MARIA STEIN — New Bremen defeated No. 1-ranked Marion Local 24-17 to claim the Division VII Region 28 regional championship Friday night.
After trailing 17-10 entering the fourth quarter, the Cardinals scored touchdowns on a 2-yard run by Zach Bertke and a Dan Homan blocked punt return. Mitchell Hays had 11-yard TD run and Owen Gabel made a 28-yard field goal and converted a trio of extra point kicks also for the Cardinals.
Hays finished with 90 yards rushing on 23 carries and completed 11 of 18 pass attempts for 118 yards. Bertke caught five passes for 39 yards.
Marion Local scored on a 77-yard TD pass from Carson Griesdorn to Drew Seitz, who also had a 5-yard touchdown run. Kevin Partington also made a 30-yard field and a pair of extra points for the Flyers.
Seitz finished with 85 yards rushing on 12 attempts and teammate Peyton Otte had 71 yards rushing on 16 carries.
The 14th-ranked Cardinals will play Lima Central Catholic in the state semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday. The game’s site will be announced Sunday.
Kenton wide receiver Jayden Cornell and Van Wert quarterback Owen Treece (co-offensive backs of the year), St. Marys tackle Bryan Ward (offensive lineman of the year) and Wapakoneta’s Keith Houser (defensive lineman of the year) were among those receiving top honors in the Western Buckeye League. Cornell at defensive back and Treece at linebacker also shared defensive back of the year honors.
Joining Cornell and Treece on the first team offense were center Turner Witten (Van Wert), guards Eli Kline (Van Wert) and Dylan Harmon (Elida), kicker Brandon Bowers (St. Marys), flex Brennan Blevins (Ottawa-Glandorf) and running backs Nate Jackson (Van Wert) and Jaxson Silliman (Celina), tackles Bryan Ward (St. Marys) and Tyler Leopold (Ottawa-Glandorf), tight end Will Kaufman (Ottawa-Glandorf) and wide receiver Dru Johnson (Van Wert).
Joining Cornell and Treece on the first team defense were defensive backs Tanner Howell (St. Marys) and Dru Johnson (Van Wert), defensive ends Dylan Harmon (Elida) and Lucas Prichard (Bath), flex Noah Ambos (Wapakoneta), linemen Hunter Fultz (St. Marys), Keith Houser (Wapakoneta) and Tyler Leopold (Ottawa-Glandorf) and linebackers Garrett Siefring (Wapakoneta) and Will Kaufman (Ottawa-Glandorf).
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.