MASSILLON, Ohio — The Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary defense not only didn't break, it hardly bent.
Three interceptions and two fumble recoveries played a huge role in the Irish winning a second straight Division III state high school football championship with a 24-0 victory over Trotwood-Madison in front of 4,940 fans on a cold and rainy Thursday night at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.
In winning the school's sixth state title since 1972, the Irish completed the season with a 15-0 record and extended their winning streak to 21 games.
The Irish, ranked first in The Associated Press' state poll, scored three touchdowns, all the result of Trotwood-Madison turnovers.
The Rams finished second for the second year in a row after winning the Division II state title in 2011.
The SVSM defense continued its season-long domination, posting its fourth shutout. In five games it held opponents to 12 points or less 11 times.
"This is how our guys have played all season," SVSM coach Dan Boarman said. "They kicked it up a notch. You have to give our defensive coaches and coordinator Marcus Wattley a bunch of credit. We have been outsized all year, but their play is a compliment to the intensity and ability to get to the football."
Trotwood-Madison (11-3) entered the game after having averaged more than 40 points in winning three previous playoff games. However, on Thursday the Rams mounted just 111 yards of offense and were shut out for the first time since 2008.
SVSM linebacker-running back Newman Williams, just as he did in last year's state title win over Bellevue, had a superlative game. The 6-1, 245-pound University of Akron recruit scored touchdowns on runs of 1 and 8 yards, forced an early fumble that led to SVSM's first touchdown, recovered a fumble and picked up a key first down with a 27-yard gain on a fake punt that eventually led to the final touchdown. He also was one of the team's leading tacklers with three solos and one assist.
SVSM had a 10-0 lead at the half as senior Evan Cunningham kicked a 36-yard field goal and added the point-after following a 1-yard touchdown run by Williams in the second quarter.
Williams forced a fumble that was recovered by linebacker Dante Booker in the second quarter and led to Williams scoring on a 1-yard run. Booker, named Ohio's Mr. Football by The Associated Press on Wednesday, also provided SVSM's biggest offensive play when he caught a 44-yard pass from Aaron Bushner.
Defensive end Travonte Junius tipped an intercepted Messiah DeWeaver pass deep in Rams territory with about five minutes left in the third quarter, returning it 4 yards to the Trotwood 8-yard line. Williams scored one play later, giving the Irish a 17-0 lead following the second of three PAT's by Cunningham.
Junior Vince Lockett closed the scoring with a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter after intercepting a pass near midfield.
All-Ohioan Parris Campbell led all rushers with 58 yards on 18 carries. Campbell, an Ohio State recruit, became the school's all-time leading rusher with 1,642 yards.