Record:  13-1

Head Coach:  Bob Jacoby
Assistant Coaches:  Chad Williams, Doug Antle, Tony Pratt, Tom Weilbacher, Nick Slupski, Tyler Gantz, Billy Vasil, Ryan Wiggins, Sam Matheny, Jim Lucente, Matt Johnson, Jason Abrams


1997 Regular Season

Toledo St. Johns, L 0-10
@ Westerville South,  W 24-3
@ Beechcroft, W 26-7
Brookhaven, W 50-0
@ Dayton Dunbar, W 50-6
@ St. Charles, W 39-0
Bishop Watterson, W 24-7
@ Kettering Alter, W 42-3
@ Sandusky, W 28-7
Wheeling Linsly (WV), W 21-0


1997 OHSAA Playoff Games

Tom Weilbacher (31) helped lead the defense against Bellevue and also recorded two receiving touchdowns

Divsion-III, Region 12 Semifinal
DeSales (9-1) vs. Bellevue (9-1)

Date:  November 7, 1997
Location:  Marion Harding High School

Result:  DeSales 14, Bellevue 6
DeSales turned the ball over twice and Bellevue took an early 6-0 lead.  After Stallion linebacker Nick Preston recovered a Redmen fumble, running back David Cook and quarterback Matt Bajorek combined to move the ball to the Bellevue 15 yard line on running plays.  Bajorek then threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tom Weilbacher and Brent Peterson’s extra point gave the Stallions the lead 7-6.  On their next possession, Barjorek connected with David Moore for 14 yards, moving the ball down to the Redmen 22.  The senior quarterback once again found Weilbacher for a score, a 22-yard reception, giving DeSales a 14-6 advantage.  In addition to throwing 2 touchdown passes, Bajorek ran for 81 yards on 19 carries. 


Quarterback Matt Bajorek (10) hands off to David Cook (32) vs. Bellefontaine

Divsion-III, Region 12 Final
DeSales (10-1) vs. Bellefontaine (11-0)

Date:  November 14, 1997
Location:  Upper Arlington High School

Result:  DeSales 41, Bellefontaine 23
The Stallions jumped out to a 34-0 lead and cruised to win their 6th Regional title in school history.  Dan Conroy recovered a Bellefontaine fumble at the Cheiftain 12 yard line on a failed option play, which led to a Matt Bajorek touchdown run.  The Stallions took advantage of another Bellefontaine turnover on their second score of the night, when Travis Marter picked off a pass that set-up a Nick Preston rushing touchdown.  Up 13-0, DeSales went on a 15-play drive and David Cook (123 yards rushing) extended the lead with a 2-yard touchdown run.  After a touchdown from Marter, Brent Peterson hit two field goals before the end of the first half, giving DeSales a 34-0 lead at the break.  Peterson’s first field goal was 55 yards long and it set a school record.  DeSales left no doubt on their opening possession of the 3rd quarter with Nick Preston’s 2nd rushing touchdown of the game.  Bellefontaine would later score three touchdowns on the Stallions’ reserve defense.


The Stallion defense recorded their 3rd shutout of the season

Divsion-III, State Semifinal
DeSales (11-1) vs. Cincinnati Purcell Marian (9-3)

Date:  November 21, 1997
Location:  Cox Stadium (Xenia)

Result:  DeSales 20, Cincinnati Purcell Marian 0
On their first possession of the game, DeSales put together an 11-play, 67-yard drive and David Cook’s 1-yard run gave the Stallions a 7-0 lead.  With 8 seconds left in the first half, Purcell Marian’s Jeff Henderson caught a screen pass at the Stallion 26 yard line and was looking to score, but he was knocked out of bounds at the 5 by Kevin Henry as time expired.  As the game progressed, the playing conditions worsened, but DeSales’ defense would earn the shutout, their 3rd of the season.  Matt Bajorek had a 7-yard touchdown run and the Stallion defense intercepted four Purcell Marian passes.  David Cook also added a score for DeSales, who advanced to their 4th state championship game. 


Divsion-III, State Final
DeSales (12-1) vs. Youngstown Chaney (10-2)

Date:  November 28, 1997
Location:  Paul Brown Stadium (Massillon)

DeSales kicker Brent Peterson attempting a 28-yard field goal late in the 4th quarter

Result:  DeSales 17, Youngstown Chaney 14
Brent Peterson kicked a 28-yard field late in the 4th quarter as the Stallions captured the 1997 Division-IIl state championship.   Peterson, an all-Ohio kicker, was 0-for-2 previous to the game-winning kick.  He missed a 32-yarder on DeSales’ first possession and would later have another kick blocked.   With game tied at zero in the 2nd quarter, the Cowboys went on a 13-play scoring drive and after a missed extra point, Chaney led 6-0.  DeSales would answer, on a 4th and 2, as quarterback Matt Bajorek scored on a 17-yard run.  On their next possession, the Stallions again converted a 4th down when David Cook crossed the goal line from one yard out.  After DeSales recovered an onside kick, Chaney blocked a Peterson field goal and the Stallions had a 14-6 halftime lead.  The Cowboys took the opening kick of the 2nd half and tied the game up at 14 on a 27-yard pass and a successful two-point conversion.   Later in the game, with Chaney driving, quarterback Antwan Floyd completed a pass to Jim Loto, who was hit by Nick Preston and Aaron O’Reilly and the two Stallions forced a fumble that was recovered by DeSales’ Pat Vasil at the 17 yard line.  Tied at 14 with 3:15 left in regulation, DeSales started their game-winning drive at their own 26.  On 3rd and 15, Bajorek completed a pass to Tony Moore for 40 yards to the Chaney 39 yard line with 1:31 remaining.  Bajorek, David Cook and Roy Williams each had carries that combined to move the ball to the Cowboys’ 11, which set-up  the Peterson game winner.  Pat Vasil had an interception at the end of the game for DeSales.  The Stallions gained 432 yards of total offense, led by David Cook’s 104 yards rushing.  Bajorek added 99 yards on the ground and also threw for 117 yards.  Brian Meier led the game with 5 receptions. 

Matt Bajorek (10) added 99 yards on the ground and also threw for 117 yards

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The Stallions celebrate the program's second state championship

The Stallions celebrate the program's second state championship

1997 Quick Facts 

  • DeSales won its fourth consecutive CCL championship (a program record) and 15th league title overall

  • It was the 4th straight OHSAA playoff appearance for the Stallions

  • DeSales finished as the #1 seed in Region 12, Division-III

  • The Stallion defense did not allow a rushing touchdown in the regular season and held teams to 399 yards on the ground (39.9 per game)

  • The Defense allowed just 50 points in the regular season (5 per game)

  • The Stallion finished ranked #2 in the final Division AP State Poll

  • Lineman Grant Bowman was named Division-III Defensive Player of the Year and led the team with 18 tackles for a loss

  • Linebacker Tom Weilbacher was named First-Team All-Ohio after recorded 112 tackles (led team)

  • Placekicker Brent Peterson was named First-Team All-Ohio

  • Grant Bowman, Alex Kerber, Travis Marter, Brent Peterson, Nick Preston and Tom Weilbacher were named First Team All-Central District

  • David Cook led the Stallions with 963 yards rushing and had 11 touchdowns

  • Senior quarterback Matt Bajorek passed for 726 yards and rushed for 794 yards

  • Linebacker Nick Preston was the defending Division-II wrestling state champion at 189 pounds and was second on the team with 93 tackles

  • The Stallions returned 34 letter-winners from the 1996 Division-II State Runner-up team

The 1997 team prepares to take the field at Paul Brown Stadium before the OHSAA Division-III State Final

1997 Seniors

Joe Alcala
Matt Bajorek
Ryan Bates
Judd Bernardo
Eric Broberg
Jason Burns
Chris Camboni
Dan Conroy
Kevin Devere
Nick DeVictor
Rocky Faiella
Nick Faulkner
Chris Gress
Bryan Hawkins
Kevin Henry
Josh Kelley
Alex Kerber
Travis Marter
Dan Mayer
Craig McCann
Bryan Meier
David Melton
Brent Peterson
Nick Preston
Steve Rheinfrank
Sean Shinnock
Adam Thomas
Pat Vasil
John Vitullo
Zack Voit
Tom Weilbacher
Jason Wise
Bryan Ziegenbusch