CANTON – In its third try in as many years, Steubenville emerged as the Division IV state football champions.
Losers of the last two Division IV state title games, by three points in each, the Big Red, No. 1 in the season’s final Associated Press poll, knocked off the Clinton-Massie Falcons 50-36 Saturday in front of 10,251 fans at Canton’s Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
It’s Steubenville’s fourth state championship overall and first since 2006.
The Big Red’s 50 points are the most given up by a Clinton-Massie team since the 2007 regional final when it gave up 63 versus Coldwater.
The total of 86 points is eight shy of the Division IV state title game record set in 1995.
Big Red quarterback Javon Davis accounted for six touchdowns, two by land and four by air. He finished with 111 rushing yards and 213 passing yards on 9-of-13 passing.
Steubenville (15-0) was up 14-0 after just eight offensive plays, a pair of four-play drives sandwiched around Clinton-Massie’s fumble on its first play of the game.
The Big Red would increase its advantage to three touchdowns on two occasions in the first half. Both times, kick returns by Garrett Trampler and Luke Richardson pulled the Falcons to within two scores.
After Steubenville took a 27-7 lead, Trampler went 72 yards to paydirt on the ensuing kickoff. Trampler’s kick return was the first ever in a Division IV state championship game. Richardson returned a punt 53 yards on the last play of the half to head into the intermission down 36-20.
Massie (13-2) scored on the very first drive of the second half to cut Steubenville’s cushion to 36-26. The Falcons benefitted from a Big Red personal foul after quarterback Corey Stulz scrambled 24 yards to the Big Red 41. Stulz threw an interception a play later, but Richardson stripped the ball from the Big Red defender and pounced on it at the Big Red 7. Tyler Beam scored a play later. The two-point conversion failed.
Massie cut Steubenville’s cushion to just a touchdown, 36-29, with 4:48 left in the third quarter on Derick Carlisle’s 28-yard field goal.
That’s the closest Massie was to Steubenville since Stulz’s 9-yard pass to Seth Schmidt made the score 14-7. It was just Schmidt’s second reception of the season.
Davis scored on the first play of the fourth quarter, capping a 10-play, 65-yard drive, to push Steubenville’s lead back to two scores. The Big Red recovered the subsequent squib kick. Davis scored two plays later on a 44-yard run to put Steubenville up 50-29.
Christian Poynter scored from two yards out with 7:52 left in the game to set the final margin.
December 2, 2017
@Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
Steubenville 50 Clinton-Massie 36
SHS – Bernard 32 run (Phillips kick), 10:18.
SHS – Taylor 19 pass from Davis (Phillips kick), 8:15.
CM – Schmidt 9 pass from Stulz (Carlisle kick), 5:10.
SHS – Taylor 26 pass from Davis (Kick blocked), 3:11.
SHS – Agresta 18 pass from Davis (Kick blocked), 10:46.
CM – Trampler 72 kickoff return (Carlisle kick), 10:32.
SHS – Safety, 7:04.
SHS – Blackman 60 pass from Davis (Phillips kick), 6:44.
CM – Richardson 53 punt return (Conversion failed), 0:00.
CM – Beam 7 run (Conversion failed), 10:36.
CM – Carlisle 28 FG, 4:28.
SHS – Davis 13 run (Phillips kick), 11:53.
SHS – Davis 44 run (Phillips kick), 10:58.
CM – Poynter 2 run (Carlisle kick), 3:00.
RUSHING – Steubenville Davis 15-111, Bernard 12-95, Petteway 12-30, Blackmon 3-9, Agresta 3-8, Team 1-(-2), Total 26-251. Clinton-Massie Poynter 16-36, Richardson 2-33, Stulz 4-33, Beam 5-15, Collingham 2-6, W. Trampler 4-0, Wolfe 2-(-9), Total 35-114.
PASSING – Steubenville Davis 9-13 213. Clinton-Massie Stulz 5-10-1 119, Richardson 0-1 0, Total 5-11-1 119.
RECEIVING – Steubenville Taylor 5-83, Agresta 3-70, Blackmon 1-60. Clinton-Massie Richardson 3-110, Schmidt 1-9, W. Trampler 1-0.