Division I Semifinal: St Edward (13-1) vs Gahanna Lincoln (13-1)

Who wins?

  • St Edward by 17+

    Votes: 39 45.9%
  • St Edward by 8-16

    Votes: 27 31.8%
  • St Edward by 1-7

    Votes: 8 9.4%
  • Gahanna Lincoln by 1-7

    Votes: 8 9.4%
  • Gahanna Lincoln by 8-16

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Gahanna Lincoln by 17+

    Votes: 3 3.5%

  • Total voters


Well-known member
I've only seen the last 4 weekend highlights of Gahanna on Spectrum's wrap up show. QB looks big and RB looks tough. Seems like they have some D-lineman. They beat Pickerington Central twice and Pickerington North once. That has to count for something. Anyone know more about them?

Rich Kotite

Well-known member
St Ed's wins comfortably by like 30 points but over the next ten years another 50,000 Cuyahoga County residents will move south to Columbus to maintain their careers, lives, or just to get out.

The best part is more pierogi trucks in Columbus will happen. That's great and please someone bring a Hungarian food truck down here. Can't wait!

The worst part is Channel 10 WBNS will continue to carry the Cleveland Meatball games on Sunday when the Bengals are currently a far more entertaining option.

Note: Cleveland is a great town. And I appreciate how transplanted Cleveland people actually know how to drive in the rain and snow in Columbus.
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Well-known member
Here’s Norm Weber’s preview:

STATE SEMIFINAL PREVIEW: In the battle of lack of familiarities, St. Edward faces Gahanna Lincoln; both teams 13-1

By Norm Weber
Back to the state final four, St. Edward football has a Division I semifinal engagement against Gahanna Lincoln at 7 Friday on Mansfield’s Arlin Field.
Both teams won their computer regions and the on-field regional championships. Also, both clubs are 13-1 on the season. The defending state team champions, St. Edward also won the state poll championship a month ago.
The Golden Lions’ only loss came at the hands of Centerville, which was eliminated last week by Springfield, the school St. Edward played to win the state championship in 2021. The only Eagle loss came against the still-playing Massillon in a three-point decision.
One point is that they have had no common opponents. The second point is that the two teams are unknown to each other.
“It presents a challenge for both teams,” St. Edward Head Coach Tom Lombardo said. “It’s a test of tracking information. We won a region and now we are going up against an unknown opponent. We have tradition so they might know of us.”
There is some tradition with St. Edward and Gahanna Lincoln in the computer playoffs. The two teams met in the 1976 in the state semifinals. It was the first year of St. Ed’s Hall of Famer Dan Flaherty as the head coach. Lincoln won that game, but went on to lose to Moeller in the finals.
This is the 12th final-four appearance for St. Edward. The second was against Lincoln.
“It's a tough week because we don’t know them (the current version),” Lombardo said. “We haven’t played them or had a common opponent.”
Coach Lombardo and his coaches have been doing quick research since Saturday. Assistant Norm Stickney is strong in this area.
The Golden Lions have multi-sport student-athletes, as does St. Ed’s, and has shown it in their other sports most recently.
“They have players,” the coach said. “They have all kinds of Division I players. They have a Colgate commit, a Marshall commit, a Michigan commit. They are as big as us. They have kids who are fast. The track team is awesome. I saw them at state track in the spring. Their basketball team made it to the regional final. They certainly have outstanding athletes. It’s quite a challenge.”
Offensively, the Golden Lions are as good as anybody.
“We have to eliminate the explosive play,” the coach said. “A lot of their yards come on a handful of plays. They are really good on the explosive plays. They have a tailback (Diore Hubbard) who is the district player of the year down there, who has rushed for 2,000 yards. If we load up on them, they have speedsters who can win the one-on-one matchups.”
The Golden Lions defeated Pickerington Central twice this season, first by two points and two weeks ago, 38-14.
“They beat a good playoff team in Pick Central (state champs twice within the last five years),” Coach Lombardo said. “They hit Ty Staples (#12) on an inside swing. They got caught in a one-on-one matchup and it went for a touchdown.”
This is the time when the Eagles’ playing an extremely tough schedule (five opponents are still alive in the playoffs) might give them an advantage in the overall preparation.
“From the Massillon game on, we played some really tough opponents,” Coach Lombardo said. “We had Ignatius during the regular season, Moeller, Football North Canada, and Hoban. It was a four-game stretch and we won all four games (both Hoban and Moeller were ranked No. 1 in the state (in their respective divisions) before losing to St. Ed’s and ironically Massillon and Hoban are playing against each other in the D-II semifinal). We parlayed this into the playoffs. We are going to get a better shot from these teams in the playoffs and then the weather changes around. We had to win games in different ways.”
The Eagles did it with a running offense, a passing offense, special teams, blocked kicks and more. St. Edward has outscored its playoff opponents, 146-13.
“Some we won with our defense, through the air in some games, obviously ran the ball to win some games,” Coach Lombardo said. “We did all those things in one way or another.”
The Eagles burned seven minutes off the clock with the running game against Mentor Friday before scoring their third touchdown with just over four minutes to go in the game, much the same as they did against Moeller, running off 10-of-12 minutes in the fourth quarter with the running game.
For Lincoln, Ty Staples is #12. Quarterback is Brennan Ward, #2. He is a sophomore. The Colgate commit is #63, Isaac Perkins. Griffin Flusche #55 and Lucas Lynn #58 are big offensive and defensive linemen. Their defensive ends are big (Jayden Yates #5, and Kamari Burns #40). One of them is going to Cincinnati. Flusche is going to Marshall. One of the fastest wide receivers in the state is Makai Shahid, #6.
“We have to go through their film and social media to find information on them,” the Eagles’ coach said. “We don’t have that problem as much when we play Ignatius, Mentor or Moeller. We’re used to the kids on these teams because we play them every year.”
Then there’s the schedules. The only thing close to a common opponent is that St. Ed’s defeated Pickerington North in a scrimmage. Lincoln defeated North in a game, 42-2.
“We might have played a little bit of a tougher schedule. Not by much. Columbus is a good area for football with Pick Central and New Albany,” the coach said. “They played both twice.”
St. Edward’s schedule is rated No. 1.
Currently, in addition to Hoban (13-1) and Massillon (13-1) playing in the D-II semifinal, Toledo Central Catholic (13-1) is playing Kings Mills Kings (13-1) in the other D-II semifinal (if CC wins it could mean both St. Ed’s opponents in the D-II championship game). Moeller (13-1) is playing Springfield (12-1) in the other D-I final), and Cherry Creek (11-2) is playing Pine Creek in the Colorado 5A semifinals Saturday. Cherry Creek is the three-time defending state champs. Dave Logan’s team is ranked #1 in Colorado.


Well-known member
I should admit that this is based on youtube highliights and talking to coaches who have some familiarity with Gahanna. At this time last week, I only knew where the school was located.

Even with limited information, I think it will be very close. The team that makes the fewer mistakes wins. Gahanna has players with speed and size. Their RB is up there with the kid from Moeller and the kid from Hoban. The QB is young (SO) but has size. They have receivers with speed. Their D has size up front with some D1 college talent.

The only time they lost this year was against Centerville in a game where they beat themselves. They beat Pickerington Central (a nine win team) with playoff experience twice. Also they beat Pickerington North (a seven win team) likewise with a lot of playoff experience. It's hard to tell the caliber of the other regular season opponents, but they beat them fairly handily and now they're here at 13-1. So I don't think we can act like this is going to be a cakewalk. They're capable of winning, just like we are. We need to bring our A game.

At the St. Edward alumni practice today the St Ed team seemed like they were all business. Very sharp and crisp practice. Coach Lombardo had some words to the team and the alumni in attendance. It ended with everyone saying the Our Father and "St Edward - Pray for Us!"


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Well-known member
The only way GL is in this game is if Eds has multiple turnovers, and even then I can't see it.

Eds will be the D1 champs- and I get no pleasure in knowing that.


New member
I think it’ll be a more competitive game than most expect. Lincoln could really give fits and will play feisty enough, even though I still see St Eds winning by a couple scores. St Eds defense will play a more dominant second half after maybe giving up an early score to Hubbard. At that point, St Eds Offense will be able to down the field on long productive scores to maintain their lead. Final Prediction: St Edwards beats Gahanna Lincoln 20-7.


Well-known member
I think it’ll be a more competitive game than most expect. Lincoln could really give fits and will play feisty enough, even though I still see St Eds winning by a couple scores. St Eds defense will play a more dominant second half after maybe giving up an early score to Hubbard. At that point, St Eds Offense will be able to down the field on long productive scores to maintain their lead. Final Prediction: St Edwards beats Gahanna Lincoln 20-7.
St. Edward will be happy with a St, Edwards victory. ;)


Well-known member
Eaglefan is full of beans. He knows Eds has the D1 title in the bag.
I can't wait until you're competitive again so I can go Lou Holtz on your Wildcats! 😊

On second thought, I can wait! 😁

In any event, I think the Wildcat return to greatness is inevitable, so win or lose tonight, at least I've enjoyed two wins this season!. 😊


Well-known member
I'll be convinced when same type score in 4th. Have seen this drill many times until 2nd half. Cats thought we were in it when 7-0 at half 2 weeks ago, then 2nd part of 3q happened


Active member
It looked like the officials in this game tried to keep the Ed's holding a little more in check than the last game. Ed's frequently holds on the end to allow the runner to get around. All night against Mentor and sameclast night. Hey, if you're not cheating you're not trying.