The 15-week high school football season wrapped up over the weekend with the playing of the 41st Ohio High School Athletic Association State Football Championships. Two teams, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and Kirtland, both represented Northeast Ohio in Stark County on Saturday.
Akron SVSM takes the DIII crown
The action started at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium with the Division III final, featuring Akron SVSM and Bellevue in a game that gave the Irish the school’s fifth state title with a 42-21 victory.
A close first half (SVSM leading 21-14 at halftime) turned in to a lopsided affair when SVSM’s Newman Williams bulldozed his way over several defenders on a fake punt in the third quarter that resulted in a touchdown.
"That was just a hunger for the goal line,” Akron SVSM coach Dan Boarman said. “It was a tremendous run, a great run the way he carried that last guy into the end zone."
On Bellevue’s ensuing possession, Williams showed his defensive ability as he intercepted a Jalen Santoro pass. The Irish would score shortly after the interception, fittingly, on a Williams touchdown run.
The title was the first for Boarman, who attended St. Vincent High School (the former version of SVSM).
Kirtland comes up short in DV
Kirtland’s bid for back-to-back state titles and 30 straight wins came up short in a rematch against Coldwater, as the Hornets fell, 10-9, in the Division V title game.
A defensive battle throughout, Kirtland forced a safety to cut Coldwater’s lead to 10-9 midway through the fourth quarter, but was unable to come up with the key offensive drive it needed late in the game.
"We didn't have enough consistency on offense,” Kirtland coach Tiger LaVerde said. “It seemed like we couldn't get into a rhythm. It stinks that the one game they couldn't win happened today.”
Both squads will be honored for their accomplishments at halftime of this Sunday’s Browns game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Cleveland Browns will also announce their 2012 High School Coach of the Year at that time, who will receive $8,000 for his program.