MARIA STEIN — New Bremen posted one of the biggest wins in program history on Friday by beating Midwest Athletic Conference rival Marion Local 24-17 at Booster Stadium in a Division VII regional final.
It’s the first regional championship in program history for the Cardinals and it’s the first time since 2010 Marion Local lost in the playoffs before a state championship game. The Flyers have won seven state titles since 2011, including last year’s Div. VII title.
New Bremen (8-2) rallied in the fourth quarter to earn the win. Zach Bertke capped off a six-play, 53-yard drive by running in from 2 yards out for a touchdown with 3:14 left. Owen Gabel kicked an extra point to tie it 17-17.
The Flyers (9-1) went three-and-out on their next drive and tried to punt, but Dan Homan blocked the punt attempt and returned it about 15 yards for a touchdown with 1:30 left to give the Cardinals a seven-point lead.
Marion Local turned the ball over on downs on its next drive. New Bremen then did the same to give Marion Local the ball back with four seconds left, but David Homan intercepted a pass as time expired to clinch the victory.
The Cardinals advance to face Lima Central Catholic in a D-VII state semifinal, which will be played this Friday at Wapakoneta’s Mercy Health Field.
Peyton Otte threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to Drew Seitz with 11:07 left in the first quarter to give Marion Local a 7-0 lead. Gabel hit a 28-yard field goal with 1:14 left, but Kevin Partington hit a 30-yard field goal with 2:36 left in the second quarter to put the Flyers ahead 10-3.
The Cardinals tied it before halftime. After a 48-yard kickoff return by Wyatt Dicke, Mitchell Hays scored on an 11-yard run with 1:29 left.
Sietz scored on a 5-yard run with 7:45 left in the third quarter to give the Flyers a 17-10 lead.
New Bremen finished with 219 yards of offense while Marion Local finished with 305.
Hays completed 11-of-18 passes for 118 yards and ran for 90 yards on 23 carries. Bertke led the team with five receptions for 39 yards and had a team-high nine tackles. Kyle Tenkman also made an interception.
Riverside 42, Benjamin Logan 19
The Pirates finished the season with a big nonconference win at Benjamin Logan on Friday.
Riverside senior running back Kale Long ran for 325 yards and five touchdowns on 33 carries. He finishes the season with 2,338 rushing yards and 27 rushing TDs.
Long ranks first among Ohio players in rushing yards. He averaged 9.9 yards per carry this season.
Myles Platfoot completed 4-of-11 passes for 136 yards with one touchdown. Landon Stewart led the squad with 99 receiving yards on two catches.
Ethan Jackson led Riverside with seven tackles; Stewart had one interception.
Riverside, which lost to Marion Local in a regional semifinal last week, finishes 8-2 overall. The squad will lose eight seniors to graduation.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.