THE ST. CLAIRSVILLE Red Devils have reached holy gridiron ground.
Coach Brett McLean's undefeated charges are in the OHSAA Division IV Final Four. That came as a result of a hard-fought 37-29 triumph over Johnstown-Monroe in the regional finals.
Amazingly, this will be the second time in less that a year many of these Red Devils have participated in the state semifinals as St. C. also advanced to the Division II state hoop tourney last March.
As expected, the triumph over Johnstown did not come easy. The Johnnies were defending regional champions and quite the formidable foe.
When push came to shove in a close second half, however, St. Clairsville again exhibited the resolve of champions. Character players and coaches respond at crunch time as the Devils did.
Thirteen games have yielded 13 wins for this talented team. It is just the third time in St. C.'s glorious football history that it has captured regional titles, also turning the trick in 1983 and '86.
The road to the state title game takes St. Clairsville to tradition-steeped Paul Brown Stadium Friday night. It's foe is battled tested to say the least.
Creston Norwayne is 13-0 and defending state champions. To say the Bobcats pose a serious threat is stating the obvious. But that is expected in Week 14.
St. Clairsville has the mix of offensive firepower, defensive tenacity and special teams efficiency to meet its latest challenge.
This group of Devils boasts a special aura, and we believe a special destiny.
Talent, character, camaraderie, work ethic and leadership, when combined, are lethal. The Red Devils feature all of those and more.
We extend the St. Clairsville Red?Devils the best of luck Friday night, very proud of its accomplishments while fully expecting a berth in the state championship game.