Of the nine times the DeSales High School football team has played in a state semifinal, it made it to the championship game seven times and went on to win three state titles.

Of the nine times the DeSales High School football team has played in a state semifinal, it made it to the championship game seven times and went on to win three state titles.

With that kind of track record, the Stallions couldn't help but be disappointed last Friday when they committed three turnovers, failed to score twice after getting inside the Cincinnati Anderson 15-yard line and were held to a season-low point total in a 14-10 loss that ended what had been a perfect season.

In addition, DeSales had beaten the defending state-champion Redskins 38-17 on Sept. 12.

"I thought we played great (this season) and everything came together," senior running back and linebacker Josh Kusan said. "It's sad to go out like this."

Although the Stallions lose 20 seniors, one thing coach Ryan Wiggins is pleased about is that the long postseason run gives them a head start on next season.

DeSales followed its second consecutive undefeated regular season by beating Watterson 20-17 on Oct. 31 at home, Marion-Franklin 31-23 on Nov. 7 at Dublin Scioto and Louisville 38-21 on Nov. 14 at Arlin Field in Mansfield to win the Division II, Region 7 championship.

The win over the Eagles was DeSales' third in a row over its conference rival, a streak that also included a 21-17 victory Oct. 3 in Crew Stadium. The Stallions beat St. Charles 20-10 on Sept. 26 and went 2-0 in the CCL-Silver Division to win their second consecutive title.

"The big thing was that we had turnovers, we got down to the 1(-yard line) and can't punch it in and we're going in for the winning drive and fumble on one of our most basic plays," said Wiggins, who is 25-2 in two seasons with the Stallions.

"Our kids played very hard and there's no shame in losing to a team like that, but it's frustrating.

"Our guys are happy with the season overall and it was an extra four weeks of practice for the younger players."

Leading the senior class was Kusan, who was the district's Defensive Player of the Year and the ThisWeek Super 25 captain. He finished with 1,572 yards and 24 touchdowns on 205 rushes and also led the Stallions with 101 solo and 56 assisted tackles with six sacks, three tackles for losses and two interceptions.

Senior quarterback Thomas Gentile (special mention all-district) finished with 980 yards rushing and four touchdowns and was 62 of 135 for 971 yards with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions through the air. He also averaged 37.5 yards per punt.

Senior Ike Ariguzo (special mention all-district) finished with 29 catches for 474 yards and nine touchdowns and classmate Sal Carfagna added 286 yards rushing and made nine catches. Senior center Jake Smith was first-team all-district.

Defensively, the Stallions will lose first-team all-district lineman Davon Custis (71.5 tackles, 5 sacks, 5 tackles for losses), lineman Jimmy Dickson (40.5 tackles, 7 sacks), linebacker Cody Melsop (91.5 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 5 tackles for losses) and backs Sean Gill (59 tackles, 1 interception) and Dion Keaton (36.5 tackles, 2 interceptions).

Back to lead the way on both sides of the ball will be junior Adam Griffin and sophomore Chris Rock.

Griffin finished with 776 yards rushing and five touchdowns and led the Stallions in all-purpose yards with 1,710 and was special mention all-district. At defensive back, he had 50 tackles and five interceptions.

Rock had three catches for 42 yards and two touchdowns at tight end and was first-team all-district on the defensive line and finished with 55.5 tackles, nine sacks, five tackles for losses and four forced fumbles.

Junior Malcolm Burrell added 195 yards rushing. Junior Mitch Herbert, who played in five games and threw one incomplete pass, likely will battle sophomores Nick Gentile and Sam Borghese for the quarterback job next year.

Juniors Travis Jackson and Alex Vance both were starters on the offensive line and Jackson also was a regular on the defensive line. Junior linebacker Evan Killilea finished with 62.5 tackles and defensive back Chi Chi Ariguzo had 64.5 tackles.

Junior kicker Kyle Nugent was 9-for-15 in field goals and made 49 of 52 extra points.

DeSales' schedule will look a bit different next year, as Lima Shawnee has been replaced by perennial Division I playoff contender Gahanna and Toledo St. John's has been replaced by perennial Division IV-power Youngstown Mooney. The Stallions still are searching for an opponent in the eighth game.

"It's always disappointing to lose your last game, but when you reflect on the year, we had an undefeated regular season, a league championship and a regional championship," Wiggins said. "There were a lot of great memories. We've got some experience coming back. You just have to hope that your guys see what we accomplished and have a great offseason."

At a glance

•Record: 13-1 overall, 2-0 (first) in CCL-Silver

•Seniors lost: Ike Ariguzo, Sal Carfagna, Davon Custis, Jimmy Dickson, Greg Dolcich, Thomas Gentile, Sean Gill, Dion Keaton, Marcus Keuchler, Josh Kusan, Cody Melsop, Evan Nieto, Anthony Nzeogu, Matt Ray, Josh Richmond, Adam Schill, Jake Smith, Kyle Thompson, Mitchell Vahalik and Cameron Williamson

•Key returnees: Chi Chi Ariguzo, Malcolm Burrell, Adam Griffin, Travis Jackson, Evan Killilea, Kyle Nugent, Chris Rock, Alex Vance and Mitch Yinger