Marion Local follows Minster’s lead, KOs Kirtland for D-VI state title


Marion Local coach Tim Goodwin was so unimpressed with the current Flyers seniors that he threatened to take a hike.

It was two seasons ago and Goodwin was livid those then-sophomores “cannot even run isolation play right,” Goodwin recalled. He targeted emerging lineman John Dirksen “because I like picking on someone who can do something about it.

“I said, I’m going to take a year’s sabbatical and hike the Appalachian Trail when you’re a senior.”

One of those eventual seniors, Thomas Ungruhn, asked Goodwin if he were glad about not keeping that promise as Marion Local celebrated yet another high school football state championship Saturday afternoon, a decisive 34-11 defeat of Kirtland that wrapped up a perfect 15-0 Flyers season.

“I guess I am,” said Goodwin, grinning.

»RAMS 15-0: Trotwood-Madison wins D-III state football title

»MR. FOOTBALL: Trotwood RB Ra’veion Hargrove runner-up

»FINISHED BUSINESS: Rams on a mission to complete unbeaten season

»WILDCATS CHAMPS: Minster wins D-VII state football championship

»MINSTER COACH: ‘We have a different mindset about losing’

»FALCONS FALL: Steubenville upends Clinton-Massie in D-IV title game

»CAN’T BEAT THAT: Wishbone offense has been good to Clinton-Massie

»COMPETITIVE BALANCE IMPACT: One private program in football championships

Unlike their matchup two years ago when Kirtland rallied to stun Marion Local and win its own D-VI state title, there would be no second-half meltdown by the Flyers at the new Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

Spotting Kirtland a 3-0 lead, Marion Local answered with 34 unanswered points with a variety of gems from its special teams, running and passing games. When they were done, the Flyers had won their second straight D-VI state title and 10th overall in the last 17 seasons, all with Goodwin at the helm.

It also was the second state championship for the Midwest Athletic Conference, following Minster’s 32-7 defeat of Cuyahoga Heights to win the D-VII state title on Friday.

That isolation play right is now just one of many productive parts of the Flyers’ offense. Junior quarterback Nathan Bruns was especially effective, completing 10 of 15 passes for 178 yards, two touchdowns and no picks. Junior Nick Tangemen, at 6-foot-4 a mismatch for Kirtland defenders, had six catches for 120 yards, including both of Bruns’ TD tosses.

Nolan Habodasz, Jack Buening and Alex Partington all had short scoring runs. The Flyers’ defense was just as impressive, limiting the Hornets to 184 total yards.

Of the seven title games, it was the only one that featured a No. 1 (Marion Local) vs. No. 2 matchup of two undefeated teams. But that wasn’t close to the incentive the Flyers had from losing 22-20 to Kirtland in a 2015 title game. That snapped a streak of four straight state titles for Marion Local.

“Playing against a team that beat you and kind of embarrassed your program, it’s a great motivator,” assured Dirksen, a 6-6, 300-pounder who signed with the University of Notre Dame.

Kirtland coach Tiger LaVerde also sensed a do-over passion by the Flyers.

“They just methodically went down the field and used their size and big backs,” he said. “They were the best team out there by far.”

It extended a dominant run that ranks among the state’s all-time best. The Flyers also were 15-0 in each of the successive 2013-14 state championship seasons. Marion Local has played in seven straight state title games, winning all but that 2015 game against Kirtland. Goodwin was asked about that.

“I don’t think about it,” he said. “On the bus ride home we think about next year.”

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Florida baseball: No. 1 Gators clinch series at No. 6 Kentucky
Florida baseball: No. 1 Gators clinch series at No. 6 Kentucky

Just the way Florida baseball coach Kevin O’Sullivan drew it up, one strong mound performance followed another for the Gators as they clinched the series at No. 6 Kentucky. Junior right-hander Jackson Kowar threw 7 scoreless innings to lead the top-ranked Gators to an eventual 9-4 win over the host Wildcats on Friday night...
Standing tall at Iowa spring football finale: Water tower of power, pair of MVP safeties
Standing tall at Iowa spring football finale: Water tower of power, pair of MVP safeties

IOWA CITY, Iowa — One giant crane obstructs most Iowa fans’ view of the water tower that overlooks Kinnick Stadium’s northeast corner. The ongoing north end zone construction with a concrete wall lining the playing surface prevented a real spring game Friday night. The players used about 60 yards of AstroTurf...
Iowa: Quarterback Nate Stanley saw progress in spring; Peyton Mansell showed it in spring game
Iowa: Quarterback Nate Stanley saw progress in spring; Peyton Mansell showed it in spring game

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The completion percentage improved. The passes were more on target. Quarterback Nate Stanley thought the passing game took a step forward during the last 15 practices. It just wasn’t necessarily on display throughout the spring game, especially with the starting offense. It wasn’t a...
NFL draft analyst says Big 12 defense makes it difficult to evaluate certain players
NFL draft analyst says Big 12 defense makes it difficult to evaluate certain players

The Big 12 Conference is known for showcasing some prolific offenses on the football field. Two Big 12 quarterbacks, Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, finished first and second in the nation in passing yards during the 2017 season. Four Big 12 quarterbacks finished in the top 25 of that statistical...
Wisconsin QB Kare Lyles announces desire to transfer
Wisconsin QB Kare Lyles announces desire to transfer

It isn’t official, but on Thursday night, Wisconsin QB Kare Lyles appeared to announce on his Twitter account that he intends on transferring. Lyles was ranked by 247Sports as a 3-star prospect coming out of high school in the Class of 2016. He was deemed a pro-style QB and the No. 43 signal caller in his...
More Stories