Alter, Marion Local seek state football championships

At this point, great Alter football teams are defined by state championship runs. That’s the best way differentiate the best of the Knights.

“It means a lot to this community,” said Alter senior captain and standout defensive lineman Connor Meyer following Friday’s night’s 34-13 defeat of Norwalk in a Division III state semifinal at Wapakoneta. “The bar is set very high and state is that bar. We’re just trying to carry on the tradition.”

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Alter (13-1) will make its fifth state championship appearance against Chagrin Falls Kenston (13-1) at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton at 3 p.m. Friday.

Earlier on Friday, Marion Local (13-1) will have yet another rematch against Kirtland (14-0) to decide the D-VI state title (10 a.m.). The two-time defending D-VI state champ, Marion Local advanced by taking out Attica Seneca East 34-6 in a state semifinal at Lima on Friday.

That will be two of seven division championships, one on Thursday and three each on Friday and Saturday. All the state title games will be shown live on Spectrum (channels 311/1311).

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Fort Loramie’s bid to join Alter and Marion Local in the championships ended with a 28-14 loss to McComb in a D-VII state semi on Saturday night also at Wapak.

It’ll be a show of extraordinary area football might in the season-ending Week 15 title games. This is the 18th consecutive season Alter, out of the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North, has qualified for the postseason. The Knights won consecutive D-IV state titles in 2008-09 and most recently lost to Cleveland Benedictine in the 2014 D-IV state championship.

“That’s the way Alter defines the ultimate success, is to go and play in that 15th week,” said Knights coach Ed Domsitz, in his 44th season as a head coach and who ranks No. 7 among Ohio’s all-time winningest coaches with 331 victories.

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Kenston owns two state title appearances, losing in 1996 and ’86. It’ll be the first matchup for Alter and Kenston.

Midwest Athletic League power Marion Local is on pace to reset significant state records. The Flyers have won 10 state titles under coach Tim Goodwin, all since 2000. That’s just one shy of matching Cleveland St. Ignatius for the all-time most. This also will be the eighth straight year Marion Local will have played for a state championship.

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It’s a rematch of the 2017 D-VI state title game in which Marion Local defeated Kirtland 34-11. Marion Local’s only loss in seven previous and consecutive state title appearances was to Kirtland in the 2015 D-VI championship, 22-20.

Last season Trotwood-Madison (D-III), Marion Local (D-VI) and Minster (D-VII) all won state football titles.

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At Canton’s Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium

Thursday’s game

Division II: Massillon Washington (14-0) vs. Akron Hoban (14-0), 7:30 p.m.

Friday’s games

D-VI: Marion Local (13-1) vs. Kirtland (14-0), 10 a.m.

D-III: Alter (13-1) vs. Chagrin Falls Kenston (13-1), 3 p.m.

D-I: Cin. Colerain (14-0) vs. Lakewood St. Edward (10-3), 8 p.m.

Saturday’s games

D-VII: McComb (13-1) vs. Gouster Trimble (13-1), 10 a.m.

D-V: Orrville (12-2) vs. Johnstown-Monroe (13-1), 3 p.m.

D-VI: Cin. Wyoming (14-0) vs. Girard (13-1), 8 p.m.

TV: All live on Spectrum (Channels 311/1311).

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