Local Sports from The Courier
Saturday, November 17, 2012Division IV Regional: Hartley's King recorded key play of hard-fought contest
PIQUA -- Columbus Bishop Hartley's Nick King was all over the field in the first half Friday night.
King was also in the right place at the right time to seal the Hawks' hard-fought 41-31 win over Ottawa-Glandorf in a Division IV, Region 14 final at Piqua's Alexander Stadium.
Ottawa-Glandorf trailed Hartley 24-21 with the clock winding down in the fourth quarter. Trying to put together a drive for a possible game-winning score, Ottawa-Glandorf senior quarterback Caleb Siefker couldn't make a connection with running back Tristan Parker on the handoff.
King, a 5-foot-11, 215-pound senior linebacker, blew up the play, forceed a fumble and pounced on the loose ball at the Ottawa-Glandorf 37 yard line with 4:12 left in the game.
"I was just trying to do my assignment. I saw the ball on the ground and I got it. It was a great feeling when the ref said it was our ball. I was so happy," said King, who spearheaded the Hartley defense with 11 tackles, including a sack and a tackle for loss in addition to the fumble recovery.
Six plays and two minutes later Marcellus Calhoun carried the ball two yards for a scrore to give the Hawks a 10-point cushion.
The fumble was the lone mistake of the night for Siefker who led the Titans' offense up and down the field. He finished with 19 carries for 124 yards rushing, 55 yards passing and three touchdowns. He added a 29-yard field goal and was perfect on four PAT kicks.
Containing Siefker was one of the top priorities for the Hawks defensively.
"We wanted to contain their quarterback and stop some of their trick plays and keep them out of the end zone," said King, whose team will likely play Clarksville Clinton-Massie in next week's Division IV state semifinals. "Tonight, I was just trying to play for the team because we want to get back in the state finals."
Siefker and the Titans certainly earned a measure of respect from Hartley's players and coaches. Friday night's game was by far the closest contest the Hawks played all season.
"This was the toughest team we played this year. They never quit and they never backed down," King said. "Sometimes you could see the other teams we played gave up a little or quit at some point during the game, that didn't happen tonight."
There were a lot of sad faces as Ottawa-Glandorf's players reluctantly accepted the OHSAA regional runner-up trophy. The Titans played their guts out for 48 minutes, going toe-to-toe with the Hawks in a battle between the state's No. 1 and No. 2 teams only to see their state championship dreams slip away.
"These were two teams that laid it all on the line and smacked each other around tonight," said Ottawa-Glandorf head coach Ken Schriner, whose team won the Western Buckeye League championship and recorded the school's first 10-0 regular season record. "One team made a couple of more plays than the other.
"I'm proud of the way the kids played. I think they left it on the field tonight."
A hundred or so Ottawa-Glandorf fans stuck around to give the Titans one last round of applause as they headed to the locker room.
Perhaps one Ottawa-Glandorf fan in a gold hoodie summed up the feelings of the couple of thousand O-G fans who came to Piqua to watch their team on Friday night.
His three simple words were: "Thank you boys."
Subscribe to The Courier.