WAPAKONETA — New Bremen did what it does best.
It ran the ball. Then it ran some more.
New Bremen ran for 363 yards in a 42-34 victory over Lima Central Catholic in a Division VII state semifinal on Saturday at Wapakoneta’s Mercy Health/Wapak Ford Field.
New Bremen (12-3) advances to the D-VII state championship game at 3 p.m. Saturday against Warren JFK, which beat Newark Catholic 21-7 in a state semifinal Saturday in Orrville.
It’s the second state final berth in three years for the Cardinals, which beat JFK 31-0 in the 2020 state final.
LCC finished the year 10-5.
New Bremen pounded the ball on the ground with its 1-2 punch of quarterback David Homan and tailback Hunter Schaefer.
Homan ended up with 27 carries for 198 yards and one TD. In the air, Homan completed 14-of-18 passes for 213 yards and two TDs.
Schaefer had 18 carries for 144 yards and two TDs, including an 80-yard TD run in the fourth to seal it. Ben Sailer had seven catches for 136 yards.
For LCC, Carson Parker had 15 carries for 107 yards and three TDs (31, 1, 4). In the air, Parker completed 10 of 18 for 244 yards and one TD.
Matt Quatman had five receptions for 144 yards. Gabe Cira had 10 carries for 61 yards.
New Bremen knocked off LCC 28-26 in a state semifinal in 2020.
LCC led 21-16 at the half.
New Bremen took the lead to stay 29-28 on a 6-yard TD run by Homan with 4:11 to go.
The Cardinals made it 36-28 with 9:08 to go on a 4-yard TD pass from Homan to Aaron Thieman.
After Central Catholic punted at midfield and failed to stop the punt from going in the end zone, Schaefer broke an 80-yard run around the right side on the first play of the drive and the Cardinals’ lead grew to 42-28 with 6:14 to go.
Parker came back with a 60-yard pass to Quatman to take the ball to the New Bremen 5. Parker ran it in from the 4 to cut the New Bremen lead to 42-34 with 4:38 to go.
But New Bremen recovered an onside kick and ran out the final 4:38 on the ground.
With a 44-degree mild night, LCC was able to mix up its passing game with its running attack. Meanwhile, New Bremen sprinkled in a few passes with its run-happy offense.
On LCC’s second drive, the T-Birds went 99 yards in 11 plays for a score. Cira got loose off right tackle and went 27 yards for a TD. That gave LCC a 7-0 lead with 3:54 left in the opening quarter.
LCC made it 14-0 on a 35-yard TD pass off a quick slant from Parker to Billy Bourk. That came with 11:44 in the second and capped a six-play, 75-yard drive. A key play was a 29-yard pass from Parker to Quatman.
New Bremen got within 14-6 on a 4-yard TD run by Schaefer. The key to the drive was a 46-yard leaping grab by Ben Sailer from Homan. That came with 8:54 left in the second.
LCC pushed its lead to 21-6 on a 31-yard TD run by Parker with 6:53 left in the second.
Back came New Bremen.
The Cardinals got the T-Birds lead to 21-13 on a 3-yard TD run by Schaefer.
Schaefer kicked a 20-yard field goal to cut the margin to 21-16 with 20 seconds left in the half.