Archbishop Hoban rolls to third-straight state crown

Archbishop Hoban rolls to

third-straight state crown

CANTON — No. 5 Akron Archbishop Hoban used a potent offensive attack in the first half to claim its third-straight state championship Thursday night with a 42-14 win over No. 2 Cincinnati Winton Woods in the OHSAA Division II football state championship at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

The Knights won state championships in 2015 and 2016 playing in Division III.

“About all I can say is that it was an unbelievable team effort,” Hoban coach Tim Tyrrell said. “Offense, defense, even our special teams. Winton Woods is an unbelievably well-coached team, but our seniors would not let the younger kids quit working. Our kids made plays when they needed to make plays.”

In a game that saw all points scored come in the first half, Hoban (14-1) started off with a bang. Freshman quarterback Shane Hamm threw deep to senior Garrett Houser for a 73-yard touchdown on the game’s first play.

After a Winton Woods three-and-out on its first drive, Hoban senior Daviaun Pete blocked a Warrior punt and senior Donny Swain returned it 28 yards for a touchdown, a Division II state championship game record for longest blocked punt returned for a touchdown, to put Hoban up 14-0 less than two minutes into the game.

Winton Woods (13-2) responded with an 11-play drive into Hoban territory, but Daulson Fitzpatrick intercepted a Kenny Mayberry pass at the Hoban 34.

Hoban continued its offensive showing early in the second quarter with a 46-yard screen pass for a touchdown from Hamm to Houser to put the Knights up 21-0.

On the ensuing Winton Woods drive, Miyan Williams breathed some life into the Warriors with a 57-yard run on first play of the drive to set the Warriors up in Hoban territory. This time, Winton Woods capitalized with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Mayberry to Cornell Beachem on third down to cut the Hoban lead to 21-7.

A flurry of scoring came in a matter of seconds halfway through the second quarter. Tyris Dickerson capped off a six-play, 80-yard drive for Hoban with a 2-yard touchdown run. Winton Woods’ Raequan Prince returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for a score to make it 28-14 in favor of Hoban. Prince’s kick return tied a Division II state championship game record.

The air connection of Hamm-to-Mason Tipton accounted for the last 14 points of the half for Hoban.

The duo’s first score came at the 5:06 mark on a 38-yard pass to put the Knights up 35-14. The second came after an unsuccessful fake punt by Winton Woods deep in its own territory with 29 seconds left in the half. Hamm went back to Tipton on a 21-yard TD pass with 12 seconds left in the half to give the Knights a 42-14 lead.

Hamm finished 8 of 13 passing for 243 yards and four touchdowns for Hoban. Hamm’s four touchdown passes tied a Division II state championship game record. Houser finished with four receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Tipton added two touchdowns on two receptions and 59 yards.

Winton Woods was making its first state championship game appearance since its 2009 title in Division II. It’s the Warriors first state runner-up finish. Williams led Winton Woods with 175 yards rushing on 20 carries.