Caption

Alter withstands Cin. Mt. Healthy comeback, 14-12

It’s been one year since Alter suffered a stunning upset to Chaminade Julienne in the first round of the playoffs. That has not been lost on the returning Knights.

“The loss to CJ in Week 11 last year fueled us so much,” assured Knights senior linebacker Dan O’Connell. “We only have one goal and that’s to still be playing in four weeks.”

»PHOTOS: Alter vs. Cin. Mt. Healthy, football playoffs

»RELATED: Northmont leads GWOC reps in D-I, Region 3

Alter passed the first test in that hoped-for tourney-journey by withstanding Cincinnati Mt. Healthy’s second-half comeback to win a Division III, Region 12 high school football playoff opener on Friday night at Fairmont’s Roush Stadium, 14-12.

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Most read

  1. 1 Pike County murders: Court docs give insight into custody battle
  2. 2 Why is El Greco's Pizza Villa closing?
  3. 3 Man pronounced dead at scene of Dayton crash identified
Alter defeated Cin. Mt. Healthy 14-12 in a D-III, Region 12 quarterfinal high school football playoff game at Fairmont’s Roush Stadium on Friday, Nov. 2, 201. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

The win sends top-seeded Alter (10-1) into a regional semifinal rematch with Greater Catholic League Co-Ed rival Badin (8-3) in a Week 12 pairing at a neutral site. The Ohio High School Athletic Association will announce sites for all playoff games on Sunday.

»RELATED: Do-over for Fairmont at Springfield

»RELATED: Dayton Christian advances in boys soccer

Badin, the GCL Central champ, advanced by winning 33-22 at Butler on Friday. Alter defeated host Badin 17-7 in Week 8 of the regular season.

The other D-III, Region 12 semifinal is Wapakoneta (10-1) vs. Fenwick (9-2). Wapak, out of the Western Buckeye League, edged defending D-III state champ Trotwood-Madison 24-21 and Fenwick beat GCL North rival CJ for the second time, 28-7.

»RELATED: Final football power rankings

»RELATED: Alter football state poll champs

Both Alter (24 appearances) and Mt. Healthy (17) are playoff regulars, but it was the first time the teams had played.

“They had that speed,” Alter coach Ed Domsitz said. “I knew it was going to be physical. You hope that it’s going to help us down the road. Our kids, they expect us to go more than one game in the playoffs.”

Alter’s Lamar Landers (6) and Branden McDonald (22) clear the way for Knights QB Connor Bazelak. Alter defeated Cin. Mt. Healthy 14-12 in a D-III, Region 12 quarterfinal high school football playoff game at Fairmont’s Roush Stadium on Friday, Nov. 2, 201. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Alter led 14-0 in the first quarter after Branden McDonald blasted 30 yards for a touchdown and Lamar Landers did the same from 18 yards.

»RELATED: Final football state polls

»RELATED: Football regional quarterfinals schedule

Mt. Healthy responded with a 20-yard TD pass from quarterback Michael Crawford to Keion Blankumsee midway through the third quarter. However, the extra-point kick failed.

The Owls (5-6), out of the Southwest Ohio Conference, scored again when eventual QB replacement Brandon Lanier, a 6-3, 230-pound junior, rumbled five yards in the final seconds of the third quarter. This time the Owls went for a 2-point pass, which was incomplete.

»RELATED: Northwestern makes playoffs first time

»RELATED: Football playoffs by the numbers

Mt. Healthy drove to Alter’s 9-yard-line midway through the forth quarter and appeared likely to take a lead, but the Owls stalled and Alter’s John Urbaugh blocked a 26-yard field goal attempt.

Alter’s Dan O’Connell (43) shows he recovered a fumble. Alter defeated Cin. Mt. Healthy 14-12 in a D-III, Region 12 quarterfinal high school football playoff game at Fairmont’s Roush Stadium on Friday, Nov. 2, 201. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

O’Connell and Mason Henry sacked Lanier on forth down at midfield on the Owls’ next possession and Alter essentially ran out the clock, finishing inside Mt. Healthy’s 10.

“We met at the quarterback, made the play and the game was over,” said O’Connell.

»FACEBOOK: For more sports you should like Marc Pendleton

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

Five of the Owls’ six losses were to playoff teams. Mt. Healthy edged Piqua for the final No. 8 playoff qualifying spot.

“We did a lot of growing up (against Alter),” Owls coach Arvie Crouch said. “That’s a great program. I’m so proud of our kids. To come up here and play a parochial school, we showed our heart. It says a lot about the competition we played this year.”

»RELATED: Week 10 football rewind

»RELATED: Northmont rallies in second half

»PHOTOS: Northmont at Miamisburg, Week 10 football

»RELATED: Who’s in, who’s out of football playoffs

»PHOTOS: Xenia at Trotwood-Madison, Week 9 football

»PHOTOS: Fairmont at Wayne, Week 8 football

»PHOTOS: Miamisburg at Lebanon, Week 8 football

»PHOTOS: Springfield at Northmont, Week 7 football

»PHOTOS: Oakwood at Brookville, Week 6 football

»PHOTOS: Fairmont at Miamisburg, Week 6 football

»PHOTOS: Northmont at Wayne, Week 5 football

More from Daytondailynews