From left, T.J. Gibbs, Alex Pidcock and Jim McMahon celebrate after Southview won the Division II state football title with a win over Cincinnati Anderson.
The football season was memorable for several area teams, including three who reached state championship games in Massillon.
Heading that list was coach Jim Mayzes Southview Cougars, who capped a 15-0 season by rallying for a late touchdown to top defending champion Cincinnati Anderson 29-25 in a thrilling Division II final.
It was the fourth state title won by teams from the immediate Toledo area, and the first ever by a local public school.
The Cougars, who were led by senior All-Ohioans Alex Pidcock (QB), Shaun Joplin (WR), Greg Isley (LB) and Jim McMahon (OL), thus joined St. Francis (1984 and 2001) and Central Catholic (2005) as state champions.
Third-ranked Blanchard Valley Conference champion Liberty-Benton (14-1) lost to top-ranked Youngstown Ursuline 21-0 in the D-V state final. Coach Tim Nichols Eagles were paced by junior All-Ohio QB Aaron Craft and a stifling defense that recorded an impressive 10 shutouts in 15 games.
Genoa's Zach Apel scores against Kettering Alter in a D-IV state semifinal. Genoa lost 42-34.
Top-ranked Midland Athletic League champ Hopewell-Loudon (14-1) fell 34-14 to Delphos St. John s in the D-VI final, spoiling an otherwise perfect season for the second straight year in a state final. Coach Brian Colatruglio s Chieftains were led by QB Tyler Brown and receiver Andrew Brickner.
Suburban Lakes League champion Genoa ran its record to 13-0 before being ousted 42-34 in a shootout in the Division IV state semifinals by eventual champion Kettering Alter.
Coach Mike Vicars Comets were led by seniors Ryan Bless (OL-DL), Marcus Vicars (RB-LB), Blair Skilliter (RB-LB) and Zach Apel (WR-DB).
North of the border, coach Jack Giarmo s Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central Falcons (10-3) reached their fourth state semifinal in the past six years before falling to Leslie in the Michigan Division 6 semis.
Also, Central Catholic won its fourth straight City League championship, recording the first 10-0 regular season for a CL team since Bowsher did it in 1978. Coach Greg Dempsey s Irish were ranked No. 2 in the final Ohio D-II poll, but were ousted in their playoff opener.
Patrick Henry (12-1) won its seventh straight Northwest Ohio Athletic League title and was ranked No. 2 in D-V. But coach Bill Inselmann s Patriots lost their regional final showdown with Liberty-Benton. Northwood (9-1) repeated its Toledo Area Athletic Conference crown, but was unable to gain a D-V playoff berth.