Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ohio Football Championship Weekend in Review

Bo Brodie, Correspondent

Day one of the Ohio State Football Championships was a day of new school meets old school. All three matchups featured trendy spread offenses versus the old traditional tailback oriented offenses.

In Division V the Kirtland Hornets defeated the Coldwater Cavaliers to win their first state football championship with a 28-7 win at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Kirtland runs most plays out of a wing-t set or a triple-I formation. Christian Hauber and Damon Washington entered the game as a strong 1-2 rushing attack. Hauber (6’0 218) bangs it between the tackles and entered the game with 1,707 yards on the season. Washington is more of an outside runner and does his damage on the edges. Washington (5’10, 170) had 1,471 yards coming in.

The Hornets got after the Cavaliers in the trenches, and Kirtland's potent attack took advantage with 421 rushing yards. The Air Force-bound senior Hauber led the way with 196 yards and two touchdowns. Future DI recruit - junior Damon Washington added 147 yards, including an 81-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to punctuate an impressive performance. Washington was also part of a secondary that slowed down Coldwater’s fine passing attack by minimizing big plays.

Coldwater ran out of four and five wide sets all day and were led by quarterback Austin Bruns who accounted for nearly all of Coldwater's offense with 249 passing yards and 64 rushing yards. Bruns (6’4 205) is a great looking Junior QB who also looks like a future DI recruit.

Kirtland gave up yards but only one score by getting tough in the red-zone and proved that running the football is still a great way to be successful. The Hornets were 1 of only 2 teams to finish 15-0 for the season


In Division III the Youngstown Mooney Cardinals hung on to defeat the Springfield Shawnee Braves for their eighth state football championship 21-14 at Fawcett Stadium.

Mooney loves to give it to their tailbacks and they run the stretch play as well as any high school team out there. Mooney ran for 220 yards on 50 carries and were led by their senior running back Roosevelt Griffin (5’8 185) who had 21 carries for 119 yards and junior Justus Ellis-Moore (5’7 160) who had 11 carries for 70 yards. That helped them build a 21-7 halftime and they relied on a very talented defense to bring home another title.

Their defense is led by DI recruits Senior DT Austin Trgovcic (6’2 280), Junior S Marcus McWilson (6’0 195) and Junior LB Courtney Love (6’1 210). McWilson made a very athletic interception and a 36 yard return to set up Mooney’s third score.

Shawnee and their spread attack made a run in the fourth quarter by mixing a lot of read option with their passing game. Quarterback Brad Jarzab led the way on the ground with 23 carries for 161 yards. On their last drive Mooney stopped Shawnee in the red zone to preserve the victory and get them a State second best 8th title.

In Division II the 2010 State Runner up Trotwood Madison Rams topped the Avon Eagles 42-28 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Isreal “Izzy” Green broke the state’s all-division finals record with six touchdowns and churned out a Division II record 326 yards on 35 carries. That passed the Division II mark of 251 yards set by Chaminade-Julienne’s Javon Ringer in 2002.

Green scored on runs on 1, 74, 1, 3, 34 and 1 yards, as he eclipsed 2,000 yards for the season. The fine Junior DI prospect resembles Maurice Jones Drew. He is exceptionally powerful in the lower body and has great quickness. He had 173 yards after one quarter, 219 at half, and his four first-half scores gave the Rams a 28-14 halftime advantage.

He broke three tackles and eluded three other defenders on his 74-yarder alone. “Just my determination,” Green said explaining that run. “I just wanted a touchdown.”

The Rams had 436 yards rushing as a team and held Avon and it’s spread offense to just 1 yard on the ground.

Avon was led by Senior QB Justin O’Rourke (5’10 170) who completed 27 for 50 for 325 yards. O’Rourke is an excellent DII-III prospect with great moxie and accuracy. He battled a very talented secondary and he kept the Eagles in the game until late in the 4th.

Trotwood is a great looking team and may be as loaded with DI talent as any team in Ohio. They will return much of their skill next season. Coach Maurice Douglas, former defensive back of the Chicago Bears is building something special in Trotwood. His team is very similar to Coach Ginn’s Cleveland Glenville squad and a must stop for college coaches.

In the end on Friday - the old school running teams went 3-0 over the new school spread teams… good news for those who do not want to see all of high school football go to the spread!


Day two of the Ohio State Football Championships had three match ups of teams with State Championship experience versus newcomers to the big game.

In Division VI the Marion Local Flyers defeated the Buckeye Central Bucks to win their fifth state football championship with a 61-21 win at Canton Fawcett Stadium.

Marion Local is out of the MAC Conference in Western Ohio which Ohio has become very familiar with. The conference has dominated the small school divisions in the last 20 years and may be the best small school conference in the country.

The Flyers operate out of a pro I back set and have great balance. Senior Jake Heitkamp (5’7 170) is a fine DIII prospect who tallied 97 yards on 10 carries. Sophomore quarterback Adam Bertke (6’4 180) passed for 278 yards and four touchdowns to lead Marion Local to its fifth state title, helping the Flyers gain 487 yards of total offense. Bertke set the tone hitting his first three passes on a scoring drive to open the game. He was 12-of-17 for 189 yards and three TDs in the first half, as they took a commanding 34-0 lead. Bertke has real good potential and is a future DI prospect.

Mike Adkins led all players in rushing with 121 yards on 22 carries for the Bucks who battled to the end.

In Division IV the Norwayne Bobcats defeated the Kenton Wildcats in their first State football championship appearance with a 48-42 thriller at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Kenton and Coach Mike Mauk are no strangers to Tiger Stadium. He was led by his oldest son Ben Mauk and won titles in 2001 and 2002. This season he was led by younger son quarterback Maty Mauk – 2011 Ohio’s Mr Football and holder of many passing records. Kenton is a very confident, high powered attack that did not attempt 1 extra point kick all season – they always go for two. They rarely punt, even when deep in their own territory and often on side kick.

Many of the 10,329 on hand were there to see Mauk and expected Kenton to outscore little known Norwayne but Adam Wallace would not let that happen. The senior Wallace (6’2 200) plays quarterback like Mauk and is a fine thrower and runner as well. He also plays linebacker and leads the team in tackles. In the title game he ran 30 times for 143 yards and 3 TDs and showed Tim Tebow power and style. He threw 15 of 24 for 282 yards and 4 TDs including a 31 yarder with 31 seconds left - at the time they trailed 42-41. He also had 11 tackles including one covering their final kickoff right after his game winning throw. Wallace is a throwback player and a big-time winner who should have caught the eyes of DI recruiters with his toughness and tenacity Saturday.

Mauk did not disappoint either. Maty, a Missouri recruit, finished with 421 yards and five touchdowns passing – including an extraordinary Hail Mary TD pass at the end of the first half. He also ran for 50 yards and a touchdown. He eclipsed the 5,000-yard passing mark for the second year in a row, and holds national records with 18,932 passing yards and 219 TD passes in his high school career.


In the Division I “Big School” tilt the Cleveland Saint Ignatius Wildcats defeated the Pickerington Central Tigers at Canton Fawcett Stadium.

Chuck Kyle may have delivered his best coaching job in 2011. Coming off of a 4-6 2010 season he led his Wildcats to their State best 11th football championship. Since week three when they were handled by a real good Mentor team 38-24 his team has improved greatly.

In the final, they were led by senior quarterback Eric Williams (6’3 190) 19 of 31 passing for 297 yards and 2 TDs. He is a fast rising DI prospect who moved in from Oregon prior to this season. He has adjusted to big time Ohio football and made great strides since that week three loss to Mentor. Blake Thomas (6’4 250) also was a big factor in the game. The Ohio State recruit is a great looking TE who is a great blocker as well as a sure handed receiver. On the ground, they rushed for 170 yards – led by junior (5’9 170) Tim McVey’s 115 yards on 24 carries - another future DI prospect.

Defensively the Cats were strong all night versus the run and had eleven guys hustling to the ball from the get go. They held a very talented and successful Central running game to a net 22 yards rushing and forced them to throw way more than they were used to. Airing it out to DI receiver recruits Roger Lewis (6’2 190) – Ohio State and Sebastian Smith (6’3 190) Indiana, Central was able to get back in the game. Each scored a TD to cut the 20-0 Ignatius’ lead to 20-13 by half.

Ignatius came out in the second half and once again displayed great balance to get their lead back to three scores. Late in the game the student section chanted “this is our house” and who could argue after they brought home an amazing 11th title since 1988.


At the end of Saturday the experienced teams won two and nearly a third but Adam Wallace prevented that with a memory few in attendance will forget.

At the end of the weekend the games matched the great weather and fans saw games won by traditional powers and 2 newcomers along with a great diversity in styles that makes high school football so special.

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