For the second year in a row, it all comes down to Mentor for the Twinsburg Tigers.
The Tigers faced their toughest challenge last season when they hosted the top-ranked and undefeated (9-0) Mentor Cardinals at Tiger Stadium. In order to reach the state playoffs and win the Northeast Ohio Conference's Valley Division, the Tigers had to do the unthinkable and knock off the Cardinals, who had seemed nearly unbeatable during much of the 2011 season.
In a game that will likely be remembered for years at Twinsburg High School, the . The game was a thrilling shootout, as junior quarterback Jalen Washington completed 27 of 38 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns for the Tigers.
"I'm so proud of our guys and how hard they fought," Twinsburg coach Joe Schiavone said after the game. "You know, it's about time we wound up on the right side of a scoreboard of a game like this."
Twinsburg is hoping to follow the same script in 2012 as they travel to Mentor facing the Cardinals for the league title yet again.
Mentor comes into Friday's game 8-1, their only loss coming to St. Ignatius at the beginning of the season.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Jerome T. Osborne Stadium in Mentor.
This time around they'll have to do it without star running back John Barton.
Last year Barton found success on the ground and finished the game with 137 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.
The game will come down to how well Twinsburg's defense can contain quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who will suit up for North Carolina next season.
This year Trubisky has thrown for 2,300 yards and 27 touchdowns, scoring eight more running the football.
Editor's Note: Nick Shook contributed to this story.