Coldwater falls in D-VI state championship game

Cutline: Coldwater High School senior Tyler Schwieterman catches a pass over Carey's Gage Summit during the Division VI state championship game on Saturday afternoon at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Name Test

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Cutline: Coldwater High School senior Tyler Schwieterman catches a pass over Carey's Gage Summit during the Division VI state championship game on Saturday afternoon at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

CANTON — Coldwater couldn’t find an answer for Carey’s power running game on the state’s biggest stage.

Carey controlled the ball for more than 34 minutes, gaining 243 yards on the ground en route to a 26-14 victory over the Cavaliers in the Division VI state championship game Saturday afternoon at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

Senior quarterback Reece Dellinger went 13-for-31 for 205 yards and a touchdown and senior Isaac Fullenkamp rushed for a 9-yard score as the Cavaliers (13-3) finished as state runner-up for seventh time in school history.

“(Carey) is a hardnose physical team,” said Cavaliers coach Chip Otten. “Kind of what we feared could happen, kind of happened with them being able to go three, four, five yards and a cloud of dust. … I’m proud of our guys. They played really hard on defense. They battled and tried to make a run at it at the end there, but it just wasn’t quite enough.”

Carey’s Jordan Vallejo, a 265-pound senior running back, rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries for the Blue Devils, who won their first state championship since 1975.

The Cavaliers struck first, entering Blue Devils territory on a 46-yard pass from Dellinger to Tyler Schwieterman. Two plays later, Isaac Fullenkamp scored on a 1-yard run to give Coldwater an early 7-0 lead.

The Blue Devils, however, quickly grabbed the momentum. On its next possession, Carey drove the ball 76 yards on nine plays as Vallejo scored on a 1-yard run and converted the 2-point run to give his team an 8-7 lead.

In the second quarter, Carey’s Anthony Bell intercepted Dellinger’s pass and returned it into Coldwater territory. Senior quarterback Derek Lonsway scored on a 3-yard run to give Carey a 15-7 lead.

On the next possession, the Blue Devils’ Lance Woods stripped Dellinger and Landon Kemerly recovered, giving Carey another short field. Vallejo scored a few plays later on a 2-yard run and again converted the 2-point run to give the Blue Devils a 23-7 lead.

The Cavaliers scored on the last play of the first half when Dellinger hit Tanner Muhlenkamp on a 19-yard pass to make it 23-14.

Bell hit a 41-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to give the Blue Devils a 12-point lead.

Coldwater drove into Carey territory in each of its final two possessions, but were unable to put points on the board.

“We had a tough time running the ball, which certainly makes it difficult then to get some of the play action (passes)” Otten said.

The Cavaliers will graduate 16 seniors who advanced to back-to-back state championship games, winning last year and finishing runner-up this season. They were in the crowd as seventh graders when Coldwater played in the state title game in 2016.

“We always talked about that game and we lost that one,” said senior center Josh Kaup. “We all wanted to get back to that and be able to get redemption and when we did last year, we thought it was awesome. Obviously, this year it would’ve been nice to start another little streak again, but you can’t win them all.”

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