Monday, November 24th, 2014

Cavaliers use speed to wear down Eagles

Division V Regional Football Final

By Gary R. Rasberry
Photo by Nick Wenning/The Daily Standard

Coldwater's Jake Schmidt, 37, and Mitch Clune, 86, take hold of Liberty-Benton's Austin Combs near the goal line during Saturday's Division V regional final at Spartan Stadium in Lima. After allowing the Eagles to score the first touchdown of the game, the Cavaliers shut down the Eagles for a 28-7 win to advance to the state semifinals.

LIMA - The key for Coldwater against Liberty-Benton was to wear down the Eagles.
The Cavaliers survived the Eagles' opening drive that lasted 10 minutes and then used their speed to tire out their opponent for a 28-7 win at Spartan Stadium in Lima Saturday night.
Coldwater (12-1) faces Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in the state semifinals at Piqua's Alexander Stadium on Saturday at 7 p.m. CHCA defeated West Jefferson 31-23 at West Carrollton High School.
Liberty-Benton (12-1) started the game with a blistering 19-play - all via the run - 80-yard drive. Austin Combs punched in from a yard out to make it 7-0.
"We knew coming in they would be stout," senior linebacker Jake Schmidt said. "They've got a lot of big boys and run the ball hard, but we also knew they had a lot of guys going both (offense and defense)."
The Cavaliers touched the ball on offense for the first time with 1:57 left in the first quarter and only needed 1:37 of that to tie the game in just five plays. Brody Hoying found Kraig Schoenherr behind the coverage and completed a 49-yard scoring pass to tie things at 7-all with 20 seconds left in the first quarter.
"That was the most important touchdown of the year so far," Hoying said of the tying score. "We knew if we couldn't answer, this game could go downhill fast."
"You get the momentum back," Coldwater coach Chip Otten said. "You worry when they can chunk it (take long drives over a long period of time) like that. If we don't score, we punt into the wind, then (L-B) can chunk it again for another score. It's huge when you can rebound."
The Eagles came back with another long drive, going 13 plays over a span of nearly 7 1/2 minutes. This time, though, Coldwater stopped Liberty-Benton, tackling Nathan Craft for a loss on fourth-and-four from the Coldwater 21-yard line with 4:52 left in the half.
On the following sequence, Coldwater put together a sustained drive, which helped wear down an Eagles team that had nine players playing both offense and defense. Hoying began to find the running lanes, using a 35-yard run to convert a third-and-five from the Eagle 49. Later Hoying hit Schoenherr for an 11-yard pass on third-and-eight to get to the Eagle 1-yard line, where Hoying punched in to make it 14-7 with 1:19.
Coldwater got the ball to start the second half and went to work on making it 21-7. Hoying and Schoenherr hooked up to convert a third-and-9 and later a fourth-and-10 to get into the red zone, where Hoying scored his second rushing touchdown of the game with a nine-yard run with 9:40 left in the third.
"To get up two scores on them is huge just with their style of play," Otten said.
Liberty-Benton turned the ball over on its next two possessions, the first coming on Craft's being picked off by Hoying. Coldwater had to punt the ball away, setting up the Eagles last best chance to score. Liberty-Benton ran nearly 10 minutes off the clock between the third and fourth quarters and got a first-and-goal from the Cavalier 3. Combs ran for two yards on the first two runs, but Alec Rhodes was stuffed at the line on third down. The Eagles tried to power it in on fourth down, but the ball popped loose at the line of scrimmage and Coldwater recovered at the two-yard line.
The Cavaliers put the dagger in the Eagles by taking the ball 98 yards on just eight plays, with Hoying running in the final 21 yards to complete the scoring.
Hoying went over the 1,000-rushing yard mark early in the game and finished with 113 yards on 15 carries to go with 8-of-14 passing for 134 yards. Schoenherr had five catches for 116 yards.
"It just takes a little bit of lost focus and a little bit of tiredness, especially if you have to chase Brody around," Otten said.
Combs rushed for 114 yards on 28 carries. B.J. Lawson added 71 yards on 10 carries.
Photo by Nick Wenning/The Daily Standard

Coldwater's Kraig Schoenherr, 4, tries to make a catch as Liberty-Benton's Nathan Craft defends.

Photo by Nick Wenning/The Daily Standard

Brody Hoying ran for three touchdowns in Saturday's win.

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