The second and final day of the Ohio High
School Football Finals kicked off Saturday in Stark County with another explosive meeting between Ursuline and Coldwater. The Irish and Cavs combined to break or tie nine finals records as Ursuline won its third straight state title to highlight the early action from Fawcett. Need more? There’s plenty. Here’s who won and what we learned from it…
Things We Learned Saturday: State Championships
1. Youngstown Ursuline and Coldwater is must-see TV: If Coldwater and Ursuline ever meet in another state championship game – and history dictates they will – football fans who love offense HAVE to attend. The Irish and the Cavaliers know how to light up each other and the scoreboard. Ursuline beat the Cavs 51-21 in another classic Saturday at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium in the Division V final. It was the third state championship meeting between the two and like the previous match-ups another slew of records was shattered. When Ursuline beat Coldwater 49-37 in the 2000 D-IV final the clubs combined to tie or break 11 state finals records. When the two squared off last year in a game the Irish won 55-25, the teams combined to break or tie 15 D-V finals records. This year the tandem broke or tied nine more state finals records. Here we go:
– Combined the teams’ set a D-V finals record and tied the all-divisions record for rushing yards in a game with 594.
– Ursuline set the D-V finals record for rushing yards with 492. That mark is also the second highest ever in any state final in any division.
– Ursuline set a D-V record for total yards with 611. That mark is also second all-time in any division.
– Ursuline senior RB Akise Teague set a D-V finals record and tied the all-divisions record by scoring five TDs. Teague also tied a D-V finals record by running for four of those scores.
– Coldwater senior WR Reese Klenke set a D-V finals record and tied the all-divisions record with three receiving TDs.
And check this out…In the history of the state football championships (all-divisions), all three of Coldwater and Ursuline’s meetings rank in the top four games EVER in combined yardage (this year’s output of 944 yards is third overall). The Irish and Cavs have also produced three of the five highest scoring games ever in the state finals.
2. Ursuline and Teague ARE that good: All season long Ursuline has been the one team in Ohio that’s been considered a heavy favorite to win the state title in its division hands down. Saturday the Irish proved everyone right. The Irish racked up 611 total yards, converted 8-of-12 third downs and had four scoring drives under 1:15 (including strikes of :10 and :20 seconds). Ursuline led 44-7 at halftime. Teague put on a ridiculous display, gaining 337 all-purpose yards and scoring four touchdowns in the first half alone. He ended the game with 405 total yards (249 rushing) and five TDs. Although grades hampered Teague’s recruiting early on, he’s re-dedicated himself in the classroom and is a hot commodity. Wisconsin has offered Teague a scholarship and both the coaching staffs from Ohio State and Penn State were at Fawcett Saturday to see him. As of now, Teague plans on taking official visits to Wisconsin, Penn State and Cincinnati. Teague finished the season with 2,472 yards rushing, 842 yards receiving and 48 total TDs. In three state championship games (all victories), Teague has 653 all-purpose yards and eight TDs.
3. Third time is not the charm for Coldwater: The Cavaliers were looking to win their third state title in six tries but fell short against Ursuline in the teams’ third state championship meeting. The Irish on the other hand became the seventh school to win three straight state titles and improved to 3-0 against Coldwater in state finals.
4. Coldwater’s Klenke is a beast: Despite the fact that his team fell to Ursuline, Coldwater’s Klenke capped one of the state’s best individual seasons this year in regards to receiving. The senior entered Saturday’s game with 1,625 yards and 20 TDs on 96 catches. He added nine catches for 125 yards and three more TDs against the Irish. Klenke, who doesn’t have a D-I offer yet, may have earned himself one with his performance this season and against the Irish. Keep an eye on this prospect and don’t be surprised to see him end up in the MAC (particularly at Ball State) or even at a BCS school (say…maybe Purdue).
5. The Central Catholic League wins league of the year honors: Although three leagues/conferences sent two teams to the state football finals, only the Central Catholic League walked away with two titles. Columbus Watterson followed Hartley’s D-IV title Friday with a D-II championship of its own. The Eagles beat Akron Buchtel 13-12 at Paul Brown Stadium. The Midwest Athletic Conference went 1-1 (Delphos St. John’s won D-VI, Coldwater was runner-up in D-V), and the Greater Western Ohio Conference was 0-1 heading into Wayne’s D-I match-up with Lakewood St. Edward. GWOC member Trotwood-Madison lost the D-II final on Friday.
6. Watterson’s defense IS that good: Much was made about Watterson’s defense entering its D-II final against Akron Buchtel and the Eagles lived up to their billing. Despite the fact that Watterson’s offense committed six turnovers, the Eagles D limited Buchtel to its lowest scoring output since a 7-6 loss to Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in Week 3. Buchtel managed just 204 yards of offense against Watterson and came away empty on four trips inside the Watterson 27-yardline. Half of the Griffins points came on an 80-yard interception return and their other TD was set up by a Watterson turnover on its own 20-yardline.
7. Dayton will have to wait, Cleveland won’t: The Miami Valley and Dayton-area has never produced a big school high school football champion and it didn’t this year either – barely. Despite holding a 21-7 lead on St. Edward and then rallying from a 27-21 deficit to take a 28-27 fourth quarter lead, Huber Heights Wayne fell 35-28 to the Eagles in the D-I final at Fawcett Stadium. St. Ed scored with 1:32 left in the game to claim their first state title in four tries. Wayne was also state runner-up in 1999, while Centerville was D-I runner-up in 1991. As strange as it sounds, St. Edward becomes just the second big school from Cleveland to win a big school state title, joining archrival St. Ignatius, which has a state record 10 championships.
8. I know what I’m talking about: Really. I went 4-2 this weekend in predicting the correct state title winners. I successfully picked Watterson, Hartley, Ursuline and Delphos St. John’s. The two I missed were close ones. I said Wayne would beat St. Edward 27-24 and that Braxton Miller would lead the Warriors to a comeback win. When Wayne went up 28-27 with 2:34 to play I looked golden. When St. Edward scored with 1:32 to go and then forced Wayne to turn the ball over on downs with under a minute to go I felt like – well I came up just short. In D-II I picked Trotwood-Madison to beat Maple Heights 42-35. After Antwan Gilbert returned a second quarter punt and Trotwood went up 26-7, I looked golden again. After Maple Heights responded with a 38-7 run and won 45-33 I didn’t. Regardless, I’ll take 4-2 – and Wayne and Trotwood again if given the opportunity.
9. Private 5, Public 0: For those keeping count – and there are a ton of you – there were five public vs private
school match-ups in the state football finals and private schools went 5-0.
We’ll discuss this more in our weekend recap to be released Monday.
10. We’ll have more Monday: Like I said, come back to JJHuddle.com Monday for our Players of the Week, Top Performers and observations/storylines from the state finals. It was a great weekend.
Youngstown Ursuline 51, Coldwater 21
Watterson 13, Akron Buchtel 12
St. Edward 35, Wayne 28