Division VI Regional Finals: Delphos St. John’s, Malvern, Lehman Catholic and Hopewell-Loudon roll on


Division VI Playoffs

There were several solid showings by Division VI teams Friday in the
regional finals. Those punching tickets to the Final Four were Sidney Lehman Catholic, Delphos St. John’s, Malvern and Bascom Hopewell-Loudon.

There were several solid showings by Division VI teams Friday in the
regional finals. Those punching tickets to the Final Four were Sidney
Lehman Catholic, Delphos St. John’s, Malvern and Bascom Hopewell-Loudon.

Region 21

Bascom Hopewell-Loudon 42, Norwalk St. Paul 21

Region 22

Delphos St. John’s 38, Ada 28

Region 23

Malvern 38, Hannibal River 14

Region 24

Sidney Lehman 28, Mechanicsburg 13

Lehman Catholic advances to first state semi since 2001; Cavs hand Mechanicsburg first loss
By Alex Sator

CLAYTON – Sidney Lehman Catholic (12-1) eliminated previously undefeated Mechanicsburg (12-1), 28-13, in the OHSAA Division VI Region 24 final Friday night (Nov. 14), at Northmont High School’s Good Samaritan Field.

The Cavs extend their winning streak to twelve games.

Lehman, which was humiliated by Springfield Catholic Central in last season’s Region 24 final (a 48-12 loss that they avenged last weekend, 42-6) will move on to play in its first state semifinal game since 2001.

The only blemish on the Cavs record is a highly respectable 28-21 loss at the hands of  D-V playoff qualifier, Anna (of the Midwest Athletic Conference), in the 2008 season opener.

On the other hand, Mechanicsburg – champions of the Ohio Heritage Conference –concluded  another banner season having come up just shy of achieving their ultimate objectives.

The Indians have lost in the southwestern regional final two of the last three years.

As usual, Lehman Catholic wasn’t messing around Friday.

The Cavaliers took the opening kickoff and marched 70 yards in 10 plays. Kaleb Goins’ 1-yard TD dive was set up by a beautifully conceived and executed 40-yard halfback option pass from Zac Schmitz to David Spearman.

As their winning season rolled along, LC had been drawing their opponent’s safeties closer and closer to the line of scrimmage with their patented ‘jet sweep’ – which is essentially single-wing football with an end-around look. Their play-action froze the Indian’s safeties and this critical play was actually easier than it looked.

“That (the halfback pass out of the jet sweep) was something we ran the first game of the year (against Anna),” LC head coach Richard Roll laughed. “Once we got sacked on it, and  the other time it was incomplete.”

On fourth-and-three at the Mechanicsburg 10-yard line (8:03 of the second quarter), Schmitz high-stepped into the end zone on a true ‘jet sweep’ to make the score: Lehman Catholic 14, Mechanicsburg 0.

Moments later, the Indians’ Ethan Price intercepted a Kameron Barton screen pass – and nine plays after that he scored on a nifty 1-yard toss from Andy Huffman.

Mechanicsburg took the second half kickoff and drove impressively down the field as they looked to tie the score at 14-14, but a Joe Webb halfback pass was intercepted by the versatile Schmitz deep in the red zone.

Two plays later, Max Cartwright transformed a simple off-tackle dive play into a spectacular 68-yard cutback touchdown.

The quick reversal of fortunes went a long way towards ending this highly-anticipated game long before its time.

“It’s a pretty nice trophy,” Cartwright laughed after the game as he personally carried the darn thing back to the locker room. “It is pretty heavy, though.”

And it was!

“Big plays were huge in this game. We knew that if we could make a couple of them it could open things up for us, big time.”

Lehman Catholic had 272 yards rushing on 56 attempts (208 yards in the first half alone).

Cartwright had 195 yards of total offense (117 yards rushing) and two touchdowns.

Goins (98 yards rushing, 1-TD), Schmitz (57 yards rushing, 60 yards passing, 12 receiving, an interception, and a TD), and Barton (75 yards passing, and a TD) also contributed to the winning cause.

Alex Huffman threw for 185 yards (on 13-29 passing, 3 interceptions and a TD) for the Indians.

Webb had an outstanding game with 7 catches for 144 yards and a TD.

“It was a good win for us,” a grinning Roll said. “We all worked so hard for all of this and it is exciting for the kids and the school system. I couldn’t be happier for them.

“I was really happy with our offense. We came out right away and scored. And we controlled the clock, especially in that first half.”

The Cavaliers mone on to a state semifinal contest to be played against Malvern (13-0), Delphos St. John’s (11-2), or Bascom Hopewell-Loudon (13-0) sometime next weekend.

Official match ups and site locations will be announced on Sunday.

Mechanicsburg – whose prolific offense came into this game averaging over 40 points per outing – had just 34 yards rushing (on 17 attempts).

“We’re the type of team that is going to live or die with the things that we like to do,” the Indian’s disappointed head coach, Chris Kosiorek, said afterward. “The offense of Lehman Catholic came out, and they played a great game.

“And if a team like that comes out and shuts down your pet plays, and stuff like that, then we’ll have to resort to some other things. That’s not necessarily (good).”

In the end, the veteran head coach waxed philosophic.

“We took their best shot in the first half and we were only down 14-7. Then our opening drive of the third quarter drove down to their 15-yard line and we kinda stalled out. We had our chances.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *