Division V Regional Finals: Marion Local and Youngstown Ursuline still alive


Division V Playoffs

There were several solid showings by Division V teams Saturday in the
regional finals. Those punching tickets to the Final Four were Maria Stein Marion Local, Youngstown Ursuline, Findlay Liberty-Benton and Baltimore Liberty Union.

There were several solid showings by Division V teams Saturday in the
regional finals. Those punching tickets to the Final Four were Maria
Stein Marion Local, Youngstown Ursuline, Findlay Liberty-Benton and
Baltimore Liberty Union.

Region 17

Youngstown Ursuline 18, Kirtland 17

Region 18

Findlay Liberty-Benton 28, Hamler Patrick Henry 0

Region 19

Baltimore Liberty Union 13, Columbus Ready 3

Region 20

Maria Stein Marion Local 21, West Jefferson 14

Marion Local rides defense to 21-14 win over West Jefferson in regional final rematch

By Alex Sator

PIQUA – Zeb Homan had three sacks and Luke Bertke scored twice as Marion Local defeated West Jefferson, 21-14, in the OHSAA Division V Region 20 final at Alexander Stadium, Saturday.

The Flyers (11-2), who remain in the hunt for a third consecutive state title (D-VI 2006, D-V 2007), had eight sacks. Their ability to effortlessly apply pressure without having to rely on blitzes or stunts was the difference in this game.

“We’d rather rush than cover,” said head coach Tim Goodwin. “We have some senior defensive backs who we think are pretty good and that allows us to play like that. And I think some of our guys up front made some plays.

“Greg Schweiterman made a lot of big plays. He was a really nice player for us tonight, but I don’t want to say too much about him (laughs). He’s just a sophomore. He started the year at around 142 lbs., but he’s bulked up.

“He’s got a lot of clothes on tonight,” Goodwin deadpanned. “So now he’s, like, 145 lbs.”

The last time Marion Local lost in the post season was on November 12, 2005 – an incredible 13 games ago.

“The game (tonight) didn’t go like I thought,” Goodwin laughed. “But it ended up like I thought. You know, it was just one of those things to be honest with you. I am disappointed in our offense, I really want to look at it again on film.”

Meanwhile, the Roughriders’ 10-3 season has come to a screeching halt. But they should have no trouble finding their way home – or even back to the regional final for that matter – as they have been here and done all of this before.

Last time, they were eliminated in this very game against this very team: 24-0.

People who were in attendance for that regional final would tell you that the score doesn’t even come close to describing how breathtakingly uncompetitive that evening was.

“Seriously,” they usually will note. “You had to be there.”

People who were in attendance Saturday night would tell you that West Jefferson is now a much more poised, much more physical, team. They might also admit that Marion Local isn’t quite as devastating as they were last time around.

“We knew this was going to be a great game,” WJ head coach Shawn Buesher said. “But we totally expected to win this game. My kids believed it. My coaches believed it. I don’t know if anyone else gave us a chance to compete, but we knew better.

“Obviously they are a great program. We’ve been knocking on the door the last three years in terms of being the regional runners-up…hopefully, we can continue to put ourselves in this position so that maybe we might be able to win one.”

Both squads were ready to play this game.

Marion Local took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards in 8 plays. Troy Prenger’s 11-yard touchdown strike to Luke Bertke made the score, 7-0.

Prenger had two touchdown passes on the evening for the Flyers.

Last year, this was when the Roughriders pretty much folded against the Flyers, This time they drove 68 yards in 9 plays. D.J. Mendenhall hit Eric Love in stride and he took it 24 yards to tie the score.

Early in the second quarter, ML sophomore ‘will’ linebacker Schweiterman diagnosed a screen, turned the play inside, deflected the pass, made a play on the ball, and returned the interception 25 yards to the West Jefferson 5-yard line.

Bertke proceeded to dive into the end zone from 1 yard out and the score at halftime was: Marion Local 14, West Jefferson 7.

Afterwards, Schweiterman, was having trouble believing that the best and brightest of the Miami Valley’s sports media would be assembled – and asking to speak with him.

“It felt great,” the sophomore laughed. “It was the kind of thing we needed to get the momentum going for our team. Then our offense put it in the end zone.

“We practiced against that (screen) play all week long. So, we just waited for it. I put my arm up, caught it, and I started running. I remember (the play) from watching it on film, ‘Ooops, there’s the bubble screen!’

“Luckily, I was ready for it.”

The 5-11, 145 pound Schweiterman also notched a fourth-down sack (rushing as a down lineman) to end the Roughriders’ last possession of the game.

“Their defensive pressure finally started to get to us,” a disappointed Buesher said after the game. “They just load the box up and they bring people. That’s their MO and they did a good job of it. They also have great faith in their secondary.

“They play man-to-man and try to create mismatches in the box up front. For the most part, early, we were able to pick most of that stuff up, but they were able to cause us some problems late – and finally they were able to get to us.”

The second half of this affair pretty much took place in Roughrider territory.

“The same thing happened last year against Marion Local if you want to know the truth. They were able to win that field position battle and that is a credit to their kids. They’re moving on and we’re going home.”

Pairings and information for next Saturday’s D-V semifinals will be available Sunday.

“Give a lot of credit to West Jefferson’s defense,” said Goodwin. “Their four down linemen and their three linebackers? We knew they were pretty good. I think that they played very well.”

Considering the fact it rained all day, the field was in excellent condition.

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