SIDNEY – Columbus Grove had been to prone to the big play but the Bulldog have overcome them to collect wins. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs they could not do the same against Coldwater as the Cavaliers posted a 41-27 victory in the Division VI state semifinal game Saturday night.
With the win Coldwater (11-0) heads to the state title game against New Middletown Springfield at Obetz Fortress at 5 p.m. next Sunday. Columbus Grove ends its year with a 10-1 record.
Five of Coldwater’s touchdown came from 25 yards or more and four of those were for more than 30 yards.
Columbus Grove head coach Andy Schafer admitted this loss hurt and said he thought the team had fixed the ability to give up the big play.
“We thought we had that fixed earlier season,” Schafer said. “We changed the somethings and honestly we had it fixed. We played Fairview really well. We played Archbold really well and those two were big play teams so coming into it we got this but ‘Ill tell you what their kids played, really, really hard and they are physical team.”
Coldwater running back Zack McKibben, who had 185 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries had runs of 79 yards and 37 yards for touchdowns.
Cavalier quarterback Myles Blasingame also had a big day, going 9 for 13 for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Both of his touchdowns were to Tyler Schwieterman for 34 and 30 yards. The senior signal caller also ran for two scores including a 26 yard first quarter scamper. He finished with 100 yards on 16 carries.
“We have a lot of good skilled guys and you can’t just focus on one guy,” Coldwater head coach Chip Otten said. “We talked about it last night. We have five, six, seven guys that we are not afraid to give the ball.
Columbus Grove stayed close with Coldwater for much of the first half and were down 20-13 with 1:15 left in the first half. However, the Cavaliers drove 80 yards in less than a minute and then perhaps the Cavaliers biggest play of the half came when Blasingame hit Schwieterman on a 30 yard touchdown pass to cap off the quick scoring drive.
The touchdown opened up a 14-point advantage and in the second half Columbus Grove could not keep up with the high powered Coldwater offense who maintained their double-digit advantage for the final 24 minutes.
Hampering Columbus Grove’s effort was the loss of Gabe Clement to injury in the first half.
“That hurt,” Schafer said. “We talked about it the whole season and we never knew if we were going to lose somebody and it was next man up. Ill be honest I don’t know if it really affected our kids. I didn’t see it in our players but as a play caller all of sudden my play sheet got cut in half because there was some things I wanted to do with him.”
The Coldwater defense also had a lot to do making Columbus Grove play catch-up much of the game as they neutralized the Bulldogs’ running game. Colin Metzger, who had been so effective in the playoffs, was limited to 70 yards on 16 carries and the running back had runs of 10 yards or more just twice.
Columbus Grove quarterback Blake Reynolds put up big numbers in the loss. The Bulldog quarterback completed 17 of 23 pass attempts for 253 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns.
Schafer called this team family and will not soon forget the seniors on this squad.
“This is just such an awesome team,” Schafer said. “These guys are my football family. They are at that level. I think they honestly changed the culture of our school and the community. We had great community support.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.