Ursuline blanks Liberty-Benton; St. Ignatius wins

Published 11:01 pm Saturday, November 29, 2008

Allen Jones scored on a 59-yard run and Youngstown Ursuline returned two interceptions for touchdowns to win the Ohio Division V high school football championship, 21-0 over Findlay Liberty-Benton on Saturday.

Dale Peterman went 44 yards and LaVance Turnage 40 yards with picked passes in the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium as the Fighting Irish (15-0) earned their second state crown.

Ursuline, also champions in 2000, got the first shutout in a Division V title game in 23 years, since Newark Catholic beat Delphos Jefferson, 19-0.

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Jones burst 59 yards down the right side at 10:49 of the third quarter to put Ursuline ahead 7-0. The gain nearly doubled the Fighting Irish’s total yardage in a sluggish first half.

Both teams came in undefeated and known for stifling defenses and high-powered attacks — but neither mustered much offense in a frustrating first half.

Ursuline managed only 37 total yards and was intercepted twice.

That wasn’t too surprising, since Liberty-Benton (14-1) came in with 10 shutouts and having outscored opponents 649-36.

Eagles quarterback Aaron Craft went 18-of-27 for 152 yards, but was intercepted four times. Craft guided the Eagles to their best chance, but was stacked up at the Irish 4 on fourth-and-1 with less than a minute to go before halftime.

Cle. St. Ignatius 28, Cincinnati Elder 20

CANTON (AP) — Andrew Holland passed for 208 yards and three touchdowns to lead Cleveland St. Ignatius to an Ohio record 10th state championship, 28-20 over Cincinnati Elder in Division I on Saturday night.

Holland found Connor Ryan for two TDs and started the scoring with a 21-yarder to Brendan Carozzoni at Fawcett Stadium. That helped the Wildcats (14-1) to their first title since 2001 — in a record 21st consecutive appearance in the playoffs.

St. Ignatius won 14 in a row following a season-opening 20-17 loss to Cleveland Glenville. The win gave the Wildcats an overall 55-11 playoff record.

They overcame a record-setting performance by Elder’s Mark Miller, who went 27-for-50 for 399 yards and two TDs.

Despite combining for 12 state championship-game appearances since 1988, the teams met for the first time for the title. Elder (13-1) ranked fifth in the final Associated Press regular-season poll and state champs in 2002-03, came in averaging 36 points. The No. 4 Wildcats had held nine opponents to single-digit scoring with four shutouts.

Yet it was St. Ignatius that bolted to a 21-0 lead with 8:56 left in the first half.

The Wildcats went 80 yards for their first TD, capped by Carozzoni’s catch. The tight end went up between two defenders for the grab at the 5, then bulled into the end zone.

First team All-Ohio linebacker Scott McVey stopped Elder with an interception and Holland directed a 10-play, 76-yard drive. He connected with Ryan from 21 yards for a 14-0 lead two plays after overthrowing him on the same route.

Pat Hinkel’s 2-yard burst over left tackle made it 21-0.

Holland and Miller, co-offensive players of the year in the division, combined for 609 yards passing. The teams amassed 726 total yards, 424 of them by Elder.