CANTON — It was a game for the record books, and in the end, Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller recorded its second straight and ninth overall OHSAA Division I State Championship, holding off Mentor, 55-52.
The Crusaders and Cardinals combined for 107 total points, more than 1,000 yards of total offense and 15 touchdowns, including eight from Moeller’s senior quarterback Gus Ragland and five from his co-offensive player of the year in Division I, Mentor quarterback Conner Krizancic
Moeller (14-1) led 48-26 after three quarters, before Krizancic led a furious comeback.
Krizancic threw two touchdown passes and ran for a third as the Cardinals scored 26 4th quarter points to cut a 22-point deficit to just three at 48-45 with 4:12 remaining.
That’s when Ragland made the biggest play of the game, facing 3rd and 25, after a sack, the former wide receiver got flushed from the pocket and took off running, weaving his way through the Mentor (13-2) defense, before diving for a 26-yard gain and a huge first down.
Later in the drive, Ragland found his top target, Isaiah Gentry, deep down the sideline for a huge gain that set up the quarterback’s fifth rushing touchdown, and put the Crusaders ahead 55-45 with 2:13 remaining.
Krizancic led Mentor right down the field, and after taking a very hard hit near the goal line that knocked him out of the game for one play, returned to fire his second touchdown pass of the game, a 3-yard strike to running back Eddie Daugherty, who set a new all-division State Championship Game record with 19 receptions for 186-yards and two touchdowns.
Daugherty also threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Corey Plavcan during Mentor’s fourth quarter rally and ran for another score.
Trailing 55-52 with just 0:44 remaining, the Cardinals needed to recover their second onside kick of the quarter, but the ball bounced out of bounds, allowing Moeller to run out the clock and clinch its second straight Division I State Championship and ninth overall.
Ragland threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more in the first half, leading Moeller to a 34-23 halftime lead.
Not to be outdone, Krizancic ran for two touchdowns of his own to keep the Cardinals in the game, despite problems with turnovers and penalties.
Moeller took control in the third quarter, when the Crusaders recovered a Krizancic fumble and Ragland added his third rushing touchdown of the game, to make it 41-23.
The loss drop Mentor to 0-3 all-time in State Championship Games.
The Cardinals also came up short in 2006 and 2007.
2013 OHSAA Division I State Championship Game BOX SCORE:
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