"Bend but don't break"
We hear it all the times from sportscasters talking about either team's defense. It means it's okay to give up yards between the twenties, but when the other team get to your twenty yard line, your defense has to step up and make a stop.
The Coldwater Cavalier defense played that theory to a tee this morning in the Division V state football championship game, coming away with a 24-7 victory over Columbus Bishop Hartley.
It doesn't hurt to have junior quarterback Brody Hoying either
Hoying ran for over 100 yards and three touchdowns and intercepted a pass on defense, as the Cavaliers repeated as state champions in their 5th straight state finals appearance.
This was a rematch of a regular season game that Coldwater won 41-16, but Coldwater coach Chip Otten knew that this was going to be a different game:
"That was way back in Week 2. We have gotten better, and so have they. We have to come out and play our game, be solid on both sides of the ball".....Coldwater coach Chip Otten
Hartley is known for its punishing running game, led by 2,000 yard rusher Sam Mackowiak, and Division V Defensive Player of the Year Alonzo Saxton. On the opening drive of the game, Hartley got right to work, driving from its own 32 to the Coldwater 11 in 14 plays. Coldwater's defense then steps up and stops Hartley on downs. After a Coldwater three and out, Hartley took over at the Coldwater 37 yard line. After one first down, the Coldwater defense again stops Hartley on downs.
Coldwater would strike first
Starting from their own 23 yard line, the Cavaliers drove 65 yards in 16 plays, culminating in a 30 yard field goal by Matt Kramer, putting Coldwater up 3-0. Hartley started their next possession at their own 29 yard line, and proceeded to drive to the Coldwater 23. yet again, the drive stalled, as the Coldwater defense stopped them on downs. Coldwater took over and put together a beautiful drive at the end of the half. The Cavaliers drove 77 yards in 7 plays with Hoying running it in from 15 yards out giving the Cavaliers the lead going into the half 10-0.
Hartley would flex its muscles coming out of the locker room
The Hawks forced a fumble on the first play of the third quarter, taking over at the Coldwater 44 yard line. Aided by a halfback pass from Saxton to Jacob Mercier took the ball down to the 7 yard line, quarterback Jared Brandewie ran it in from there getting Hartley back in the game at 10-7. After exchanging turnovers on their next possessions, Coldwater took over at their own 35.
That is when Hoying took over
He led the Cavaliers on a 65 yard drive, scoring on a three yard run, stretching Coldwater's lead to 17-7. Hartley took over at its own 48 yard line, but once again, Coldwater's defense stopped the Hawks on downs. Getting great field position at the Hartley 40, Hoying struck again. Running it in for another touchdown for the final margin of 24-7.
"We knew he was a great player, he just seems to make plays when they need him too. We had our chances, but just didn't execute when he needed to. Their defense had a lot to say about that too"......Hartley coach Brad Burchfield
They sure did
The Klosterman brothers, Adam and Aaron, Mitch Schoenherr, Hoying, and the rest of the Coldwater defense were the epitome of bend but don't break....and it saved the Coldwater season.
Congratulations to Coldwater...a job well done