Coldwater, Cincinnati Moeller and Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary all had reason to celebrate Saturday.
MASSILLON – Coldwater (Ohio) senior Caleb Siefring described the Cavaliers state championship game defeats the last three years with bluntness.
"Each loss was like a dagger," Siefring said.
Saturday, Coldwater found its own weapon — defense.
in its 60th game in four years, Coldwater erased the bad taste of three
straight state finals losses by capturing the third state title in
school history and its first since 2007 with a 10-9 win over defending
state champion Kirtland in the Division V state final at Massillon's
Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.
The rematch was the first in an OHSAA state championship game since 2001 and featured two unbeatens ranked in the MaxPreps Small School National Rankings (Coldwater at No. 4 and Kirtland at No. 14).
"Almost everyone loses their last high school game," Coldwater head coach Chip Otten said. "These guys have felt the pain."
It was Kirtland that felt the pain Saturday.
Held to single digits for just the second time in their last 78 games
(dating back to the start of the 2007 season), the Hornets high-powered
run offense was held in check. Kirtland managed 199 yards, with 174
coming on the ground, but senior RB Damon Washington, who entered the
game with 32 rushing TDs, was limited to 39 yards on 11 carries. The
Hornets lone offensive score, set up by a botched Coldwater punt, came
on a 4-yard pass. Kirtland added a safety.
"Their defense is very
good and we knew that," Kirtland head coach Tiger LaVerde said. "We had
no consistency. We like to gain four yards, four yards, four yards and
then hit the big play. We never made a big play."
Washington: "Besides (Youngstown Ursuline)…No (we haven't faced a
defense that good). They flew to the ball. It's hard to swallow."
Coldwater has been engulfing opposing offenses all year...