CANTON, Ohio - Moeller quarterback Gus Ragland accounted for eight touchdowns and 16 Division I state championship game records fell as fifth-ranked Moeller (14-1) held on for a wild 55-52 win Saturday over sixth-ranked Mentor (13-2) at Canton Fawcett Stadium.
The Crusaders are back-to-back state champs and have won nine titles in program history.
In a back-and-forth game that saw big plays topped by bigger plays, Mentor trailed 48-26 after three quarters, but scored a Div. I state championship record 26 points in the fourth quarter to get within one score for the last several possessions of the game.
Moeller's victory wasn't ensured until Mentor's onside kick went out of bounds with 40 seconds to go.
“I was a wreck until I saw that ball go out of bounds,” Moeller coach John Rodenberg said.
--Postgame: John Rodenberg, Moeller
--Postgame: Chalmer Frueauf, Moeller
--Postgame: Gus Ragland, Moeller
Ragland’s 3-yard touchdown run with 2:13 left in the game was Moeller’s only score of the fourth quarter, but it put the Crusaders back up by 10 points and with enough of a lead to hang for the victory.
Ragland threw three touchdown passes to go with his scoring runs of 8, 3, 70, 1 and 3 yards.
"My performance kind of got blown out of proportion," said Ragland. "I owe it all to the guys up front and the athletes around me. When you have talent around you like that, it's easy to be a good quarterback."
“I thought it was a great football game,” Rodenberg said. “We knew playing Mentor that it would be a shootout..”
Temperatures in the mid-20s did not slow down the two offenses, which combined for 1,040 yards of total offense to set a Div. I championship game record (second-most overall).
Moeller totaled 550 yards, which would have been the new Div. I state record had it not been for the 586 yards that Mentor amassed. The two teams combined for a Div. I championship game record 15 touchdowns. Moeller’s eight touchdowns is a Div. I championship game record.
Moeller’s 55 points scored are a Div. I championship game record, and the two teams combined for 108 points, which is a Div. I record and ranks second overall.
RELATED: See the game stats and play-by-play.
Earlier in the week, Ragland and Mentor QB Conner Krizancic, a University of Cincinnati commit – were crowed Associated Press Division I co-Offensive Players of the Year. On Saturday, the two converted wide receivers combined for 692 yards passing as Krizancic set a Div. I state championship game record with 419 yards passing, while Ragland completed 12-of-13 passes for 273 yards with 189 yards rushing.
Adding in a 44-yard touchdown pass by Mentor receiver Eddie Daugherty, the two teams combined to throw for 736 yards, which is a Div. I championship game record.
Daugherty himself set an all-time state championship game record with 16 receptions. He totaled 164 yards and two touchdowns.
Krizancic also set Div. I championship game records with 36 completions and 54 attempts, while also rushing for 102 yards and three touchdowns. His combined total of 521 yards of total offense (419 passing, 102 rushing) is believed to be a state championship game record, surpassing the mark of 482 total yards set by Kenton’s Ben Mauk (439, 43) in the 2001 Div. IV state championship win over Licking Valley.
Mentor was making its third appearance in the state championship game and leaves with its third runner-up trophy (2007, 2006). Mentor beat Cleveland St. Ignatius and Lakewood St. Edward the last two weeks in the playoffs to advance to the state championship game.
Moeller’s ninth state title adds to titles won previously in 2012, 1985, 82, 80, 79, 77, 76 and 75. The Crusaders were making their 13th appearance in the state championship game, which is most among big schools and second all-time to Newark Catholic’s 14. Moeller is now 46-23 all-time in the playoffs after winning Saturday and beating fourth-ranked Hilliard Davidson and No. 1 Colerain the last two weeks.
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