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2015 OHSAA
State Championships Recaps

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2015 OHSAA Football State Championships Recaps

2015 OHSAA Football State Championships

Ohio Stadium
The Ohio State University, Columbus
December 3-5, 2015


Division III

Akron Archbishop Hoban Wins First Football State Championship
Hoban Knights defeat Toledo Central Catholic Fighting Irish 33-20 in Division III state championship

Final Stats: PDF  |  HTM


COLUMBUS, Ohio - Akron Archbishop Hoban defeated Toledo Central Catholic 33-20 in the 2015 OHSAA Division III football state championship on Thursday at Ohio Stadium. The Knights (14-1) were making their first appearance in an OHSAA football state championship. Central Catholic (12-3) finishes as state runner-up in its fourth appearance in a state championship game and was playing in its third state championship in the last four years. Central Catholic defeated The Plains Athens in last year’s Division III state championship, 56-52.

“This victory is such a huge victory for not only these kids that played and worked these 15 weeks, this victory is for a huge community of Archbishop Hoban, who have been waiting for this for a very, very long time,” Archbishop Hoban head coach Tim Tyrrell said. “This championship is not just for us. It's for a lot of people.”


Archbishop Hoban started strong, scoring the game’s first two touchdowns. Hoban junior running back Todd Sibley scored on a 55 yard touchdown run with 3:21 remaining in the first quarter and junior quarterback Danny Clark connected with senior receiver Jonah Morris for a 53 yard touchdown pass with 1:53 left in the quarter, giving the Knights a 14-0 lead after one.

Toledo Central Catholic responded in the second quarter, using two touchdown runs by junior running back Michael Warren from four and 10 yards out to tie the game at 14-14 with 9:05 remaining in the quarter, but the rest of the quarter belonged to Archbishop Hoban. Clark connected with senior Anthony Christian for a 33 yard touchdown with 6:54 remaining until halftime and Sibley scored on a 22 yard touchdown run at the 2:47 mark, giving the Knights a 28-14 halftime lead.

Central Catholic brought the deficit to eight after a Michael Warren 21 yard touchdown run with 6:37 left in the third quarter, missing the extra point but cutting the Hoban lead to 28-20. Hoban held Central Catholic to 73 yards and no points for the rest of the game, using a safety and 34 yard field goal to bring the score to a final and decisive 33-20 win.

Hoban’s Todd Sibley finished the game with 164 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries. Danny Clark was 4 for 12 passing with 125 yards and two touchdowns. Hoban forced four Toledo Central Catholic turnovers, three interceptions and one fumble.

Central Catholic was led by Michael Warren with 168 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries and junior quarterback Torrin Campbell, who was 17-for-29 passing for 234 yards. Central Catholic finishes its season 12-3 in its second consecutive state championship appearance.

The attendance for the game was 7,553.


Division V
Coldwater Captures Fourth-Consecutive State Championship, Defeats Canton Central Catholic in Division V Rematch
Coldwater defeats Canton Central Catholic in Division V state championship for second-consecutive year


Final Stats: PDF  |  HTM

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Coldwater defeated Canton Central Catholic 35-18 to take home the 2015 OHSAA Division V football state championship Friday at Ohio Stadium.

The game was a rematch of the 2014 Division V state championship in which Coldwater won, 62-21.

“I’m really proud of this group of seniors,” Coldwater head coach Chip Otten said. “It’s cool to see those guys finish with a victory in their last football game. They’re enjoying it. It’s been fun. We have great community support that will travel everywhere and enjoy it.”

With the victory, Coldwater’s senior class of 2016 is the fourth in OHSAA history to win four or more straight state championships. It is the sixth all-time Cavalier state football title.

Cavaliers senior Jack Hemmelgarn finished 18-of-27 with 287 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target, senior receiver Aaron Harlamert, finished with seven receptions for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Kraig Schoenherr paced the Coldwater rushing attack with 73 yards on 20 carries while also adding two touchdowns. The Cavalier defense also was strong, forcing Canton Central Catholic into four turnovers, with two fumbles and two interceptions.

Canton Central Catholic (11-4) was making its second consecutive state championship appearance and finished as state-runner up for the second straight year. The Crusaders were led by senior running back Justin Ditty with 67 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries. Senior quarterback Dan Platek added 118 yards passing and one touchdown.

Coldwater (15-0) achieved numerous impressive marks with its victory. Coldwater’s four-consecutive state championships are tied for the second-most consecutive OHSAA football state titles. The Cavaliers have won 20 consecutive playoff games, and now claim the fifth highest OHSAA football playoff winning percentage (.813, 65-15 all-time playoff record). Coldwater’s state title gives the Midwest Athletic Conference 115 total state championships, and two other MAC schools — Fort Recovery and Maria Stein Marion Local — will play for football state championships this weekend.

The attendance for the game was 7,200.

Division VII

Fort Recovery Defeats Mogadore in Division VII State Championship Game
Fort Recovery claims multiple records on way to school’s first football state title

Final Stats: PDF  |  HTM

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Fort Recovery defeated Mogadore 33-14 in the OHSAA Division VII state championship to capture the school’s first state title, doing so in record-breaking fashion in front of an audience of 7,957 at Ohio Stadium.

After a 3-7 record in 2013, Fort Recovery coach Brent Niekamp commended his players and all those involved for what has been a remarkable turnaround.

“We went through a lot of years being sort of cellar dwellers in our conference, which as you guys know is a really tough league,” he said. “To make this jump, it seemed like it happened overnight, but it didn’t. This was five, six, seven years in the making.

“There were a lot of guys that have played in the seasons where our seasons didn’t look as good that laid the foundation for what these guys were able to do. We know how proud our community is. What you saw in the stands tonight, that was our whole town. Everybody was here. It’s really special.”

After making its first playoff appearance in 2014, Fort Recovery showcased the program’s continued improvement in the third Division VII championship game in OHSAA history, starting and finishing with a record-setting passing game.

Indians quarterback Caleb Martin established the pace early, capitalizing on a Mogadore turnover with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Darien Sheffer for the game’s first score. After a Mogadore punt on the ensuing possession, Fort Recovery responded again on a six-play drive that ended with a 10-yard pass to Tanner Koch for the Indians’ second score.

Mogadore answered with an eight-play, 60-yard drive that ended on a 17-yard pass from quarterback Zeddie Pollack to Jarad Dunn to halve the deficit at 14-7.

Fort Recovery bounced back quickly as Martin connected with Brayden Schoen for a 75-yard touchdown pass — the longest such pass in the three years of the Division VII championship game — upping Recovery’s advantage to 20-7. Just over six minutes later, it was a Martin-Koch connection — the second of the game — this time in the form of an 8-yard touchdown pass, bringing the score to 27-7 going into the halftime break.

With the conclusion of the first half, Martin completed at least two passes to five different receivers, going 17-for-26 for 277 passing yards and four touchdowns.

After a scoreless third quarter, Fort Recovery began the fourth with a one-play, seven-second scoring drive as Martin connected with Wes Wenning on a 30-yard touchdown reception. Mogadore doubled its score thanks to a 6-yard touchdown run by Austin Williams, but it proved too little, too late as Fort Recovery held Mogadore to 14 points and 306 total yards.

Martin finished 25-of-39 for 385 passing yards and five passing touchdowns. With that performance, Martin set the record for most passing yards, most pass completions (and most passes attempted in a Division VII state championship game.

Fort Recovery’s Tanner Koch tied a Division VII state championship record for most touchdown receptions in a game (2), while Recovery’s Wenning and Schoen surpassed the previous record for most receiving yards (119) in a Division VII state championship game with 121 and 125, respectively.

Division II
Cincinnati La Salle Wins Second-Straight State Championship
La Salle victorious over Massillon Perry in Division II state championship, 42-0

Final Stats: PDF  |  HTM

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Cincinnati La Salle defeated Massillon Perry 42-0 in the 2015 OHSAA Division II football state championship Friday night at Ohio Stadium. The win earns the Lancers (13-2) their second-consecutive Division II state championship. La Salle defeated Macedonia Nordonia, 55-20, in last season’s state final. La Salle is the first Division II state champion to repeat since 1992-1993 (St. Marys Memorial).

La Salle forced four Massillon Perry turnovers and used a balanced offensive attack to control the game. Junior Jarrell White rushed for 93 yards, caught a touchdown pass and recorded 10 tackles on defense. Senior running back Jeremy Larkin rushed for 62 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries and caught three passes for 57 yards. Senior quarterback Nick Watson finished 9-for-13 passing for 131 yards and one touchdown. Massillon Perry running back, Ohio Mr. Football Keishaun Sims rushed for 123 yards on 28 carries in defeat.

"When you think about a state championship game and all the hard work you put into it, ending up like this says a lot about these kids,” La Salle head coach Jim Hilvert said. “We talked about it in our pregame speech, (it) was about completing our mission and our guys completed our mission.”

Trailing 21-0 in the second quarter, Perry embarked on an eight minute, 17-play 73 yard drive, but La Salle’s defense held strong, keeping Perry from scoring and carrying the momentum into the second half.

La Salle added three more touchdowns, including a 47 yard interception return for a touchdown to seal the win.

"It's a credit to these kids and what they do every day," coach Jim Hilvert said. " It's not easy to win. It's not easy to stay on top of the mountain. These guys were all about team, they were all about accomplishing our ultimate goal and that was winning a state championship. What a feeling it is to win a state championship here. There's nothing like it. Words can't describe how you feel."

La Salle has won the last two Division II state championships by a combined margin of 97-20 and has won 10 consecutive playoff games.

Perry finishes as state runner-up for the first time in school history in its first appearance in an OHSAA football state championship. The Panthers rebounded from an 0-10 season in 2013 to advance to its first state title in 2015.

The attendance for the game was 11,168.

Division VI
Kirtland Defeats Maria Stein Marion Local, Wins Third State Championship
Kirtland Comes From Behind to Defeat Four-time Defending State Champion Marion Local

Final Stats: PDF  |  HTM

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Kirtland knocked off four-time defending state champion Maria Stein Marion Local 22-20 in the 2015 OHSAA Division VI state football championship game to earn its third state title in school history on Saturday morning at Ohio Stadium.

In what was a tale of two halves, Kirtland Head Coach Tiger LaVerde commended his players for their belief, expressing his appreciation after the game.

“I’m happy for these guys,” LaVerde said. “These guys will remember this forever and that’s what it’s about. They had a great experience. They’re going to be lifelong friends. They’ll get to cherish this for a long time.”
Early on, however, it was Marion Local that jumped out to a quick lead. Marion Local brought a balanced run-pass attack led by running back Aaron Nietfeld and quarterback Cole Griesdorn.

Nietfeld got the Flyers (13-2) on the board with a 5-yard touchdown run at the 7:09 mark in the first quarter. Four minutes later, Griesdorn connected with receiver Matt Kahlig for a 14-yard touchdown pass to give Marion Local a 13-0 halftime lead.

A persistent second-half rushing attack from Kirtland kept the Hornets in contention. Kirtland responded early in the third quarter, marching 75 yards on 12 plays to finish the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Joey Bates.

After recovering a Marion Local fumble on its own 3-yard line, Kirtland (14-1) took its first lead, capping off a 97-yard drive with quarterback Owen Lewis taking it in himself from 2 yards out. The Hornets extended the lead to nine with 2:08 left in the fourth quarter after a 57-yard touchdown run from Bates (34 carries, 206 yards rushing, 2 touchdowns) and two-point conversion from Lewis to Evan Madden.

Marion Local responded, as Griesdorn hooked up with Hunter Wilker for an 11-yard touchdown reception to finish off a five-play, 53-yard drive. But the Flyers’ onside kick went out of bounds and Kirtland secured the win.

With the victory, Kirtland’s record over the last five seasons extends to 72-3 with two of those loss coming in state championship games. Today marked Kirtland’s fifth straight appearance in a state championship game and the 25th playoff game in the last five years.

Division I
Lakewood St. Edward Tops Huber Heights Wayne 45-35 for Third Div. I State Title

Eagles give up two-touchdown lead but come back


Final Stats: PDF  |  HTM

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Defending state champion Lakewood St. Edward defeated Huber Heights Wayne 45-35 in the 2015 OHSAA Division I football state championship at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday. Wayne trailed 31-14 early in the fourth quarter but came back to take a 35-31 lead with 3:47 left. St. Edward scored a pair of touchdowns, however, in the final 79 seconds to earn the win.

The victory gives the Eagles their 50th overall OHSAA team state championship in school history, tying them with Cincinnati St. Xavier for most all-time.

The title was St. Edward’s third in football. All three have come against Wayne (2010, 2014, 2015).

“There are a lot of champions at St. Ed’s,” St. Edward head coach Tom Lombardo said. “It’s a tradition of excellence, no doubt about it. These kids upholding the tradition of St. Ed’s, playing the way they did, leaving it all out on the field, that’s what it’s about. It keeps the standard high when you put on these colors.”

St. Edward set an OHSAA Division I football state championship record for most total yards (602), breaking the previous record (586) set by Mentor in the 2013 state championship vs. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller. St. Edward senior quarterback Jimmy Keefe led the offensive attack for the Eagles (14-1) and in the process tied the Division I state championship record for passing yards with 419 (Mentor’s Conner Krizancic vs. Archbishop Moeller in 2013). Keefe completed 24-of-34 passes and added two touchdowns and and interception. Senior running back Cole Gest, St. Edward’s all-time leading rusher, recorded 128 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns.

Trailing 31-14 in the fourth quarter, Wayne (14-1) mounted a comeback that began with a 70-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Messiah DeWeaver to sophomore receiver L’Christian Smith with 7:15 remaining to bring the deficit to 31-21. After successfully recovering an onside kick, Wayne used a six-play, 50-yard drive capped off by a 21-yard touchdown pass from DeWeaver to junior Matt Wilcox to pull within three points, 31-28 with 5:17 left.

With 4:44 remaining, Wayne’s Richard Carpenter intercepted Jimmy Keefe’s pass and returned it 42 yards to the 5-yard line, setting up a Matt Wilcox touchdown run from one yard out to give Wayne a 35-31 lead.

St. Edward rallied to score the final two touchdowns of the game. The Eagles went on a seven-play 68-yard drive capped off by a 5-yard score by Gest run to reclaim the lead with 2:19 remaining.

St. Edward recovered a kick that went off the upman on the ensuing kickoff to take possession and Gest did the rest, scoring on a 51-yard touchdown run on the next play to take a final and decisive 45-35 lead.

Wayne senior running back Daryl McCleskey finished with 156 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries. Junior running back Fred Pitts added 85 rushing yards on 10 carries. Wayne rushed for 272 yards as a team. Messiah DeWeaver finished 8-for-21 passing for 168 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

The attendance for the game was 11,036.

Division IV
Columbus Bishop Hartley Wins Third State Championship, Second Since 2010
Bishop Hartley defeats Steubenville 31-28 in Division IV state championship

Final Stats: PDF  |  HTM

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Bishop Hartley defeated Steubenville 31-28 in the OHSAA Division IV state championship game at Ohio Stadium Saturday night. The victory earns Bishop Hartley its third football state championship and its second since 2010 when the Hawks defeated Chagrin Falls 34-13. Hartley was making its third appearance in a state championship in the last six years.

Hartley rushed for 298 yards on 61 carries and only attempting five passes, but junior quarterback Jake Ruby was efficient, finishing 4-of-5 passing for 51 yards and one touchdown. The Hawks rushing attack was led by senior running backs Richard Jones III and Quri Hickman. Jones III finished with 121 yards on 10 carries, including a 64 yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Hickman carried the ball 30 times and finished with 96 yards and two touchdowns.

“It means a great deal to our school,” Bishop Hartley head coach Brad Burchfield said. “We’ve had one of the best falls we’ve ever had with so many of our activities doing well. Our kids and our school is so wonderful. We’re so proud we could represent them. I know this was a great celebration for them. We’re really proud of our tradition.”

Despite there being four ties and only a largest lead of seven points, Bishop Hartley led never trailed in the game. The Hawks started the scoring with a 14 play 79 yard drive that culminated in a Quri Hickman one yard touchdown run. Steubenville went on a nine play, 65 yard drive of its own to tie the game at 7 early in the second quarter with a seven yard, Johnny Blue touchdown run.

Another Quri Hickman one yard touchdown run in the second quarter and an eight yard pass from Jake Ruby to senior receiver Rian Anderson gave the Hawks 21 points for the first half, and they carried a 21-14 advantage into halftime.

In the third quarter, a Steubenville 10 play 71 yard drive capped off with a Johnny Blue two yard touchdown tied the game at 21 at the 2:40 mark, but Bishop Hartley answered with a Richard Jones III 64 yard touchdown run, giving the Hawks a 28-21 edge heading into the fourth.

Steubenville’s longest play from scrimmage came with 10:25 left in the game. Senior quarterback Dimitri Collaros connected with Mandela Lawrence-Burke on a 42 yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 28.

Bishop Hartley took a final and decisive 31-28 lead with a 40 yard field goal from senior kicker Ben Hawk with 4:57 to play. A fourth-and-one stop by the Bishop Hartley defense at the Hawk 23 yard line with 1:44 to go and an interception on Steubenville’s final possession by Hartley defender Cody Kirkbride sealed the Hawks’ 31-28 victory.

Steubenville was led by senior tailback Johnny Blue, who finished with 115 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries. Blue finishes the season with 34 touchdowns. Senior quarterback Dimitri Collaros was 6-of-15 passing for 123 yards and a 42 yard touchdown.

The attendance for the game was 10,141. The all-session attendance for the 2015 OHSAA football state championships was 62,089, the third-highest attendance in the history of the football state championships.


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