Revenge was a dish served to Coldwater Friday night as Alter advanced to the state tournament for the second time in three years with a 31-21 win over the Cavaliers at Troy’s Memorial Stadium ending the defending Division IV state champion’s season.
We have more from the game.
TROY – Long term memory is common in sports.
And the Kettering Alter football team remembered all too well the 59-52 triple-overtime loss to Coldwater in last season’s Region 16 semifinals heading into Friday’s regional final tilt against those same Cavaliers.
Revenge was a dish served to Coldwater as Alter advanced to the state tournament for the second time in three years with a 31-21 win over the Cavaliers in front of a sell out crowd at Troy’s Memorial Stadium ending the defending Division IV state champion’s season.
Trailing 21-10 at halftime, Alter (11-2) stuck to its game plan keeping the ball on the ground and away from Coldwater’s prolific offense (12-1) holding the Cavs to 239 yards of total offense.
“I think we were able to do some things on the ground and I think we were able to throw the ball a little bit,” Alter head coach Ed Domsitz said. “We made some mistakes the first half and they made some mistakes in the second half and we got some decent field position and put it in the end zone.”
Alter was paced on offense by Chris Borland and Austin Boucher out of the backfield. Borland ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns while Boucher tallied 93 yards rushing with two touchdowns. He was also 12-of-19 passing for 112 yards and an interception.
“Austin Boucher can throw and run and he is an amazing quarterback,” Domsitz said of his senior signal caller. “He is a leader on the field but he will be the first to tell you it is also our (offensive) line.”
Of Alter’s 360 yards of offense, 248 yards came on the ground.
“After last year, it set the tone,” Boucher said. “This year, we wanted it so bad and there was nothing that could stop us. (Coldwater) is an awesome team but there was nothing that could stop us.”
Boucher’s only mistake on the night happened on Alter’s first possession as the Knights were pinned deep in their own territory and Coldwater defensive back Kory Klenke picked off a deflected pass and took it down to the Alter 3-yard line.
Coldwater scored two plays later on a 2-yard Tony Harlamert touchdown run to go up 7-0 halfway through the first quarter.
But Alter answered scoring on its next possession on a Borland 7-yard scamper to the end zone to tie the game 7-7 late in the first frame.
On its next possession, Alter was forced to punt but the snap sailed over Borland’s head and Coldwater recovered the ball at midfield. Seven plays later, Klenke connected with Zach Kaup for a 12-yard touchdown strike to put Coldwater up 14-7 early in the second quarter.
Coldwater punted on its next possession, but Alter’s Danny Jasper fumbled the ball on the return and Trent Muhlenkamp scooped it up and returned it 10 yards to pay dirt putting Coldwater up 21-7.
Alter cut the lead to 21-10 on a 26-yard Jasper field goal just before halftime.
In the waning minutes of the third quarter, Boucher crossed the goal line on a 1-yard run capping an 11 play, 59-yard scoring drive. The Jasper point after attempt sailed wide left and Alter trailed 21-16.
A Matt Pirrello interception on Coldwater’s next possession set up Boucher’s second score on the night on a 6-yard touchdown run. The Knights elected to go for the 2-point conversion and Cody Taulbee ran into the corner of the end zone to put Alter up 24-21 giving the Knights their first lead of the game.
Perhaps Alter most significant possession of the game came in the fourth quarter. The Knights got the ball with 8:30 left and orchestrated a 16 play, 84-yard scoring drive that chewed 7:29 off the clock. Borland scored on a 3-yard run putting Alter up 31-21 and putting the final nail in Coldwater’s coffin.
“To be able to do that and take the clock down like that makes all the difference when you’re talking about an offense like Coldwater’s,” Domsitz said
Said Coldwater head coach John Reed: “They just maintained the ball. We just couldn’t stop them and they made a great effort. (Boucher) made play after play and they deserved what they accomplished tonight.”
Klenke was 19-of-36 passing for 167 yards and the interception. He also had 21 yards rushing and a 15-yard reception.
Alter’s defense held Coldwater to just 57 yards rushing.
“It was a team effort. I thought the kids played some remarkable football and you have to do that to beat a team like Coldwater,” said Domsitz. “This game was hyped as much as any high school game and as it turned out it was worth it.”