North Bend Road: Top Football Street In Ohio Again?


Posted on 11/13/2020 at 6:15 p.m.

St. Xavier, La Salle Look To Win State Titles For Second Time In Five Years

In December 2016, St. Xavier and La Salle high schools – both members of the Greater Catholic League South Division with campuses located just slightly more than five miles from each other on North Bend Road – returned  home from Columbus with state football championships in their respective divisions.  And, while it might take a week longer this year, the league rivals are looking for a repeat of that season.

St. Xavier gets the first opportunity to win state, facing defending Division I state champion Pickerington Central in the DI state final at 7 tonight at Fortress Obetz in Greater Columbus.  The Bombers, who have won seven straight and nine of 10, and are coming off wins in the regional final and state semifinals by a combined five points, last met Pickerington Central in the state semifinals during their 2016 title run – winning 29-27 on a field goal with just under 40 seconds remaining.

La Salle needs to earn one more win to advance to the DII state final and attempt to successfully defend its state title.  To get there, though, the Lancers will have to defeat Massillon Washington – the team they beat in the state final a year ago, 43-13, to win a fourth state title in six years after winning three in a row from 2014 to 2016.  Kickoff is 7 tonight at Marysville High School, with the winner advancing to the state final at 7 p.m. next Friday at Fortress Obetz.

La Salle is likely to be without two key members of its team, one on each side of the ball.  Junior running back Gi’Bran Payne, who has been saddled by injuries all season, is a game-time decision because of a foot injury.  And senior defensive back and University of Alabama commit Devonte Smith is among five to seven players who also are expected to be sidelined.