Part XII: Great Moments Shaw High Sports History
SHAW CARDINALS FOOTBALL 1990 - PART 2
Here's our trip in time to look at some of the best moments in Shaw High School sports history. More to come in this series as we explore the rich tradition of boys and girls athletics from East Cleveland, Ohio's only high school.
In our last release, we reviewed the first half of the 1990 season, where the Shaw Cardinals football season had a 5-0 start. We pick up in week six of the season, where Shaw is trying to complete its first 10-win season, second undefeated season and make a repeat appearance in the state playoffs.
Shaw 58, Parma 7
The Big Red traveled to Byers Field in Parma and lit up the scoreboard. The offense scored eight touchdowns, including four in the first quarter.
Dale Jackson, DeAndre Houston and Dave Brown each scored two touchdowns apiece. Quarterback Leonard Sharp threw for three touchdowns including a 55-yard score to Houston.
Quinton Cox scored his first touchdown of the year in the third quarter when he broke away for 52-yards. Allen Moore returned an interception for 18 yards which ended up in the end zone.
Shaw 14, Cleveland Heights 7
All season long it was believed by many that this may be Cleveland Heights' season. Shaw's biggest rival came into the game with a 5-1 record as Shaw was 6-0.
Heights' lone loss was to the number one team in the area, St. Ignatius, which was a 25-24 defeat. After thrashing all of their previous opponents with a combined score of 244-31, the Cardinals had a battle on their hands.
"We got it done together," said Shaw offensive lineman Ron Salters. "When things went wrong out there today, we didn't hang our heads. In this game, you win as a team."
The Shaw defense starred during this game, knocking out Cleveland Heights' 6-foot-4 quarterback Brett Hucklebridge and held the Tigers' star running back Van Ward to -2 yards on 10 carries. Ward came into the contest averaging over 100 rushing yards per game.
Shaw got rushing touchdowns from Dale Jackson and Darrell Joiner. Joiner scored the winning touchdown in the third quarter with a clutch fourth down 18-yard play.
Shaw 13, Valley Forge 6
For the second week in a row, Shaw found itself in a close war. The always tough Valley Forge Patriots saw the hot Cardinals strike early as quarterback Leonard Sharp sprinted to a 68-yard rushing touchdown in the first 45 seconds of the game.
Sharp had a great running game on the ground as he amassed 104 yards on 10 carries. Shaw and Valley Forge were tied at the half at 6-6. In the third quarter Dale Jackson scored his 12th touchdown of the year to break the tie and Richard Fells booted the extra point which put Shaw up by seven where it would remain for rest of the contest.
"We felt that it was a great team effort, especially by the line," Sharp said after the game. We kept our heads up. There was determination by the whole team."
Shaw 55, Shaker 12
The visiting Big Red won its fifth Lake Erie League crown in seven seasons. After trailing 6-0, Shaw scored 28 straight points to take a 28-6 lead into the half. The game became the DeAndre Houston show as he pulled an Al Bundy. For those of you who didn't grow up in the 1990s, he scored four touchdowns in one game.
Houston tied the game at 6-6 with an 86 yard kickoff return in the first quarter. Richard Fells kicked an extra point to make it 7-6. Teammate Darrelle Joiner had a 64-yard touchdown run to put Shaw ahead in the second quarter. Houston scored the next three touchdowns of the game. He caught a 28-yard reception from Leonard Sharp before returning an interception for 48 yards, all before the half.
In the third quarter Houston's fourth touchdown came after he caught a 21-yard pass from Sharp to put Shaw up 35-6. The Cardinals didn't let up in the fourth as they scored three more touchdowns. Dave Brown had a 76-yard rushing score, while James Clark ran a 71-yard interception to the end zone. The final score came on a 10-yard run from Quinton Cox.
Shaw 23, Lakewood 8
For the first time in school history, Shaw won 10 games in a season and for the second time it completed its schedule undefeated. The Cardinals win also meant an sole ownership of the Lake Erie League crown as Lakewood dropped to 4-2 in the league standings. Shaw lost to Lakewood in 1988 and 1989, which ended its chances to go 10-0 during those seasons.
After a week of not scoring, Dale Jackson picked things back up with a 40-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter for the first score of the game. DeAndre Houston scored his final touchdown of the season in the second quarter on an 11-yard run.
Jackson and Houston did damage on the defensive side as well with interceptions before halftime. Kicker Richard Fells made it a 16-0 game with a 20-yard field goal which put Shaw ahead 16-0 at the intermission.
After Lakewood closed the gap at 16-8 late in the third quarter, Shaw shot back as Leonard Sharp found Jackson on an 83-yard pass play that put the game away for the 23-8 win. The Shaw defense put a lid on Lakewood in the fourth quarter as Darrelle Joiner and William Tripplett snagged interceptions.
Aftermath of 1990 Regular Season
Shaw defeated all comers in 1990 except one. In 1990 only four teams per region made it into the Division I state playoffs. According to the state's point system Shaw finished sixth in the region, due to what was seen as a weaker schedule than the teams that finished in the top five spots.
"I don't feel bad at all," coach Tom Mental said. "Some of the teams we played this year didn't win, otherwise we would have been in good shape. Even if the teams in our league did a little better in their independent games, we would have been OK. I think it's a fair system."
While coach Mental took the mature route, it was a bitter pill for the city of East Cleveland to swallow. Another kick in the gut came when Maple Heights made the Division II state playoffs at 6-4 after it lost four of its final five games.
Despite the disappointment, the 1990 Shaw Cardinals were a historic squad as Mental was named Lake Erie League Coach of the Year and Dale Jackson was the MVP of the league. The team set school records in points with 351 and points per game at 35. Both marks were bested three seasons later by the 1993 squad.
Sometimes the 1990 Shaw football team is forgotten because it didn't make the playoffs like the 1989 and 1993 teams did, but the players did all that they could do and for that we salute the last Shaw team to finish with an unblemished record.
Located in East Cleveland, Ohio, Shaw High School has one of the most long lasting but underappreciated sports histories in all of the United States.
From being the only school in the state of Ohio to have a stadium that hosted actual NFL games to all of the athletes from the 1800's to the present that have gone on to lead productive lives and make history along the way, Shaw sports has a decorated past that most schools could only wish to own.
We invite you to enjoy this continuing series that will introduce you to some of the greatest athletes to ever call themselves Shaw Cardinals. Feel free to join the Shaw Cardinals Sports Group on Facebook: