High school football: Ottawa-Glandorf making final four appearance

OTTAWA — From 0-2 to the final four.

Ottawa-Glandorf’s season may not have started the way Titan head coach Ken Schriner would have liked but he is definitely a happy man at this point of the year as the team prepares for a state semifinal appearance against Kirtland (14-0) at Clyde Wilson Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday.

This is the Titans second trip to this level after accomplishing the feat in 2009.

“I think we are very senior heavy and we have improved so much during the year from where we were in game one and game two,” Schriner said. “We took two lumps early on and we have improved so much and that is due to a number of things and that is from the kids trusting the coaching and we made some personnel changes. We made some scheme adjustments and we are much better for it.”

In those first losses, to Eastwood and Wapakoneta, the Titans were outscored 72-32.

But after the changes, the Titans went on a win their next 10 out of 11 (the only loss to Van Wert in a see-saw affair) and outscored the opposition 477-116.

It was the defense that saw tweaking and it paid off as in nine of those games the Titans held teams to single digits including an impressive defensive showing last week against Elyria Catholic where O-G won 31-6 and made several big turnovers while shutting down the Panther running game to secure the win.

“We found some guys that were playing out of position and were better suited to be linebackers than safeties and better to be safeties than linebackers and so we adjusted some things. “Schriner said.

Schriner added that the defense’s success begins with Brian Heebsh, the team’s defensive coordinator, who helped prepare the team’s game plan to stop the other team.

“He identifies what the opponents are trying to do and he really takes what their main emphasis is and tries to make it difficult or take it away from them,’ Schriner said. “He also makes tremendous adjustments during the game and also sometimes at halftime and he is a super smart guy that really has a great feel for the game.”

Like the defense, the offense has also shown steady improvement. Led by quarterback Landen Jordan, the team brings a well-balanced approach of passing and running.

In the passing game, Jordan has a host of receivers to throw to and it was on display against Elyria Catholic when three different receivers made touchdown catches and that did not include Caleb Kuhlman the team’s top receiver who made big catches throughout the game.

Ian Fenbert is the team’s main running back and gained nearly 100 yards against Elyria Catholic.

“That is really our goal,” Schriner said. “We want to keep team’s off-balance. We want to throw when we want to throw. We want to make sure we are not forced into throwing situations. We identify how the defenses are playing. If they want to load up front and come after us to shut down the run, we do have the ability to throw the ball. Conversely if they are on the outside and want to double Whitey (Colin White) or Caleb Kuhlman, it opens things on the inside for the run game.

Like the defense, Schriner points to the Titans’ offensive coordinator Darrin Fox for the team’s success on offense.

“He does a great job calling plays on Friday nights or Saturday nights whichever it may be and he just identifies what he sees and the kids really accept what they are doing,”

In addition to the coaching staff, Schriner said the key to this team’s success is the team working together as a unit and he points out because they are senior laden they understand that it takes a team effort to get to this point.

Schriner points to the team’s play in the trenches and the guys on the offensive and defensive line. Yes, Tyler Leopold, the Akron bound offensive and defensive tackle, is a standout player but it takes more than just one guy to get the results the Titans have achieved.

“They communicate with each other,” Schriner said. “Cael Hoehn is probably the most vocal of the group and he does a great job of talking through things and helping those guys out. Tyler is obviously one of them and we have Bo Niemberg, who is probably the quiet one and really does what we need him to do. He has an edge and he is physical and he plays the game we want him to play.”

Schriner said the journey has been a good one with a group that knows how to have fun off the field but is all business between the lines and they will be put to the test this week when they face No. 1 ranked Kirtland.

The state powerhouse Hornets are coming off 38-15 win against South Range to win their 10th regional title in 11 years.

Kirtland’s Mason Rus has rushed for 1,798 yards and 23 touchdowns and quarterback Ramon Lescano has passed for 1,106 yards and 19 touchdowns. The Hornets leading receiver is Gabe Sullivan who had caught 42 balls for 881 yards and 17 touchdowns.

As a team the Hornets are averaging 41.7 points and game and giving up an average of 6.8 points a game. All but two opponents were held to single digits. Offensively, they have scored 30 points in all but one game this year.

“The approach is to go out and play our best game,” Schriner said. “That is our goal every single week because if we can say that then we have improved and that is what we want to do is improve each week. We have to go out and be physical and find a way to shut them down, and we know we are going to completely shut them down but the goal is to make their offense punt because they have the painful way of making 12 to 15 play drives that put points on the board, and they drain the clock, and they are really good at it.”

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Powerhouse Kirtland awaits Titans

By Jose Nogueras

[email protected]

Playoff schedule

State Semifinals

(All semfinals scheduled for 7 p.m. kickoffs)


Division I

Upper Arlington (14-0) vs. Lakewood St. Edward (12-1) at Mansfield Arlin Field

Springfield (12-1) vs. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (11-3) at Sidney Memorial Stadium

Division II

Avon (12-2) vs. Akron Archbishop Hoban (10-3) at Parma Byers Field

Cincinnati Winton Woods (11-3) vs. Uniontown Green (11-3) at Westerville Central Warhawk Field

Division III

Chardon (14-0) vs. Millersburg West Holmes (14-0) at Twinsburg Tiger Stadium

Hamilton Badin (13-0) vs. Granville (13-0) at London Bowlus Field

Division IV

Youngstown Ursuline (10-3) vs. Port Clinton (13-1) at Euclid Community Stadium

Carroll Bloom-Carroll (14-0) vs. Clarksville Clinton-Massie (12-1) at Jonathan Alder Performance Stadium at Volunteer Field


Division V

Ottawa-Glandorf (11-3) vs. Kirtland (13-0) at Clyde Joe and Sharon Wilson Field

Canal Winchester Harvest Prep (10-2) vs. Versailles (13-1) at London Bowlus Field

Division VI

Carey (13-1) vs. New Middletown Springfield (13-1) at Euclid Community Stadium

Coldwater (12-2) vs. West Jefferson (13-1) at Piqua Alexander Stadium

Division VII

Newark Catholic (13-1) vs. Warren John F Kennedy (10-2) at Marlington Stadium

State Championships

All game scheduled to be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

Thursday, December 2, 7 p.m. – Division II

Friday, December 3, 10:30 a.m. – Division IV

Friday, December 3, 3 p.m. – Division III

Friday, December 3, 7:30 p.m. – Division I

Saturday, December 4, 10:30 a.m. – Division VII

Saturday, December 4, 3 p.m. – Division VI

Saturday, December 4, 7:30 p.m. – Division V

Maria Stein Marion Local (14-0) vs. Bascom Hopewell-Loudon (13-1) at Lima Spartan Stadium