Marion Local pummels Buckeye Central for fifth state title

December 03, 2011 11:32 PM

CANTON — There’s a theory in Division VI football.

There’s the Midwest Athletic Conference. Then, there’s everybody else.

Marion Local proved that notion to be true one more time.

Marion Local had little difficulty steamrolling Buckeye Central 61-21 to win the Division VI football state championship Saturday at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium.

It marked Marion Local’s fifth football state championship. The Flyers and coach Tim Goodwin have won state titles in 2000, 2001, 2006, 2007 and 2011.

“I can’t wait to get home and see the fire trucks and we can act like yoo-hoos,” Marion Local fullback Logan Albers said.

Marion Local led 21-0 after the first quarter and 34-0 at the half. Buckeye Central scored 14 in the final quarter and racked up some yardage at the end after the Flyers’ starters were relaxing on the bench.

“We know when we compete in our league you have a good shot at winning at state title,” Goodwin said.

Marion Local finished with 487 total yards, 209 on the ground. Leading the was 6-foot-4 sophomore quarterback Adam Bertke, who completed 14 of 19 for 278 yards and four TDs. He had TD throws of 13, 17, 11 and 48.

Wide receiver Lee Pierron had six catches for 140 yards and three TDs (17, 11 and 48). Dylan Thobe had six catches for 114 yards.

“The game plan was we wanted to be aggressive with the passing attack,” Goodwin said. “That’s what we had in mind. We didn’t want to run right at them. We felt we had good matchups on the outside.”

On the ground, Jake Heitkamp came back from his sprained ankle last week to run 19 times for 97 yards and two TDs. He had TDs of 8 and 6 yards.

“We have to be able to move the ball,” Heitkamp said. “And they can’t stop us. That’s our mind set.”

Buckeye Central finished with 292 total yards, 228 on the ground. Michael Adkins ran for 121 yards on 22 carries, while Adam Paynter had 115 yards on 11 carries.

The Bucks’ Tyler Erwin, the Co-Player of the Year in the state, completed 10 of 20 for 64 yards. He had one intercepted.

“The first thing was their team speed,” Buckeye Central coach Jason Ratliff said. “Then there was their linemen. Their defense moved around so much it was hard to get a block on them. They were almost like a small college team with all their different looks.”

Marion Local went right at Buckeye Central like a holiday piñata.

On the first drive the Flyers went 62 yards in eight plays, both on the ground and in the air. Bertke was 3 of 3 for 53 yards in the air on the drive.

Heitkamp’s 8-yard sweep around the left side for a touchdown provided Marion Local with a 7-0 lead with 9:30 left in the first half.

Marion Local’s defense gave the Flyers their second score. The Flyers’ Jacy Goettemoeller swooped in on a blitz and sacked Buckeye Central quarterback Erwin for a sack. Erwin fumbled on the play, Alaric Keller picked it up and ran 40 yards for a Marion Local touchdown.

That gave the Flyers a 14-0 lead with 7:51 left in the opening quarter.

“That jump started the momentum,” Goodwin said of the defensive score. “Then, it snowballed from there.”

Marion Local made it 21-0 on a 13-yard TD pass from Bertke to Kellen Goettemoeller with 1:30 left in the first quarter. The play came off a fourth-and-11 call.

Marion Local’s 11-play, 80-yard drive early in the second quarter went for another score. Bertke found Pierron alone in the left corner of the end zone for a 17-yard TD to push the Flyers’ lead to 27-0.

Bertke capped off the first half with an 11-yard TD pass to Pierron to make it 34-0 with 38 seconds left in the half.

By halftime, the sophomore Bertke had completed 12 of 17 for 189 yards and three TDs. Pierron had five catches for 92 yards and two TDs.

Marion Local scored TDs on five of their six first-half possessions.

“We knew he (Bertke) was going to be the quarterback at Marion Local, we just didn’t know when,” Goodwin said of his talented sophomore. “What you saw today is what we see every day in practice. The kid can throw it.”

The Flyers’ defense was led by linebacker Justin Rutschilling’s 12 tackles. The Flyers had four sacks and forced a fumble. Trevor Homan added eight tackles, while Pierron had seven.

Homan ran back an interception 85 yards for a score to balloon the lead to 54-7 with 2:39 left in the third quarter.

Rutschilling, a senior two-way all-MAC player, played on the junior varsity team last season.

“I can’t believe how much he’s improved,” Heitkamp said. “The coaches pushed him to the limit and he’s gotten bigger, faster and stronger.”

It marks the Midwest Athletic Conference’s 21st state football title. Delphos St. John’s and St. Henry both have six and now Marion Local has five. Coldwater has two, while Minster and Versailles have one each.

The 61 points ranks third highest in state championship game history for all divisions. Marion Local ranks second, too, with a 63-7 win against Mogadore in 2001. Delphos St. John’s set the all-time mark with a 77-6 victory over Shadyside last year.

“For once, I’d like to see the winners of region 22 and region 24 (this year Delphos St. John’s and Marion Local) come over and play for a state title and let everyone watch that one,” Goodwin said.