High school football playoffs: McDonald powers Alter past Trotwood-Madison

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Alter RB Branden McDonald talks big night against Trotwood

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The rain ended shortly after the Division III, Region 12 quarterfinal between Alter and Trotwood-Madison began Friday night.

Trotwood’s reign as state champs ended about two hours after that.

ExplorePersonal connections add to mega matchup

Branden McDonald ran for six touchdowns as Alter knocked the Rams out of playoffs with a stunning 42-0 decision.

“I always thank them boys up front, my O-line opened holes wide open for me," said McDonald, who tallied 383 yards on the ground and averaged 16.0 per carry. "My big fullback, (Antonio Murphy Jr.) opening holes for me. Matt See, Austin Montgomery, Tommy Liebold, Devin Anderson and Derrick Shepard Jr. — they opened 'em for me.”

Before the two area powerhouses could meet on the football field for the first time, the teams waited out a lighting delay of nearly two and a half hours.

While many other games in Southwest Ohio were postponed to Saturday, the Knights and Rams waited it out instead and found a window just long enough to get the game in before precipitation began again late in the fourth quarter.

“Our kids wanted to play," Alter coach Ed Domsitz said. "We wanted to play. I’ve got a wedding down in Louisville for my godson tomorrow, so I’m real pleased I’ll be able to go to that. We were anxious to play. It was a long delay but the kids did a nice job staying focused. We had plenty of room. Much to Trotwood’s credit. They got us in their aux gym and there was a lot of room so we were able to basically relax and keep our focus.”

The Rams (4-1) took the opening kickoff and drove inside the Alter 5-yard line before stalling.

Ohio State-bound defensive back C.J. Hicks broke up a fourth-down pass in the end zone, and three plays later McDonald flipped the field with a 94-yard touchdown rumble that stunned the home side and sent the visiting fans into a frenzy.

McDonald, a 6-foot-1, 208-pound senior, was just getting started.

He scored again from 10 yards out late in the first quarter then struck from 30 yards out with 1:16 left in the half to make it 21-0.

“He just had an amazing night," Domsitz said. “He lost a little bit of weight, and he worked very hard in the offseason. And I’ll tell ya his offensive line has been doing a heck of a job for him, certainly the last six weeks. We just need to keep that up.”

Whatever hope the Rams had for a comeback was dampened on the first play of the third quarter as McDonald took a handoff over right guard and broke through for an 80-yard touchdown that made it 28-0.

He added another short touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter before breaking off a 74-yard score to put a capper on the night.

“Most college recruiters were saying I didn’t have separation," he said. “That was the bug going around on my recruiting. See it now? Look at it now.”

Alter (6-2) piled up 448 yards on the ground while holding the Rams to minus-2.

Cooper Stewart completed 10 of 25 passes for 110 yards for Trotwood while Alter quarterback Brian Shane completed his only pass of the night for five yards.

“We hoped to be able to control the line of scrimmage," said Domsitz, a Trotwood-Madison grad and former coach of the Rams. "I think when you look at it, we didn’t expect to put 42 points on the board or shut 'em out. They’re a strong program. We believed we could win. We felt that all week, but it was a struggle. It was a physical game. Our kids wanted to play. It didn’t make any difference whether it was tonight or tomorrow.”

The sixth-seeded Knights advance to face the winner of Saturday’s Tippecanoe-Hamilton Badin game next Friday.

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