Jump to content



Recommended Posts


Scouting Today's State Football Finals

by From staff reports

Saturday November 29, 2008, 4:30 AM


Note: All games will be broadcast live on the Internet on cleveland.com/hssports and on TV on SportsTime Ohio. The St. Ignatius game will be broadcast live on the radio on WHKW AM/1220. All tickets are $10 at the gate.



Aurora vs. Columbus Eastmoor Academy


What, when, where: Division III state championship game, 11 a.m., Fawcett Stadium, 1835 Harrison Ave. N.W., Canton. Call 330-438-2741.


Records: Aurora 12-2; Eastmoor 13-1.


What to watch: Two diversified offenses, each averaging over 33 points per game, suggests this game will be a shootout. That might not be the type of game Aurora wants to get involved in, as Eastmoor's strengths are speed, speed and more speed. The Warriors have four players that have rushed for at least 554 yards. What else would you expect from a school that produced two-time Heisman winner Archie Griffin?


Senior Touche Hopkins (5-10, 165) leads the team with 880 yards and 19 TDs on 75 carries and is followed closely by 5-5, 160-pound senior Ronald Wallace (127 carries, 735 yards) and 5-9, 175-pound junior Carl Washington (73 carries, 697 yards), who missed five games because of injury. Senior QB Marlon Johnson has completed 75 of 124 passes for 1,194 yards and 14 TDs. Eastmoor has had a terrific playoff run on its way to its first finals appearance, defeating top-ranked Thornville Sheridan, third-ranked Logan Elm and fifth-ranked Newark Licking Valley. Aurora, also in the finals for the first time, does not have the same big offensive numbers as Eastmoor. Senior TB Steven Yung leads the team with 1,518 yards and QB Brendan Gallagher has competed 124 of 197 passes for 2,031 yards and 22 TDs against just five interceptions.


PD pick: Aurora



Youngstown Ursuline vs. Findlay Liberty-Benton


What, when, where: Division V state championship game, 3 p.m., Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, One Paul Brown Dr. S.E., Massillon. Call 330-830-3900, ext. 50144.


Records: Both teams are 14-0.


What to watch: Liberty-Benton, a semifinal loser in 2006, is appearing in its first championship. Ursuline, the 2007 runner-up, won its lone title in 2000. This could be a wild final. L-B has put up astounding offensive numbers, outscoring opponents 639-36, including 10 shutouts, and shutouts in eight of its last nine. It beat two-time defending state champ Marion Local in the state semifinal, 35-0. Liberty-Benton junior QB Aaron Craft (6-2, 180) is a University of Tennessee basketball point guard recruit who is 85-5 as a starter in football and basketball. The Division V Offensive Player of the Year has accounted for 56 TDs and 4,179 yards passing and running, and has competed 77 percent of his passes. WR Ryan Cook has nearly 1,000 yards and four others have more than 400 yards.


Ursuline's daunting resume features wins over Massillon, Warren Harding, Cardinal Mooney, St. Vincent-St. Mary and Kirtland. The Irish blasted Liberty-Union in the state semifinals, 35-0. Ursuline's stellar defense is deep and fast, led by standout CBs DeAndre Harris and Dale Peterman. DE/TE Jamel Turner (6-3, 212) is among the nation's top junior ends. TB Allen Jones is the best of several talented RBs and Peterman is a game-changing wideout and returner.


PD pick: Liberty-Benton


St. Ignatius vs. Cincinnati Elder


What, when, where: Division I state championship game, 7 p.m., Fawcett Stadium, 1835 Harrison Ave. N.W., Canton. Call 330-438-2741.

Records: Both teams are 13-1.


What to watch: The all-boys Catholic schools meet for the first time in the playoffs as St. Ignatius goes for its 10th state title (most recent: 2001) and Elder for its third (2003). St. Ignatius has won 13 straight and has outscored four playoff opponents, 116-14. Elder has won 12 straight and has outscored its playoff foes, 116-67, including a two-overtime regional final against Colerain. Both teams beat St. Edward and LaSalle handily, and St. Ignatius won at St. Xavier in overtime while Elder beat St. X by 18. Both team's QBs were Division I co-Players of the Year. St. Ignatius senior QB Andrew Holland has passed for 2,609 yards, 25 TDs and 9 interceptions in a spread offense averaging 306 yards and 33.9 points. Holland's main targets are WRs Connor Ryan (Ball State recruit) and Joey Parris, who have 95 catches and 22 TDs combined. WR/punt returner Frank DeSico is a dangerous third option. Senior TB Mike Anter (190) leads with 888 yards rushing and 10 TDs. He is replaced in some short-yardage situations by Pat Hinkel, who ran for three TDs last week. Elder's 4-3 defense is allowing 280 yards per game, the core of which is junior OLB/P Corey Mason and DT Orlando Scales (6-4, 240). The big bang will be the meeting of Elder junior QB Mark Miller and the Panthers spread offense against a St. Ignatius defense (195 yards per game) that has not given up more than 16 points in 13 wins. The key matchup is Elder's all-senior offensive line led by Cincinnati recruit Austen Bujnoch (6-5, 265) and guard John Anveski (6-3, 280) against St. Ignatius' quick, 3-5 defense starring LBs Scott McVey, Seamus Siefring, S/LB Hinkel (Miami of Ohio), NT Ryan Carr (6-1, 275), and FS Dan Fox (Notre Dame), who suffered a concussion three weeks ago. Miller has passed for 2,920 yards and 29 TDs and has three big wideouts with at least 50 catches: Josh Jones (Cincinnati), Tim O'Connor and Michael Del Prince. Jones (6-3, 210) has 61 catches and 12 TDs. Junior TB Adam Brown (1,126 yards, 13 TDs) will play despite a sprained ankle suffered last week. Both teams feature strong punting and kicking games.


PD pick: St. Ignatius

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...