St. Xavier football team moves up to No. 11 nationally in MaxPreps rankings

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- The St. Xavier football team moved up to No. 11 nationally Monday morning after winning the Division I state championship Dec. 2 in Columbus.

The Bombers (10-5) moved up 10 spots in the MaxPreps Top 175 National Computer Football Ratings after its 27-20 double overtime time over previous No. 8-nationally ranked St. Ignatius.

St. X won its fourth consecutive game in comeback fashion Friday night in front of 13,690 at Ohio Stadium -- the largest crowd since the Ohio High School Athletic Association state football finals returned to Columbus in 2014.

St. X is the first five-loss team to win a state football title in Ohio.

“This is statement victory, a state championship from the standpoint of you preach to kids all the time the importance of staying the course, of not giving up, and of battling and to fight regardless of the odds,” St. X coach Steve Specht said after the game. “And guess what? We did it. Now, you can point and say to the young kids, ‘this is what can happen.’ It’s not lip service anymore.”

It was the Bombers’ third state football title in school history. The others were won in 2005 and ’07.

St. Xavier will host an all-school celebration for the state championship team at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Berning Gymnasium on the school campus.

La Salle, which won its third consecutive Division II state title Dec. 1 in a 14-7 win over Massillon Perry, will be recognized at a team banquet at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Receptions in Fairfield. The Lancers are ranked No. 31 nationally by the MaxPreps computer ratings.

The Lancers are the first Division II team to win three consecutive titles and just the ninth team in Ohio history to win at least three in a row (regardless of division).

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