For the first time in school history, O'Neill can say they are the football state champions.
The Eagles completed a historic season Tuesday afternoon when they took down Bishop Neumann 39-22 to win the 2016 Class C1 State Championship.
The game started fast, with both teams trading touchdowns to go into halftime with O'Neill trailing 22-21.
That is when the Eagle defense stepped up. Justin Appleby hauled in two interceptions off of Bishop Neumann quarterback Noah Vedral to help O'Neill hold the Cavaliers to just 98 yards of offense in the second half while the offense put up 18 unanswered points.
Eagle quarterback Alex Thramer was a clinician on the field, completing 17 of his 21 attempts for 232 yards and a touchdown. He finished the season without throwing a single interception. On the ground, he added 28 yards and three touchdowns.
A number of receivers got in on the action, led by Appleby's six catches for 61 yards and Jake Young's 91 yards and two touchdowns, one from Thramer and the other on a trick play from Appleby. Wyatt Liewer added 50 yards, Bryce Heiser added 29 and Bailey Thompson added 23 through the air.
On the ground, Shayne Campbell racked up 56 yards while Thompson added 33 more yards and a touchdown. The running game improved greatly in the second half, a point coach Brock Eichelberger and staff made a focus at halftime.
"We challenged our guys at halftime, we made a few adjustments with our blocking and our guys up top in the booth found a weakness," he said.
Defensively, Thompson led the Eagles with nine tackles. Spencer Davis added seven and Appleby, Young and Chance Sholes each added six more. Eichelberger said the defense really played well considering they were tasked with stopping Vedral, a University of Central Florida quarterback recruit.
"I know that first half it didn't look like we probably schemed at all for him, I know he had a lot of yards," he said. "But we really kept him in check in the second half and our guys flew around to the ball better."
O'Neill finishes the season undefeated as the C1 state champion for the first time in school history. Previously, the Eagles were runner-ups in 1978 and 1982.