Just days before the biggest game in program history, Bellevue senior quarterback Jalen Santoro earned the highest honor in the state Tuesday night.
The signal caller was named the Division III All-Ohio Offensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press, along with Dover’s Mason Mamarella and Chagrin Falls’ Tommy Iammarino.
The Redmen (13-1) will play Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (12-2) in the state championship game at 11 a.m. Saturday at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium.
In the regular season, Santoro completed 68 of 103 passes for 1,227 yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. On the ground, he ran for 1,397 yards and 23 touchdowns on 208 attempts.
Overall this season in 14 games entering Saturday’s championship, Santoro has thrown for 1,619 yards and 21 touchdowns while rushing for 2,197 yards and 31 touchdowns.
For his career in 33 games, Santoro has 8,174 all-purpose yards with 105 touchdowns.
Also earning first team honors from the area were Perkins senior offensive lineman Geno Zappa, and Bellevue defensive back Nick Raifsnider.
Clyde running back Brad Smith earned second team honors at running back after rushing for 1,503 yards and 23 touchdowns in eight games. He was joined on second team by teammate Thomas Glick.
Read more in Wednesday' Sandusky Register.