Columbus Ready punches first ticket to state since 1983

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Col. Ready 35, Fredericktown 7
Bishop Ready football standout Shea Brintlinger loves his team’s toughness. The Silver Knight senior and his teammates will get a chance to display
that tenacity at the state level as Ready earned a spot in the Division
V final four following a convincing 35-7 win against Fredericktown on
Friday night in the Division V Region 19 final at Olentangy High School.


OLENTANGY – Bishop Ready High School football standout Shea Brintlinger loves his team’s toughness.

The Silver Knight senior and his teammates will get a chance to display that tenacity at the state level as Ready earned a spot in the Division V final four following a convincing 35-7 win against Fredericktown on Friday night in the Division V Region 19 final at Olentangy High School.

Brintlinger caught four passes for 51 yards and fired a touchdown pass off a halfback option play to help his team take control in the first half.

“That’s our West side mentality,” Brintlinger said. “Growing up on the hilltop we really don’t take no for an answer. You come out every week and you might be better than us, but we’re going to come out and play our game. It’s up to you to stop us.”

The Sliver Knights improve to 12-1 and will be making their first final four appearance since 1983 when they won the Division IV title in a 43-15 win against Orrville.

“This is huge,” Ready coach Larry Wolf after receiving a ceremonial dunking from his team. “It’s been since 1983 that we’ve gotten this far. We’ve had some chances, but we’ve always been so banged up we couldn’t get it done. Well, we’re healthy and we have a chance. If you get this far you have a chance. We’re happy with the chance.”

Fredericktown closes out the season at 10-3.

Ready dominated from the opening whistle.

The Silver Knights scored on their first two possessions and held a commanding 21-0 lead at the half.

Junior fullback Collin Leidinger gave the Sliver Knights the lead for good when he bounced off a pair of defenders and raced 14 yards for the game’s first score midway through the opening quarter, capping a 12-play, 60-yard drive.

Ready added to its lead on its next possession as Zac Dawson scored on a 24-yard run with 1:34 left in the opening quarter as the winners built a 14-0 advantage.

The Silver Knights used an impressive 95-yard drive in the final 4:26 of the first half to build their 21-0 lead at the break.

Brintlinger moved his team into scoring position with a 29-yard strike to Mark Louks on a halfback option pass and two plays later Brintlinger hooked up with Stevie Christman for a 12-yard TD with 52.6 seconds remaining in the half.

“I played quarterback at the beginning of my sophomore year and due to some injuries I had to move around,” Brintlinger said. “That’s been in the playbook even before I was here. It’s just a part of our playbook. We’re going to run it; it’s up to those guys to stop it. It works 80 percent of the time.

“Stevie just has the knack of getting open and the guys up front every week just block and block. They don’t get enough credit. They just kill people. It’s really those guys. I just happen to be the guy throwing the ball. Everybody else did all the work.”

Ready out-gained the Freddies 222-15 in the first half and enjoyed a 15-1 advantage in first downs.

The Silver Knights pulled away in the second half, opening a 35-0 cushion in the final quarter.

Dawson scored his second touchdown of the game, a 6-yard run, as Ready opened a 28-0 lead with 5:15 remaining in the third quarter.

Senior quarterback Brock Brown and Christman teamed up for their team’s final score, a 10-yard connection, 1:16 into the final quarter.

The Freddies averted the shutout when Merrit Zollars fired a 36-yard TD strike to Taylor Hilzfield with 1:55 remaining.

Ready rushed for 283 yards and out-gained the Freddies 427-128.

Dawson rushed for 136 yards on 17 carries and Leidinger added 120 yards on 20 attempts.

Brown completed 10 of 16 passes for 104 yards and a score. Brintlinger completed both of his passes for 41 yards.

Wolf called his team’s defensive effort a key in the victory.

“The defense played their brains out,” Wolf said. “They gave us a chance to just do what we wanted to do on offense. We had a bad field position because of our offense not because of our defense. Our defense was spectacular. That’s a tremendous quarterback, a tremendous running back over there (Ryan Hathaway) and our kids pretty much shut them down. I couldn’t believe it. It was wonderful to watch.”

Despite the lopsided win, Wolf realizes his team will have to improve if it plans on winning a state crown.
“We can play better,” he said. “We have to play better. We can’t win this thing if we don’t play better. We have to eliminate the penalties. We didn’t have to throw the ball tonight. We can throw it, but we didn’t have to. It’s kind of nice when we can run the ball right at them. I was really happy about that. It shortened the game.”

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