CANTON – Division I state championship game records fell throughout the second half as fifth-ranked Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (14-1) held on for a 55-52 win Saturday over sixth-ranked Mentor (13-2) at Canton Fawcett Stadium as the Crusaders won back-to-back state titles and their ninth overall.
In a back-and-forth game that saw big plays topped by bigger plays, Mentor trailed 48-26 after three quarters, but scored a Div. I state championship record 26 points in the fourth quarter to get within one score for the last several possessions of the game.
That was just one of the state records that would fall by the time the game was over. Temperatures in the mid-20s did not slow down the two offenses, which combined for 1,040 yards of total offense to set a Div. I championship game record (second-most overall).
Moeller quarterback Gus Ragland’s 3-yard touchdown run with 2:13 left in the game was Moeller’s only score of the fourth quarter, but it put the Crusaders back up by 10 points and with enough of a lead to hang for the victory after Mentor added one more touchdown.
Moeller totaled 550 yards, which would have been the new Div. I state record had it not been for the 586 yards that Mentor amassed. The two teams combined for a Div. I championship game record 15 touchdowns. Moeller’s eight touchdowns is a Div. Ii championship game record.
Moeller’s 55 points scored are a Div. I championship game record, and the two teams combined for 108 points, which is a Div. I record and ranks second overall.
Earlier in the week, the two quarterbacks – Ragland from Moeller and Mentor’s Conner Krizancic – were crowed Associated Press Division I co-Offensive Players of the Year. On Saturday, the two signal callers combined for 692 yards passing as Krizancic set a Div. I state championship game record with 419 yards passing, while Ragland completed 12-of-13 passes for 273 yards with 189 yards rushing and a state-record tying five touchdowns on the ground. Adding in a 44-yard touchdown pass by Mentor receiver Eddie Daugherty, the two teams combined to throw for 736 yards, which is a Div. I championship game record.
Daugherty himself set an all-time state championship game record with 16 receptions. He totaled 164 yards and two touchdowns.
Ragland’s touchdown runs came on yardages of 8, 3, 70, 1 and 3 yards.
Krizancic also set Div. I championship game records with 36 completions and 54 attempts, while also rushing for 102 yards and three touchdowns. His combined total of 521 yards of total offense (419 passing, 102 rushing) is believed to be a state championship game record, surpassing the mark of 482 total yards set by Kenton’s Ben Mauk (439, 43) in the 2001 Div. IV state championship win over Licking Valley.
Mentor was making its third appearance in the state championship game and leaves with its third runner-up trophy (2007, 2006). Mentor beat Cleveland St. Ignatius and Lakewood St. Edward the last two weeks in the playoffs to advance to the state championship game.
Moeller’s ninth state title adds to titles won previously in 2012, 85, 82, 80, 79, 77, 76 and 75. The Crusaders were making their 13th appearance in the state championship game, which is most among big schools and second all-time to Newark Catholic’s 14. Moeller is now 46-23 all-time in the playoffs after winning Saturday and beating fourth-ranked Hilliard Davidson and No. 1 Cincinnati Colerain the last two weeks.