WAPAKONETA — New Bremen held down Midwest Athletic Conference rival Marion Local in the first half of the Division VII, Region 28 final on Saturday at Wapakoneta’s Harmon Field but couldn’t in the second half.
Marion Local scored three touchdowns in the second half to run away to a 27-0 victory and end New Bremen’s dream season.
The Cardinals, which will lose nine seniors to graduation, finish 9-4 overall. They made the playoffs and advanced to a regional final for the first time since 2004.
Neither team came up with much offense in snowy, windy conditions on Saturday. The Flyers finished with 230 yards of offense and had two interceptions and one fumble while New Bremen had 156 yards of offense and two interceptions.
The Cardinals, which averaged 256 rushing yards per game in regular season, managed just 81 rushing yards on 41 carries on Saturday.
Kyle Muhlenkamp threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Charles Huelsman with 6:40 left in the first quarter to put Marion Local up 7-0, but neither team scored again in the first half.
The Flyers put the game away in the third quarter. Muhlenkamp scored on a 20-yard touchdown run with 7:31 left in the third and threw a 33-yard TD pass to Peyton Otte with 1:22 left to boost the lead to 21-0. Dylan Heitkamp scored the game’s final points on a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
New Bremen senior quarterback Mitchell Hays completed 9-of-15 passes for 75 yards and had two interceptions and led the team with 55 rushing yards on 20 carries. Dan Homan caught three passes for 46 yards.
Hays had an interception on defense, as did Wyatt Dicke. Ben Blickle led the Cardinals with 5.5 tackles and Ryan Paul had a team-high 1.5 sacks.
Muhlenkamp completed 4-of-8 passes for 100 yards with two TDs and one interception. Brandon Fleck ran for a team-high 71 yards on 15 carries. Heitkamp had 30 rushing yards and Muhlenkamp had 22. Otte led the team with 52 receiving yards on three carries. Huelsman had a team-high eight tackles and two interceptions.
It’s the ninth consecutive regional title for the Flyers (11-2), which beat Fort Loramie 24-21 in a regional semifinal last week. They’ll try to earn their ninth consecutive berth in a state final game next week when they face Region 26 champion Patrick Henry in a state semifinal.
New Bremen will look to keep up its success next year. The squad, which finished 3-7 in 2017 before finishing 6-4 last year, will return most its near-60 man roster.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.