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2019 OHSAA Football State Championships - Recaps

Division I

Two Unanswered Fourth-Quarter Touchdowns Give Tigers State Title
CANTON, Ohio Knotted up at 14 with 5:21 left in the 2019 OHSAA Division I football state championship on Saturday night, Pickerington Central (14-1) was ready to punt the ball back to Cincinnati Elder (12-3) after being stopped a yard short on third down. Elder decided to use the first of its three timeouts to set up its punt return. Pickerington used the timeout to scheme up a fourth-down play, which the Tigers converted as first-team All-Ohio senior quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw ran off tackle to the right for four yards and a Tiger first down.
Three plays later, Crenshaw found junior receiver Lorenzo Styles Jr. for a 49-yard touchdown pass giving the third-ranked Tigers the lead for good with 3:41 left in the game.
On the ensuing possession, No. 9 Elder amassed two first downs but then the Pickerington defense held and forced a turnover on downs to lock up its second title in three years at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, the only two in school history with the other in 2017.
After trailing 21-14 heading into the fourth quarter, Crenshaw led the Tigers to two touchdown drives while Elder was held scoreless. The first was a seven-yard pass to sophomore Tyler Gillison that capped an 18-play, 73-yard drive, and the second being the game winner.
Crenshaw finished the game with 197 yards passing and two touchdowns and added 62 yards rushing. Junior running back Nick Mosley scored the sole Tiger first-half touchdown with a 19-yard run late in the second quarter.
“When you’ve got a quarterback that makes the decisions he does, he’s unselfish,” Tigers coach Jay Sharrett said when asked about Crenshaw's passing. “Obviously, we’re a running team first and we’re systematic passing team. Tonight, they stalled us out at the line of scrimmage, but (Crenshaw) is a very active passer and he showed that tonight.”
Senior quarterback Matthew Luebbe, another first-team All-Ohio quarterback, was the catalyst for the Elder offense. Luebbe finished with a game-high 118 yards rushing and one rushing touchdown on 20 carries, and passed 10-for-17 for 111 yards.
This is Elder's second runner-up finish, with the other coming in 2008.
Attendance for the game was 6,690.

Division II

La Salle Rushing Attack Too Much for Massillon Defense
CANTON, Ohio — The sixth-ranked Cincinnati La Salle Lancers rushed for 337 yards en route to a 34-17 victory over No. 1 Massillon Washington in the OHSAA Division II football state championship Thursday night at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
It was clear from the start that La Salle's offensive game plan was to run, run and run some more. In the first half alone, the Lancers rushed for 224 yards on 30 carries.
La Salle (13-2) controlled both sides of the ball in the second half, outscoring the Tigers 13-0. The Lancer defense forced two fumbles and held on two fourth-down tries.
La Salle first-team All-Ohio junior running back Cam Porter found the end zone twice in the first half. Junior quarterback Zach Branam, a third-team All-Ohio recipient, added 91 first-half rushing yards, while junior running back Gi-Bran Payne contributed 89 rushing yards and a touchdown of his own in the first half.
“Man, they were opening up holes all week in practice,” Porter said following the game. “I just knew they were going to come out here and play. I just ran behind them. They made all the holes. It was like a truck could have run through them. They were opening up holes all night.”
Countering the La Salle ground attack, Massillon (14-1) kept the game close through the first half with explosive pass plays. First-team All-Ohio senior quarterback Aidan Longwell connected on two deep touchdown passes in the second quarter. The first, a 38-yard pass to junior wide receiver Jayden Ballard cut the La Salle lead to 14-10 with 8:47 left in the first half; and the second, a 69-yard bomb to junior receiver Andrew Wilson-Lamp right before halftime made it a 21-17 Lancer advantage at the half.
Branam, Payne and Porter combined for 356 yards rushing on 55 carries and four touchdowns for La Salle.
First-team All-Ohio senior kicker Jake Seibert added two second-half field goals for La Salle, including an OHSAA Division II championship game record 43-yarder.
Of note, La Salle's first touchdown of the game, a six-yard run by Porter, came after the call on the field of down short of the goal line was reviewed and overturned. It was the first use of instant replay at the OHSAA football state championships, which was approved for use beginning this season.
It is La Salle's fourth state championship in the past six seasons, as the school three-peated from 2014-16.
"It's just awesome to do things the right way," La Salle head coach Pat McLaughlin said in the postgame press conference. "I know last season wasn't a great season, but to know we're doing things that championships do, it just came to fruition a year later."
Massillon finishes as the state runner-up for the second-consecutive season and fifth time overall.
Attendance for the game was 11,286.

Division III

Trotwood-Madison Wins Second State Title in Overtime
CANTON, Ohio- No. 7 Trotwood-Madison (12-3) defeated No. 9 Mansfield Senior (13-2), 14-7, in overtime in the 2019 OHSAA Division III football state championship Saturday afternoon at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
It’s the Rams eighth football state championship appearance and third title with their last being in 2017.
It wasn’t until the third quarter when Mansfield Senior broke the scoreless tie with a 94-yard rushing touchdown from senior Terrance Flickinger.
After making a change at quarterback to senior Keon-Tae Huguely, Trotwood came back to tie the game with 8:11 remaining, when his brother, senior Ke’Shawn Huguely, ended a Trotwood drive with a 13-yard rushing touchdown.
Tied at seven, Trotwood took possession at its 41 yard line with just under six minutes remaining. The Rams drove to the Mansfield two-yard line in 10 plays. With only three seconds left and after three-straight timeouts, Trotwood looked to win the game with a 19-yard field goal, only to have Mansfield senior TyLheir Grose block the attempt, forcing the third overtime game in OHSAA football state championship history.  
In overtime, Trotwood took possession first and capitalized with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Huguely to senior Sammy Anderson.
On Mansfield Senior’s possession in overtime the Tygers lost yardage on their first three plays, setting up a fourth-and-37. A Hail Mary pass into the endzone was intercepted by first-team All-Ohio defensive back Anderson to end the game.
After the game, Trotwood-Madison head coach Jeff Graham addressed how his team bounced back from the blocked field goal attempt at the end of regulation. "These guys have chemistry together. They're brothers outside of just being related. They all play basketball. We know these guys. We know what their makeup is. We know they like to be in crunch time situations. Sometimes we make bonehead mistakes and sometimes we make big plays, but you have to trust those guys in that position."
Mansfield Senior was making its first football finals appearance.
Attendance for the game was 5,700.

Division IV

Clyde Running Attack Leads Fliers to Second State Championship  
CANTON, Ohio The unranked Clyde Fliers rushed for 237 yards in their 42-14 victory over the No. 4 Newark Licking Valley Panthers in the OHSAA Division IV football state championship Saturday afternoon at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
The Fliers’ rushing attack was led by senior running back Gunner Golden, who ran for 114 yards and four touchdowns on 28 attempts.
Fliers head coach Ryan Carter praised Golden’s toughness and physical ability.
“That’s what he does,” Carter said following the game. “He’s that hard-nosed kid that’s going to grind it out for you. He had 28 carries today. I told them this week if we had to give the ball to Gunner 40 times, that’s what we’re going to do.”
Clyde senior quarterback Ryan Lozier added to the onslaught with 84 yards rushing and two touchdowns while also throwing for 96 yards.
On the other side of the ball, the Fliers’ defense forced three turnovers and generated 14 points off those turnovers while holding the Panthers’ offense to 135 yards.
After fumbling the ball on their first two possessions, Clyde then scored on six straight possessions.
Lozier got the scoring started by capping off a nine play, 47-yard drive with a one-yard rushing touchdown at 1:17 left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive, the Panthers drove 62 yards and running back Mitchell Ford finished the drive with an eight-yard touchdown at 10:11 remaining in the first half to tie the game at 7-7.
Clyde then scored 35 unanswered points over the next three quarters, with Golden scoring four of those touchdowns and Lozier adding another. Golden scored on runs of two, one, one and five yards.
Licking Valley scored the game’s final touchdown with 55 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter when quarterback Carson Conley connected with Logan Bragg from four yards out.  
Licking Valley finishes its season 14-1 while Clyde finishes its season 11-4, becoming the fifth team to ever win a state championship with four losses in a season. Cincinnati St. Xavier is the only team to win a state championship with five losses.
It is Clyde’s second state championship with three total state championship appearances. Licking Valley now has finished as state runner-up three times in three trips to the state final.
“It’s tough to put into words the feeling right now,” Carter said. “This group, and I’m going to get emotional, but this group has bought in. They didn’t blink. They just said, ‘Hey, we’re going to get it done. We’re going to get in and figure it out.’ I made a statement a while ago that if we get in (the playoffs), we’ve got a shot. This group was just determined to play.”
Attendance for the game was 6,425.

Division V

Kirtland Wins Back-to-Back State Championships
CANTON, Ohio —For the second-consecutive season, No. 1 Kirtland finished a perfect 15-0 after it defeated No. 5 Ironton (13-2) 17-7 in the 2019 OHSAA Division V football state championship Saturday night at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
Kirtland now accounts for four of the 47 perfect 15-0 seasons in OHSAA history. Only Marion Local matches Kirtland in that category.
“We have unbelievable kids and families in our community,” Kirtland head coach Tiger LaVerde said. “They raise their kids to work really hard and not complain and whine when they get a chance to play. They compete like heck every day in practice for four years. You don’t go 30-0 as a ninth-grader without working your tail off and competing to get better every day. That’s what I’m most proud of. These guys go to work every day."
For a first half that only accrued 10 points, there were plenty of exciting plays.
Kirtland's opening possession was a two-play, 74-yard touchdown drive consisting of a 47-yard pass play from junior quarterback Liam Powers to sophomore Gage Sullivan and a 27-yard touchdown run by junior running back Mason Sullivan.
After forcing an Ironton punt, Kirtland took over from its 18-yard line and drove down the field 78 yards in 14 plays. The drive included a one-handed catch by Gage Sullivan for 21 yards to convert a third-and-19 from inside the Kirtland 20-yard line, two conversions on fourth down and ended with a 21-yard field goal by second-team All-Ohio kicker, Mario Rodin.
It looked as though Kirtland would take the 10-point lead into halftime, but Ironton's second-team All-Ohio senior quarterback, Gage Salyers, found senior wide receiver Jordan Grizzle for a 60-yard bomb down to the Kirtland two-yard line with 37 seconds left in the half.
Following the completion, Ironton used its final timeout of the first half. The Tigers attempted two runs and were stuffed both times by the Kirtland defense. On third-and-goal, with 13 seconds remaining, Kirtland jumped offside and gave the Fighting Tigers a first-and-goal from the one.
Again, Ironton attempted to run the ball off the right side of the offensive line but couldn't push the pile forward into the end zone. Before the Tigers could get set to spike the ball and stop the clock, time expired. However, hope remained for Ironton as the officials announced it would be reviewing the play to see if the runner crossed the goal line.
The officials confirmed the call on the field and Kirtland's 10-point halftime lead.
The two teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter. Kirtland scored on its first possession of the half to go up 17-0. The nine-play, 56-yard drive was capped off by an 18-yard touchdown completion from Powers to Gage Sullivan.
Ironton answered with another long pass connection from Salyers to Grizzle. This time it was a 77-yard touchdown pass, the longest in OHSAA Division V championship game history.
Kirtland held the 17-7 lead it took into the fourth quarter for the remainder of the game.
Kirtland has won 30-consecutive games through the past two seasons, the longest active streak in the state.
It is Kirtland's fifth state championship overall, with all five coming this decade.
It is Ironton's seventh runner-up finish in nine trips to the state title game.
Attendance for the game was 4,881, bringing the total attendance of the seven state championship games to 45,580.

Division VI

Anna Dominates New Middletown Springfield to Win First State Football Championship
CANTON, Ohio - The top-ranked Anna Rockets controlled the Division VI state championship game from start to finish against the No. 2 New Middletown Springfield Tigers, 48-14 in the OHSAA Division VI state championship Friday morning at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. It was Anna’s first state title in school history.
Anna’s state title win marks the 34th state championship won by a Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC) school, the most state championships won by a conference in OHSAA football history. "Our league is obviously a good league," Anna coach Nick Marino said. "We're enjoying winning that one. We're the first one in (Shelby) County, too, so that's pretty cool."
Friday morning’s game was also the 13th time Anna scored 40 or more points this season. Out of the 15 games they played, 12 were with a running clock in the second half.
The Rockets’ defense forced four Springfield turnovers and generated 20 points off those turnovers. On the other side of the ball, Anna was led by the combined rushing attack of Division VI offensive player of the year and senior running back Riley Huelskamp and first-team all-Ohio senior quarterback Bart Bixler, who combined to total five touchdowns on 35 carries and accounted for 314 of the team’s 322 rushing yards. Huelskamp also led the defense with seven tackles and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. The Anna defense held the Springfield offense scoreless in the second half.
The first turnover came on special teams in the first quarter when a Springfield punt returner muffed the ball and Anna freshman Justin Richards recovered the ball deep in Springfield territory on the 13-yard line. That turnover led to the first score of the game when Huelskamp rushed for a two-yard touchdown to make it 7-0 in favor of the Rockets.
Then, early in the second quarter the Rockets scored again from Bixler calling his own number on a four-yard run to give the Rockets a 14-0 lead. On the ensuing possession, Springfield’s sophomore quarterback Beau Brungard was sacked by Anna’s first-team all-Ohio defensive lineman Wil Luthman and Luthman forced a fumble for the Rockets’ senior linebacker Kamren Steward to recover. Bixler quickly flipped the turnover into a score during an eight-second possession when he threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Nolan Emerson to increase the Rockets’ lead to 21-0.
Springfield got on the board later in the second quarter when Brungard threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Evan Ohlin to narrow the gap, 21-7. The Rockets needed less than 90 seconds to answer back when Huelskamp ran for a 72-yard touchdown, his second rushing touchdown of the game, widening Anna’s lead back to 21 points, 28-7.
Springfield was not done in the back-and-forth scoring, rattling off a touchdown before the end of the half with Brungard finding senior running back David Duvall on a 16-yard pass. Heading into the locker rooms the Rockets led the Tigers, 28-14.
It was all Rockets after that. Anna scored 20 unanswered points including a defensive touchdown in the second half. To start the third quarter Huelskamp picked off Brungard’s pass and took it back 32 yards for a touchdown extending Anna’s lead 34-14. Later in the third quarter, Huelskamp scored his final rushing touchdown of the game from 20 yards out, adding to the large lead for Anna, 41-14. Then, in the fourth quarter Bixler added his second rushing touchdown of the game on a one-yard QB sneak increasing the Anna lead to 48-14.
Huelskamp tied two different records in OHSAA state football championship game history for Division VI. He tied the most points scored with 24 (Evan Burgei, Delphos St. John’s 2010) and the most rushing touchdowns with three (Evan Burgei, Delphos St. John’s 2010).
"It was great," Huelskamp said. "Coach put me in position to make plays. They always say good players make big plays in big moments, so I made a play." 
Huelskamp and Bixler’s 314 rushing yards is tied for the 10th most combined rushing yards between a pair of teammates who both ran for more than 100 yards. The attendance was 6,147.

Division VII

Marion Local Ties St. Ignatius for Most OHSAA Football State Titles
CANTON, Ohio — No. 1 Maria Stein Marion Local (13-2) defeated No. 7 Lucas (12-3) 28-6 to win the 2019 OHSAA Division VII football state championship Saturday at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
The win for the Flyers gives the program its 11th state championship, tying Cleveland St. Ignatius for the most in the OHSAA football history. It was Local's 14th trip to the state championship game this century.
“I’m a football guy. I know what St. Ignatius has done,” Marion Local head coach Tim Goodwin said postgame. “Just the absolute dominance they had in the mid to late ’80s and the ’90s. I grew up with a dad that took me to a lot of football games, a lot of playoff games, so I knew the history. I saw those Ignatius teams, so it’s pretty cool.”
In addition to the state titles record, Local extended its OHSAA playoff wins record this postseason. Going 5-0 in the 2019 playoffs gives the program 81 playoff wins, eight more than second place Coldwater.
It took the Flyers four minutes and 15 seconds to gain a lead that they wouldn't relinquish. On its opening possession, they capped a 10-play, 65-yard drive (aided by a roughing the punter call) with a one-yard rushing touchdown by senior running back Dylan Heitkamp.
Fellow senior running back Brandon Fleck had an eight-yard rushing touchdown of his own 49 seconds into the second quarter to round out the first-half scoring, giving Local a 14-0 lead at the half.
After Fleck scored his second rushing touchdown of the game to make it 21-0 with 5:02 left in the third quarter, Lucas looked to have found a spark with a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by senior Carson Hauger and a recovered onside kick following the touchdown. However, for the third time of the game, Local forced a turnover on downs.
Hauger's 96-yarder is the longest kickoff return for a touchdown in OHSAA football championship game history.
Fleck's third touchdown of the game came with 2:36 left in the game and clinched the Flyers win. Fleck finished the game with 133 yards rushing on 21 carries and the three rushing touchdowns.
It was Lucas' first appearance in the state championship game.
Attendance for the game was 4,451.