It was a total team effort by McNicholas (11-2) as they dominated Eaton (12-1) in every aspect of the game as they cruised to a Divison III, Region 12 Title while earning a spot in the state's final four.
Relentless pressure by the Rockets forced Eagles' quarterback Cole French, the Southwest District's Offensive Player of the Year, into a contest he would just as soon forget.
Five different Rockets intercepted French, who had six picks overall. Ryan Haynes took an interception 51 yards for a score. Haynes also ran for 56 yards. There list of contributors defensively was long for McNick. Five others came up with a pick including James Hunt, Jesse Mehring, Max Harmon, Dillon Stanfield, and Rob Rice.
Matt Staubach lead the offense with two rushing touchdowns in the first half as the Rockets went into intermission with a 24-0 lead and led 32-0 into the fourth quarter. The senior ran for 99 of the team's 292 yards on the night. Rice and Max Norrish also added rushing touchdowns.
--Postgame: Steve Klonne, McNicholas
--Postgame: Dillon Stanfield, McNicholas
*Check out our PHOTO GALLERY from this game*
The game was a complete role reversal from what Eaton had built upon all season. The Eagles had only given up more than seven points twice through 12 games and never more than 28. Their offense put up 30 or more points 10 times, yet they did not sniff paydirt until the fourth quarter on Saturday.
McNichols, who is making their first appearance at State since 1984, takes on Bishop Watterson out of Columbus at a site still to be determined next Saturday. Head coach Steve Klonne is one win away from coaching in his sixth state championship game.
Written by: Greg Shoemaker, TriStateFootball.com