CANTON, OHIO – It was a battle of the birds for the OHSAA Division 1 State Championship as the St. Edward Eagles took on the Colerain Cardinals out of Cincinnati. The boys from Northeast Ohio took home the gold with a 24-10 victory. Their fourth OHSAA Division 1 State Title.
The star of the game was Michigan commit Quintel Kent who went off for 120 yards on 8 catches, scoring twice. He took the game over in the second half as the Cardinals had no answer for him. The Eagles outscored the Cardinals 17-0 in the second half after trailing 10-7 at Halftime.
Deshawn Pace took the opening kickoff deep into Eagle territory to give the Cardinals an immediate scoring threat. A few plays later however it was Pace coughing the ball up at the goal line as the Eagles recovered it, erasing their first scoring chance of the night.
Neither team would come close to scoring again in the quarter as it ended scoreless. The Cardinals did pile up 63 rushing yards in the quarter without attempting a single pass. Their first pass came with 4:33 left in the first half and they made it count. It was a 14-yard touchdown toss from Deante Smith-Moore to Syncere Jones to open up the scoring and put the Cardinals ahead 7-0.
With the Cardinals driving again at the tail end of the first half, Smith-Moore threw a costly interception to Daylan Jernigan of the Eagles. They immediately made the Cardinals pay for it as Garrett Dzuro threw two passes to a bolting Kent to get the ball inside the Cardinal five. From there it was the 2018 NEOSI Player of the Year, Jordan Castleberry finishing off the drive to tie the game.
The Cardinals managed to get another huge kickoff return by Pace to set up a last second 32-yard field goal attempt by Chris Mangold. The senior kicker nailed it, and the Cardinals took a 10-7 lead into the break.
The Eagles came out of the locker running wild in the form of Castleberry. Burst after burst by the speed demon back put the Eagles in the red zone. They had to settle for a 25-yard field goal by Gianluca Russo to tie the game at 10. Castleberry, the West Virginia commit, finished with 89 yards on 19 carries.
The big night for Kent continued the next time the Eagles touched the ball as he hooked up with Dzuro again. This time for 23 yards and pay dirt. This gave the Eagles their first lead of the night at 17-10 as the third quarter came to a close. Dzuro would finish the night going 12 of 12 passing for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The Eagles had a chance to put it away midway through the fourth quarter and did just that yet. Yet again, it was Kent leaping above Cardinal defenders to catch another touchdown pass. This one from 19 yards and giving the Eagles a 24-10 lead with a little over 7 minutes left to play.