COLUMBUS – When juggernaut Marion Local moved up from Division 7 to Division 6 this year, it opened the door for a new state champion.
Not surprisingly, it was another Midwest Athletic Conference team that made the most of the opportunity.
Fort Recovery, in only its second playoff berth and first state title game appearance, became the latest in a long line of MAC state champions. The Indians defeated Mogadore 33-14 Friday.
Indian quarterback Caleb Martin made the most of his first appearance on high school’s biggest stage. The junior completed 25 of 39 passes for 385 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Darien Sheffer and Tanner Koch pulled in first-quarter touchdown passes from Martin to allow Fort Recovery to surge to a 14-0 lead.
Mogadore answered with 8:28 left in the second quarter. Quarterback Zeddie Pollock found Jarad Dunn, who was able to stay inbounds and pull in the touchdown.
Martin answered right back with two more touchdown passes before halftime. He found Brandon Schoen for a 75-yard score, then tossed an 8-yard touchdown to Koch. It was 27-7 Fort Recovery at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Indians put the game away. Martin threw his fifth touchdown pass of the game, this time to Wes Wenning. The 30-yard score put Fort Recovery up 33-7.
Wenning was the top target for Martin, catching 8 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. Schoen had 5 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. Sheffer had 76 yards and a touchdown on 5 catches.
Homan was the top rusher for Fort Recovery, carrying the ball 19 times for 82 yards.
Mogadore was led by Pollock, who completed 17 of 37 passes for 167 yards, a touchdown and 2 interceptions. Dunn was his top target, gaining 120 yards on 6 catches with a touchdown.
Prior to the 2014 season and first playoff appearance, Fort Recovery had just one winning season on record: 1994. It has been a rocky road in one of the nation’s best small-school conferences.
In fact, there was serious discussion at Fort Recovery whether to leave the Midwest Athletic Conference. However, the school decided to stay in the MAC.
With victories so far this weekend by Fort Recovery and Coldwater, the MAC has now won 30 state championships in football. Perennial power Marion Local can make it 31 Saturday morning in the Division 6 title game.
OHSAA Division VII State Championship
Friday, Dec. 4, 2015
@ Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Fort Recovery 33, Mogadore 14
F – Darien Sheffer 15-yard pass from Caleb Martin (Darien Sheffer kick) 10:26
F – Tanner Koch 10-yard pass from Martin (Sheffer kick) 6:49
M – Jarad Dunn 17-yard pass from Zeddie Pollock (Pollock kick) 8:28
F – Brandon Schoen 75-yard pass from Martin (kick failed) 7:05
F – Koch 8-yard pass from Martin (Sheffer kick) 0:51
F – Wes Wenning 30-yard pass from Martin (kick failed) 10:40
M – Austin Williams 6-yard run (Pollock kick) 6:50
PLAYS: M 60; F 73. FIRST DOWNS: M 15; F 21. RUSHES-YARDS: M 23-139; F 33-73. PASSING YARDS: M 167; F 385. COMPLETIONS-ATTEMPTS-INTERCEPTIONS: M 17-31-2; F 25-40-0. TOTAL YARDS: M 306; F 458. PENALTIES-YARDS: M 6-40; F 2-26. FUMBLES-LOST: M 0-0; F 0-0. TIME OF POSSESSION: M 20:11; F 27:49.
Rushing (carries-yards): M Josh Tompkins 11-67; Austin Williams 7-54 TD; Stephen Stott 2-14; Luke Cramer 3-4. F Will Homan 19-82; Darien Sheffer 1-16; Jason Roessner 4-3; Caleb Martin 7-(-18).
Passing (completions-attempts-interceptions): M Zeddie Pollock 17-37-2 167 TD; F Martin 25-39-0 385 5 TDs.
Receiving (catches-yards): M Jarad Dunn 6-120 TD; Stott 6-19; Tompkins 3-10; Andrew Barker 2-18. F Wes Wenning 8-121 TD; Brandon Schoen 5-125 TD; Tanner Koch 5-49 2 TDs; Homan 2-14.
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