Division VI: Marion Local 28, Newark Catholic 21
Hunter Wilker had not practiced even one play at running back all year.
Pressed into service because of injuries, the freshman wide receiver ran for three touchdowns to lead Maria Stein Marion Local to its sixth state football championship on Friday in Massillon.
Wilker scored on a 1-yard run with 21 seconds left to put the Flyers (13-2) ahead.
Newark Catholic (12-3), seeking its ninth state title, incredibly drove into position to tie it, but Nate Nagel broke up a potential touchdown at the goal line with no time left.
The Flyers repeated as champions despite losing starting tailback Jacy Goettemoeller to a leg injury on the first drive of the game and his replacement Aaron Nietfeld with a shoulder problem in the third quarter.
Chayce Croch threw two touchdown passes and had a 5-yard touchdown run for Newark Catholic.
Marion Local has won all six of its championships since 2000. Newark Catholic dominated in the 1980s, winning five titles and getting three runner-up finishes in that decade.
Wilker scored from 6 yards with 19 seconds left in the first half. Moved to running back after Nietfeld went down, Wilker picked his way through the right side for an 11-yard touchdown with 18 seconds left in the third quarter for a 21-14 lead.
Newark Catholic tied it at 21 on a 20-yard pass from Croch to Kevin Bourne, who finished with 121 yards on seven receptions overall.
Division IV: Clinton-Massie 46, St. Clairsville 36
Bayle Wolf’s biggest play wasn’t one of his five touchdowns.
Wolf ran for 220 yards and all those touchdowns, but his interception with 1:30 left helped preserve Clinton-Massie’s 46-36 win over St. Clairsville on Friday for the Falcons’ first state Division IV football championship at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium.
“It was huge,” Wolf said. “They had some momentum. I was just so happy. I had some green ahead of me, but I just slid down so that I didn’t make a mistake and just win the game.”
Wolf scored on a 9-yard run and 36-yard pass from Tyler Uetrecht in the first three minutes for the Falcons (15-0). They totaled 822 points this year, a state record for any level.
“That’s just an overwhelming feat,” coach Dan McSurley said. “You don’t go into a season thinking you can do that.”
St. Clairsville (14-1) rallied from a 19-0 deficit in its first title game.
The Red Devils got within 39-36 as Matt Kinnick passed for 437 yards. The senior quarterback had scoring throws of 7, 76, 9 yards and 46 yards to Jerrid Marhefka.
Marhefka had nine receptions and a title-game record 272 yards.
Kinnick completed 21-of-39 passes for 437 yards, two shy of the state title game mark in the division.
Clinton-Massie totaled 408 yards on 60 carries. Wyatt Running added 101 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown.
Yet it was the Falcons’ unheralded defense that came through in the fourth quarter. They held St. Clairsville to its lowest point total of the season — helped by stopping the Red Devils on four downs inside the 2.
“That was the game right there, actually,” McSurley said.
McLean agreed: “We needed that one more score right there, and then one more stop. We were confident we could score and we put up some points. We lived on speed all season, but they matched it.”
Still, St. Clairsville kept moving the ball on offense, just about matching the Falcons’ potent attack.
Division II: Toledo Central Catholic 16, Trotwood Madison 12
Amir Edwards ran for two touchdowns and Toledo Central Catholic held off a fourth-quarter rally from Trotwood Madison to win the Division II state championship in Massillon.
Edwards scored on runs of 3 and 8 yards in the second quarter and Central Catholic (14-1) added a safety in the third quarter before Trotwood Madison (12-3) rallied in the fourth quarter.
Madison scored on two touchdown passes but failed twice on 2-point conversion attempts.
Edwards rushed for 185 yards on 38 carries to lead the Fighting Irish.