CLEVELAND, Ohio – The St. Ignatius Wildcats will go after their 12th State championship this Friday Night from Columbus as they take on St. Xavier out of Cincinnati. The OHSAA DIVISION ONE State Championship Game starts at 8pm.
Let’s take a look at the path the Wildcats used to get here.
The Wildcats finished the season 9-1 and stormed through the playoffs the past four weeks. They began the regular season 3-0 with three straight blowout victories. They defeated Normandy 45-0, Mentor 49 – 7 and Valley Forge 49-0.
Their only defeat came at the hands of Detroit Catholic Central in Week Four by a score of 28-21 in overtime. They bounced back by winning their last six straight regular seasons games. Rolling over teams such as Walsh Jesuit 30-0, Parma 49-0, Glen Oak 34-17, Arch Bishop Moeller 34-17 but no victory was sweeter then their 34-7 mauling over St. Edwards in Week Ten.
In the first round they defeated Jackson High School 35-0 at Byers Field in Parma. They used 3 different men to rush for 5 touchdowns and their defense pitched the shutout. Starting running back Mark Bobinski, backup tailback Dean Stowers and Quarterback Patrick Ryan all rushed for touchdowns that night.
The Following week they defeated the number one seeded Solon Comets 31-17 in a chilly night from Mentor. That night, it was starting quarterback Patrick Ryan rushing for over 100 yards and keeping the Comets defense on their hills all night on the way to the victory.
Week three of the playoffs was an instant classic as the Wildcats took on their rivals the St. Edward Eagles in the Regional Championship Game. This week was much closer and went into OT before the Wildcats pulled it off in thrilling fashion 38-31.
The Wildcats scored on their first possession of overtime with mark Bobinski rumbling in for what would become the winning score. Late in the fourth quarter prior, it was a long touchdown pass from Ryan to Leto to put them ahead, before a late FG by Edwards tied it and forced OT.
Last week was ice cold, but the Wildcats remained red hot and built a 14-0 Halftime lead over the Olentangy Liberty. The Wildcat defense knocked out the Liberty starting quarterback Mitch Okuley and it would almost cost them, as Liberty backup quarterback sparked the offense and nearly led an epic comeback, before St. Ignatius Quarterback Patrick Ryan rattled off a beautiful 69 yard touchdown sprint down the sidelines to put the game away late.
As for the title game, they do have history this season against St. Xavier, a team they beat handily week Nine 31-14 on Saturday October 29, 2016 at Tom Ballaban Field. If they can take down St X one more time, they will be hoisting up the Division One State Championship Trophy for the Twelfth time.