Tag Archives: regional finals

Riders football runs to record year

ST. MARYS, OH – Despite their season coming to an end last weekend in the Regional Finals, the 2016 version of St. Marys football rushed themselves into the schools record books in a multitude of ways.

Before this season it had been eight full years since the Roughriders found themselves with a share of the Western Buckeye League as they did this season with an 8-1 record. In the 2008 season St. Marys finished with a 7-2 result of their conference slate and shared the championship four ways with Shawnee, Kenton, and Defiance. Overall the Roughriders were able to pick up their WBL leading 23rd conference championship, no other team outside of Van Wert (18) has reached double digits in that category.

By ending their regular season at 9-1 the Riders also found themselves back in the playoffs and with the opportunity to host a first round playoff game for just the third time in school history, and for the first time since 2003 when they fell to Cincinnati Wyoming 18-16. This years Riders found their opponents to be the Dayton Belmont Bison when the seedings were finalized and had little issue with their opponents as they defeated the Bison 42-8 for the first home playoff win in program history.

Offensively St. Marys finished as the second highest scoring unit in a single season as they racked up 474 points for an average of 36.5 points per game that also ranks in the top 10 for a single season at 6th.

Against Sidney in the 2016 season opener the Riders survived a strong Jackets attack for a 43-39 win and also set a pair of records in the process as they rushed 77 times (previous record was 75 times in a game vs Sidney in 2000), and totaled 84 total offensive plays to break the previous mark of 81 vs Sidney in the same 2000 contest mentioned above.

Individually the Riders saw a handful of individual records fall or would see players rise quickly up the ranks. Quarterback Dustin Howell leaves his football eligibility behind as the schools all-time leading yardage passer as the first QB in school history to throw for over 2,000 yards as he finished with 2,052. Howell also leaves as the leader in passing touchdowns with 20 scoring tosses. On the ground Howell also finished with 25 rushing scores in his time under center. There have been eight instances of a QB throwing for three touchdowns in a single game, three times that feat has been accomplished by Howell, including most recently this season as he tossed a trio of scores at Shawnee.

Rushing the football St. Marys accounted for 4500 plus yards behind the Senior dominated lineup of 1st Team WBL Offensive Tackle Garrett Lauth, 1st Team WBL Center Jonathan Peterson, 2nd Team WBL Guard Aaron McGraw, Tyler Miller, and the conference Lineman of the Year Joey Morlino.

With many holes to run through Eric Spicer finished his career as the Riders 3rd all-time leading rusher by running for 1,620 yards during his Senior year (4th best single season mark), and 3,647 yards on the ground in his career. Spicer, who finished as the WBL Back of the Year and was a 1st Team All-NW District selection reached the endzone 31 times via rush and 38 times overall (6 receiving/1 kick return).

Alongside the damage Spicer did on the ground this season he was joined by Julius Fisher who opened the season with six straight 100+ yard games and finished with 1,220 yards rushing. With their combined total of 2,840 yards the Riders Senior duo finished just 6 yards from being the highest gaining twosome in a single season in school history (Shawn Lamb/Adam Kerns & Bo Frye/Justin Nagel each finished with a 2,845 combined total).

Defensively the Riders not only found themselves giving up just 11.0 ppg, St. Marys surrendered 166 points in 13 games and also posted their first shutout almost a decade to the date of their last shutout with both coming against Bath. In all the Riders would finish the season by blanking three straight opponents (Bath/Celina/Defiance) and accomplishing that streak for the first time since 1982 when they opened the season by shutting out their first four opponents of the year.

Five Roughrider defenders finished the season with over 100 tackles, led by Junior and 1st Team WBL LB Austin Giesige who tallied 136 tackles. Grant Keith’s 133 stops put him as the second highest tackler for St. Marys while first year starting linebacker Jackson Harris nabbed the bronze with 120 tackles. Rounding out the 100+ stops club for the #1 ranked defensive unit in the WBL were 1st Team DB Dustin Howell with 111 stops, and the conference’s Defensive Lineman of the Year Matt Patten with 100 tackles.

During their last WBL Championship season in 2008 the Roughrider offense picked up 242 first downs. This seasons Riders finished with 22 first downs in the Regional Finals against Trotwood-Madison and eclipsed the 2008 team in that statistic as they finished by earning 257 first downs on the year.

Sophomore kicker Gabe Vandever not only broke the school single season record for Field Goals made by finishing with 9, he also broke the career record previously held by Tom Walter during the 82 and 83 seasons in which he made 4 and 6 respectively.

Perhaps the biggest number of all to fall for St. Marys came this season for their long time head coach Doug Frye. With the Riders 43-7 victory at Shawnee in Week 3 of the season the Roughriders mentor collected his 200th career win and became just the second coach in school history to do so following in the footsteps of the legendary Skip Baughman who racked up 272 victories in his storied career.

Though the 2016 season might have come to an end, this years crop of players will live long into what is a vast and storied history of St. Marys football as they had a record year that saw the team finish with more then 10 wins for the 12th time in school history.

*Records compiled with the help of Paul Sadler, Rider Football Stats crew, St. Marys HS and their fantastic record keeping located here: Rider Football History


Flyers post 7th shutout of season

SIDNEY, OH – The Marion Local defense came in to their Division 6 Regional Semifinal contest Friday night having shut out 6 of their opponents this season and by the end of the night were able to hang a 7th shutout as they defeated shutout rival St. Henry for the second time this season 22-0.

Marion Local totaled 445 yards of offense on the evening while their stingy defense gave up just 140 total yards on 37 plays by their opponents offense.

Despite having their first drive come to a screeching halt via a fumble inside St. Henry territory the Flyers put themselves ahead 7-0 early in the second quarter as QB Duane Leugers punched in from a yard out to cap off a 93 yard drive.

While punts and failed fourth down conversions were a big story in the first half, they weren’t the biggest issue St. Henry would face in the opening half. On their first drive of the first half after forcing the Flyers to punt, the Redskins found themselves in need of a change under center as starting signal caller Daylon Lange completed a 30 yard pass but was knocked down and forced to miss the rest of the contest in similar fashion to the two teams Week 9 meeting.

Redskin replacement QB Nathan Lefeld finished the night 7/17 for 98 yards but was picked off twice by the Marion Local defense.

With 7:53 left in the ballgame the Flyers extended their lead to 13-0 as Leugers second touchdown run of the night, a 6 yard effort near the right front corner of the endzone pushed his squads lead. After St. Henry was called for roughing Marion Local kicker Tyler Mescher the ball was placed on the one and a half yard line where Marion Local successfully converted a two point conversion to make it a 15-0 lead in their favor.

Starting from their own 42 yard line the Flyers utilized five plays and 2:21 before 5’9, 130 pound Sophomore runningback Matt Rethman showed off his speed and sprinted 23 yards for the games final points.

Jack Homan led the Marion Local rushing attack as he rushed 19 times for 101 yards while teammates Nate Moeller (12/51) and Leugers (11/94) showed off an impressive array of cuts that helped their team gain 279 yards on 47 carries on the evening.

Leugers finished 13/24 passing for 166 yards and saw his top two targets in Matt Kahlig and Ryan Thobe combine for 6 catches and 121 yards receiving in the contest.

St. Henry finishes their season at 8-4 and with their first playoff appearance since 2012 when they fell to the Flyers in the Regional Finals.

Marion Local (11-1) will move on to the Regional Finals and rematch with a Mechanicsburg (12-0) team that throttled Delphos Jefferson to the tune of over 500 yards tonight in a 56-20 victory. The same two teams met in last years Regional Finals in Bellefontaine that saw the Flyers victorious 9-7 on their way to the state finals.


Indians headed back to State

HAMLER, OH – Fort Recovery waited 62 years for their return trip to Columbus at the state baseball championships before heading back last season. The Indians will have to wait just a week this time before heading to the capital city as they defeated Kalida 11-1 to win the Hamler Division 4 Regional Championship on Friday night.

Jacob Homan gave Fort Recovery their first chance to put a run on the scoreboard at Patrick Henry high school with his line drive to centerfield, but Kalida’s Austin Swift had other ideas and kept the contest scoreless as he fired a perfect strike to catcher Jeff Knueve ahead of Jackson Hobbs who was tagged out to keep the game scoreless to end the opening frame.

Indians hurler Nick Thwaits kept the Putnam County League champions scoreless through their first three Regional Finals at bats since 2006 when they visited Columbus themselves with seven ground balls, a strikeout and a flyout. Of the five groundouts Thwaits forced Kalida into he himself was responsible for tossing out four straight runners on hits back to the mound.

Thirteen Ft. Recovery batters came to the plate in the third inning and seven came to score against the trio of Owen Recker, Trent Siebeneck, and Noah Lambert who each were tasked with facing a suddenly white hot Indian lineup.

Ross Homan led off the inning with a walk and was moved over on a Will Homan single to reset his squad to the top of the lineup before being brought into score on a Cade Wendel sacrifice bunt for the first run of the contest. Jackson Hobbs reached on a walk and proceeded to steal second base before being brought all the way around on a two run home run from Jacob Homan to right center that put Kalida in a 4-0 hole and chased Recker from the game.

Siebeneck’s first batter Hunter Boughman doubled and moved up to third when Kyle Schroer reached on an error. In all the Indians scored seven runs on three hits in the inning and forced Kalida to play from behind against their biggest deficit of the season against Thwaits.

Austin Klausing singled in the bottom of the third with one out but was left stranded as the Wildcats were victims of a strikeout of Trent Gerding and a groundout from Siebeneck.

Two more Indian runs came across in the top of the fourth inning and pushed the visitors advantage to 6-0 as Hobbs and Boughman came around to score on errors by Kalida.

Kalida put runners on the corners after Swift reached third on a pair of errors and Braden Decker walked, but were unable to cash in as Brady Laudick was another victim of a 1-3 putout by Nick Thwaits to put an end to the bottom of the fourth.

Noah Lambert led off the 5th for his team by singling and reached third on a passed ball and was driven in for Kalida’s only run of the game on an RBI single.

The final two runs of the game came in the top of the sixth for Ft Recovery to provide the games final margin of 11-1 and send the Indians (22-8) to Columbus where they will meet 21-9 Newark Catholic who knocked off top seeded Toronto 4-1 in 10 innings.

Kalida sees their season come to an end at 23-2.

Austin Swift finishes his high school career with 268 K’s, 3rd most in PC history behind Leipsic’s Ruben Gonzales (287) & Kalida’s Brian Klausing (294), his 105 K’s this season is tied 2nd in a season for Kalida with Ross Guisinger (record is 113 by Chad Ehrnsberger).

WP – Nick Thwaits (5-2)
LP – Owen Recker (1-1)


Coldwater dispatches Brookville

PIQUA, OH – It might be approximately 40 miles away from their home field but the Coldwater Cavaliers have treated Piqua’s Alexander Stadium as if it was their own in earning themselves a Regional Championship and return trip to the Division 5 State Semifinals with a 31-13 victory.

Brookville’s first two drives totaled 13 plays and over 8 minutes but were ended by a pair of punts as the Cavalier defense rose up on third down and prevented the Blue Devils from scoring, something they have done to the tune of over 40 points per contest this season.

Coldwater’s first score, a 5 yard run by Petey Post capped off a four play 55 yard drive and totaled just 1:24 in the first period. Starting at their own 43 on their second possession moments later the Cavs used 7 plays and 3:02 before Senior QB and Northwest District Player of the Year Jack Hemmelgarn hooked up with wideout Aaron Harlamert for a 32 yard score to push the lead out to 14-0 early in the 2nd.

The only miscue of the first half for Coldwater came on their next possession as Hemmelgarn’s intended pass was pilfered by Brookville’s Michael Lander. Brookville’s only score of the first half would come later with 2:13 remaining in the opening half as they cut the Coldwater lead to 14-7 when Senior QB Justin Heck’s screen pass was turned into a 23 yard touchdown by Austin Delk.

With 3 timeouts and 2:06 remaining in the opening half the Cavaliers were faced with the prospect of needing to go 84 yards to get their two score advantage back. A pair of big pass plays of 37 and 24 yards gave Coldwater an opportunity to get into the endzone, but Coach Otten and crew were forced to settle for a 20 yard fieldgoal Kyle McKibben that pushed the lead to ten for the Cavs at 17-7 at the break.

Having won the toss and chosen to defer to the second half, Coldwater found themselves with the football to open the games penultimate quarter at their own 33 yard line. Over the course of 4:18 and 11 plays the Cavs quickly marched into the Blue Devil endzone and extended their lead to 24-7 on a 3 yard touchdown pass from Hemmelgarn to McKibben.

Before being forced to punt on their first possession of the second half, the Blue Devils had no problem moving the ball from their own 20, but saw their drive stall as they were sacked for a 13 yard loss on third down.

On the ensuing drive following the punt, the Cavaliers embarked on their longest drive of the season, a 15 play endeavor that tallied 79 yards and 7:30 in length. Aaron Harlamert appeared to have gotten into the endzone for a second time in the game on the drives 14th play, but was stopped just inches short. Petey Post’s second touchdown of the game, from a yard out gave Coldwater their last score and pushed their lead to 31-7.

Brookville’s (12-1) last score of the game came from Michael Lander as he would catch a 19 yard pass from Heck to provide the final margin.

With the win the Cavaliers stay undefeated (13-0) and will reportedly play next Friday night in Xenia against Wheelersburg at 7:30pm in a game broadcast live on www.k943.com with myself and Denny Cisco.

Running the ball on the evening the Cavaliers were led by Post who tallied 97 yards on 16 carries to go along with his two scoring totes. As a team Coldwater picked up 184 yards on 38 carries. Hemmelgarn led the passing attack with 202 yards on 15/21 passing to go along with his two scores through the air and one interception. In total the Cavs picked up 387 yards on 59 plays from scrimmage.

Earlier in the night the MAC Champions received word as well that 10 of their players were named to the all Northwest District list: Brandon Forsthoefel (1st Team OL), Aaron Harlamert (1st Team WR), Kraig Shoenherr (1st Team LB), Jack Hemmelgarn (Offensive POY and 1st Team QB), Malave Bettinger (Defensive POY and 1st Team DL) were joined by 2nd teamers in Kyle McKibben (K), Mitch Clune (DL), Neal Muhlenkamp (DB), Brandon Homan (OL), Chris “Petey” Post (RB).


Titans headed to Columbus

LEXINGTON, OHIO – For the first time in school history the OG Titans girls basketball team is headed to play at the Schott in the State Semifinals after defeating North Union 43-30 on Saturday afternoon in the D3 Regional Finals.

Elissa Ellerbrock, the future Gannon University Golden Knight led the way for the Titans as she shot 7/13 from the floor, 2/3 from deep and 2/2 at the charity stripe en route to a game high 18 points. Dani Ellerbrock shot 4/5 from the field and added 9 points for the Titans as they led 17-8 after one, and 26-13 at the break.

Stifling defense was provided all afternoon long on the Lexington court as the Titans used their man full court press and defense to force North Union into 22 turnovers on the day. As they have all season, OG wasted no time turning them directly into points on long fast break layups. OG scored 18 points off of North Union turnovers in the game.

Autumn Hudson, a 6’4 Sophomore for the Lady Cats (26-2) was held to 3/5 shooting and just 8 points in the game. Senior teammate Emily Clark who is headed to Ohio State University on a softball scholarship and was named to the MOAC 1st team this season was never really a factor on the offensive end against Ottawa Glandorf and finished with just 4 points in the contest.

With the win the Titans (25-2) did two things no team in program history have ever never accomplished before, win 25 games in a season and get themselves into the State Semifinals. OG will play on Thursday night in the 8pm game in Columbus as they will take on the Fairland Dragons(22-5), winners over the #3 ranked team in the final Division 3 AP poll 31-28 in the Regional Finals at Logan High School.

Thursday night’s contest can be heard live (as well as the other 11 games of the State Championships) on www.zsportslive.com


OG (43):

Dani Ellerbrock 9
Elissa Ellerbrock 18
Anna Bellman 2
Erin Basinger 4
Danielle Schroeder 2
Lexi Schroeder 6
Kadie Hempfling 2

FG: 15/38 (39.4%)
3: 4/7 (57.1% – E. Ellerbrock 2, L. Schroeder, D. Ellerbrock)
FT: 9/12 (75.0%)
Reb: 29 (12 offensive – E. Ellerbrock 7)
TO: 17

North Union (30):

Devyn Feasel 8
Kelsea Marvin 3
Emily Clark 4
Taylor Hoffman 4
Paxon Stofcheck 2
Autumn Hudson 8
Avery Clark 1

FG: 9/24 (37.5%)
3: 1/7 (14.3% – Feasel)
FT: 9/15 (60.0%)
Reb: 21 (8 offensive – Chapman 4)
TO: 22


Regional Finals Preview: Grove vs Arlington

The last time Columbus Grove (8-4) made the playoffs before this season the year was 2009. The last time the Bulldogs were in a position to even get to a Regional Finals the year was 2006 when they fell 42-20 to Hopewell Loudon. All of that previous negative history went out the window last Saturday afternoon at the Bulldogs downed Tiffin Calvert 17-7 in Findlay.

For the first time since 2003 when they won the programs only State Championship, the Dogs will see a Week 13 as they travel back to Donnell Stadium for a 7pm kickoff against 11-1 Arlington, victorious 34-14 over McComb in the nightcap of the Findlay doubleheader this past weekend.

Columbus Grove is led offensively on the ground by Joey Warnecke who has carried 199 times for 1532 and 17 touchdowns. Through the air the Bulldogs are led by Sophomore Reid Stechschulte, a dual threat who has passed for 1443 yards and 14 touchdowns while running for 629 yards and 6 touchdowns. In the receiving aspect of the stat sheet Grove has a 4 headed monster with David Bogart leading the way in catches (27 for 330 yards and 5 touchdowns), Aidan Fortman leading the way in yards (414 on 14 catches) alongside Baily Clement (16/346) and Tanner From (13/196) providing balance amongst the Grove offense that is outscoring their opponents 127-32 in their last 5 games (all wins).

Defensively the Bulldogs are led by 7 All-NWC performers and are led in tackles by Andrew Nichols with 144 tackles (15 tackles for loss) and 2 sacks. Seniors Joey Warnecke (129 tackles, 21 tfl, 4 sacks) and Christian Stechschulte (101 tackles, 16 tfl, 1 sack) lead an impressive unit that gives up just 19.8 points per contest. Tanner From’s 7 interceptions this not only led his team, but also tied for the NWC lead on the season.

Arlington comes into the Regional Finals at 11-1 this season and fresh off of a 34-14 win over McComb in the Regional Semifinals, the second time they have beaten the Panthers this season. Junior QB Ridge Babb who came into the game for the injured starting quarterback Dominique Fuller had a fine night as he completed 8/13 passes for 162 yards and ran for 64 yards in leading his team to a quartet of scores in the win.

Dick Leonard leads a high scoring Red Devils offensive unit scoring 37 points per game into this first ever matchup with Grove. Last season the Red Devils made it to the same Division 7 Regional Finals before they saw their season come to and end 33-0 at the hands of the Delphos St. Johns Bluejays who themselves lost in the next round to eventual champion Marion Local.

Austin Rettig, the Blanchard Valley Conference’s leading rusher the past two seasons will line up in the backfield behind either Babb or Fuller and will be a player Grove will need to keep an eye on throughout the game as his running ability has given teams fits throughout the course of the season. Rettig will no doubt be looking to establish himself early as he was held to 11 yards on his 7 first half carries against McComb before bursting out for 89 on his 9 second half carries.

Aaron Starr’s 5 catches for 110 yards and a 34 touchdown reception alongside 4 catches, 77 yards and 2 td’s for Matt Glick helped the Red Devils put points on the board when their running game struggled to get going early, something they will look to utilize against the Bulldogs secondary that has been stingy through the air the past month of the season and that has accumulated 20 interceptions in 12 games.

Defensively the Red Devils are giving up just 8 points per game, the second week in a row the Bulldogs offense which is averaging 25 points per game will see a unit giving up just single digit points per contest.

With the rebracketing the OHSAA uses for the State Semifinals, the Region 24 winner in Grove or Arlington will take on Region 26’s winner in either 12-0 and 3 time defending State Champion and top seeded Marion Local or 10-2 second seeded Sidney Lehman Catholic next Saturday night at a site to be determined Sunday afternoon.

Steve Wiener (@wienerman46) and myself (@michaelhirnpbp) will be live on the home of the Bulldogs in Putnam County with the pregame show on www.zsportslive.com at 6:45pm from Donnell Stadium Saturday night with kickoff to follow at 7pm.


OG Girls, Fort Jennings Boys Soccer advance

Putnam County will be represented in the OHSAA Regional Soccer Finals on Saturday with both a boys and girls squads one game away from advancing to the State Final 4.

Ottawa Glandorf defeated the Archbold Blue Streaks on Tuesday night 5-1 in Ottawa Hills with a dominating offensive performance on the host Green Bears turf.

Over the course of the 80 minutes played, the Titans outshot the Blue Streaks 28-4 and upped their season record to 18-1-1 under Coach Chris Podraski.

Megan Siefker scored the first goal of the game at the 21:13 mark of the first half that put OG ahead 1-0. Exactly 5 minutes later Elissa Ellerbrock set up Grace Warnecke for the 2nd goal of the contest and picked up an assist on the play.

OG would run their lead to 3-0 with 5:44 left in the opening half on a Marna Hempfling goal.

Archbold’s Brooke Kohler scored the only marker of the game for her squad on a free kick from 30 yards out just over the head of Titan goalkeeper Cassie Schroeder 3:53 into the second half to cut the lead to 3-1.

With 27:11 left in the game, Megan Siefker’s 2nd goal of the contest upped the OG lead to 4-1. Grace Warnecke notched her 2nd goal late in the game to close out a 5-1 OG win.

Ottawa Glandorf’s senior class has never advanced into district play before this season, but they will now look to get to the State Semifinals if they can defeat Akron Manchester on Saturday at 3pm in Lexington, Ohio in a game that will be broadcast live on www.zsportslive.com with Dave Boninsegna.

Fort Jennings traveled north to Tiffin to take on the Swanton Bulldogs Wednesday night looking to continue their run towards a trip to the State Semifinals for the first time in 10 years (last in 2004 when they lost to Cuyahoga Calley Christian Academy 1-0).

Utilizing frequent substitutions in the game, Coach Gregg Luthman’s Musketeers team was able to utilize fresh legs and make repeated runs at the Swanton net. With 10:09 to go in the first half a run finally paid off as Mark Metzger put a shot on goal that skipped past the Bulldogs goalkeeper and give Fort Jennings a 1-0 lead.

Troy Ricker would provide the 2nd goal and only other scoring play of the contest with 13:57 to go in the 2nd half to make it 2-0 with a 22 yard strike into the back of the Swanton net.

With the win the Musketeers are now 12-5-4 on the season and will play in the Regional Finals at Findlay’s Donnell Stadium at 12pm against Mansfield Christian who were victorious 1-0 over Elyria Catholic. Fort Jennings vs Mansfield Christian can be heard live on www.zsportslive.com with myself on the call and a very special interview with the OHSAA’s Jerry Snodgrass at the half.


T-Birds fly south to Columbus

Each of the previous two seasons have ended for Lima Central Catholic on the floor of the Stroh Center at the hands of the Ottawa Glandorf Titans, but not this season.

LCC used a big performance by Martyce Kimbrough to secure the win as the Senior tossed in another 20 point performance to lead his team to a 55-40 win over the defending Division 3 State Champion OG Titans.

OG trailed after the 1st quarter 10-8 but despite another outstanding 4th quarter from the free throw line as they have done in all 3 visits to the Stroh Center this postseason were not able to get enough points to outscore the T-Birds.

The Titans were led in scoring by 6-7 Junior Noah Bramlage with 19.

OG’s season comes to an end at 16-11 while LCC improves to 23-4 and will next play on Friday afternoon at 2pm inside the Schottenstein Center in Columbus against Roger Bacon for a chance to play either defending Division 4 State Champion Villa Angela St. Joseph or Columbus Bishop Ready in the State Finals. Ready and VASJ will meet in the early contest on Friday at 10:45am.

2010 was the last time LCC was able to hoist a State Championship trophy but will be making their 7th appearance since 1989 on Friday.

Hear the T-Birds take on Roger Bacon with the “Voice of the T-Birds” Aaron Matthews beginning at 1:30pm Friday on www.931thefan.com or listen to all of the games on via your tunein ap courtesy of www.zsportslive.com

Hear the game as it aired with Michael Hirn and Chris Kuhlman:


LCC/OG advance to meet for 5th straight year

Ottawa Glandorf and Lima Central Catholic both picked up wins last night at the ONU Sports Center and will now meet on Saturday night in the D3 Regional Finals in Bowling Green for the 5th straight postseason.

Lima Central Catholic advanced with a win in the first game at ONU 64-37 over Worthington Christian. LCC jumped out to an early lead and used a couple of quick 1st quarter runs to lead 15-8 after the first stanza.

The second quarter did not get any easier for the Warriors as LCC torched them for 23 points to lead 38-14 at the halftime break.

A cool moment in the second half came when Martyce Kimbrough scored his 1,000th point, much to the delight of the LCC student section who in unison began to chant “That’s 1000” to show their appreciation in the stands.

LCC would continue to shoot a high percentage in the second half as they outscored the Warriors 26-23 to advance to the Regional Finals for the second straight season in Bowling Green and pick up win number 22 on the season against just 4 losses. Worthington Christian finishes their season at 19-7.

Lima Central Catholic was led in scoring by Kimbrough with 18 and followed in double figures by Xavier Simpson with 14, and Tre Cobbs with 13. Worthington Christian was led by 13 from Johnny Wordlaw.

In the nightcap the defending Division 3 State Champion Ottawa Glandorf Titans took the floor in front of 1367 fans for the first time against the Huron Tigers with the winner knowing they’d advance to play LCC on Saturday night.

Despite slow starts in both District games last week, the Titans were able to jump out to a fast one against Huron as they led 16-8 after the first stanza behind 7-14 shooting while holding the Tigers to just 3-9 from the field.

Noah Bramlage who had 6 of the Titans first quarter points continued to torment the smaller defenders as he added three more before the half, but it was teammate Zach Kuhlman who did the most damage before the break as he accounted for 8 points in the quarter and 11 total to give his team a 35-23 advantage at the half.

For the first half the Titans shot 15-28 from the field while holding the Tigers to 9-22 from the field and just 3-10 from deep. Cody Thompson had a good first half for his team leading the way with 9 points on 4-9 shooting for Huron.

Bramlage, the 1st Team All-WBL selection this season started off the 3rd quarter for OG with a bang as he ignited a quick 4-0 run for his team with a jumper off an assist by Matias Trampe-Kindt to put OG up 36-27 just 26 seconds into the stanza.

Huron would close the gap to 45-37 at the end of the 3rd quarter as they outscored Ottawa Glandord 14-10 but couldn’t get any closer in the 4th.

As they have done the past couple of games, OG shot almost flawlessly from the charity stripe in the 4th quarter to finish 14-18 on free throws to ice the game to secure the 63-45 win.

OG finished 23-45 from the field but just 3-10 from 3 in the win with two of those coming from Bramlage. Huron was outscored 18-8 in the 4th quarter and finished 15-43 from the field, 8-14 from the free throw line, but were able to stay in the game by making 7-22 3 pointers on the night.

Huron was led in scoring by Junior Adam Storer who poured in 18 points on 5-10 shooting and 4-9 from 3 to go along with his perfect night from the free throw line (4-4). Ottawa Glandorf was led by 19 from Bramlage, 14 from Zach Kuhlman and 12 from Tyler Zender in the win.

The Tigers and coach Bobby Jones finish their season at 18-7 and fall in the Regional Semifinals for the 2nd straight season in the Bowling Green Regional. Ottawa Glandorf ups their record to 16-10 and into a Regional Finals rematch from a year ago where they defeated the Thunderbirds en route to the D3 State Championship.

Hear the matchup Saturday night on www.zsportslive.com at 7pm from Bowling Green State University’s Stroh Center with myself, Chris Kuhlman and Steve Wiener as the T-Birds look for retribution against a Titans team who has ended their last two seasons at the Regional level.


OHSAA Playoffs Round 3

Friday and Saturday night the elite eight teams in each division will get one last chance at being a part of their divisions final four teams in the OHSAA playoffs. For the other half of the teams it will be a weekend of bitter disappointment as their seasons will come to and end just one game short of competing for a State Semi-Finals berth next weekend.


One of the teams you can count on to be still playing this time of year is the Coldwater Cavaliers. 5th seeded Coldwater enters their Division 5 contest against 7th seeded Huron at 10-2 while the 9-3 Tigers. The contest will take place at Findlay’s Donnell Stadium Saturday night at 7pm.

For Coldwater it will be a chance to improve upon their 4th all-time standing for most playoff wins and come one step closer to Youngstown Cardinal Mooney who sit in 3rd with 6 more wins than the Cavs at 58. Following their 49-21 win over Chippewa, the Chip Otten led Cavs have the 7th best record in OHSAA history at 52-15 (77.6%). Last season Coldwater finished at 15-0 en route to a 10-9 win over Kirtland in claiming the Division 5 championship and putting an end to a streak of 3 straight runner ups.

Huron is coming off of a hard fought 17-13 win over Loudonville. The Tigers finished 3rd in the Sandusky Bay Conference behind Clyde and Perkins. Huron will be looking to keep their season going and become the 3rd SBC team to win a State Championship, joining the aforementioned Perkins and Clyde who have each accomplished the feat once each.


Donnell Stadium will be rocking all weekend as Friday night will see the Western Buckeye League champion and 12-0 Kenton Wildcats bring their high powered offensive attack into the Flag City to do battle with the 12-0 NWOAL Champion Bryan Golden Bears.

Coach Mike Mauk’s Wildcats feature not only the offensive explosiveness of Senior Quarterback Grant Sherman who led the OHSAA in passing yards with 4,062 yards and 45 touchdowns through the air but also his #1 target in Senior WR Justin Sawmiller who broke the national high school record for receiving yardage this season by virtue of his 105 catch, 1,648 yard, 17 touchdown season as well as Kollin Stollar who has 15 touchdown catches.

Last weekend the Wildcats got off to a slow start as they were tied with Triway in the first quarter 6-6 with a trio of picks by Sherman, but found their stride in the second quarter and reeled off 40 straight points to win 46-6 and advance to the Regional Finals yet again. The Wildcats are making their 10th playoff appearance and sport a record of 24-7 all-time, a record they’d like to improve on with a win against the Golden Bears on Friday night and get one step closer to a 3rd state title in school history.

For Bryan it is nothing new to be overshadowed by Kenton, having finished behind the Wildcats in the last D4 poll of the season. Coach Kevin Kline and his Golden Bears are coming off of a 49-19 thrashing of Caledonia River Valley and have no problems putting points up themselves as they lead 42-6 at the half. If the Golden Bears are successful in their first Regional Finals trip they will need QB Austin Schimmoeller to have a repeat performance of last weekend against the Vikings who had only given up 14 points twice this season as he was fantastic in throwing four touchdown passes on his way to completing 14 of 19 passes for 194 yards in addition to rushing 11 times for 155 yards.


Historically the Delphos St. Johns Bluejays are the OHSAA Playoffs best team, but none of that matters this Saturday night as the Jays head to Lima Stadium Saturday night at 7pm to take on the Arlington Red Devils.

Delphos enters the Regional Finals with a 51-9 record in the playoffs, the highest all-time winning percentage in the playoffs amongst any team with 50 games played and just one better than fellow MAC mate Marion Local (50-9) who themselves will have a chance to add to their total this weekend.

Coach Todd Schulte and his troops will walk on to the Lima Stadium turf with an 8-4 record that is deceiving if you don’t take in to account that two of the teams they lost to (Coldwater and Marion Local) are each 2 of 8 teams left in their division. In their last outing against Tiffin Calvert, the Jays romped to a 42-10 win over the overmatched Senecas who could not stop the St. Johns rushing attack that saw Senior Runningback Tyler Jettinghoff account for 6 of the 7 Jays touchdowns. If the Red Devils can figure out a way to stop Jettinghoff they will still need to figure out how to stop the rest of the rushing attack in QB Nick Martz who himself had a 60 yard touchdown run in the opening round against Leipsic, or bruising fullback Luke MacLennan who himself has multiple runs over 50 yards this season.

Keeping the ball away from the Bluejays rushing attack will be key for Arlington and coach Dick Leonard who sport a 9-3 record and finished tied for 2nd in the Blanchard Valley Conference behind Liberty Benton. The Red Devils are coming off of an impressive 54-14 win over Hicksville in which they racked up 454 total yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground. In the win the Red Devils only threw one pass, but they really were never in need of throwing the ball as tailback Austin Rettig rushed 32 times for 290 yards and scored the Red Devils’ first seven touchdowns. Fullback Josh Elledge added another 100 yards on six carries for Arlington in the win.

The winner of this game will take on likely the winner of Triad and Marion Local next weekend in a HUGE matchup.


Marion Local currently finds themselves tied with fellow Midwest Athletic Conference schools Versailles, Delphos St. Johns and St. Henry in 5th place all-time with 6 State Championships and would love to move into 3rd place all-time by themselves with the schools 7th title. Before Marion can do that, they must first take on Coach Payton Printz and his 12-0 Triad Cardinals in Piqua at Purk Field Saturday at 7pm. The Flyers are currently 12-0 under long time coach Tim Goodwin and are the lower seed (3rd) in their bracket.

Last weekend the Flyers were on the wrong end of the scoreboard in Piqua for most of the game, but found a way late to come away with a 35-28 win against Covington. With just 2:34 on the Purk Field clock, the Flyers drove down the field and put the game in the hands of their University of Pittsburgh bound Senior QB Adam Bertke to win the game for them, and that is just what he did as he hit Troy Homan for a second time in the game to put his team into another Regional Finals. Marion will look to utilize their dual threat QB and let his decision making give them another night to play as he has done all season against a stingy Cardinals defense that is giving up just 14.0 this season.

The 12-0 Ohio Heritage Conference Champion Triad Cardinals are making just their 4th playoff appearance as compared to the 16 that Marion Local has made, but the pedigree of their opponent doesn’t seem to matter to the Cardinals who dispatched Sidney Lehman Catholic last week by a 14-7 score in a game that was 0-0 at the half on Wapak’s Harmon Field turf. Despite losing their defensive leader Tre McIntyre earlier this season to injury, Triad rebounded by forcing turnovers and turning them into points when it mattered to advance past Lehman Catholic.


Before the season I was told “the NWC is Ada’s to win”, and it stuck with me all season long as I had the opportunity to see the Bulldogs on a couple of opportunities. Both times I saw Ada play I got a different team, it was like night and day. There’s an old saying that “when we’re good we’re really good, and when we’re bad we’re BAD”, and it held true at times this season for the Bulldogs perhaps a little too well.

Struggling at times on defense to get stops, the Bulldogs and coach Bob Olwin sit at 9-3 after a dominating 35-0 payback win over the Crestview Knights Friday night in Wapak. In avenging an earlier season 63-12 loss to the Knights, the Bulldogs pummeled Crestview from every angle defensively in earning a Week 13 matchup against the 11-1 Green Meadows Conference runner up Wayne Trace Raiders Friday night at Lima Stadium at 7:30pm.

Ada will utilize their QB Matt Wilcox not only throwing the ball to Austin Dumbaugh, Hunter Waller, and Blake Ansley, but also running the ball to keep the defense honest. In the win over Crestview, Wilcox was impressive with his ability to read what the Knight defense was giving him as he hit his checkdowns all night for big gains. Wilcox twice found Hunter Waller for touchdowns as the rout began. Credit the Ada defense on their improvement since the first meeting with Crestview as they had a huge night in only allowing 151 total yards while creating four takeaways, a pattern they hope repeats itself Friday night against the Raiders.

Wayne Trace and coach Bill Speller will be making their first Regional Finals appearance in only the schools 2nd all-time playoff berth. 11-1 on the season, the Raiders have relied heavily on the arm of Senior quarterback Colby Speice who has thrown for 3,132 yards and 40 touchdowns.

In their last outing the Raiders snapped Tinora’s 10 game winning streak by scoring 32 1st half points and rolling to a 40-7 victory. In the win, Speice accounted for 4 touchdown passes including a 1st quarter strike to Korbin Showalter. In the two meetings with Tinora this season, Wayne Trace outscored the Rams 88-42.

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend look no further than one of those great matchups. Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @michaelhirnpbp as I will be tweeting scores and live thoughts from Lima Stadium during the Delphos St. Johns/Arlington matchup.