2018 Ohio High School Football State Championships: Seven teams win state titles in Canton


Seven teams ended the 2018 Ohio high school football season with wins this past weekend as the state champions for Divisions I through VII were determined over a three-day period last Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Canton.

Below are a few highlights from each of the state finals matchups, courtesy of the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s website.

Division IV

Cincinnati Wyoming finishes perfect season with 42-14 win over Girard

CANTON — No. 1 Cincinnati Wyoming (15-0) won its second state title by way of a 42-14 victory over Girard (13-2) in the 2018 OHSAA Division IV state championship game on Saturday night at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

In a battle of first-team All-Ohio quarterbacks, the Wyoming Cowboys and the Division IV Offensive Player of the Year junior quarterback Evan Prater came out on top. Prater finished the game six-for-11 passing for 149 yards and two touchdowns while adding 242 yards and three touchdowns rushing.

Prater finished his junior season with 2,174 yards and 28 touchdowns passing, and 1,778 yards and 32 touchdowns rushing.

Prater’s favorite target in the game was first-team All-Ohio senior wide receiver Joey Edmonds. Edmonds compiled four catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns in the game. Edmonds finished the season with 1,000 yards and 19 touchdowns receiving.

Girard’s first-team All-Ohio quarterback, senior Mark Waid, ended the game with 194 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions passing and 31 yards and one touchdown rushing.

Wyoming finished the season with 632 points, which is tied for 24th in OHSAA history; while Girard finished the season with 663 points, which is 18th all-time.

This is Wyoming’s second state title in three trips to the championship game. The Cowboys won the 1977 Class AA title and were Class AA runners-up in 1975.

Division V

Orrville wins first football state title in 20 years

CANTON — Behind a prolific rushing attack, the Orrville Red Riders (13-2) defeated No. 4 Johnstown-Monroe 49-34 to win the 2018 OHSAA Division V football state championship at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Saturday.

In an unusually high-scoring game for two teams with run-heavy offenses, five different players rushed for at least 74 yards and at least one touchdown. The offenses combined for 710 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground, breaking the previous OHSAA football championship game record by 92 yards. In addition, the two teams tied OHSAA Division V state championship game records with 12 touchdowns and 83 points.

In a game that featured 83 points, there was only one touchdown scored in the first quarter when second-team All-Ohio senior quarterback Caden Calhoun ran it in from 10 yards out to give Johnstown a 7-0 lead with 1:13 left in the first quarter.

Following Calhoun’s touchdown run, Orrville went on a 21-0 run with a trio of long touchdown runs by senior quarterback Logan Domer. Domer scored on a 36-yard run early in the second quarter, a 60-yard run midway through the second, and a 61-yard run one minute into the second half.

During an eight-minute stretch of the game that spanned from midway through the third quarter to early in the fourth, the two teams traded touchdowns on four consecutive drives.

Division VII

McComb wins first state title in 35 years

CANTON — No. 6 McComb (14-1) defeated Glouster Trimble (13-2) 28-3 in the 2018 OHSAA Division VII football state championship Saturday at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

An effective running game and stout defense were the keys to McComb’s 25-point victory. Of the Panther’s 238 total yards on offense, 216 came on the ground, while the defense held Trimble to 151 total yards and compiled 11 tackles for loss for -44 yards, three interceptions and seven pass breakups. The teams’ combined yardage is the lowest in the seven-year history of the Division VII championship game.

Listed as a wide receiver, senior Tanner Schroeder was a weapon in all facets of the offense, just as he had been all season. Schroeder led the Panthers in rushing with 107 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, completed two passes for 10 yards, had one reception for 12 yards and was successful on all four extra point attempts. 

Schroeder finished his senior campaign with 1,875 yards and 24 touchdowns rushing, 997 yards and 11 touchdowns passing, 398 yards and six touchdowns receiving, 77-of-81 on PATs and 10-of-13 on field goals. Additionally, he was named the Division VII first-team All-Ohio punter with a 43.5-yard average. Schroeder’s 302 points this season is the eighth-most in OHSAA history.

Division I

Lakewood St. Edward defeats Cincinnati Colerain 24-10 to win fourth state championship

CANTON — No. 9 Lakewood St. Edward (11-3) defeated No. 1 Cincinnati Colerain (14-1) in the 2018 OHSAA Division I football state championship Friday night at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

The Eagles’ 24-10 victory is the third state championship in the past five seasons and fourth title overall.

It was nearly 20 minutes into the game before Colerain broke the scoreless tie. With 4:58 remaining in the first half, senior quarterback Deante Smith-Moore capped off a 12-play, 80-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to senior running back Syncere Jones.

St. Edward joined Colerain in the scoring category three minutes later after an interception by junior defensive back Daylan Jernigan gave the Eagles the ball inside Colerain territory. Just three plays later, senior running back Jordan Castleberry was celebrating a game-tying one-yard touchdown run.

Unfazed by the turnover on the previous possession, Colerain drove down the field in the final minute of the half and senior Chris Mangold hit a 26-yard field goal as time expired to give the Cardinals a 10-7 halftime lead, and what would end up being their final points of the game.

In a dominant second half for St. Edward, the Eagles outgained the Cardinals 214 yards to 80 and outscored them 17-0. Senior quarterback Garrett Dzuro connected with second-team All-Ohio wide receiver Quintel Kent for two passing touchdowns and senior kicker Gianluca Russo hit a 25-yard field goal to round out the scoring.

Division III

Chagrin Falls Kenston wins first football state title

CANTON – Fourth-ranked Chagrin Falls Kenston (14-1) led 21-6 at halftime and scored three additional touchdowns in the second half to defeat top-ranked Kettering Archbishop Alter (13-2) Saturday in the OHSAA Division III state championship game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

It’s the Bombers’ first OHSAA football state championship in three trips to the title game.

The two teams opened the game trading turnovers on their first possessions.

Following the turnovers, Alter took a 6-0 lead when senior quarterback Connor Bazelak threw a 19-yard pass to senior wide receiver Derek Willits with 6:36 left in the first quarter.

Kenston answered with a touchdown of its own when second-team All-Ohio senior receiver Bransen Stanley caught a 13-yard pass from first-team All-Ohio junior quarterback Jon Tomcufcik. Tomcufcik was the catalyst for the Bomber’s offense, finishing the game with 285 yards passing and three touchdowns.

First-team All-Ohio junior Jack Porter ran 58 yards to the end zone for the second Bombers touchdown early in the second quarter. A 40-yard TD pass from Tomcufcik to Stanley upped Kenston’s lead to 21-6 with 8:55 remaining in the first half.

Kenston opened the second half scoring with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Tomcufcik to junior Tyler Mintz. Following Mintz’s touchdown, Porter scored a pair of 11-yard touchdown runs providing the Bombers a final score of 42-6.

Division II

Akron Archbishop Hoban defeats Massillon Washington 42-28 for fourth straight state championship

CANTON — No. 1 Akron Archbishop Hoban (15-0) used a 34-point first-half outburst on its way to claiming its fourth-straight state title Thursday night with a 42-28 win over No. 3 Massillon Washington (14-1) in the OHSAA Division II football state championship at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

The Knights first undefeated season gives them back-to-back Division II state champions after winning the Division III title in 2015 and 2016.

The two teams combined for 847 yards of total offense, surpassing the existing OHSAA Division II state championship game record by 29 yards.

Massillon opened the game with a promising first drive that spanned 11 plays and 59 yards, but the Hoban defense held and forced a turnover on downs at its 21-yard line.

In the next 12 minutes of action, Hoban scored 27 unanswered points.

Senior running back Tyris Dickerson opened the scoring for the Knights with a 13-yard touchdown run. The third-team All-Ohioan was the game’s leading rusher with 211 yards on 28 carries.

Less than two minutes later, Hoban reached the end zone again, as sophomore quarterback Shane Hamm scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns from 23 yards out. Hamm’s second rushing score came six minutes later, putting the Knights up 20-0. Following an interception by junior Devin Hightower on the ensuing Massillon possession, Shane Hamm connected with Tyris Dickerson on a 35-yard touchdown pass to put Hoban up 27-0 with over nine minutes remaining in the first half.

Massillon broke into the scoring column on its next possession. Junior running back Zion Phifer punched it in from one yard out to cap a four-play, 69-yard touchdown drive featuring a 42-yard pass from junior quarterback Aidan Longwell to sophomore receiver Jayden Ballard.

Hoban ended its first-half scoring outburst with Hamm connecting with junior tight end Caden Clark from 28 yards out.

Hoban joins Newark Catholic (1984-87), Cleveland St. Ignatius (1991-95), Maria Stein Marion Local (2011-14) and Coldwater (2012-15) as the only teams in OHSAA history to win four straight titles.

Division VI

Kirtland avenges 2017 championship game loss against Maria Stein Marion Local

CANTON — In a rematch of the 2015 and 2017 state title games, No. 1 Kirtland defeated No. 3 Maria Stein Marion Local 16-7 to win the OHSAA Division VI football state championship on Friday at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

In the 2015 matchup, Kirtland won by a score of 22-20, and in 2017, Marion Local won 34-11.

Neither team was able to score in the opening quarter, but Kirtland (15-0) ended the quarter with a third and goal on the Marion Local two-yard line. Marion Local (13-2) stuffed the Kirtland run to open the second quarter but were flagged for encroachment, giving Kirtland a first and goal from the one. The Hornets took advantage as senior running back Jake Neibecker ran it in to give Kirtland a 7-0 lead. Neibecker was the game’s leading rusher, finishing with 107 yards on 17 carries. 

On the ensuing Marion Local possession, the Flyers capped off a 10-play 65-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run of their own by junior running back Brandon Fleck.

Following back-to-back three and outs for both offenses, Kirtland regained the lead with a 7-yard touchdown run by junior running back Luke Gardner with just over one minute remaining in the half.

Marion Local had a promising drive following the Kirtland score but senior quarterback Nathan Bruns was intercepted in the end zone by senior defensive back Connor Gron to secure a 13-7 halftime lead for Kirtland.

The lone score in the second half came on Kirtland’s first possession. The Hornets drove down to the Marion Local 15-yard line and converted a 32-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Mario Rodin.

With Marion Local’s loss, this is the first year since 2003 that a team from the Midwest Athletic Conference will not win a football state championship. 

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