CANTON – St. Edward jumped on Springfield early. The Eagles then held off multiple threats to beat the Wildcats 23-13 for the Division I state championship on Friday night at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
The Eagles, despite being stuffed on four straight plays from the Springfield 1 on their first drive, went up 16-0 in the first half. They won their fifth state championship, all coming since 2010.
St. Edward finishes 15-1 on the season. Springfield, making its first title game appearance, finishes 14-2.
Here’s a look at some of the key things to know about the game:
Player of the Game: Danny Enovitch, RB, St. Edward
This very easily could've been Springfield quarterback Te'Sean Smoot, even in a losing effort. However, it's hard to deny what the senior running back Enovitch meant to the Eagle offense in the win. The first play of the game, he ripped off a 72-yard run, setting the tone for the kind of night he ended up having. Enovitch finished with 210 yards on 32 carries, averaging 6.6 yards per run. He also found the end zone twice, on St. Edward's first and last scores.
Play of the Game: Hayden Rice's interception
Springfield came out of the locker room after halftime trailing 16-7, but it was getting the second-half kickoff. Te'Sean Smoot was smooth in moving the Wildcats down the field from their own 21 to the St. Edward 15. However, instead of adding points to their total, they only increased their frustrations, as Hayden Rice came up with an interception for St. Ed's at the Eagle 1. It was one of two interceptions by St. Ed's.
Three stats to a title
349 yards passing: This was the grown-man performance one would expect from veteran Springfield starting quarterback Te'Sean Smoot. The senior was 29-of-43 passing with a touchdown on the night. The passing total was his second-highest number this season, and his second 300-plus-yard passing performance in the last three weeks.
2-of-5: The area where Springfield probably lost the football game came in its numerous opportunities in the red zone. Of their five trips in, the Wildcats only scored twice, a 9-yard Smoot run in the second quarter and a 20-yard Smoot-to-Anthony Brown score in the fourth quarter. There were also two missed field goals, plus Hayden Rice's pick to cost Springfield points.
9-of-13: St. Edward did a decent job of preventing even more opportunities for Springfield thanks to its own ability to extend drives, especially by converting 69.2% of its 13 third downs. Often, it was Christian Ramos finding Connor Goodall or Jackson Miller on a slant route to pick up the needed yardage to move the sticks.
They said that
St. Edward running back Danny Enovitch on his offensive line: "All the credit in the world to those guys. I love each and every one of them, especially the seniors. Gio (Kennedy), Joey (Lavelle), Alex (Castros), all of them. Brad (Delphia), the tight end. I mean, all of them. It's just amazing to do this with them."
St. Edward cornerback Hayden Rice on his interception: "It meant a lot, we got the momentum after that play. Coach always preaches to win the red zone. We won the red zone. I got the pick and it gave our team the momentum."
St. Edward quarterback Christian Ramos on the Eagle defense: "It's amazing. If we get a turnover or something goes wrong with the offense and I'm on the sideline, I'm never too high or never too low. I have so much faith in those guys day in and day out that they'll come out on top."
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This article originally appeared on The Independent: Danny Enovitch leads St. Edward football to OHSAA state title