D-I State Football Final Preview: Keys, Notes, Quotes, Top Players & Predictions

The State Championships have arrived. Whether you’re headed to Stark County or headed to the couch to watch on TV, here’s what you need to know...D-I’s Top Players, Quotes, Notes, Predictions, Stats & More.

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2013 State Football Final Information

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Division I State Final: Saturday, 3 p.m., Canton Fawcett Stadium

Mentor (13-1/ONG JJH No. 5/AP No. 8) vs Cincinnati Moeller (13-1/ONG JJH No. 3/AP No. 5)

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KEYS/QUOTES/NOTES

1. Public vs Private

Moeller will have to beat three straight public schools to win the state title. Mentor will have to beat three straight parochial teams. In the first year of the NEW D-I, we have a fitting ending: Public vs Private. But don’t feel bad for Mentor. The Cardinals can lay claim to the state’s best D-I athletics program over the past 12 months. In this calendar year, the Cardinals have captured the D-I boys basketball state title and were D-I state runner-up in boys soccer. The baseball team made the D-I regional final. Last year’s football team lost in the state semis. Said Mentor head coach Steve Trivisonno: “We’ve had a pretty darn good year. Hopefully we can keep that going.” Moeller looks a little different. The Crusaders graduated 18 starters from last year’s state championship team, but here they are again. “We started off the season not talking about repeating because of all the new starters,” Moeller head coach John Rodenberg said. “We wanted this team to play with its own character. We have a great senior class and leadership. It’s a great situation for us.” A win over Pike (Ind.) in the season opener has propelled Moe. “It was the first game starting for 16 guys and we beat them on a last second play,” Rodenberg said. “It was huge. I’m not sure we really realize how big of an impact that game had on our season. It gave our kids that mojo and belief that ‘hey we might be able to be pretty good this year.’” Mentor has won 12 straight after losing to St. Ignatius in Week 2.

2. Familiarity

Both programs have great respect for each other and the two share a recent history. In 2008 Moeller lost at Mentor 34-28 in Week 5 and in 2009 the Crusaders hosted and beat the Cards 45-7 in Week 5. “I’ve gotten the opportunity to play them twice (first two years at Moeller),” Rodenberg said. “It’s going to be a heck of a battle. We know they throw the ball and they have a great offensive mind and system. We’re going to see ball in the air lot.” Said Trivisonno: “I got to see them play Eds up here. Obviously they didn’t win the state title a year ago and get back without great coaching and talent. They have a great offense and we’ll have to be at the top of our game to compete with them. They have probably the biggest offensive line we’ve ever seen. It’s probably as big as the OL St. Eds had a few years ago (in 2010) when we played them in the playoffs.”

3. Krizancic vs Ragland

Two first-year QBs will be on center stage – Moeller’s Gus Ragland and Mentor’s Conner Krizancic. Both are studs. Ragland is a first team GCL South performer and was named 2013 All-Southwest District D-I Offensive Player of the Year. He’s rushed for 1,485 yards and 25 TDs and thrown for 1,785 yards and 19 TDs. “He’s a true Moeller guy,” Rodenberg said. “He’s got an attitude that he’s not going to lose. It’s great when you have a guy like that that touches the ball every play.” Said Trivisonno: “He’s as good as anybody out there. ‘Contain’ is the key word. You’re not going to stop him.” The same can be said of Krizancic. A converted WR, the Cincinnati recruit has thrown for 2,811 yards and 30 TDs and rushed for 1,345 yards and 20 TDs. He was the 2013 All-Northeast Lakes District D-I Offensive Player of the Year. “He’s a phenomenal football player and he’s a complete football player,” Trivisonno said of Krizancic, the son of Mentor basketball coach Bob Krizancic. “He’s going to Cincinnati as a WR, but this year we moved him to QB and I think some people are starting to change their mind and think he could be (a QB) at the next level. He’s been as good as anyone else we’ve had. Nothing he does athletically surprises me.” Said Rodenberg: “It’ll be a nice match up between the two. They’re two guys that are going to lay their hearts on the field for both schools. I think that’s going to make it a special game in and of itself.”

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TOP PLAYERS

Gus Ragland, sr., QB, Moeller
Chalmer Frueauf, sr., DL, Moeller
Isaiah Gentry, sr., WR, Moeller (Kent State)
Sam Hubbard, sr., LB, Moeller (Ohio State)
Stephen Langenkamp, sr., OL, Moeller
Will Mercurio, sr., LB, Moeller
Conner Krizancic, sr., QB, Mentor (Cincinnati)
Eddie Daugherty, jr., WR, Mentor
Brandon Fritts, sr., WR, Mentor (North Carolina)
Kent Berger, sr., LB, Mentor (Ohio)
Justin Mcmahon, sr., LB, Mentor
Nico Lautanen, jr., DL, Mentor

PREDICTIONS

Eric Frantz Pick: Mentor
Drew Pasteur Pick: Mentor by 2
Cal Preps: Moeller by 4

SEASON RESULTS

MOELLER RESULTS
Indianapolis, IN Pike W, 37-33
Covington, KY Covington Catholic W, 45-7
Toronto, CAN St. Michael College W, 64-13
Louisville, KY St. Xavier W, 24-12
Cincinnati St. Xavier W, 20-17
Cincinnati LaSalle W, 31-28
Cincinnati Elder W, 35-14
Indianapolis, IN Indianapolis Cathedral W, 35-14
Lakewood St. Edward L, 42-45
Louisville, KY Trinity W, 42-14
Regionals
Cincinnati St. Xavier W, 42-17
Cincinnati Elder W, 24-0
Cincinnati Colerain W, 35-26
Hilliard Davidson W, 13-11

MENTOR RESULTS
Erie, PA McDowell W, 44-30
Cleveland St. Ignatius L, 6-26
Euclid W, 36-0
Twinsburg W, 49-0
Lyndhurst Brush W, 62-43
Shaker Heights W, 56-14
Brunswick W, 45-3
Solon W, 35-0
Hudson W, 38-14
Strongsville W, 45-19
Regionals
Brunswick W, 42-0
Stow-Munroe Falls W, 43-0
Cleveland St. Ignatius W, 26-3
Lakewood St. Edward W, 41-38

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3 thoughts on “D-I State Football Final Preview: Keys, Notes, Quotes, Top Players & Predictions

  1. Robert Smith

    Moeller, and I don’t think it’s close. They got their challenges from Colerain’s offense and Davidson’s defense. They handle Mentor with relative ease.

    Reply

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