DAYTON – The Division IV, Region 16 championship game between Coldwater and Clarksville Clinton-Massie Saturday was practically over before it began.
Coldwater scored early and often finding the end zone on nine straight possessions cruising to a 63-14 win at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium for its second regional championship in three years.
The Cavaliers held a 388-200 advantage in total offensive yards, respectively, led by junior RB Tony Harlamert with 93 yards on six carries and four TDs scoring on runs of 45, 1 and 32 yards as well as reeling in a 51-yard scoring strike from QB Cory Klenke in the first quarter.
“I think we owe a lot to our offensive line,” Harlamert said. “We were able to get good protection and run the ball. We just stuck to what we’ve been doing all year keeping it simple.”
Klenke completed 8-of-9 pass attempts for 114 yards and three TDs.
“Tonight was by far the best performance we had all year,” said Klenke. “We were on pace and all clicking together. Being able to do what we wanted to do on offense and coming out and stopping their hard running game was just tremendous.”
WR Ryan Geier caught two passes for 61 yards and two TDs, including a 17-yard TD from Klenke and a 44-yard catch from Zach Kaup on a reverse pass. Geier also had a 70-yard punt return for a TD in the second quarter.
Coldwater (12-1) carried a 49-0 lead into halftime tallying 14 first downs to Clinton-Massie’s four.
“You just want your kids not to quit,” Clinton-Massie head coach Dan McSurely said in regard to going in the break down seven TDs. “You just have to tell your kids to not quit, play hard and have fun.
“Right now, we are just not at (Coldwater’s) level. That is an unbelievable football team. It has been a great year for us and you just have to look at a game like this as a learning experience. The younger guys see where they’ve got to be at and what kind of intensity they’ve got to bring to a regional final.”
The 49-point win is Coldwater’s largest margin of victory in the playoffs since defeating Bellville Clear Fork 45-0 in 2005 on the way to the Division IV state championship.
“Fortunately we got started early,” said Coldwater head coach John Reed. “Our philosophy is to keep the other team’s offense off the field and try to maintain ball control.
“We were able to score right away and it escalated after that.”
Clinton-Massie (11-2) was paced by RB Jesse Calhoun with 132 yards on 25 carries and two TDs late in the fourth quarter.
Coldwater has scored 122 points in its last two games scoring 59 points last week in a triple-overtime thriller with Kettering Alter.
“We really had to work hard to refuel the tank this week. We were empty,” Reed said. “We spent it all last week but as the week went on we really started to bounce back mentally and physically.”
Harlamert added, “Coming off that triple-overtime game we had to refuel and the coaches did a great job of getting us refueled mentally. We had a great week of practice all week and we just came out tonight ready to play.
“We played a good game tonight but we still have a long way to go.”
Coldwater schools presented a check for $15,000 raised by the Coldwater community to Clinton-Massie before Saturday’s game in support of freshman cheerleader Savana Coffman’s family. Coffman underwent a successful heart transplant surgery earlier this week. Her parents and sister were on hand to accept the donation.