AP Photo/David Richard
Kyle Mescher, left, Mark Thobe, center, and Jordan Rethman of Marion Local hold up the state championship trophy after a 28-21 victory over Newark Catholic in the Ohio high school Division VI state high school football championship in Massillon, Ohio, on Friday.
MASSILLON (AP) – Maria Stein Marion Local needed all 48-minutes and an untimed down to hold off Newark Catholic, 28-21, and repeat as OHSAA Division VI state football champions Friday afternoon at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon.
Ninth-ranked Marion Local (13-2) scored with 21-seconds left in the fourth quarter on a sweep left from freshman Hunter Wilker, his third touchdown of the game, to give the Flyers the lead. Seventh-ranked Newark Catholic (12-2) responded, starting with the ball on its own 35-yard line. Junior quarterback Chayce Crouch found senior receiver Kevin Bourne twice down field to drive the ball to the Marion Local 11-yard line. A pass interference call in the end zone as time expired gave the Green Wave one untimed down where Flyer junior defensive back Nate Nagel knocked away a pass in the end zone, ending the game.
The 2012 football state championship marks the sixth time Marion Local has won a title and is the third time the Flyers have won back-to-back championships.
Marion Local lost starting running back sophomore Jay Goettemoeller early in the first quarter after only three carries for 19 yards. Junior quarterback Adam Bertke stepped in to carry the load offensively, rushing 27 times for 102 yards, while completing 17 passes for 166 yards. While the junior quarterback carried the offense, Wilker, the converted receiver, put them into the end zone on rushing touchdowns of six, 11 and one yards. Senior Alaric Keller provided the other touchdown, punching the ball in from the one yard line in the third quarter for the Flyers.
Newark Catholic’s Crouch did all he could in leading the Green Wave offensively, completing 14 of 27 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns and running for 37 yards and a touchdown. Bourne led Newark Catholic receivers with eight receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown. He also recorded six and a half tackles defensively for the Green Wave.
Newark Catholic finished as state runner-up for the sixth time in school history after returning to the championship game for the first time since 2007. The Green Wave hold eight state championship titles and lead all schools with 67 playoff wins.
For a box score and complete statistics, please visit www.ohsaa.org.