D-I State Final: Elder and St. Ignatius square off in clash of Catholic powers


St. Ignatius and Elder have a combined 11 state titles between them.

It’s fitting that the first time Cleveland St. Ignatius made the playoffs, the Wildcats won the whole damn thing. Guess who is back? Ignatius goes for its 10th state title next Saturday, while Cincinnati Elder goes for its third.

It’s fitting that the first time Cleveland St. Ignatius made the playoffs, the Wildcats won the whole damn thing.

In 1988, an unknown parochial school from the heart of Cuyahoga County and the city of Cleveland made its first appearance in the OHSAA state playoffs. Four games later Cleveland St. Ignatius won its first Division I state title with a 10-7 victory over Cincinnati Princeton at Ohio Stadium. The rest is history. Over the next 14 years, St. Ignatius claimed nine state titles. No program has as many or more.

Statistically, St. Ignatius is the greatest program in Ohio High School history.

Statistically, head coach Chuck Kyle carries the same credential.

Kyle led the Wildcats to their first state title in 1988. He also led them to their last in 2001.

Guess who is back?

Ignatius dominated North Canton Hoover, 34-7, Saturday at Massillon’s Paul Brown Tiger Stadium to earn its 11th berth in the Division I state championship game. The Wildcats are 9-1 in their previous 10 trips.

Ignatius will battle Cincinnati parochial power Elder, which survived unbeaten Pickerington Central 24-10 at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium.

Elder is looking for its third state title since 2002 and its third overall. The Panthers are 2-0 in their previous state finals appearances.

The Ignatius-Elder match up marks the first all-private school D-I final since 2003 when Elder beat Lakewood St. Edward 31-7.

Despite the fact that Elder and Ignatius hail from opposite ends of the state, they share four common opponents.

St. Ed lost to Ignatius twice and Elder once, while Cincinnati LaSalle, Cincinnati St. Xavier and Clayton Northmont also lost to both.

Elder is the No. 1 team in the final ONN/Ohio High Power Poll, while Ignatius is No. 4.

Cincinnati Elder 24, Pickerington Central 10
Cleveland St. Ignatius 34, North Canton Hoover 7

Who: Cleveland St. Ignatius (13-1) vs Cincinnati Elder (13-1)
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Canton’s Fawcett Stadium


Regional Quarterfinal Scores

Regional Semifinal Scores

Regional Final Scores


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