D-VI State Football Final: Kirtland proves offensive prowess, wins second title in three years

The State Championships have arrived. And the second final is over. Friday afternoon at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium, Kirtland captured its second state title in three years with a convincing 44-16 win over Wayne Trace. Kirtland, powered by one of the state’s best offenses ever, didn’t disappoint. Here’s what happened and who did what

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2013 State Football Finals

Division VI State Final

Kirtland 44

Wayne Trace 16

Boxscore

WHAT WE LEARNED

1. Kirtland’s Offense ranks among Ohio’s best ever

Only one football team in Ohio high school history has scored more than 800 points in a season. Kirtland came close. The Hornets ended with 785 total points this season to rank second all-time behind only Clinton-Massie, which scored 822 points last year. Kirtland’s wing-T offense was dominant again in the D-VI final. The Hornets had 588 yards of total offense, including 410 rushing. The 410 yards rushing was just six yards shy of the D-VI finals record and ranks as the 8th best finals performance regardless of division. Kirtland averaged 9.3 yards per play. By halftime Kirtland had 381 yards, 278 rushing yards and two RBs over 100 yards. After the game was tied 8-8, Kirtland scored 36 straight points. Kirtland’s scoring average of 52.3 points per game this season ties with the 1976 Miami Trace team quarterbacked by Art Schlichter for 11th all-time in state history.

2. Kirtland Defense Better than Advertised

Wayne Trace entered the game with 710 points this season. The Raiders managed a season-low 14 against Kirtland. WT QB Colby Speice entered the game having accounted for 62 TDs this year and was limited to two TD passes. Kirtland allowed 132 total points this season.

3. One point from perfection

Kirtland improved to 44-1 the last three years: The Hornets have played in three straight state finals and have won two. Their only loss in the last 45 games is last year’s 10-9 loss to Coldwater in the D-V state final.

KEY PLAYERS

*Adam Hess, jr., RB, Kirtland: Carried the ball 22 times for 177 yards and two TDs.
*Sam Kukura, sr., RB/DB, Kirtland: Carried the ball 19 times for 196 yards and a TD.
*Ryan Loncar, sr., WR/DB, Kirtland: With his start in the D-VI final, Loncar set a new state record for consecutive starts with 58. His TD catch in the state final gives him 14 this season.
*Matthew Finkler, jr., LB/TE, Kirtland: Had a game-high 12.5 tackles, including two TFL and two sacks. On offense he caught three passes for 72 yards and a TD.
*Canon Schroder, sr., DL, Kirtland: Had seven tackles, 4.5 TFL and a sack.
*Sam Skiljan, sr., QB/DB, Kirtland: Completed 6-of-10 passes for 133 yards and two TDs and ran five times for 15 yards and a TD. On defense he added four tackles and three PBUs.
*Colby Speice, sr., QB, Wayne Trace: Completed 18-of-44 passes for 262 yards and two TDs.
*Jake Arend, sr., WR/DB, Wayne Trace:  Caught five passes for 101 yards and a TD. Also had a team-high nine tackles and a TFL.

STATS/NUGGETS/NOTES

*Kirtland had one game this season decided by less than 28 points. That was last week’s last-second 10-7 win over Columbus Ready in the state semifinals.
*Kirtland became the 42nd school in state history to win two state football titles.
*Wayne Trace had won its previous four playoff games by over 30 points each.

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