Marion Local adds another trophy to its case

MASSILLON — Top-ranked Marion Local won its third consecutive state title in convincing fashion, 33-0, against third-ranked Glouster Trimble in the first Division VII championship game.

The Flyers (15-0) led just 13-0 at halftime but scored 20 points in the third quarter to earn the program’s seventh championship. Marion Local, making its eighth title game appearance, held Trimble (14-1) to 104 yards of total offense while gaining 414 yards itself. The Tomcats reached Marion Local territory on their first two drives but didn’t advance past midfield again.

The Flyers intercepted three passes by Trimble senior quarterback Konner Standley.

One was at the Marion Local 5-yard line in the first quarter by linebacker Joe Schwieterman. The other two came on Trimble’s first two drives of the second half, both by defensive ends. Peyton Kremer got the first interception and Chris Lochtefeld got the second one. Marion Local took advantage of the short fields.

Senior quarterback Adam Bertke completed 17 of 28 passes for 216 yards and one touchdown, while adding two rushing scores and 47 yards on the ground. Senior wide receiver Troy Homan caught 10 passes for 119 yards.
 
Bertke threw a 19-yard touchdown to junior Jacy Goettemoeller on the opening drive of the game but the score remained 7-0 until just two seconds remained in the first half. Bertke scored on a 2-yard run to cap a seven-play, 71-yard drive. He completed consecutive passes of 11, 17, 16 and 25 yards on the drive. The extra point was blocked but Marion Local’s lead was 13-0 at halftime.

“We knew a score would be nice right before halftime,” said Bertke. “It was the line blocking, Jacy picking up the blitzes and Troy making plays on the ball. I read my keys and we put together a nice drive. Guys did their jobs. They were jacked up, the first quarter especially, but once we got into a groove and figured it out offensively and were able to make a nice little drive before half.”
 
Goettemoeller had touchdown runs of 11 and 1 yard, while Bertke added a 3-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to account for the final margin.

“We knew it was going to be tough even getting the two scores against them and then giving them short fields, you make mistakes against good teams they make you pay,” said Trimble coach Phil Faires. “Honestly, when I saw them on film, that’s what stood out to me was their defense. Like (linebacker) Jacob (Koons) said, they had 11 athletes out on the field that were good athletes. Great speed. We tried everything we had and we could just tell that we weren’t going to get outside on them. Their team speed, you just
can’t simulate that in practice.”

Marion Local was one of five state champions from 2012 to repeat this season. The Flyers won Division VI championships each of the last two seasons; they beat New Washington Buckeye Central 61-21 in 2011 and knocked off Newark Catholic 28-21 last season. They have won 22 games in a row and are just the seventh school in the state to win three or more straight titles, joining Cincinnati Moeller, Cleveland St. Ignatius, Delphos St. John’s, Newark Catholic, Versailles and Youngstown Ursuline.

The seven state titles are the most by a public school.

“I’m very proud being mentioned in company like that but it’s not something I think about,” said Marion Local coach Tim Goodwin. “It’s not what we do or anything like that. We just do our business. If we win, we win. If not, we shake their hands.”

It was the second state title of the day for the Midwest Athletic Conference; Coldwater beat Columbus Bishop Hartley 24-7 in Saturday’s first game to capture the Division V championship. Members of the MAC have now won 30 football state titles.

A total of 37,769 attended the seven championship games in Canton and Massillon over the three-day event. Stark County has hosted the state championships the past 24 years. The championship games will move to Columbus for 2014 and 2015, and all will be played at Ohio Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University.