D-II State Final Revisited: Videos, Interviews and the Finish Line


Maple Heights, led by Shaq Washington, won its first D-II state football title. (Photo by Gary Housteau)

This game was a race from start to finish. And Maple Heights proved it had the winning kick. The Mustangs fell behind 26-7 and then scored 38 of the game’s final 45 points to record a 45-33 win over Trotwood-Madison and claim the school’s first D-II state title. Here’s a complete recap of the action…



HIGHLIGHT VIDEO By ScoutingOhio/Mark Porter



By Tim Langevin

This game was a race from start to finish.
Trotwood Madison jumped out of the gate early to take a 20-7 first quarter lead. Senior RB Antwan Gilbert paced the start, slashing and gashing for 87 yards on 12 carries.
But then Maple Heights QB Shaq Washington found his stride down the stretch, slinking and slithering between the creases for 109 yards and three scores.
And when it looked like Trotwood secured the lead, Maple Heights accelerated past the Rams 45-33 in the Division II title game at Massillon’s Paul Brown Stadium Friday night.
Maple Heights head coach Todd Filtz was adament, “Ya know what. People said we had a weak schedule. We couldn’t make it back here. We don’t belong here. Ya know what. We did it. We’re state champs. 15-0. Couldn’t happen any better way.”
Washington, the littlest guy on the field at 5′ 7″, stepped up big time, setting a championship game record with seven TDs. He completed 11-of-19 passes for 216 yards and three TDs and rushed for 174 yards on 29 carries and four scores.
“It was all about the offensive line. They stepped up big,” Washington said. “I kept telling myself, don’t give up. Don’t stop fighting. Last year we gave up during the game. This was very important for us. So proud to bring home the trophy.”
The Mustangs lost to Cincinnati Winton Woods in last year’s title game 42-12.
His go-to receiver was Andre Stubbs, whose seven catches for 170 yards and two TDs set a record for most receiving yards in the state championship game. In addition, Stubbs 80-yard TD reception in the second quarter set a new record for longest scoring pass play in the championship game.
Trotwood’s Gilbert was equally impressive. He carried the ball 28 times for 179 yards and scored on an electrifying 45-yard punt return to start the second quarter as well as expand Trotwood’s lead 26-7. The 5′ 10″, 170 pound senior has been on a tear since the playoffs started, gaining 1,084 yards and scoring 13 TDs.
Gilbert, a contrast in emotion said, “Right now it doesn’t feel good. We didn’t come home with the championship trophy. Just have to keep our heads up.” He added, “I haven’t made a decision on my college choice. Need to sit down with coach and my family.”
After a sluggish start, Maple Heights scored on two sustaining drives to close out the first half and trimmed the lead 26-19. The first drive covered 69 yards in 10 plays and ended with an 11-yard TD pass from Washington to Stubbs. The second drive covered 99 yards in just three plays, including the 80-yard bomb to Stubbs.
Coach Filtz said, “At halftime I talked about Rocky IV. How he took all those punches in the first three rounds. He kept plugging away and he got the knockout blow with 10 seconds left. On that last drive we got our knockout. Never have seen a senior class like this one. They are the best.”
The speech must have worked. The Mustangs carried the momentum into the second half, outscoring Trotwood 26-7. Washington scored on a nine-yard TD run to cut the margin 26-25 with 8:56 left in the quarter.
Trotwood responded with an 11-play, 69-yard drive to up it back to 33-25 with 3:41 left in the third quarter. Gilbert carried the load with 35 yards on six carries. QB Marcus Graham hit A.J. Jordan on a 17-yard pass play for the score.
Maple Heights battled back once again to shave the lead 33-31 after three quarters. The Mustangs marched down the field quickly in six plays, which concluded with Washington scoring from four yards out.
The Mustangs took the lead for the first time 37-33 with 9:41 left in the game on a six-play, 67-yard drive. And once again, it was all Washington, running for 26 yards and throwing for 36 yards.
Jordan returned the ensuing kickoff 32 yards to their 48-yard-line, but the Mustang defense held and Trotwood was forced to punt.
With the game still hanging in the balance, Maple Heights started from their 21-yard-line with 7:15 left in the contest. From there, Washington, behind his mammouth offensive line, took control. Washington dazzled the crowd  and frazzled the Ram defense with 12 straight carries for 69 yards, including the 19-yard TD run to seal the deal with 46 ticks left on the clock.
“The key was the second half,” Washington said. “I started seeing the creases develop.”
Both teams combined for 78 points to set the championship game record for most points.
Not only a coach, but a father-figure to his players, Maurice Douglass told his players to keep their heads up and finish the semester strong in the classroom. He also told them not to do anything stupid tonight. You are representing Trotwood Madison.
Coach Douglass told reporters, “I am so proud of these seniors. They won 25 games. They won more games than any other class  since I have been here. A great group of leaders. I want this team to finish what they started. Finish in the classroom. Many will go on to play at the next level. But it is all determined by how they do in the classroom.”
And so, despite the loss, Coach Douglass’s philosophy remains – prepare his players for life after high school football with COLLEGE football scholarships.
Trotwood finishes the season 12-3. This was the school’s second title game and both times finished runner-up.

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