McKinley Advances To Final With Win Over Glenville
Standout tailback Ryan Brinson was bottled up by a swarming Cleveland Glenville defense, but Canton McKinley still figured out a way to defeat the Tarblooders 20-17 in a Division I state semifinal played in front of more than 10,000 people -- including Ohio State coach Jim Tressel -- at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon.
With the win, McKinley's ninth consecutive after a 2-3 start, the Bulldogs advance to state championship game for the first time since winning the second of back-to-back titles in 1997-98.
The Bulldogs will face No. 1 Cincinnati Colerain Saturday at Fawcett Stadium, McKinley's home field.
Glenville's explosive offense turned the ball over four times and was limited to just 190 yards, a touchdown and a field goal. Jamario O'Neal scored the other touchdown on a 95-yard punt return.
Brinson, McKinley's all-time leading rusher, went into the game with 2,222 yards this season. The Tarblooders loaded up on the line of scrimmage, holding him to 92 yards on 25 carries, and that was with a 39-yard run as the Bulldogs were running out the clock.
Brinson still came up big, though, throwing a 20-yard touchdown pass to Mike Shaffer on a quarterback throwback to give McKinley a 20-10 lead with 5:47 left in the third quarter.
After taking a handoff from Shaffer and heading right, Brinson pulled up and looked left, where Shaffer was all alone. The quarterback made the catch inside the 10 and went for the score.
Glenville had trailed in each of its three previous playoff games, so their was no panic on the Tarblooder sideline, and true to form, Glenville cut McKinley's lead to 20-17 when a 5-yard touchdown run by quarterback Arvell Nelson with 9:05 left in the game capped off a 48-yard drive.
The Tarblooder's took over the ball with again with 6:03.
Running on 10 of 11 plays, Glenville went from its 38 to the McKinley 6. After they were called for lining up offsides the Tarblooders were faced with a third-and-seven at 11.
Glenville quarterback Arvell Nelson rolled right and threw for receiver Jacory Stone in the front corner of the end zone. Jackson stepped in front of Stone for an interception, securing the ball -- and the win -- before falling out of bounds.
The fratic second half came after a quiet first quarter.
Senior fullback Theo Goodright gave McKinley a 7-0 lead late in the opening period on a two-yard touchdown run with 3:14 remaining in the opening period.
The lead was shortlived, though, as O'Neal returned a punt 95 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the first quarter.
Glenville took a 10-7 lead on a 22-yard field goal from Darren Gibbs with 4:14 left in the first half.
After the Tarblooders fumbled a snap on their next possession, McKinley capitalized with a 1-yard touchdown run by Goodright 25 seconds before the intermission to retake the lead, 13-10. The seven-play drive was keyed by Shaffer, who hit two third-down completions -- a 29-yarder to Joe Morgan and a 7-yarder to Antwon Hight.
A Who's Who of Fans
Besides Tressel, they were a few other notable spectators on hand for the semifinal.
Former OSU standout safety Mike Doss, a McKinley graduate and a member of the 1997-98 state championship teams, was on the Bulldogs' sideline. He was able to attend because the NFL team he plays for, the Indianapolis Colts, were off Sunday.
Current OSU quarterback Troy Smith and receiver Ted Ginn Jr., the son of Glenville coach Ted Ginn, were on the Tarblooders' sideline. Smith graduated from Glenville in 2002 and Ginn Jr. did last year.
Their former Glenville teammate, Michigan linebacker Piere Woods, also took in the game with them.