Archbishop Hoban's left tackle for the majority of the past four years has been Nolan Rumler.

Hoban coach Tim Tyrrell put Rumler in his starting lineup in 2015 and continues to watch the senior develop against whomever lines up against him.

“He is a unique kid you get every 10 to 15 years who has that ability with his size, strength, speed and knowledge of the game,” Tyrrell said. “His first game as a freshman, his first play was a pancake [block].”

Tyrrell wouldn’t mind seeing Rumler add a few more pancakes when Hoban (14-0) meets Massillon (14-0) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Division II state championship game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

Hoban is trying to win its fourth consecutive state title, and second in a row in Canton as a Division II team after winning two Division III state titles in Columbus.

Rumler is also trying to go 4-for-4 in state championship games. Thursday will be his 58th start for Hoban, which is 56-3 during the past four seasons.

“It is a unique situation when you get a kid that is that talented and that smart,” Tyrrell said. “He is a 3.0 kid and he has a very bright future ahead of him [with a scholarship to play at the University of Michigan]. … He is definitely going to be missed. You kind of forget what you have when you have got it, but I am sure my first day of two-a-days next year I am going to be looking for him at left tackle and he is not going to be there.”

Seniors Jacob Petit, Jaden Baxter and Owen Robinson and junior Walter Ganous join Rumler up front on the Hoban offensive line.

“This is probably the best offensive line unit I have played with in my four years here,” Rumler said. "We are a bunch of physical guys and we are also great athletes, too.”

Massillon coach Nate Moore described Hoban’s offensive line as “big, strong and physical.” Moore also praised Knights senior Tyris Dickerson and junior DeaMonte Trayanum for being “two of the best backs in the state of Ohio.”

Dickerson has rushed for 1,896 yards and 27 touchdowns on 206 carries this season, and Trayanum has rushed for 1,231 yards and 25 touchdowns on 89 carries.

“They have learned how to control the ball,” Tyrrell said of Dickerson and Trayanum. “When you are dealing with running backs, it is a situation where God gave them a gift to run a football. You teach them little ins and outs and plays, but no one taught Walter Payton how to run a football. He did things and they drew up plays, and once you gave him the ball you just sat back and watched. Both of these guys have worked on the small things too, the pass protection, not fumbling the football and both of them are good receivers, too.

“Both of these guys have grown and they are best friends, which is awesome.”

Dickerson said some of his fondest memories so far are the “summer lifts, busting tail in the weight room every offseason with the team and obviously two-a-days.”

“The St. V game is always an important game and we kept it [the Shillelagh Trophy] all four years that I was here,” Dickerson said.

Rumler said he has enjoyed playing in 19 playoff games, and is ready for No. 20 Thursday against Massillon.

“We have gotten better every single week,” Rumler said. “I think our best game is always the state championship. That is usually when we peak and play our best.”

Trayanum said “getting our assignments done every week continues to be important.”

“There is a different game plan every week, so everybody has got different responsibilities and everybody just comes together to carry out their responsibilities for that particular week,” Trayanum said. “That has really kept us strong and kept us going all the way to Week 15.”

Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or mbeaven@thebeaconjournal.com.