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Central Catholic wins state championship, Irish faithful show support

Hundreds of Irish faithful congregated at Nick & Jimmy's on Monroe Street Thursday to watch their team defeat Akron Archbishop Hoban 28-21 to claim the state title.

TOLEDO, Ohio — More than 100 of the Irish faithful showed up at Nick & Jimmy's on Monroe Street Thursday to support their team from afar as Central Catholic defeated Hoban 28-21 to claim the Division II state title.

"You're going to participate as much as you can," Ned Mehling, '89, said. "Whether it's coming to Nick and Jimmy's to watch the football game or going to the game on Cherry Street in the shadows of the big building, it's amazing."

WTOL 11 talked with alumni of graduating classes from the last few years to the 1980s and even all the way back to the 1950s.

"Central Catholic is its people," John Fesh, '84, said. "We're one. We're family. And it shows right here."

Most thought the game would turn out to be a classic back-and-forth contest like previous title games went for the Irish. And Thursday night, that's what they got. Central Catholic jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first half. Hoban stormed back in the second to make it a 28-21 game, but the Irish made a decisive 4th down stop which all but ended the Knights' chance at tying.

"They deserve it. We're both mad we're not there, but it's ok," Joe Francis, '81, said alongside George Francis, '57. "We're here. This is a good crowd, good energy, we're having fun."

The Irish claimed their fifth state title as generations of fans celebrate the 2022 Division II State Championship.

"I'm just so excited for these kids," Student Activities Coordinator Amy Rough said. "I'm excited for this coaching staff, everybody at Central Catholic. Bring it home, boys. Just bring it home."

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