CANTON, Ohio — St. Edward saw its last two football seasons end in heartbreak. As 2021 rolled along, it became apparent that the Eagles were playing like a team on a mission.
Friday night in Canton, that mission was accomplished.
St. Ed prevailed 23-13 over Springfield to win the OHSAA Division I state championship. It’s the Eagles’ fifth title in program history, all since 2010.
All evening long, the Eagles rode the legs of senior running back Danny Enovitch, who finished with 32 carries for 210 yards and two touchdowns in his final high school game. Quarterback Christian Ramos added 146 total yards, including a 19-yard score to Connor Goodall.
St. Edward (15-1) got off to a hot start on the first play, when a 72-yard run by Enovitch made it first-and-goal at the Springfield 1. Though the stout Wildcat defense held and kept the score 0-0, it would help set the tone for the rest of the evening, with Enovitch later away for a 17-yard TD just before the end of the first quarter.
The Eagles were in control from there, with the true turning point coming on Springfield's next series. Attempting a punt on fourth down from their own 22, the snap sailed over Cole Yost's head, and he was forced to fall on it in the end zone for a safety. Following a free kick, Ramos capped off the next drive with his strike to Goodall, making it a 16-0 affair.
Springfield (13-2) quarterback Te'Sean Smoot scrambled in from 9 yards out on the next possession to make it 16-7, and the Wildcats had a chance just before halftime to make it a one-score game. However, Yost's 26-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left as time expired, and on the first drive out of intermission Smoot threw his second interception deep in St. Ed territory.
The pick by Hayden Rice led to a 92-yard drive that culminated in another Enovitch touchdown, making it 23-7. The Wildcats cut it to 10 early in the fourth when Smooth found Minnesota commit Anthony Brown from 20 yards out, but with another chance to make it a one-possession game with 5:58 to go, Yost's 24-yard try was blocked by Jack Riley, and Enovitch and Ramos milked away the remainder of the clock.
Re-listen to Dave "Dino" DeNatale's call of the game in the player below:
Smoot was able to throw for 349 yards with Brown and Shawn Thigpen each putting up more than 100 yards receiving, but the Eagle defense held the Wildcats to minus-30 yards rushing. The unit also registered four sacks, including two by Dwight Harvey and 1 1/2 more by Wyatt Gedeon.
With the win, St. Edward is now 5-3 all-time in state championship games, with five consecutive wins following their last loss in 2003. Springfield has still yet to win a title.
Be sure to tune into WKYC.com Saturday night at 7:20 p.m., when Dino and Tyler Carey will call the Division V state title game between Kirtland and Versailles.