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MAC Attack: Marion Local and Coldwater advance to state football finals

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Anyone doubting the Midwest Athletic Conference anymore?

I didn't think so

They did it again last night. They did it leaving no doubt

Marion Local and Coldwater both won handily last night, and will both play for state championships next Saturday night

Marion Local 35, Delphos St. John's 6.... Did I mention that Delphos St. John's is also a MAC team? This was a rematch of a regular season game that Marion Local won 28-14. The Blue Jays of DSJ, the eighth seed in their region, wanted to show that this would be a different game. I think they got Marion Local's attention on their first possession. On the third play of the game, Blue Jays star running back Tyler Jettinghoff scampered 82 yards for a touchdown, giving DSJ a quick 6-0 lead. Jettinghoff would finish with 116 yards on 15 carries for the game. Marion Local responded by NOT doing the one thing that could have hurt them even more:

They didn't panic

It also helped that they had quarterback Adam Bertke and running back Jacy Goettemoeller at full strength. Those two star players both missed four games, with Bertke being back for the last two playoff games, and Goettemoeller returning last night. The Flyers then became the methodical machine that they have shown in the past. Three touchdown drives before halftime gave the Flyers a 21-6 lead heading into the break. Meanwhile, the Flyer defense was making life miserable for the DSJ offense, stuffing the run, and forcing DSJ to pass, which is not the way DSJ wants to play. By midway through the third quarter, the score became 35-6 after two Bertke touchdown passes, and Marion Local had left no doubt which MAC team would be playing for a state championship.

“That’s the state champion right there,” St. John’s coach Todd Schulte said. “There’s nobody going to beat them.”

I don't think anyone could argue with that

Marion Local with look for its third straight state title when they take on Glouster Trimble next Saturday Night

Coldwater 35, West Jefferson 10.... A fifth straight state championship appearance is unheard of. Well, Coldwater doesn't think so. The drive for "75 in 5" has been accomplished. Can we just accept the fact that the Coldwater Cavaliers will be playing for a state championship every year? Quarterback Brody Hoying made sure of that. However, it was West Jefferson that got on the board first, and controlled the action until half way through the second quarter. West Jefferson's Logan Stepp scored on an eight yard run giving West Jefferson a 7-0 lead.

They had Coldwater on their heels on their next drive too...However....

West Jefferson drove to the Coldwater eight yard line on their next possession, but Stepp was stopped inches short on fourth down.

That is when Hoying took over

On the ensuing drive, Hoying found Derek Thobe from 17 yards out, getting the Cavaliers on the board, and tying the game at 7. Then, the play that changed the game: With just over a minute left in the half, and Coldwater with the ball deep in their own territory, Hoying broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage, and raced 84 yards for a touchdown, giving Coldwater the lead at the break. West Jefferson then didn't help themselves at all in the third quarter, when a botched snap deep in their own territory led to a short Hoying touchdown run, and the rout was on. For good measure, Hoying added a 73 yard touchdown run, giving the Cavaliers their final winning margin. He would finish with 235 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns, along with throwing a touchdown pass to Thobe.

“It’s remarkable that we made it back (to the state final),We graduated so many guys from last year and lost four guys to injury. Getting back (to the final) means the world to me.”.....Coldwater quarterback Brody Hoying

Coldwater will look to repeat as state champions next Saturday against Columbus Bishop Hartley. It will be a rematch of a regular season game, which Coldwater won 41-16. However, this is for a state championship.

The MAC conference has had a team win a state title in 10 of the past 12 years. There shouldn't be any doubt that they will make in 11 in 13 years come next Saturday. Its simply the best conference in Ohio

If Marion Local and Coldwater were Division I teams in the Cleveland area, they would be building statues.

Still doubting the MAC conference?

Do it at your own peril. These two teams have proven that they are two of the best programs in Ohio, regardless of division. It's the work ethic of both schools that have allowed them to maintain such a consistent longevity of success.

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