its first state championship game appearance since its 2009 title in Division II. It's the Warriors first state runner-up finish. Williams led Winton Woods with 175 yards rushing on 20 carries.
Attendance for the game was 7,235.

Division VII

Minster Wins Third Football State Championship, Knocking Off No. 5 Cuyahoga Heights 32-7
CANTON, Ohio — Minster (11-4) claimed its third football state championship in school history Friday morning with a 32-7 win over No. 5 Cuyahoga Heights (12-2) in the 2017 OHSAA Division VII state championship game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. Minster also won football state titles in 1989 and 2014.
The Wildcats overcame four straight losses in the regular season to make a playoff run that included wins over No. 1 regional seed Convoy Crestview in the regional semifinal, Midwest Athletic Conference foe Delphos St. John’s in the regional final and AP #1 Norwalk St. Paul in the state semifinal.
A team from the Midwest Athletic Conference has played in the Division VII state title game in all five years of the small-school division’s existence, and MAC teams are now 4-1 in those games.
“This was a display of who our seniors (are) and what they stand for,” said Minster head coach Geron Stokes. “Everybody in attendance saw the resiliency and character, the toughness and the amount of care they have for one another.”
Minster started the scoring on a 44-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jared Huelsman to sophomore Austin Brown to put the Wildcats up 7-0 with 7:07 remaining in the first quarter.
Cuyahoga Heights answered back with a 10-play, 64-yard drive that culminated in a 28-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Ryan Polk to senior Dylan Drummond with 3:36 remaining in the first quarter.
The first Minster drive of the second quarter started at its own 6-yard line after a Tyler Hughes punt pinned the Wildcats deep. Fourteen plays later, Minster capped off a 94-yard drive with a Huelsman three-yard touchdown run. The Wildcat drive took 5:19 off the clock, but the PAT was no good, bringing the Wildcat lead to 13-7 with 4:45 remaining in the first half.
After forcing a Cuyahoga Heights punt on its next drive, Minster drove 83 yards in 3:17, finished by a Huelsman three-yard touchdown run as time expired in the first half. The PAT failed, and the halftime score was 19-7 in favor of Minster.
Cuyahoga Heights started with the ball in the second half, but Polk was intercepted by Minster senior Isaac Schmiesing. Five plays later, Huelsman ran in his third TD of the game from nine yards out. The PAT failed, bringing the Minster lead to 25-7 with 8:06 remaining in the third quarter.
Cuyahoga Heights had a drive go into the Minster red zone to start the final period of play, but another Polk pass was intercepted, this time by senior Alex Lehmkuhl, on the first play of the fourth quarter.
A one-handed interception by Cuyahoga Heights’s Drummond gave the ball back to the Redskins at the 32-yard line down 25-7 with 10:05 in the fourth quarter, but Schmiesing picked off a Polk pass in the end zone with 8:20 remaining in the contest.
A three-yard touchdown run by Schmiesing capped Minster’s title game performance with 3:42 remaining, bringing a final score of 32-7.
Huelsman rushed for 221 yards on 31 carries and tied a Division VII state championship game record with three touchdowns. The second team All-Ohioan also finished 12-of-20 passing for 141 yards and a touchdown.
Cuyahoga Heights was making its second-straight state championship game appearance after a Division VI runner-up finish last year. Drummond—a first team All-Ohio selection—finished with six receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown for the Redskins. Second team All-Ohioan Lucas D’Orazio added 68 yards on the ground on 18 carries. Polk was 11-of-23 passing for 116 yards and a touchdown, but threw four interceptions.
Both teams combined for 385 yards rushing—a Division VII state championship game record.
Attendance for the game was 6,542.

Division V

Division V—Wheelersburg 21, Pemberville Eastwood 14
Wheelersburg tops Pemberville Eastwood winning second state championship in school history
CANTON, Ohio- Wheelersburg (15-0) scored a touchdown with 0:17 left in regulation to force overtime where the Pirates went on to defeat Pemberville Eastwood (14-1) 21-14 in the Division V state championship game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton Friday. It marks the school’s second football state championship and first since 1989.
The first points of the game came as the first half was coming to an end. Junior running back Ceyleon Damron had a six-yard touchdown for Eastwood, but the extra-point kick failed with 3:45 left before halftime. Shortly after, Wheelersburg junior quarterback Trent Salyers scored on a two-yard touchdown run with 0:42 left in the first half to put the Pirates up 7-6 at the half.
After a scoreless third quarter, Eastwood junior Jaden Rayford scored on a four-yard touchdown run with 1:27 left in the game. Senior Zach Henline caught a pass from senior Jake Pickerel for a two-point conversion and the Eagles led 14-7.
With 0:17 remaining in the game, Wheelersburg sophomore Makya Matthews scored on a 12-yard pass from Salyers to tie the game at 14-14 and force overtime.
In overtime, Wheelersburg scored on an 11-yard jump pass from running back Xander Charmichael. Eastwood fumbled on the second play of its overtime possession, with Wheelersburg junior Avery Donini forcing the fumble and senior Cole Lowery recovering it to seal the state title win for Wheelersburg.
“The thing that astounds me so much about this football team is from Week 1, the senior leadership these gentlemen have had,” Wheelersburg coach Rob Woodward said. “They’ve never allowed anything to stray them off course.”
First team All-Ohio junior Trent Salyers led the Pirates with 179 passing yards on 17-of-29 attempts.
Eastwood was making its first state championship game appearance in school history. Rayford led the Eagles with 136 rushing yards and a touchdown on 30 carries.
The attendance for the game was 9,588.

Division I

Pickerington Central Earns First Football State Title, Defeats Mentor 56-28 In Division I State Championship
CANTON, Ohio — Pickerington Central sophomore quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw tied an OHSAA football state championship record for most touchdowns in a state final with six scores on the ground to lead No. 8 Pickerington Central (14-1) to its first state title, defeating No. 6 Mentor (13-2) by a final score of 56-28 in the 2017 OHSAA Division I football state championship at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Friday night.
Crenshaw used 24 carries to tally 161 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. Crenshaw’s six rushing touchdowns set the Division I state championship record for most individual touchdowns in a state final, passing or rushing. In addition to his rushing marks, Crenshaw finished with 104 yards passing for 265 all-purpose yards.
Pickerington Central finished with 473 total yards and tallied 369 yards on the ground to power its way to victory in its third appearance in a football state final.
“When you surround yourself with great people and with fine young men like we have and it ends like this, it is something special,” said Pickerington Central coach Jay Sharrett. “We put a lot of weight on the shoulders of our seniors. We’ve had teams get us here before and get us to the state semifinals, but this group took us all the way. We beat a great Mentor team.”
The two teams’ quarterbacks combined for eight rushing touchdowns in the contest and the rushing superlatives in the game rank 10th for most combined rushing yards in a football state championship. With 84 combined points scored, the game ranks as the seventh-highest scoring state championship in the history of the football state finals.
Leading the way for Mentor was senior quarterback Tadus Tatarunas, who scored twice on the ground and threw for 196 yards and one touchdown to lead the Cardinals in their fourth appearance in a football state final. Mentor senior Elijah McDougall finished with 80 rushing yards and one touchdown on 14 carries, while senior wide receiver Steven Baird notched five catches for 84 yards and a touchdown.
With Mentor leading 14-7 at the 9:19 mark of the second quarter, Pickerington Central senior Trenton Gillison sacked Mentor’s Tatarunas, forcing and recovering a fumble in the process to give the Tigers possession at Mentor’s 3-yard line. On third down and goal, Crenshaw rushed for a three-yard touchdown to even the contest at 14-14 with 7:57 until halftime.
On the ensuing kickoff, Pickerington Central forced its second fumble of the game, as senior Justin Sutherland forced the fumble at the Mentor 11-yard line and freshman Gio Thomas recovered. Two rushes by Crenshaw that included a one-yard touchdown carry gave Pickerington Central a 21-14 lead with 7:15 remaining in the second quarter.
Mentor evened the contest with 3:28 to go before the break, as Tatarunas capped off a 12-play, 80-yard drive with a five-yard carry for a touchdown, tying the game at 21-21 heading into the locker room.
But Pickerington Central ran their way to victory in the second half. The Tigers outscored Mentor 28-7 in the second half and rushed for 258 yards and four touchdowns in the final two quarters of play. Crenshaw scored on a 10-yard touchdown run to complete a nine-play, 96-yard drive, putting the Tigers ahead 28-21 with 4:12 left in the third quarter. After a Mentor punt at the 3:48 mark of the third quarter, Crenshaw completed a 60-yard pass to Pickerington Central senior Alex Morgan and followed it up with a one-yard touchdown run to push the Tiger lead to 35-21 at the 3:17 mark of the third quarter.
Mentor countered with a seven-play, 46-yard drive that was punctuated by a two-yard touchdown carry by senior Elijah McDougall to cut its deficit to 35-28 with 1:14 to go in the third quarter, but Pickerington Central scored the final three touchdowns of the contest, surging ahead to a 56-28 victory.
Attendance for the game was 12,711.

Division VI

Maria Stein Marion Local Repeats as Division VI State Champions, Wins 10th Football Title in 34-11 Victory Over Kirtland
CANTON, Ohio — No. 1 Maria Stein Marion Local (15-0) claimed its 10th football state title in school history and sixth in the last seven years Saturday morning with a 34-11 win over No. 2 Kirtland (14-1) in the 2017 OHSAA Division VI state championship game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.
The Flyers now stand as the lone team in Ohio high school football history with 10 state titles, just one behind Cleveland St. Ignatius for the most all-time (11).
“When you get it rolling like we have, you have talent in the right spots,” said Marion Local head coach Tim Goodwin. “You have coaches that have worked together for a decade. The parents know what the expectations are. You just have to keep working it. The players buy in and work extremely hard in the weight room so when it’s their turn, they’re ready to go.”
Kirtland took the opening kickoff and drove 51 yards in 14 plays to the Marion Local 15-yard line. Senior Dylan Aquila converted on a 33-yard field goal to give the Hornets a 3-0 lead with 5:18 remaining in the first quarter.
Kirtland kept its early success going, forcing a three-and-out on Marion Local’s first possession, but the game’s momentum shifted as the Hornets gave the ball back to the Flyers on a fumbled punt return at their own 40-yd line. Marion Local capitalized on the Kirtland turnover and took its first lead of the game on a one-yard touchdown run by junior Nolan Habodasz. The two-point conversion run by Habodasz was good, and the Flyers led Kirtland 8-3 with 1:05 left in the first quarter.
Marion Local added to its lead with 9:30 remaining in the first half. Junior quarterback Nathan Bruns completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to junior Nick Tangeman, however, the PAT was blocked, and the Flyer lead was 14-3.
After forcing a Kirtland punt, Marion Local put together an 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive highlighted by a 31-yard pass from Bruns to Tangeman down to the Kirtland 14-yard line. Three plays later, senior Jack Buening rumbled into the end zone from three yards out to bring the Flyers’ lead over Kirtland to 20-3 at the half.
Marion Local took the opening kickoff of the second half and went on a 12-play, 59-yard drive capped by a 20-yard touchdown pass from Bruns to Tangeman, bringing the Marion Local lead to 27-3 with 7:19 remaining in the third quarter.
A one-yard touchdown run by Alex Partington completed the Flyer scoring with 11:30 remaining in the game and a 34-3 lead.
Kirtland scored with 2:29 remaining in the game on a six-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Dylan Fulco to junior Joey Torok, and the two-point conversion run by Mike Zeuli was successful, bringing the final score to 34-11 in favor of Marion Local.
Bruns was 10-for-15 passing for 178 yards and two touchdowns for Marion Local. Tangeman finished with six receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown. Running backs Jack Buening (senior), Alex Partington (senior) and Habodasz all scored rushing touchdowns for the Flyers and combined for a total of 123 rushing yards. The Flyers outgained Kirtland 331-184 in total yards.
The pair second team All-Ohio Kirtland running backs Jake Neibecker and Torok, both juniors, combined for 130 rushing yards on 27 carries. Fulco finished 7-of-9 passing for 57 yards and a touchdown. Kirtland was making its sixth state championship game appearance in seven years. It’s the Hornets’ third state runner-up finish in football with the others coming in 2014 and 2012. Kirtland won state titles in 2015, 2013 and 2011.
Attendance for the game was 8,062.

Division IV

Steubenville Captures Fourth State Championship, Defeats Clarksville Clinton-Massie 50-36
CANTON, Ohio -- No. 1 Steubenville defeated No. 8 Clarksville Clinton-Massie 50-36 to win the 2017 OHSAA Division IV state championship at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Saturday, earning its fourth OHSAA football state title and first since 2006.
Steubenville (15-0) was led by senior quarterback Javon Davis who accounted for 324 yards of total offense and six touchdowns. Davis completed nine of his 13 passing attempts for 213 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Senior running back Jacob Bernard added 96 yards rushing and a touchdown before going down with an injury late in the first quarter.
It was Steubenville's third straight and ninth overall state championship game appearance. Columbus Bishop Hartley bested Steubenville the previous two years by a combined six points. Steubenville also finished as the Associated Press poll state champions.
Steubenville's 50 points tied an OHSAA Division IV state championship game record, and the two teams' combined score of 86 was tied for the sixth most in OHSAA championship game history.
"I just want to thank everybody involved, the players and the coaches," Steubenville coach Reno Saccoccia said after the game. "We had so many guys out (with injuries) yet they found a way. Everyone played great."
Clinton-Massie (13-2) senior wide receiver Luke Richardson was the lone player in the game to finish with over 100 yards receiving (three catches for 110 yards). The Falcons were aided by two first-half special teams touchdowns. Sophomore Garrett Trampler took a Steubenville kickoff back 72 yards for a touchdown, and Richardson closed the first half with a 53-yard punt return touchdown. Trampler's kickoff return touchdown was the first such touchdown in OHSAA Division IV championship game history.
Steubenville broke into the scoring category quickly as it took just four plays for the Big Red offense to drive 91 yards for the game's first touchdown. Bernard ended the drive with a 32-yard touchdown run.
On the ensuing Clinton-Massie possession, Steubenville forced a fumble on the first play and took over at the Clinton-Massie 25 yard line. Four plays later, Davis connected with senior receiver Alec Taylor for a 19-yard Steubenville touchdown, putting the Big Red up 14-0.
With 5:10 remaining in the first quarter, Clinton-Massie got on the scoreboard when junior quarterback Corey Stulz found junior tight end Seth Schmidt in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown pass.
Just one minute and 59 seconds later, Davis found Taylor in the end zone, again, this time from 26 yards out to cap off a five-play, 65-yard drive.
The two quarterbacks combined to go 7-for-7 passing for two touchdowns in the first quarter.
The second quarter was highlighted by the Trampler kickoff return for a touchdown, two Davis touchdown passes, a safety for the Steubenville defense via an intentional grounding call in the end zone, and the Richardson punt return for a touchdown on the final play of the half. Steubenville led 36-20 at the half.
Richardson's punt return for a touchdown and a 28-yard field goal by Derick Carlisle with 4:28 left in the third quarter brought the score to 36-29, and gave Clinton-Massie 15 unanswered points.
Steubenville pushed it back to a two-possession lead when Davis scored his first rushing touchdown from 13 yards out seven seconds into the fourth quarter.
On the following kickoff, the Big Red special teams unit converted an onside kick to keep the thriving Clinton-Massie offense off the field.
Two plays later, Davis put Steubenville up 50-29 with a 44-yard rushing touchdown.
Clinton-Massie senior running back Christian Poynter scored the final touchdown of the game with 7:52 remaining.
Clinton-Massie had won the title in its two prior trips to the state title game.
The attendance for the game was 10,251.

Division III

Trotwood-Madison Claims Second State Championship in School History, Defeating Dresden Tri-Valley 27-19
CANTON, Ohio — No. 1 Trotwood-Madison (15-0) completed an undefeated season with a thrilling 27-19 victory over Dresden Tri-Valley (13-2) in the 2017 OHSAA Division III football state championship game Saturday night at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.
A goal-line interception by Jayvanare Nelloms sealed the game for the Rams, as Tri-Valley was driving into the red zone in the final minute of the game needing a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion to tie the game.
The win marks Trotwood’s second football state championship in school history since its first in 2011. The Rams were state runner-up in Division III last year. Trotwood finished with 719 points in the 2017 season, which places the Rams fifth all-time for team scoring in a season.
“It’s a lot of perseverance,” said Trotwood head coach Jeff Graham, the Associated Press Division III Coach of the Year. “These kids, they work hard. They do everything we ask them. They start in January, and these kids work hard all the way through. They just showed commitment and they just came out here and wanted to bring it back to the Trotwood community.”
After a flurry of punts in the first 10 minutes of the game, the offenses woke up.
Trotwood-Madison started the scoring on a 41-yard touchdown scamper by senior Raveion Hargrove to put the Rams up 7-0 with 2:17 remaining in the first quarter.
Trotwood outgained Tri-Valley 121-19 in yards in the first quarter, but the Scotties got the offense rolling thanks to a record-breaking play early of the second quarter.
After a near safety on its own 1-yard line, Tri-Valley senior quarterback Andrew Newsom broke off a 99-yard touchdown run—the longest in OHSAA football state championship history—which put the Scotties on the board with 8:04 remaining in the first half. The PAT failed and Tri-Valley trailed 7-6.
Trotwood answered with a 56-yard touchdown pass from Markell Stephens-Peppers to William McDaniel with 7:20 remaining in the half to extend the Rams’ lead to 14-6.
On the first play of the next Tri-Valley drive, Newsom connected on a 48-yard pass to senior Jake McLoughlin to set the Scotties up at the Trotwood 16-yard line. Two plays later, Newsome threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Spencer Littick to bring the Scotties within one point at 14-13 with 6:20 left in the half.
A 70-yard punt return by William McDaniel set the Rams up deep in Scottie territory with eight seconds remaining in the half, but a Trotwood field goal attempt was blocked, keeping the score at 14-13 in favor of Trotwood at the half.
Tri-Valley took the opening kickoff of the second half and scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Newsom to Dow Cameron, claiming its first lead of the game. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, but the Scotties took their first lead at 19-14 with 9:50 remaining in the third quarter.
Trotwood retook the lead with 32 seconds left in the third quarter on a McDaniel 10-yard touchdown run, putting the Rams up 21-19.
Trotwood converted on fourth-and-six at the Tri-Valley 25-yard line with 6:59 remaining in the game. Six plays later, the Rams scored on another McDaniel rush, this time from one yard out. The PAT was blocked, and the Rams led 27-19 with 4:39 left in game.
Tri-Valley started its final drive of the game with the ball at its own 23-yard line down eight with 2:18 remaining in the game. The Scotties were able to get the ball to the Trotwood 7-yard line with 21 seconds left, but an interception by Trotwood junior linebacker Jayvanare Nelloms sealed the 27-19 state title victory for the Rams.
Hargrove—the Division III Co-Offensive Player of the Year—led Trotwood with 138 rushing yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, in spite of being hampered by an injury most of the second half. McDaniel added 92 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Stephens-Pepper, a second-team All-Ohio selection, was 6-of-13 passing for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Newsom, a first-team All-Ohio selection, finished 11-of-19 passing for 221 yards and two touchdowns for the Scotties. He added 120 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown on 20 carries. McLaughlin, a second-team All-Ohioan, had five receptions for 140 yards. Tri-Valley was making its first state championship game appearance in school history.
Attendance for the game was 6,923. The attendance total for all seven state championship games was 61,312.