Alter falls to defending champion Glenville in D-IV state football title game

CANTON — The Alter High School football program’s dream season ended at the hands of the defending state champions.

Glenville senior quarterback Ruel Tomlinson threw three touchdown passes and rushed for two more as the Tarblooders beat the Knights 38-3 in the Division IV state championship game on Saturday night at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

“It’s pretty clear they’re an outstanding football team,” said Alter coach Ed Domsitz. “They did not show any weaknesses out there really. … I was proud of the effort our kids gave.

“I think they kept getting after it the entire game. It’s tough when you have been successful and you reach this point and you know you’re four quarters away from the gold. It’s tough when you fall off the cliff, and that happened late in the first half, and we weren’t able to recover.”

Knights senior kicker Tony Arcuri hit a 25-yard field for Alter, which finished its season 12-4.

Glenville improved to 13-2, claiming its second straight state title. The Tarblooders beat Cincinnati Wyoming 26-6 in last season’s state title game.

On their first possession, the Tarblooders capped a 15-play, 92-yard drive with a 16-yard TD run by Tomlinson to give Glenville an early 6-0 lead. The drive took nearly eight minutes off the clock.

Alter fumbled on its first play from scrimmage, and the Tarblooders recovered. They made it 12-0 when Tomlinson hit senior Damarion Witten on a 17-yard TD pass.

On their next possession, Tomlinson hit Witten on a 38-yard TD pass to make it 18-0 midway through the second quarter.

Alter drove deep into Glenville territory on its next possession but was unable to put the ball in the end zone and opted to kick a field goal to make it 18-3.

The Tarblooders added another TD right before the half when Tomlinson scored on a 2-yard run to make it 26-3 at the half.

“Physically, the things that they could do, I was looking out there and they looked like D-I,” Domsitz said. “They’re big kids and they’re quick. We’ve faced some quick teams. Trotwood was quick, Badin is always tough, and they’ve got quick kids. Was that team better than those teams? We don’t give up that number of points. We don’t give up that many points against just any team.

“I think Glenville is an astounding team. You show me their weakness. We have coaches who have been around awhile. At halftime, you’re saying what about this and what about this? They all look good until you’re out there and matchup. That’s the problem.”

Glenville senior Shawntae Jones scored on a 18-yard run with about four minutes remaining in the third quarter to extend its lead to 32-3. With about 10 minutes remaining, Tomlinson hit junior Quincy Rogers on a 78-yard TD pass to make it 38-3, triggering the running clock.

The Tarblooders punted just one time in the game and went 5-for-5 on fourth down.

“Defensively, we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish in that we wanted them to sustain long drives, rather than the easy touchdown,” Domsitz said. “We did that. It’s just how many times on fourth down did they pick up that crucial yard or two yards and kept their driving going. I looked at the clock and we only had two or three plays in the first quarter. That makes it difficult.”

After starting the season 3-5, the Knights won seven straight games to return to the state championship for the sixth time in program history. Domsitz knew his team had the potential to make a deep postseason run.

“We could see it,” Domsitz said. “We lost to Fairmont in a close game, we lost to Trotwood in a close game, we lost to Badin in a close game. We had to throw that other leg over the saddle and I think the kids did that. We’ve had a great run these last six to eight weeks.”

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