Friday saw close scoring games with weather conditions playing a big part along with some great defense. Saturday saw another close game, but the scoring was there for both teams at different parts of the game.
Maria Stein Marion Local may have came into the playoffs a #8 seed, but playing off the past history the Flyers found the magic and removed all the seeded teams above them to reach a championship game with Columbus Grove. The Flyers reached the championship game with wins over #1 seed Covington 35-8, Springfield Catholic Central 42-6, Dola Hardin Northern 14-10 and Newark Catholic 21-14. The school that has a reputation of winning state titles was looking for another. Could Columbus Grove stand in their way.
The Columbus Grove Bulldogs brought a 10-0 record and #1 seed into the playoffs. They reached the championship game with a great running attack and disposed of Hicksville 52-6, Northwood 27-0, Rawson Cory-Rawson 21-6 and Monroeville 27-24. The Bulldogs were the OPS #1 team in Division VI while Marion Local finished #5. Who would win this great battle and how would it be done?
In the highest scoring game out of the first four championship games, Columbus Grove used its big weapon Blaine Maag early and often. The Bulldogs have built a team with speed and Maag is one of the main cogs in this concept. Last spring the Bulldogs were the top track team in the state and many of these players were part of that team. Maag a junior shows fluid moves and an straight up running style towards having a big day.
The Flyers found the start a slow one, but when the defense stopped the Bulldogs offense in the second quarter a big special teams play by Scott Garman put them on the scoreboard and into the game with a 7-7 tie.
Columbus Grove saw Maag take of for a 40 yard run to pay dirt and the kick was good for a 14-7 lead. About one minute later the Bulldogs saw quarterback Ben Stechschulte hit wide receiver Taylor Jesko who cut back across the field and into the end zone and 21-7 score.
At halftime the Flyers regrouped and came out throwing the ball. Andy Schulze took a Cory Luebke pass and scored, the extra point was blocked by Doug Giere and the scoreboard showed 21-13. Maag wasted little time in getting the points back with a 56 yard run and after the kick the Bulldogs were ahead 28-13.
Luebke started hitting his open receivers and with 6:10 left in the third quarter he hit Schulze again for a 9 yard score. The kick was no good and the Flyers were working to get back into the game trailing 28-19. At the end of the third quarter Scott Garman scored from 1 yard out and with a good kick the score was 28-26.
2003 DIVISION VI STATE CHAMPIONS
PHOTO FROM OHSAA
The Flyers tried but couldn't get another drive going, while the Bulldogs used Maag to run the clock out. In the end the Bulldogs would take a knee and let the clock run out and win the schools first title in football. On the day Maag would carry for 40 times and gain 287 yards, just short of the state finals Division VI record.
Marion Local's offensive leader was quarterback Cory Luebke, the southpaw would go 13 of 21 for 188 yards passing.
In talking with OPS Football Director Craig Schweiterman we both felt the OhioPrepScene.com / Moe's Minis DVI MVP had to be Columbus Grove running back Blain Maag. After the game Craig presented a special one-of-a-kind helmet designed by Moe's Minis as the DV Game MVP.
You can get special made mini helmets or helmets of your favorite team from Moe's Minis, an OhioPrepScene.com partner. To visit Moe's Minis please click on the link provided.
FIRST DOWNS................... 11 19
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 21-32 58-311
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 188 57
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 21-13-0 7-4-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 42-220 65-368
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 2-19 3-10
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 5-96 5-79
Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 0-0
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 4-36.5 4-26.5
Fumbles-Lost.................. 3-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards............... 1-0 7-49
Possession Time............... 17:25 30:35
Third-Down Conversions........ 5 of 9 7 of 15
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 0 3 of 3
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 3-3 1-2
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 2-14 0-0
RUSHING: Marion Local-Curtis Moeller 17-27; Doug Giere 2-4; Scott
Garman 1-1; TEAM 1-0. Columbus Grove-Blaine Maag 40-287; Brandon Brubaker
3-17; Ben Stechschulte 9-8; Ryan Keck 3-4; TEAM 3-minus 5.
PASSING: Marion Local-Cory Luebke 13-21-0-188. Columbus Grove-Ben
RECEIVING: Marion Local-Brian Wellman 5-95; Andy Schulze 4-54; Scott
Garman 2-10; Matt Prenger 1-20; Curtis Moeller 1-9. Columbus Grove-Blaine
Maag 2-18; Taylor Jesko 1-26; Brandon Baxter 1-13.
INTERCEPTIONS: Marion Local-None. Columbus Grove-None.
FUMBLES: Marion Local-Curtis Moeller 2-1; TEAM 1-0. Columbus
Stadium: Fawcett Stadium Attendance: 0
Kickoff time: 11:07am End of Game: 1:36pm Total elapsed time: 2:29
Officials: Referee: Tom Graham; Umpire: Jim Riggs; Linesman: Roger Zimmerman;
Line judge: Pat Montana; Back judge: Larry Griffths; Scorer: BP-BM-SA-SB;
Temperature: 31 WC 19 Wind: W 18mph Weather: Cloudy/Light Snow