Direction for fans: According to the OHSAA, the “Estimated distance is 241 miles with a driving time of 3 hours and 44 minutes. Travel North on I-71 to U.S. Rt. 30 (Exit 176). Remain on Rt. 30 to I-77 North. Follow I-77 N. Detour to Exit 106 (13 St. N.W.) Turn left onto 13 St. N.W. At the 2 traffic signal turn right (Broad th th nd Ave. N.W.). Travel North approximately ½ mile, then turn right onto 17 St. N.W. to the the designated school parking lot. NO TAILGATING, NO ALCOHOL, NO RV’S, ONE VEHICLE GETS ONE STALL AT THE SCHOOL PARKING LOT. Note: Limited paid parking ($10.00 cash only) is available at the school parking lot. If the school lot is filled, there will be some paid parking in the adjacent neighborhoods, but strictly at the homeowners discretion. PARKING IS PROHIBITED ON CITY STREETS. VEHICLES WILL BE TOWED.”
Championship history: Springfield is making its seventh playoff appearance, third final four appearance and first championship game appearance. It has not won a state title. ... St. Edward is making its 27th playoff appearance, its 11th final four appearance and its eight championship game appearance. It won state titles in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2018.
Path to the final: Springfield beat Northmont 42-7, Dublin Jerome 34-0, Findlay 13-0, Marysville 27-0 and Cincinnati Moeller 22-21. ... St. Edward beat Lorain 49-0, Berea-Midpark 56-14, Canton McKinley 42-0, Medina 41-6 and Upper Arlington 16-10.
Regular-season summary: Springfield shared the Greater Western Ohio Conference championship with Wayne. Both teams finished 6-1. Springfield beat Wayne 21-14 in its third game. Springfield started the season 7-0 and then lost 22-21 to Miamisburg on a touchdown and two-point conversion in the final minute Oct. 15. ... St. Edward won its first eight games, rising to No. 1 in the state poll, before losing 28-21 in overtime to Moeller on Oct. 16.
Coaches: This is Maurice Douglass’ eighth season in Springfield. He’s 60-31. The program was 23-40 in the six seasons prior to his arrival. Douglass coached Trotwood-Madison to a state championship in 2011. ... This is Tom Lombardo’s seventh season at St. Edward. He’s 75-14 and coached the program to state championships in 2015 and 2018. Prior to that, he coached Medina Highland for eight seasons and was 61-29 with five Division II playoff appearances and a run to the state semifinals in 2013. Lombardo also coached Lake Catholic to a state title in 2001.
About Springfield: The Wildcats have outscored their opponents 426-97. ... Senior quarterback Te’Sean Smoot, a three-year starter, leads the offense. He has rushed for 22 scores and thrown 20 touchdown passes. ... Smoot’s top receiving targets are Anthony Brown (six touchdowns) and Shawn Thigpen and Daylen Bradley (five touchdowns each). ... Springfield’s defensive stars are linemen Tywan January and Jokell Brown, who have combined for 152 tackles; linebacker Javian Norman, who has 10 sacks; and safety Delian Bradley, who has five interceptions.
About St. Edward: Second-year starting quarterback Christian Ramos has committed to play baseball at Bowling Green. He has thrown 20 touchdown passes and compiled 2,003 passing yards. He has run for 15 scores and gained 720 yards. In the state semifinals, St. Edward limited previously undefeated Upper Arlington to 46 rushing yards and 97 passing yards. ... St. Edward beat three teams from outside Ohio in the regular season: Rock Creek Christian (Md.); Beacon Hill, a club team from Virginia; and Football North, Football North, a private football academy from Clarkson Secondary School in Mississauga, Ont. ... Defensive end/linebacker Michael Kilbane had 2½ sacks and a team-high 10 tackles against Upper Arlington. ... Running back Danny Enovitch ran for 180 yards on 35 carries and scored the go-ahead TD against Upper Arlington.