The Eagles enter Friday’s game on a 10-game winning streak. St. Edward’s last loss came to D-II finalist Massillon Washington, 15-13, in Week 5.
“We’ve played a lot of quality, quality opponents,” said Eagles coach Tom Lombardo.
St. Edward plays an independent football schedule that features opponents from Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland and Canada.
“If you run through the gamut of that, you find the strengths and weaknesses of your team,” Lombardo said. “You try to take what you learned from the previous game and get yourself better so that you can be playing your best football in the playoffs — in a way we have been. We’ve been playing complementary football throughout the playoffs and we’ll for sure be facing our toughest test in the final.”
Springfield and St. Edward have each played two common opponents this season — Cleveland St. Ignatius and Cincinnati Moeller. The Eagles beat St. Ignatius 42-7 in Week 7 and beat Moeller 28-21 in Week 9. Springfield beat St. Ignatius 27-11 in Week 1 and beat Moeller 26-19 in overtime in last week’s state semifinals.
The Eagles are led by a massive offensive line that includes senior Ben Roebuck, a Michigan commit, and seniors Devontae and Deontae Armstrong, both Ohio State commits.
Sophomore running back Brandon White has rushed for 1,694 yards and 20 touchdowns this season, averaging 7.1 yards per carry.
“He’s got an uncanny ability to set up his blocks,” Lombardo said. “He’s got great vision and can create that agility and acceleration through the hole right at the right time. He’s pretty hard to bring down.”
St. Edward quarterback Casey Bullock, a Davidson commit, has thrown for 1,295 yards and 11 TDs this season despite missing several games due to injury.
“He’s our leader,” Lombardo said. “I call him the captain of the captains. He’s that guy. I think he’s going to do whatever it takes to win the football game.”
The Eagles’ schedule has prepared his squad for every scenario, Lombardo said. At this point in the season, he said, they’ve seen everything — big lineman, fast skill players and several different schemes. Regardless, you have to execute to win the game, Lombardo said.
“You have to play well on Friday night — period,” he said. “I tell our team all the time that the schedule we play doesn’t matter at all if we don’t play well on Friday night. If we don’t use it for the purpose of playing good football and learning what we have to learn throughout the season to play our best game Friday night, it doesn’t matter. … It comes down to this and that’s the beauty of one game is, you hope to take those experiences and pay them forward if you will, use them when the pressure is on in the state championship game.”