SW OHIO: A DECADE OF TITLE GAMES 2017-2018

We continue our look at teams that made state championship game appearances as we get closer to the end of the decade.

We next look at 2017 and 2018 and teams filled with talent looking to secure a place in history with a state championship.

2017 SEASON

DIVISION TWO

CINCINNATI WINTON WOODS (13-2)

AKRON HOBAN (14-1)

DATE: NOV 30, 2017
STADIUM: TOM BENSON HALL OF FAME STADIUM – CANTON, OHIO
ATTENDANCE: 7,235

The Warriors played a tough schedule ending the regular season with one loss in overtime against Elder. In the playoffs they breezed in the first two rounds then knocked out La Salle for a second time during the season 16-14 before taking on Massillon Washington where they advanced with a 56-21 win.

However, in the title game Akron Hoban stood in their way looking for their third-straight title loaded with talent. Despite another big rushing game from Miyan Williams the Warriors struggled only getting two scores in the second quarter. In the end Hoban had too much firepower in the 42-14 win.

DIVISION THREE

TROTWOOD-MADISON (15-0)

DRESDEN TRI-VALLEY (13-2)

DATE: DEC 2, 2017
STADIUM: TOM BENSON HALL OF FAME STADIUM – CANTON, OHIO
ATTENDANCE: 6,923

The Rams continued finding their way to championship games completing an undefeated season (15-0) by knocking off Dresden Tri-Valley 27-19 in the title game. The title was the second for the Rams in the decade but didn’t come easy.

Up 27-19 the Rams saw Tri-Valley driving but closed the drive when Jayvanare Nelloms made a goal-line interception to seal the win.

Head coach Jeff Graham saw a big performance from senior Raveion Hargrove who played through an injury to rush for 138 yards and one touchdown to close out his career.

DIVISION FOUR

CLINTON-MASSIE (13-2)

STEUBENVILLE (15-0)

DATE: DEC 2, 2017
STADIUM: TOM BENSON HALL OF FAME STADIUM – CANTON, OHIO
ATTENDANCE: 10,251

The third time was a charm for Steubenville as they defeated Clinton-Massie 50-36 after falling the previous two years in the final to Columbus Bishop Hartley. Steubenville wasted little time on a four play 91-yard drive ending on a 32-yard touchdown run by Jacob Bernard. The Falcons stumbled on their first play from scrimmage with a fumble that Steubenville quickly added another score going up 14-0. Clinton-Massie got on the board late in the first quarter when quarterback Corey Stulz hit Seth Schmidt for a nine-yard touchdown strike.

However, each time the Falcons thought they were making up ground the Big Red answered until the third quarter when the Falcons shutdown the Big Red and added 10-points making the score 36-29. But just when Falcon fans thought they had got back into the game the Big Red answered on back-to-back touchdowns by quarterback Javon Davis who rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns while also adding 213 passing yards and four scores. Clinton-Massie would add a touchdown by Christian Poynter but it was too late to stop the Big Red from claiming the title.

2018 SEASON

DIVISION ONE

CINCINNATI COLERAIN (14-1)

LAKEWOOD ST. EDWARD (11-3)

DATE: NOV 30, 2018
STADIUM: TOM BENSON HALL OF FAME STADIUM – CANTON, OHIO
ATTENDANCE: 8,927

Colerain entered the finals as the top team in Division I after going 10-0 during the regular season. A team loaded with talent; none were surprised the Cardinals made the championship. Their opponent, Lakewood St. Edward looking for their third state championship in the past five seasons.

Both teams brought the defense in the first quarter and much of the second quarter until the Cardinals saw Deante Smith-Moore hit Syncere Jones for a 16-yard touchdown to put the Cardinals up 7-0. Lakewood responded and tied the game with 1:36 left in the second quarter on a Jordan Castleberry one-yard run. Just as the half closed the Cardinals headed to the locker room up 10-7 when Chris Mangold hit a 26-yard field goal as the clock expired.

The Cardinals would learn why the Eagles have enjoyed great success in championship games in the decade as they matched the field goal with 7:33 left in the third quarter and dominated the Cardinals the rest of the game posting 214 yards of offense and two touchdowns passes from Garrett Dzuro to Quintel Kent to win 24-10.

DIVISION THREE

KETTERING ALTER (13-2)

CHAGRIN FALLS KENSTON (14-1)

DATE: NOV 30, 2018
STADIUM: TOM BENSON HALL OF FAME STADIUM – CANTON, OHIO
ATTENDANCE: 6,922

The Alter Knights came into the game rolling having won 13 straight games after a Week One loss to rival Fairmont. At first it looked like both teams had the jitters with back-to-back turnovers. However, senior quarterback Connor Bazelak hit receiver Derek Willits for a 19-yard touchdown strike to put the Knights up 6-0. This would be the last time the Knights celebrated as Kenston would never look back after taking the lead late in the first quarter on a 11-play, 75-yard drive ending on a 13-yard touchdown strike from Jon Tomcufcik to Bransen Stanley. In the end Kenston would earn their first state championship 42-6 over the Knights.

DIVISION FOUR

WYOMING (15-0)

GIRARD (13-2)

DATE: DEC 1, 2018
STADIUM: TOM BENSON HALL OF FAME STADIUM – CANTON, OHIO
ATTENDANCE: 5,532

Wyoming was looking for their second state title when they took a perfect season into their match-up against Girard. The whole state learned what those in Southwest Ohio had learned all season when it came to the talents of Cowboys junior quarterback Evan Prater who dominated the game with five total touchdowns on 391 yards of total offense. When throwing the ball, Prater used his top target Joey Edmonds (4 receptions, 94 yds, 2 TDs) but it was when Prater ran the ball that he did the most damage with 242 yards on the ground and three scores.

After being tied 7-7 with 6:25 remaining in the first quarter, Wyoming never looked back winning 42-14. Prater caught the attention of those who cover high school football in the state and would go on and win Ohio’s Mr. Football in following season as the Cowboys would continue their winning ways running off 28 consecutive win before falling one game short of reaching the title game in 2019.

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