Cincinnati Winton Woods Uses Defense and Run Game to Beat Akron Archbishop Hoban in Division II State Title Game
CANTON, Ohio –Cincinnati Winton Woods won its second football state championship in school history after defeating Akron Archbishop Hoban in the Division II state title game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Thursday night, 21-10.
Winton Woods’ defense stifled Hoban’s offense by holding the Knights to 192 total yards (127 rushing, 65 passing), tallying four sacks, and forcing an interception midway through the fourth quarter. On the other side of the ball, the Warriors totaled 321 yards of offense, mostly coming from the rushing attack (288 yards).
2021 marked the third state title game appearance in school history for Winton Woods and the Warriors won their first state championship in 2009. Thursday’s game was Hoban’s sixth appearance in the state title game in school history and the Knights won a state championship five times in the last six years.
After a scoreless first quarter, Winton Woods trailed 3-0 early in the second quarter after Hoban’s Charlie Durkin made a 20-yard field goal. But after a seven-play 70-yard drive capped off by Winton Woods’ Austin “Buddy” Ellery four-yard touchdown plunge, the Warriors took a 7-3 lead with 9:25 left in the second quarter. The Knights’ ensuing drive resulted in a touchback from a missed field goal, giving the Warriors the ball back with 3:50 left in the first half. Winton Woods methodically drove down the field and scored a two-yard touchdown run from Tyrek Spikes with only 46 seconds left in the half. The Warriors went into the locker rooms with a 14-3 lead.
Winton Woods started with the ball to begin the second half, but Hoban’s Caleb Kepler stripped the ball from Winton Woods’ Spikes and scooped it up for a 22-yard fumble recovery touchdown pulling the Knights within four points of the Warriors, 14-10, with 11:50 left in the third quarter. However, it only took Winton Woods four plays, 80 yards and 90 seconds to get back out to a two-possession lead, 21-10, after KC Spears took a 53-yard run into the end zone with 10:20 left in the third quarter. Later in the fourth quarter, Hoban had the ball with 7:25 left in the game still trailing by 11, but Winton Woods’ Lorenzo Hudson intercepted Hoban’s first down pass to halt any momentum for the Knights.
Spikes and Ellery combined for 32 carries and 240 rushing yards and two touchdowns for the Warriors. Ellery also completed four passes on six attempts for 33 yards. Hoban’s Lamar Sperling led the Knights with 24 carries and 121 yards. Crable carried the ball 10 times for five yards and completed seven passes out of 17 attempts for 65 passing yards. Final attendance for the Division II state championship game was 5,440.
Thursday also marked the return of the state championship games at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 forced the OHSAA to change the venues for several state tournaments, including the football state championships. The 2020 football state championships were scheduled to be held at Fortress Obetz in Southeast Columbus, but the facility only hosted the Division I final since Franklin County was designated as “purple” (no large events permitted) on Wednesday of state championship week. In about 24 hours, the OHSAA moved the state championship games to Massillon Washington, which offered to host the games, if needed. The OHSAA thanks the Massillon Washington community for hosting the 2020 state championship games in Divisions II-VII.
Clarksville Clinton-Massie Erases 21-Point Deficit and Wins in Final Minute over Youngstown Ursuline in Division IV State Title Game
CANTON, Ohio- Clarksville Clinton-Massie scored 22 unanswered points in the second half, including a game-sealing two-point conversion with 45 seconds left to win the Division IV state championship over Youngstown Ursuline, 29-28, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Friday morning. The Falcons overcame the largest deficit to win in OHSAA Division IV state championship history when they trailed by 21, 28-7, with 5:23 left in the third quarter before staging the comeback. The previous Division IV record was set in 2020 when Van Wert trailed Mentor Lake Catholic by 14, 21-7, and went on to win 35-28.
Things started well for Clinton-Massie’s opening drive with the Falcons going 75 yards in 17 plays and took just over nine minutes off the first quarter clock to take a 7-0 lead with 2:47 remaining in the first quarter. Ursuline would come up empty on their first possession with a missed 29-yard field goal as time expired in the first quarter before scoring 21 unanswered points of their own in the first half.
After a stalled Clinton-Massie possession to start the second quarter, Ursuline went 65 yards in seven plays to the end zone with Demarcus McElroy rushing for a 34-yard touchdown, knotting up the score at seven with 7:43 left to go in the first half. On the ensuing kickoff, the Fighting Irish had a trick up their sleeve and successfully kicked and recovered an onside kick in Clinton-Massie territory. Ursuline made quick work of the onside kick with a 10-play 40-yard drive finished off by McElroy powering his way over the goal line on a one-yard touchdown run. After the score, the Fighting Irish special teams went for a two-point conversion and succeeded to go up 15-7 at the 4:50 mark in the second quarter. Ursuline would score again, but this time through the air with Brady Shannon tossing a 39-yard touchdown pass to Jakylan Irving but they failed to score a two-point conversion with 1:32 left in the half. Ursuline led 21-7 at the end of the first half.
After a few stalled drives by each team to start the second half, Ursuline scored midway through the third quarter on a fourth down 26-yard touchdown pass from Shannon to Dean Boyd at the 5:23 mark and led 28-7. However, the momentum started to shift for Clinton-Massie when quarterback Kody Zantene rushed for a 49-yard touchdown with 3:48 left in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 28-14. Then early in the fourth quarter, the Falcons made it a one-score game when Clinton-Massie offensive lineman Garrett Vance recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown, making it 28-21 with 10:17 left in the game.
Ursuline got the ball back with 10:10 left in the game but the Fighting Irish offense stalled, having to punt with 7:49 to go in the game. Clinton-Massie then orchestrated a 13-play 77-yard drive, which was finished off with Zantene plunging into the end zone from one yard out for the touchdown with 45 seconds left in the game. The Falcons’ late and long fourth quarter drive took seven minutes off the clock and Ursuline held onto a 28-27 lead for the moment. Clinton-Massie went for a successful two-point conversion when Carson Van Hoose crossed over the goal line, giving the Falcons the lead for good, 29-28.
Ursuline would get the ball back on the ensuing kickoff with 36 seconds left only to go four and out and turn the ball back over to Clinton-Massie. The Falcons took a knee to end the game and clinched their third football state title in school history and their first since 2013. Zantene had seven carries for 85 rushing yards and two touchdowns while teammates Colton Trampler and Van Hoose finished with a combined 34 carries for 219 rushing yards and one touchdown.
The Fighting Irish were led on the ground by McElroy who compiled 26 carries with 157 rushing yards and two touchdowns while Shannon went 15-for-28 with 185 passing yards and two touchdowns and 28 rushing yards. Boyd led Ursuline in receiving with six catches 69 receiving yards and one touchdown. Final attendance for the Division IV state championship game was 5,615.
Chardon Seals Division III State Title Win Late in Fourth Quarter Against Hamilton Badin and Makes History
CANTON, Ohio- Chardon won its second-consecutive football state championship and third in school history after defeating Hamilton Badin, 21-14, in the Division III state championship game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium Friday afternoon, 21-14. Friday’s victory was Chardon’s 28th consecutive win and the Hilltoppers are the first team in OHSAA football history to have a perfect 16-0 record. The game saw a combined five lead changes or ties.
Chardon got things going early on their opening possession in the first quarter, scoring at just over the nine-minute mark when Alex Henry threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Nathanael Sulka to take a 7-0 lead. Badin answered on a nine-play 59-yard drive when Jack Walsh plunged into the end zone on a two-yard run to even the score at seven with 2:17 left in the second quarter. The teams headed into the locker rooms tied 7-7.
Chardon started with the ball to begin the second half and went 74 yards in just over two minutes to score when Andrew Bruce ran for a 27-yard touchdown to give the Hilltoppers the lead, 14-7 with nine minutes to play in the third quarter. However, it did not take long for Badin to tie the game at 14 on the ensuing possession when the Rams’ Carter Russo scored a rushing touchdown with 6:33 left in the third quarter.
The Rams had the ball on their own 19-yard line with 4:15 left in the game and were called for an intentional grounding penalty that backed them up to their own three-yard line. Badin had to punt, giving Chardon favorable field possession on the Badin 29-yard line. The Hilltoppers started their final drive with 3:13 remaining in the game and marched down the field to the two-yard line. Chardon’s Sean Carr powered his way over the goal line for a two-yard touchdown to give the Hilltoppers a 21-14 lead with 1:05 left in the game. Badin got the ball back with 1:01 left on the clock, but Chardon’s Heath Fetchik intercepted the Rams’ fourth-down pass. The Hilltoppers then took a knee to seal the game.
Chardon’s defense limited Badin to only 143 yards of total offense and tallied three sacks, while the Hilltoppers’ offense totaled 233 yards of offense with 192 yards coming from the rushing attack. Bruce led Chardon in rush yards with 88, followed by Henry who had 54 and Carr finished with 33. Henry went 2-for-5 on pass attempts with one touchdown. Sulka led the Hilltoppers in receiving with one catch, 36 yards and a touchdown. Walsh led Badin in rushing with 27 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Alex Ritzie went 7-for-16 and 62 passing yards. Badin’s Braedyn Moore led the team in receiving with three catches and 33 yards. Final attendance for the Division III state championship game was 6,340.
Lakewood St. Edward’s Stout Defense Halts Springfield in Division I State Title Game
CANTON, Ohio- Lakewood St. Edward defeated Springfield, 23-13, in the Division I state championship game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Friday night to win the Eagles’ fifth football state title in school history. The Eagles held Springfield to -30 yards rushing, recorded a safety, tallied five sacks and two interceptions in the game. St. Edward returned to the state title game after a three-year hiatus to clinch the school’s 70th state championship overall.
Both teams’ opening possessions resulted in back-to-back turnovers on downs. But St. Edward settled in midway through the first quarter when the Eagles drove down the field in 11 plays and 72 yards. The Eagles’ drive was finished off by Danny Enovitch rushing for a 17-yard touchdown with 51 seconds left in the opening quarter to give St. Edward a 7-0 lead. On the ensuing Springfield possession, the Wildcats had a special teams’ miscue when a fourth-down snap sailed over the head of punter Cole Yost. The ball traveled 22 yards in the wrong direction all the way into the Springfield end zone where Yost had to fall on the ball resulting in a safety, increasing the Eagles lead by two, 9-0, just 10 seconds into the second quarter.
Due to the safety, Springfield kicked the ball away to St. Edward and the Eagles wasted no time in putting more points on the board. In just under four minutes, St. Edward went 51 yards in eight plays with Christian Ramos finding Connor Goodall on a 19-yard touchdown pass. Goodall’s reception gave the Eagles a 16-0 lead with 7:47 remaining in the first half. However, Springfield scored on the next possession when quarterback Te’Sean Smoot took the Wildcats 70 yards in eight plays and rushed for a nine-yard touchdown with 4:01 left in the second quarter. Smoot’s score cut the deficit to single digits, 16-7. The Wildcats would have another chance to score before the half after Springfield’s Jokell Brown forced a fumble against the Eagles and the ball was recovered by teammate Delian Bradley. However, the Wildcats ended the half on a missed 26-yard field goal.
Springfield had the ball to start the second half and drove to the Eagle 15-yard line, but Smoot was intercepted by St. Edward’s Hayden Rice. St. Edward cashed in on a 14-play 92-yard drive on the ensuing possession, when Enovitch scored his second touchdown of the day on a nine-yard run, making it 23-7 in favor of St. Edward with 1:20 left in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Smoot quickly orchestrated a seven-play 61-yard drive in two minutes and threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Brown. The Wildcats went for two points after the touchdown but were unsuccessful, so Springfield trailed 23-13 with 11:21 left in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats had more chances to cut into the lead when Bradley forced and recovered a St. Edward fumble. However, the Wildcats would stall on offense tallying -20 yards in three plays in less than 30 seconds after the fumble recovery. However, Springfield’s defense forced St. Edward’s offense to stall on the ensuing Eagles’ possession and the possession only took one minute and 27 seconds off the clock. With 9:18 left in the game, Springfield drove to the St. Edward seven-yard line to attempt a 24-yard field goal, but the kick was blocked by the Eagles’ Jack Riley. St. Edward would retain possession for the final six minutes and methodically run the ball to seal the victory.
Enovitch led the Eagles in rushing the with 32 carries, 210 yards and two touchdowns while Ramos went 8-for-12 with 86 passing yards and a touchdown and rushed for 60 yards on 16 carries. Goodall led St. Edward in receiving with three catches, 42 yards and a touchdown. For Springfield, Smoot finished the day completing 29 passes on 43 attempts for 349 yards and one touchdown and two interceptions. The Wildcats were led in receiving by Shawn Thigpen who had 10 catches for 105 yards followed by Anthony Brown finishing with six catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. Final attendance for the Division I state championship game was 7,148.
Maria Stein Marion Local Makes History in Division VII State Title Win over Newark Catholic
CANTON, Ohio- Maria Stein Marion Local overtook Cleveland St. Ignatius for the most all-time football state championships in OHSAA football history and became the second team in OHSAA history to have a perfect 16-0 record, after defeating Newark Catholic in the Division VII state championship game, 42-7, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Saturday morning. Marion Local now has 12 football state championships in school history and all of those wins have occurred within the 21st century. The Flyers outgained Newark Catholic 402-148, forced two interceptions and shut out the Newark Catholic offense in the second half. Marion Local’s Peyton Otte had a record-breaking performance. He broke the following two Division VII state championship game records: most touchdowns responsible for (five TDs); longest touchdown run (54 yards).
Marion Local got on the scoreboard often in the first quarter. The first score occurred for the Flyers after a six-play 54-yard drive capped off by a Darren Meier one-yard touchdown giving Marion Local a 7-0 lead with 6:30 left in the opening quarter. The Flyers’ second score in the quarter came at the 2:13 minute mark when Otte threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Brady Ronnebaum making the score 14-0. The Flyers’ defense quickly gave the ball back to their offense when Marion Local’s Tate Hess intercepted Newark Catholic’s Cole Canter with 54 seconds left in the first quarter. Otte only needed one play and nine seconds to score again for the Flyers when he threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Ronnebaum for the second passing touchdown of the day. The Flyers led 21-0 after the first quarter and tied their own record for most points scored in a quarter (21) in Division VII state championship history. The Flyers originally set the record in the Division VII state championship game at Ohio Stadium against Norwalk St. Paul in 2014.
The Green Wave got points on the scoreboard midway through the second quarter when Canter threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Mason Hackett at the 6:53 minute mark cutting into Marion Local’s lead, 21-7. However, the Flyers got the ball back with 4:26 left in the first half and took about four minutes off the clock in an 11-play 50-yard drive that was culminated by Otte rushing for a one-yard touchdown keeping the Flyers’ in control at the end of the first half, 28-7.
Marion Local would score two more times the rest of the game both of which came in the third quarter. Otte rushed for a 54-yard touchdown run at the 7:30 mark making it 35-7 for the Flyers. Just 68 second later, Marion Local scored again when Otte threaded a 39-yard touchdown pass to Dylan Fleck with 6:22 left in the third quarter making it a 42-7 lead for the Flyers. The sixth Flyer touchdown made it a 35-point differential which instituted the second half running clock per OHSAA football regulations. The running clock caused the game to see only three more drives between both teams. The Flyers tied another one of their own records for most touchdowns scored in a game (six) in Division VII state championship history. Marion Local originally set the record in the same Division VII state championship game against Norwalk St. Paul in 2014.
Otte led the rushing attack for Marion Local with 13 carries for 65 yards and two touchdowns and went 13-for-18 passing for 252 yards and three touchdowns and an interception. Ronnebaum finished with six catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns in the receiving category. Canter finished with 12 completions out of 26 attempts a touchdown and two interceptions for Newark Catholic. Hackett was the rushing leader for the Green Wave with nine carries and 31 rushing yards while Tanner Elwell and Tristan Gorius both had four catches and a combined 53 yards receiving. Final attendance for the Division VII state championship game was 4,617.
Carey’s Ground Attack Gives Blue Devils Division VI Championship Win Against Coldwater
CANTON, Ohio- After 46 years, Carey is a football state champion again after defeating Coldwater in the Division VI state championship game, 26-14, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Carey outgained Coldwater 322-244 in total offense, with most of the offensive success coming from the Blue Devils’ run game which compiled 243 yards and 22 points on 64 rushing attempts. Carey returned to the state championship game for the first time since 1975 when the Blue Devils beat Newark Catholic in the Class A state title 15-7 in overtime at the Akron Rubber Bowl.
Coldwater struck first midway through the first quarter when Isaac Fullenkamp rushed for a one-yard touchdown capping off a four-play 62-yard drive and gave the Cavaliers a 7-0 lead with 5:41 left in the first quarter. Carey quickly responded with a nine-play 76-yard drive when Jordan Vallejo crossed the goal line on a one-yard touchdown run. Carey took the lead, 8-7, after going for a successful two-point conversion with 1:23 left in the first quarter.
The Blue Devils’ first offensive possession in the second quarter ended in a turnover on downs at the 5:57 minute mark, but Carey’s Anthony Bell intercepted Coldwater’s Reece Dellinger first-down pass on the ensuing possession, giving the Blue Devils’ offense the ball back. Carey made quick work of the turnover by going 24 yards in four plays when Derek Lonsway took a three-yard run into the end zone to increase their lead, 15-7 with 3:41 remaining in the first half. On the ensuing possession, Carey’s Landon Kemerley recovered a Coldwater fumble. Carey scored off the defensive fumble recovery with 32 seconds left in the second quarter when Vallejo ran for his second rushing touchdown of the day. The Blue Devils successfully went for another two-point conversion making the score 23-7. However, Dellinger threw a 27-yard Hail Mary to Tanner Muhlenkamp as time expired in the first half to keep the Cavaliers within nine points of Carey going on to the locker rooms, 23-14.
There would only be three more points scored the rest of the game. The third quarter resulted in three total possessions between both teams and no scores. Bell made a 41-yard field goal for Carey with 11:48 left in the game to increase the Blue Devils’ lead by three points, 26-14. Bell’s 41-yard field goal broke the record for the longest field goal made in Division VI state championship history. The record was previously held by Norwalk St. Paul’s Aidan McDowell when he kicked a 35-yard field goal in 1999 at the Division VI state title game against Delphos St. John’s. The Carey defense stepped up to force Coldwater’s offense to turn the ball over on downs with 9:29 remaining in the fourth quarter. Carey got the ball back and took seven minutes off the clock but was unable to convert a fourth-and-one with 2:22 left in the game giving the ball back to the Cavaliers. However, the Blue Devil defense forced another turnover on downs on the ensuing Coldwater possession. Carey would take three kneel downs to seal the state championship win.
Vallejo finished with 25 carries for 95 rushing yards and two touchdowns for Carey. Lonsway totaled 21 carries for 81 rushing yards and a touchdown and went 3-for-5 in the passing game for 79 yards. Bryce Conti led the Blue Devils in receiving with two catches and 65 yards.
Fullenkamp led Coldwater’s rushing attack with seven carries for 32 yards and one touchdown. Dellinger went 13-for-31 for 205 passing yards with one touchdown and an interception. Marcel Blasingame had five catches for 55 yards while Muhlenkamp had four catches for 81 yards and a touchdown for the Cavaliers’ receiving corps. Final attendance for the Division VI state championship game was 5,205.
Versailles Snaps Kirtland’s 55-Game Win Streak in Division V State Title Game
CANTON, Ohio-Versailles’ defense weathered Kirtland’s 13-point fourth quarter comeback bid and forced four turnovers to win the Division V state championship game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Saturday night, 20-16. Coming into Saturday’s game Kirtland had the longest active high school football winning streak in the country at 55 games. The last time the Hornets lost a game was 1,463 days ago when Kirtland fell to Maria Stein Marion Local in the 2017 Division VI State Championship, 34-11. Turnovers and penalties proved to be the difference since both offenses each had 263 total yards. Kirtland committed more penalties (8-3) and turnovers (4-1) than Versailles.
Versailles received the opening kickoff and took the ball 63 yards in 10 plays to the end zone when Carson Bey rushed for a 15-yard touchdown with 6:24 left in the first quarter. The Tigers’ extra point attempt was blocked by Kirtland’s Gage Sullivan making it 6-0 in favor of Versailles. Kirtland would answer with a Johnny Raguz 38-yard field goal to keep the Hornets within three points of Versailles, 6-3, with 2:52 left in the first quarter.
The Tigers scored at the 9:25 mark in the second quarter when Bey threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Michael Osborne to take a 13-3 lead. The teams traded turnovers the rest of the second quarter with Versailles’ Taran Tyo forcing a Kirtland fumble recovered by Osborne, Kirtland’s Sullivan intercepting Bey on the ensuing possession, and each team turning the ball over on downs the following two possessions. Versailles led at the half, 13-3.
Versailles orchestrated a 13-play 80-yard drive culminated by Jack Osborne rushing for a one-yard touchdown with 3:22 remaining in the third quarter giving the Tigers a 17-point lead, 20-3. Kirtland answered early into the fourth quarter when Sullivan rushed for a 29-yard touchdown making it a 10-point game, 20-10, with 9:03 left in the game. Versailles stalled on their next two offensive possessions, but the Tigers’ defense intercepted two Kirtland passes at the 7:48 and 5:14 minute marks in the fourth quarter to cling onto the lead. Versailles had the ball after the second interception on their own 30-yard line with 5:14 remaining in the game but would stall again having to punt at the 1:57 minute mark. Kirtland went 65 yards in a minute and 20 seconds and six plays when Mason Rus scored with 37 seconds left in the game. Versailles blocked the Hornets’ extra point making it a 20-16. Kirtland attempted an onside kick but was recovered by Versailles. The Tigers took a knee to run out the clock to win.
The victory marks the seventh football state championship in program history for Versailles and it was the first state title since 2003. Bey led the Tigers in rushing with 27 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown and went 8-for-12 for 129 passing yards one touchdown and an interception. Tigers’ Noah McEldowney had with four receptions and 68 receiving yards.
Sullivan and Rus combined for 26 carries 157 rushing yards and two touchdowns for the Hornets. Kirtland’s Ramon Lescano went 5-for-11 for 101 passing yards and an interception. Rus and Pierce Boyd combined for four receptions and 95 receiving yards. Final attendance for the Division V state championship game was 4,465. A total of 38,920 fans attended the 2021 OHSAA football state championship weekend.