Too much thunder and lightening postponed Coldwater’s bid for a third state title as Kirtland won the Division V final at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium 28-. The 1-2 punch of Christian Hauber and Damon Washington combined for 343 yards as Kirtland handed Coldwater its third straight state final loss…how it happened.
Too much thunder and added strikes of lightening postponed Coldwater’s bid for a third D-V state title as Kirtland defeated the Cavs 28-7. Kirtland’s Christian Hauber (Air Force) rushed for 196 punishing yards and two TDs, while Damon Washington scampered for 147 yards and two scores, including a “see ya later” 81-yard TD dash. The 1-2 punch combined for 343 of the Hornets’ 421 yards of total offense. Cavalier coach Chip Otten quipped, “Too much number 34 (Hauber) for us.”Coldwater has reached the championship game the past three seasons, finishing runner-up in 2009, 2010, and 2011. The Cavaliers have finished as state runners-up five times. Some things never change. – By Tim Langevin
Video by Alex Sator
KIRTLAND TAKES CONTROL, RUNS PAST COLDWATER
(Division V Championship at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium)
By Tim Langevin
MASSILLON – With playoff nemesis Youngstown Ursuline out of the picture, things looked pretty good for Coldwater this time. Look again as Kirtland defeated the Cavaliers 28-7 to capture the school’s first state championship Saturday afternoon before 6,662 spectators.
Hornet coach Tiger La Verde said, “We ran the ball just about every play and we played great defense just like we have throughout the playoffs. We didn’t have to vary from our game plan. We chewed up a lot of clock and kept their potent offense off the field.”
Mission accomplished as Kirtland gained 410 yards on the ground. Senior RB Christian Hauber had his way, pounding 30 times for 196 yards and two scores. Junior RB Damon Washington reciprocated with 147 yards and two TDs. QB Scott Eilerman had an easy day of it, throwing just four passes and completing one for 11 yards.
Senior DE Mark Brunet said, “We tried a lot of things to slow him (Hauber) down, but nothing seemed to work…They kept plugging up the middle and that third score was key for them.”
Eilerman proved to be the wildcard this contest as he converted 8-of-13 third-downs to keep the drives alive. The junior finished the game with 62 yards on eight carries (7.8 avg.) and kept the defense back on its heels.
“The offensive line did a great job of blocking,” said Washington. “I saw big holes and hit them. After that I saw green.”
Washington saw plenty of green when he broke off an 81-yard run in the fourth quarter, putting the game out of reach for Coldwater.
Kirtland jumped out to a 14-0 halftime margin with two time-consuming drives. The first one covered 66 yards in 14 plays and burned 6:30 of clock. Hauber finished it off with a punishing six-yard blast up the middle. The second drive was 56 yards and took 4:02, capped by Washington’s seven-yard scamper.
“They were able to control the clock and control the ball. They kind of did what they wanted to do offensively,” Coldwater coach Chip Otten said. “Too much number 34 (Hauber) for us.”
Coldwater QB Austin Bruns missed last season’s state title game and was just thankful to be healthy enough to play. The junior standout engineered an 80-yard drive to start the second half and looked in late-season form, completing 4-of-5 passes for 74 yards and running for the six-yard TD to slice the lead 14-7 with 28 seconds left in the third quarter. The key play was a 40-yard strike to Chip Otten.
Bruns said, “At that point, I thought the game was ours, but we couldn’t capitalize on their mistakes…Not able to win the last game definitely disappointing, but I’m just thankful to be healthy and given the opportunity to play.”
Bruns was 18-of-34 for 249 yards and added 64 yards and the score on the ground. He finished the season with 3,238 passing yards and 28 TDs and 830 rushing yards and seven TDs.
Talk about cradle of quarterbacks in the MAC – Nick Campbell of Versailles, Kyle Stahl of St. Henry, Adam Bertke of Marion Local, Adam Niemeyer of Minster, and Bruns – all return next year and all considered D-I college prospects.
Hauber put the game pretty much out of reach on a five-yard TD run with 8:49 left in the game and Washington sealed it with his 81-yard dash.
“The more I get the ball, the more I just want to pound it,” Hauber said. “The more we run it, the more the defense wears down. We like to wear teams down and that’s how it went today.”
Kirtland DB Josh Iammarino recorded a game-high 10 tackles and LB Neil Ribelli added 61/2 tackles.
Coldwater WR Aaron Mestemaker caught six passes for 94 yards.
The Hornets finished the season 15-0. Coldwater ended up 11-4. It was the Cavs fifth trip to the state finals in seven seasons with two state titles.