PIQUA — In a thoroughly dominating effort from beginning to end here Saturday, Marion Local lived up to all the attention its football program and the Midwest Athletic Conference has received over the years.
Triad’s Tre McIntyre looks for room to run after making a catch during the second quarter of Saturday’s playoff game against Marion Local in Piqua. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)
The Flyers, who are seeking their third straight state championship, jetted to a 44-0 halftime lead en route to a 50-0 victory over Triad in a Division VII regional title game Saturday night at Alexander Stadium.
It was a disappointing end to a magical season for the Cardinals, who finish with a 12-1 record.
Marion Local needed only 35 seconds to take the lead.
On the game’s second play, the Flyers’ Nate Nagel stepped in front of a Triad pass and returned it for a 22-yard touchdown.
Marion Local upped its lead to 9-0 midway through the opening quarter when the Cardinals snapped the ball through the end zone on a punt attempt, resulting in a safety.
On the first play of the ensuing Flyers’ possession, Aaron Nietfeld ripped off a 50-yard touchdown run to put the MAC power up 16-0 with 5:30 left in the first period.
Quarterback Adam Bertke, who has committed to play at the University of Pittsburgh, then got into the act for the Flyers with a 23-yard TD pass to Jacy Goettemoeller. That put Marion Local up 23-0 with 3:33 remaining on the first-quarter clock.
Goettemoeller and the Flyers continued to pile up the points in the second quarter. Goettemoeller found the end zone on an 8-yard run and later on a 1-yard run to stretch the Flyers’ lead to 37-0.
Marion Local picked off another Triad pass with just over a minute left in the first half. Bertke completed four straight passes to get the Flyers into the end zone again, with the final one an 8-yard strike to Ryan Bruns for a 44-0 lead.
The Flyers’ Ethan Nietfeld closed out the scoring with a 15-yard TD run in the third quarter.
Marion Local’s offense was extremely balanced. The Flyers rushed for 213 yards on 45 carries and passed for 210 yards.
Triad mustered just 82 yards on 41 offensive plays. The Cardinals rushed for 43 yards on 23 attempts and threw for 39 yards on 6-of-18 passing.
Andrew Zirkle and Corey Fenton each made six solo tackles to spark the Triad defense.
Marion Local (13-0) plays Delphos St. John’s on Saturday at Wapakoneta with a trip to the state championship game on the line.
MARION LOCAL 50, TRIAD 0
M. Local 23 21 6 0 – 50
Triad 0 0 0 0 – 0
TEAM STATISTICS ML T
First downs 22 4
Total net yards 423 82
Rushes/yards 45-213 23-43
Passing 210 39
Comp-att-int 16/23/0 6/18/3
Punts/avg 1-51 6-29
Fumbles-lost 0 0
Penalties-yards 3-25 3-25