Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

High School

St. Francis defense to be tested

The next destination on the playoff football journey of fifth-ranked St. Francis de Sales (11-1) will be a return visit to Fremont's Harmon Stadium Friday night at

7:30, when veteran coach Dick Cromwell's Knights will battle unranked Maple Heights (10-2), which has already eliminated the City League's other two Division II postseason qualifiers.

St. Francis staged a thrilling, come-from-behind triumph over Avon Lake at Harmon Stadium Friday night, winning 13-10 on senior Pat Dyer's 35-yard field goal as time expired. Down 10-0 at halftime, the Knights tightened up defensively to blank the Shoremen, and pulled even after Dyer's 38-yard field goal in the third quarter and senior Scott Loy's 30-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the fourth.

First and foremost in the scheming of the St. Francis coaching staff this week will be some kind of a plan to counter Maple Heights' dangerous combination of speed and elusiveness. Those strengths became glaringly obvious the past two weeks in Mustang victories at Rogers (36-26) and over Central Catholic

(27-13) at Huron.

Last Friday, Mustang quarterback Shaq Washington (114 rushing yards, two TDs; 20-of-25 passing for 171 yards and another score) and running back Devonte Ransom (185 rushing yards) proved lethal to a Central defense that had blanked St. Francis 10-0 back on Oct. 9, the Knights' only loss.

In his 26th season guiding the Knights, Cromwell has led St. Francis to 13 playoff appearances, including a Division I state championship in 1984, a Division II state title in 2001, and a D-II state runner-up finish in 1982.

Elsewhere, in a Division V regional final, eight-time defending Northwest Ohio Athletic League championship Patrick Henry (12-0) will take on Green Meadows Conference champion Tinora (11-1) at Fred Brown Stadium in Defiance Friday at 7:30 p.m..

Coach Bill Inselmann's top-ranked Patriots have advanced with wins over Northwood (41-14) and Jeromesville Hillsdale (42-19), while 12th-ranked Tinora moved along with victories over Fairview (45-6) and Lima Central Catholic


Inselmann has led PH to 11 postseason appearances, including a Division V state championship in 2005, state semifinal appearances in 2004 and 2007, and regional finals in 2003 and last year.

The stunner of the weekend was fourth-ranked Genoa's heartbreaking 36-35 loss to 9-3 Orrville at Ashland.

Orrville has a D-IV regional final matchup Saturday night in Tiffin against Ottawa-Glandorf (10-2), which hammered Eastwood 48-3 last Saturday.

North of the border, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (11-1) will meet Constantine in a Michigan Division 6 state semifinal at Jackson Saturday at 1 p.m.

Contact Steve Junga at:

or 419-724-6461.

Click to comment

Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem?

Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet.

Copyright © 2018 Toledo Blade

To Top

Fetching stories…