Breaking News
More () »

Central Catholic wins Division II State Championship Thursday night

Toledo Central Catholic beat Akron Archbishop Hoban 28-21 in the championship game in Canton Thursday night.

CANTON, Ohio — Archbishop Hoban's quest to return to the top of the Division II mountain in Ohio high school football will have to wait another season.

For the second straight year, the Knights fell short in the state title game, this time in a 28-21 loss to Toledo Central Catholic on Thursday night at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. 

Hoban's loss came despite a record-setting performance from running back Lamar Sperling. The senior, who was named Ohio Mr. Football earlier in the day, rushed 40 times for 356 yards and three touchdowns. His 356 rushing yards broke the OHSAA Division II state championship game record. 

The Knights found themselves in a hole early, as the Irish grabbed a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter on a pair of touchdown runs by quarterback Ty'Waun Clark and a 92-yard interception return for a score by Braden Awls.

For the game, Hoban quarterback JacQai Long completed just two of eight passes for -3 yards and a pair of interceptions. 

Sperling finally got the Knights on the board with an eight-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 21-7, but Clark and TCC responded with a scoring drive before halftime to push the Irish lead at the break to 28-7.

Two Sperling touchdown runs in the third quarter got Hoban to within 28-21. With his third scoring run of the night, Sperling also broke the OHSAA record for most touchdowns in a season with 58. He finishes his remarkable season with 3,867 yards in 16 games. 

Thursday's win gave Toledo Central Catholic their fourth state championship in school history. Hoban played in its seventh state championship game in eight years and was looking for their sixth state title in that span. 

Sperling, a Buffalo commit, finished ahead of Cincinnati Wyoming senior running back/defensive back CJ Hester in the vote for Mr. Football. Hester will play in the Division IV state championship game Saturday night against Glenville. 

St. Edward will represent Northeast Ohio on Friday night as the Eagles will look for their second straight Division I state championship when they take on Springfield. St. Ed is seeking its sixth state championship, all since 2010. This a rematch of last year's D-I championship game, when the Eagles handled the Wildcats 23-13.

On Saturday morning, Kirtland will face Marion Local in the Division VI state championship game. Tiger LaVerde's Hornets have at least played for a state championship in 10 of the past 11 seasons and won six. 

Saturday night, Glenville will go in search of their first-ever state crown as they'll take on Wyoming in D-IV play. Glenville remains the only Cleveland public school to play in a state title game in the playoff era, and is seeking to become the first CMSD squad to win a championship of any kind since East Tech way back in 1920.

3News' Tyler Carey contributed to this report

Before You Leave, Check This Out