Make room for another.
Make room for another.
Making its second appearance in the state football championships, Alter earned its first title on the gridiron Friday with a 21-6 win over previously unbeaten
“It means the world,” Alter senior Chris Borland said. “This isn’t just for the ’08 team, this is for any one who has ever played Alter football. It’s been too long.”
“You think about some of the teams that have been through Alter – especially recently – and when you’re a little kid they just seem like gods,” senior Phillip Sowar added. “To think now that we’ve won a state championship and we’re considered the best of all-time is just unreal. I’m at a loss for words.”
Said Alter coach Ed Domsitz: “It’s certainly the biggest win we’ve ever had.”
The Knights (13-2) extracted revenge on Big Red (14-1) for a narrow 34-33 loss in the 2006 D-III state championship in
In the 2006 title game Alter fell behind big early and rallied only to see two missed PATs make the difference. This year the doubt was gone long before the final whistle.
Alter entered the contest averaging 43 points per game thanks mostly to a devastating rushing attack led by seniors Austin Boucher (QB), Borland (RB) and Justin Hall (RB) and junior Cody Taulbee (RB).
Friday, the quartet didn’t disappoint.
Borland, headed to
Hall added 48 yards on nine carries and Taulbee chipped in 16 yards on four touches as Alter rolled up 305 yards on the ground. The Knights finished with 415 yards of offense.
Alter operated behind a huge offensive line led by three-year senior starter Evan Neff at center. Neff, the lone holdover from the 2006 starting line up, is headed to
“Poise and leadership,” Borland said. “
“They kept fighting,”
The Knights took a 7-0 lead when Boucher hit Borland for an 8-yard TD pass with 4:54 to go in the first half. Following a 3-yard Boucher TD run, Borland scored on a 21-yard run as Alter took command 21-0 with 10:47 to play.
Big Red ended with 311 total yards, 138 of which came in the fourth quarter with the outcome decided.
Macon, one of the state’s top college prospects in the Class of 2010, completed 11-of-22 passes for 196 yards and a TD and also tossed an interception. He carried the ball 14 times for a team-high 68 yards, which were anything but easy.
With the loss
“Their defense played better than our offense,”
Said Domsitz: “The big goal going in was to not let their quarterback take the game away from us. We weren’t going to try to sell the kids on stopping him completely. We just wanted to contain him and keep him out of the end zone.”
Steubenville, one of Ohio’s most storied programs and just one of three with over 700 wins (Canton McKinley and Massillon Washington are the others), failed in its attempt to win a fourth state title in its third different classification.
The Big Red won the D-II state title in 1984 and back-to-back D-III titles in 2005 and 2006.
It was just the fourth loss for
“When you’re in a championship game you have to give a championship effort,” Saccoccia said. “You can give a championship effort and still come up short. All I know is we worked our tails off for 15 weeks to get here and all great things have to come to and end. Our trail ended tonight to a good Alter team.”
Alter’s title is the crowning achievement for a program on the rise. The Knights own 14 playoff appearances and five trips to the state semifinals, but since 2001 Alter has poured it on. The Knights are 88-18 since 2001 with two finals appearances in three years. The only thing between Alter and an undefeated season this year was two forfeit losses for playing an ineligible third string senior in the season’s first two games – blowout wins over Kettering Fairmont and Bellbrook.
Domsitz, in his second stint with the Knights, went 57-19 from 1981-87. After a run at Clayton Northmont, Domsitz returned to Alter prior to the 1999 season and went 6-11 in his first two years.
The rest is history.
“This whole season has been kind of our redemption season,” Neff said. “We got a second shot at Coldwater and now
Maybe it will when the Knights walk by the trophy case.