In the final chapter of the Cleveland Browns High School Game of the Week in association with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, eight northeast Ohio teams participated in the 47th Annual OHSAA High School Football State Championships. Six out of the seven divisions (Division I – VII) of the championship games featured a team from northeast Ohio. A northeast Ohio team won the Division I, II, III, V, VI Championship games.
Division I Lakewood St. Edward (11-3) v. Cincinnati Colerain (14-1)
“They doubted us! They doubted us!” Every Eagle shouted those words as they hoisted up their fourth State Championship trophy in school history (2015, 2014, and 2010). St. Edward’s started out their season 0-2 and finished the regular season with a 6-3 record. This gave them a seventh seed bid in the State Playoffs, which meant they would have a tough road to the championship. The Eagles took care of business through their first four games in the playoffs and knocked off No. 1 seed Colerain in the championship game, beating the Cardinals 24-10.
A game that featured three lead changes and two ties, this contest was back and forth until the very end. Colerain led going into the half 10-7, but that would be the last lead they would have as St. Edward’s defense came out of the half only allowing 80 yards of offense in the last two quarters. The Eagles scored 17 points in the second half and a go ahead touchdown from senior Quintel Kent in the fourth quarter to give the Eagles the victory.
Division II Archbishop Hoban (15-0) v. Massillon Washington (14-1)
The first matchup of the OHSAA High School Football Championships featured two teams from northeast Ohio, Archbishop Hoban (15-0) and Massillon Washington (14-1). Both teams came into the game undefeated, but it would be Archbishop Hoban that would come out on top, 42-28.
Hoban took a commanding lead in the first half when they went up 27-0 halfway through the second quarter. Massillon Washington would get in the end zone before the half, but would still be down 34-7 at halftime. Massillon Washington would rally back to cut Hoban’s lead 34-28, but the reigning state champions would close out the game and earn their fourth consecutive state championship.
Division III Kenston (14-1) v. Archbishop Alter (13-2)
Prior to this game, Kenston had never won the state championship and had only appeared in the championship game twice (1995, 1986). This time around they would take down No. 1 seed Archbishop Alter 42-6 and go on to win their first State Championship in school history.
Alter put points on the board first after they forced a fumble on the first play from scrimmage. Alter would go up 6-0. This would be their only lead of the game and score of the game. Both teams traded punts before Jon Tomcufcik found Bransen Stanley in the end zone for a 13-yard completion to tie up the game. Anna Sanders would convert on the extra point and would become the first female in OHSAA history to score in the State Championship game. Kenston did not look back after that. They would go on to score 42 unanswered points and would go home with their first State Championship.
Division V Orrville (13-2) v. Johnstown-Monroe (13-2)
The Red Riders of Orrville brought home their second State Championship in school history. After 20 years without an appearance in the championship game, they finally made it and capitalized on the opportunity when they beat Johnstown-Monroe 49-34.
The game got off to a slow start, as both teams remained scoreless until the final minute of the first quarter. Orrville busted a couple big runs in the second quarter to take a 14-7 lead going into the half.
The second half turned into a shootout for both teams as they collectively scored 62 points in the third and fourth quarters. There were four consecutive drives where both teams scored and traded touchdowns. However, Orrville’s run-game proved to be too much for Johnstown-Monroe as the Red Riders had two players rush for 405 yards and seven touchdowns combined.
Division VI Kirtland (15-0) v. Marion Local (13-2)
Two Division VI Powerhouses went to battle again in Canton as Marion Local took on Kirtland for the third time in the state title game. Last year, Marion Local took home the hardware, but this year, Kirtland would be the team to come out on top.
This low scoring game was centered on the defensive battle between the two opponents. Twenty out of the 23 points scored occurred during the first half of play. A lone field goal in the second half would extend Kirtland’s lead 16-7 and would prove too much for Marion Local to overcome. Kirtland would come out on top, beating Marion Local 16-7 and would complete their perfect 15-0 season.