St. Ignatius defeats St. Edward 34-7 at FirstEnergy Stadium.
For the first time since October 17, 1981, the St. Ignatius Wildcats and the St. Edward Eagles played their longstanding rivalry matchup downtown at FirstEnergy Stadium. On a perfect night for football, the No. 7 Wildcats hosted the No. 1 Eagles and sought revenge after St. Edward's 35-28 victory in 2015. Both teams came into the matchup with only one loss on their respective schedules and looked for a strong finish to their regular seasons prior to the playoffs.
In the 54th career meeting between St. Ignatius and St. Edward's, 17,400 fans came out to support the schools and watch as student-athletes, fans, band members, and everybody else involved enjoy the opportunity of a lifetime under the lights in a professional football stadium.
"We were so excited to have the opportunity to play St. Edward down here. It means so much in Northeast Ohio to be able to play at what everybody calls 'The Stadium,' Browns Stadium," said St. Ignatius Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick. "To be able to play our rival here and bring all of our fans down here on such a beautiful October night, it was just a great moment for Northeast Ohio, for football, for this rivalry – it means so much to us." he added.
St. Ignatius started strong and carried a 21-0 lead into halftime, where the Wildcats' band performed their historic spelling of the 'script Cats' – a tradition that began in 1988 when St. Ignatius won its first ever football state championship over Cincinnati Princeton High School at Ohio State. This was the first time that the Wildcats' band performed their 'script Cats' during the regular season as FirstEnergy Stadium was the ideal arena.
St. Ignatius and head coach Chuck Kyle, who is actively involved with the Cleveland Browns and their efforts to support the spirit and passion of high school football in Northeast Ohio, remained perfect on the season when scoring first as the Wildcats went on to secure the victory over St. Edward's 34-7. "We appreciate this partnership with the Browns, and we are all eager to have this happen. The Browns are very enthusiastic about youth athletics and youth football and really want to be engaged with it." Kyle said earlier in the week.
For owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam, as well as the entire Browns organization, offering more opportunities for those involved with football in the Northeast Ohio region to create long lasting memories continues to be a focal point. Along with hosting the historic St. Ignatius St. Edward's rivalry game, Jimmy and Dee Haslam recently announced their commitment to refurbish five Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) fields with high-quality synthetic turf. Similarly, the Browns were delighted to take part in 'Play Football Month' during the 2016 season as the team hosted local youth football players during their two home preseason games. The Browns happily granted the experience of a lifetime as children were able to stand alongside their favorite Browns players during the national anthem, while other teams had the chance to play a live game on the field. "Jimmy and Dee Haslam, as well as everybody in the Browns organization were beyond generous with their time and efforts to make this night such a nice night for all of the fans and the athletes. They will never forget it." said Fitzpatrick. FirstEnergy Stadium proved to be the perfect stage in providing both schools with an unforgettable event.