The saying "defense wins championships" has been the mantra of many teams over the years that have found success on the gridiron.
Don't tell that to Cincinnati Winton Woods. Why rely on your defense when you can score points at warp speed?
Winton Woods (12-2) will look to capture its first state title in school history this Friday night when they tangle with Maple Heights in the Division II state championship at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Once again the Warriors will look to light up the scoreboard behind its prolific and record-setting offense.
Winton Woods has scored a whopping 591 points through 14 games, good for a 42.2 points per game average. The Warriors have eclipsed 60 points or more on three occasions, including last weekend's 69-35 drubbing of Columbus Marion-Franklin in the state semifinals.
It was another offensive explosion for the Warriors, who amassed an incredible 624 yards rushing against the Red Devils. They would have put up 70 points, but head coach Troy Everhart elected to take a knee instead of kicking the extra point on the Warriors' final touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Dominique Brown was the biggest thorn in the side of Marion-Franklin, as the Cincinnati recruit rushed for a career-high 249 yards and a stunning seven touchdowns.
Brown, who was named First Team All-Ohio and the Division II Offensive Player of the Year, upped his season rushing totals to 1,811 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Shockingly, Brown wasn't even the leading rusher on the night.
Bruising running back Jeremiah Goins totaled a game-high 264 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns for the Warriors on runs of 52 and 44 yards. The 225-pounder raised his season totals to 1,989 yards and 24 rushing touchdowns. To no surprise, the senior joined his backfield mate on the Division II All-Ohio First Team.
Fans that like fast-paced, high-scoring football won't want to miss the Division II state title game. Like Winton Woods, Maple Heights plays fast behind their own 1-2 backfield tandem of Shaq Washington and Davonte Ransom. That duo combined for 322 rushing yards in the Mustangs' 21-17 semifinal win over Lake Catholic.
If Maple Heights is to upset Winton Woods, they will need to simply outscore the Warriors. In Winton Woods' two losses to D-I playoff qualifiers Moeller and Anderson, they allowed 45 and 52 points, respectively. The onus of putting points on the scoreboard will fall directly on the shoulders of Washington and Ransom, who supply the lion's share of offensive production for Maple Heights much like Brown and Goins do for the Warriors.
Brown and Goins. Washington and Ransom. Buckle up, Ohio, it should be a wild ride.