Akron, Ohio- Dowed Field was the scene for this highly anticipated matchup between two state championship contenders. St. Edward’s High School handed Akron Hoban it's first loss of the season.
The Eagle defense started out strong forcing a three and out. Eli Lee responded for Hoban, he got their defense started with an early pick six.
The defense continued to make an impact, Devin Bell got a sack which set up a Tysen Campbell interception.
Hoban’s offense seemed to be getting going after a 1st down conversion from a Payton Cook reception, but ultimately the Eagle defense held up forcing an empty drive.
The Eagles ended the first with a third down conversion of their own with a Brian Sullivan catch. The quarter ended with Hoban up 7-0.
The Eagles opened up the quarter taking advantage of Casey Bullock’s speed with a 45 yard QB keeper. The Eagles finished the drive with a one yard touchdown from Nate Gregory with around eight minutes to go in the half with the score tied 7-7.
The Eagles then turned it up a notch defensively gaining two tackles for losses from Gregory and Logan Thomas to force a punt.
After another empty drive from the offense the Eagle defense held strong in their territory. The half ended with them stopping a fake field goal attempt, ending the half tied at seven.
The third quarter continued to be a defensive battle, both teams traded 3 and out stops. The Eagles had another big fourth and one stop around 8:40.
Hoban had some big plays from Rickey Williams including a tackle for loss immediately followed with a sack that forced an Eagle punt. The quarter came to a close with the score being tied at seven.
When asked about his defense’s ability to make big plays Loghan Thomas said, “It starts in practice, we practice as a team we’re all brothers. I know the person next to me has my back and I got their back.”
The fourth quarter is where St Ed’s started to turn a corner offensively. After forcing another empty drive from Hoban with around eight minutes left in the game the Eagle offense took the field and got their ground game going.
The Eagles put together a drive that won them the game behind a series of Brandon White runs. White picked up 3 first downs for the Eagles but eventually they were in need of a third down conversion.
Kyan Mason broke through on a jet sweep for a double digit gain putting the Eagles in the red zone. White capped off the drive with a rushing touchdown from about 15 yards out.
The Eagle defense closed the game out forcing another three and out bringing the offense back on the field. The Eagles ran the clock out with a few more runs from White as they went on to win 14-7.
When asked about the final drive White said, “ My coach told me it was going to have to be somebody to make the plays and he told me I was going to have to be the one to do it so I did that.”
When asked about Brandon White’s late game heroics head football Tom Lombardi said, “Just two weeks in a row now of just awesome stuff. He just gets behind those guys and finds the hole.. and he’s tough to bring down”
St Edwards awaits their matchup next week as the location and opponent is currently TBA.