At 5-foot-3 and 155 pounds, the compact running back packed a punch that stunned many foes. The senior was the heart and soul of a Panthers team that knocked off rival Perrysburg 27-14 in the regular-season finale. Maumee recaptured the Ding Dong Bell trophy as Cleghorn rushed for 301 yards on 51 carries and scored on runs of 6, 39, 1 and 8 yards.
“He was the shortest player on the field but played like He-man,” Maumee coach Marc Gibson said. “It was an incredible effort.”
Also a starter at linebacker and on special teams, Cleghorn rarely left the field.
Cleghorn finished with 1,405 yards on 233 carries (6.0 per run) and 17 touchdowns this season. He also had 372 yards on returns and scored another TD. On defense, he tallied 40 tackles, including four for loss, forced one fumble, recovered two fumbles, and returned one for a score.
“The Perrysburg game was a heroic effort,” Gibson said. “I've been a head coach for 21 years and have had 18 players run for over 1,000 in a season and even one who went over 2,000. But I've never had a runner carry the ball 51 times in a game and also play full-time defense and all special teams.”
In his three-year career on the varsity, Cleghorn carried 506 times for 2,639 yards (5.2 average) and scored 29 touchdowns. He accounted for 202 total points while overcoming a dislocated knee and torn ACL as a sophomore.
Cleghorn also was a member of the Maumee baseball team that reached the state semifinals last summer.
“What makes Devon special is his determination and work ethic,” Gibson said. “He built himself up to finish his high school football career the way he wanted and envisioned. When someone looks at him they figure there is no way he is capable of doing what he does on the football field. He has the heart of a lion.”
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