PARMA, Ohio - Fans in attendance of the Division 1, Region 1 Final at Byers Field witnessed a dominant display of football as the top-seeded St. Ed’s Eagles dismantled Medina Friday night on both sides of the ball.
All week leading into the game, the buzz was all about Medina's high-powered offense, directed by senior quarterback Danny Stoddard and his formidable quartet of Jack Wojciak, Nathan Angus, Dylan Whitehill, and the "Cheat Code" Austin Knowles. However, St. Ed's senior defensive back Camrinn Boone and the rest of the Eagles' defense, even in the absence of senior Notre Dame recruit Loghan Thomas, were more than ready for the challenge.
"Coming into this game, I knew they'd pass the ball a lot, especially to him(Austin Knowles). We knew after watching film they couldn't score without him, but my main goal today was to stop him and I think i did my job today," Boone said on his and the team mindset today.
The game began with Medina's offense taking the field first. After successfully converting their first fourth-down attempt, their advance was halted by the Eagles' defense on the second attempt at the Eagles' 29-yard line.
This moment set the stage for sophomore running back Brandon White's "I'm Him" performance. White's explosive runs, including a key 14-yard burst, culminated in senior wide receiver Brian Sullivan's 24-yard end-around touchdown, giving the Eagles an early first quarter lead.
Medina responded quickly 19 seconds later with a 77-yard touchdown pass from Stoddard to Knowles, marking their only score of the game.
Following this, the spotlight returned to Brandon White, who dominated the field with three consecutive rushing touchdowns, extending the Eagles' lead to 21 points by halftime. White finished the game with an impressive tally of 256 yards on 20 rushes.
"As always I have thank my big up front, but today the receivers on the outside were blocking downfield, but i really want to show respect for my defense for shutting them out after giving up the first score. Medina is a good passing team and our defense put me in situations to where I could do my thing," said White postgame.
In the second half, senior Jacob Robinson took over the majority of the running duties, allowing White some rest. Robinson finished the game with an tally of 61 yards on 9 rushes.
"Our ground game was phenomenal today," Eagles Head Coach Tom Lombardo said postgame. "Right now in this type of weather and environment, you have to be successful at running the ball, and stopping the run. We can do both."
Eagles' quarterback Casey Bullock, who returned from sitting out last few weeks of the playoffs, showed no signs of rust. Bullock completed 7 of his 12 passes for 126 yards, including two second-half touchdowns to sophomore wide receiver Zach Hackleman and a second score for Brian Sullivan.
"It was great to be back out there with the guys today. Our offensive line totally dominated the entire game to where they couldn't stop the run. We were getting 10 yards a carry. We adjusted something's at halftime to make us keep rolling. Right now we're hit and rolling," Bullock said postgame.
Coach Lombardo's team is now set to face Division 1, Region 3 Champions Hilliard Bradley at Arlin Field in Mansfield in the state semifinal on their quest for their third consecutive state championship. The winner of this game will advance to the State Final at Tom Benson Stadium in Canton to face either Springfield or Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller.