SW OHIO: A DECADE OF TITLE GAMES 2011-2012

NE'AARICK POOLER, ISREAL GREEN, HC MAURICE DOUGLASS, JAMES WINCHESTER

2011 SEASON

DIVISION TWO

TROTWOOD-MADISON (15-0)

AVON (13-2)

DATE: DEC 2, 2011
STADIUM: PAUL BROWN TIGER STADIUM – MASSILLON, OHIO
ATTENDANCE: 6,699

The Rams wasted little time in getting back to a title game returning many key players from the 2010 squad. The regular season saw a high scoring offense behind the running of Isreal Green along with a tough defense. While they had a tough conference game against Piqua (26-23 win), they really didn’t get pushed to the brink until they played Columbus Marion-Franklin one game away from a return trip to state.

With a 47-44 win over Marion-Franklin, head coach Maurice Douglass had his team focused leading up to their title game match-up with Avon.

Avon jumped out early on a 65-yard pick-six by Ralph Smith but as they had done all season the Rams fed Green 35 times and he responded with 326 yards rushing and six touchdowns in the 42-28 win.

Avon standout Ross Douglas (Michigan) was held in check only gaining 11 yards rushing and 24 yards receiving in the game as Cameron Burrows, Bam Bradley and Mike McCray all enjoyed solid games.

The title was the first in football for the Rams with many expecting more would come in the decade.

DIVISION THREE

SPRINGFIELD SHAWNEE (14-1)

CARDINAL MOONEY (11-3)

DATE: DEC 2, 2011
STADIUM: FAWCETT STADIUM – CANTON, OHIO
ATTENDANCE: UNKNOWN

Shawnee head coach Rick Meeks brought in a team ranked sixth in the state to face a strong traditional powerhouse in Youngstown Cardinal Mooney. The Braves advanced to the finals with a 56-42 win over Elida to reach the finals and felt good heading into the game as they looked to be the first team from Clark County to win a football state championship.

Instead, Cardinal Mooney walked off the Fawcett Stadium turf with their eighth state championship.

On paper the Braves offense outperformed the Cardinals with 318-yards of total offense and with 8:39 left in the second quarter, senior quarterback Brad Jarzab tied the game at 7-7 on a 15-yard touchdown run.

Cardinal Mooney quarterback PJ Quinn responded with two touchdown runs of his own before the quarter ended giving the Cardinals a 21-7 halftime lead.

With 5:38 left in the game Jarzab added a seven-yard touchdown run and the Braves still felt they had a chance to tie the game. However, Mooney senior defensive back Ryan Farragher broke-up his second Jarzab pass ending the Braves final drive as the Cardinals won 21-14.

2012 SEASON

DIVISION ONE

CINCINNATI MOELLER (12-3)

TOLEDO WHITMER (14-1)

DATE: DEC 1, 2012
STADIUM: FAWCETT STADIUM – CANTON, OHIO
ATTENDANCE: 8,834

From 1975-1985 Cincinnati Moeller was considered one of the top prep programs in the country having won seven state titles and five national titles. However, after a strong start to the 2012 season, not many would have considered the Crusaders a program on a road to a state title.

Greater Catholic League losses to rivals St. Xavier and Elder combined with a Week Nine loss to Lakewood St. Edward still saw Moeller earning a No. 3 seed in Region 4 but all eyes were on Colerain in the region.

Head coach John Rodenberg guided his squad to wins over Wayne, Lakota East and undefeated Colerain to win Region 4 before facing a tough Pickerington North squad to advance to the final and face Toledo Whitmer who knocked off Mentor.

Whitmer struck first going up 7-0 midway in the first quarter. Moeller put together a 12-play drive but had to settle for a 20-yard field goal from Matt Reiniger. The second quarter saw Keith Watkins score on a 7-yard pass from Spencer Iacovone and later in the quarter Iacovone called his own number scoring on a one-yard run putting Moeller up 17-6 at the half.

The game would remain tight as Whitmer would score in the third quarter and after a missed two-point conversion stand 17-12 in favor of the Crusaders who would put together a six play drive to place Reiniger in position to kick a 22-yard field goal closing out the scoring and giving the Crusaders the win and championship 20-12.

DIVISION TWO

TROTWOOD-MADISON (12-3)

TOLEDO CENTRAL CATHOLIC (14-1)

DATE: NOV 30, 2012
STADIUM: PAUL BROWN TIGER STADIUM – MASSILLON, OHIO
ATTENDANCE: UNKNOWN

Maurice Douglass had another loaded Rams squad rolling as they beat a Darron Lee led New Albany squad 33-32 to reach their third straight finals. Their opponent, Toledo Central Catholic with quarterback DeShone Kizer.

The Rams countered on offense with freshman quarterback Messiah DeWeaver and the young quarterback along with the Rams offense struggled to put points on the board.

Central Catholic would score twice in the second quarter on Amir Edwards runs of three and eight years to go up 14-0 at the half. In the third quarter the Rams gave up a safety making it 16-0 but DeWeaver and Austin Howell found ways to get the Rams on the board.

DeWeaver hit wide receiver Ryan Lucas on a 13-yard touchdown strike with 9:20 left in the game but a two-point conversion failed making it 16-6. With just over two-minutes left in the game, Howell would hit Demarcus Wilson for a 24-yard touchdown strike but again a two-point conversion failed giving Central Catholic a 16-12 win.

DIVISION FOUR

CLINTON-MASSIE (15-0)

CLAIRSVILLE (14-1)

DATE: NOV 30, 2012
STADIUM: FAWCETT STADIUM – CANTON, OHIO
ATTENDANCE: 8,676

The Falcons were loaded, and it showed during the season as they posted five defensive shutouts while posting big numbers on the scoreboard. Rolling through the playoffs the Falcons knocked off Bishop Hartley 42-21 to reach the finals to face an undefeated Red Devils squad.

Defense was thrown out the window by both teams in this game with 988 yards of total offense between them. However, early on it looked like the Falcons were ready to roll another opponent as Bayle Wolf scored on runs of 9, 36, and 3 yards putting the Falcons up 19-0 at the end of the first quarter.

St. Clairsville wasn’t ready to be ran out of Fawcett Stadium and countered with two scores to close the gap to 19-14. The Falcons answered with two more scores to go up 33-14 but the Red Devils scored with just 1:10 left in the second quarter to keep hope alive and head to the locker room down 33-21 at the half.

Both teams traded scores in the third quarter and with the game standing 39-28 with 2:36 left in the game, St. Clairsville closed the gap with a 46-yard touchdown pass from Matt Kinnick to Jerrid Marhefka and add the two-point conversion making it 39-36 Falcons. It didn’t take long for the Falcons to go to Wolf as he would soon go in for the final score of the game on a 22-yard run making it 46-36 and the Falcons first title in school history.

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