Cincinnati Moeller'S Joe Eramo, 23, is tackled by Whitmer'S Jack Linch, 44, Al Bryant, IV and Devin Thomas, 1, during the second quarter Saturday.
The Blade/Andy Morrison
CANTON -- Whitmer fell just short of bringing the city of Toledo another state championship Saturday night.
A day after Central Catholic won the Division II state title, the Panthers fell 20-12 in the Division I title game at Fawcett Stadium.
Whitmer (14-1) made it tense late, capitalizing on the first of two Moeller second-half turnovers to to pull within five points at the end of the third quarter. Quarterback Nick Holley found Nate Holley for a 20-yard touchdown pass moments after the Panthers recovered a fumble to make it 17-12.
Whitmer started strong in its first state championship game appearance in school history, opening with a seven-play, 80-yard drive capped by a 37-yard touchdown pass from Holley to Michael Dzikowski. But it was all Moeller for the rest of the first half.
The Crusaders rolled to three straight scores -- including a go-ahead 6-yard touchdown pass from Spence Iacovone to Keith Watkins.