(11-14-20) It should be quite a battle for the OHSAA D VII Football State Championship this coming Friday at 2 p.m. at The Fortress in Obetz, Ohio. Both teams, Warren JFK and New Bremen, had tough battles in their State Semifinal games last night to advance.

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Last night Warren JFK hung on to beat Newark Catholic 20-13, but the final play of the game, with six seconds remaining, saw the Green Wave ready to score with 6 seconds left in the game, but a JFK defender (6’4 Nick Fordeley) knocked down the pass in the end zone to end the game and a sigh of relief from the Eagle fans..

The Eagles’ first-year head coach Dom Prologo after the win told tribtoday.com

“I’d be ticked if we weren’t (in this position). That’s the team we had coming back. I would feel like I failed this group of kids. The expectations this year were to be here.”

Related: Where they want to be…Kennedy gets to title game in this most unusual year

In Wapakoneta…New Bremen would fight back from a 13-0 and 20-7 deficits in the 2nd half and would hang on in an exciting finish for a 28-26 win over #1 seed Lima Central Catholic (LCC).

The T-Birds would make a run at the Cardinals when they scored with 31 seconds remaining in the game, and trailing by 2 points. That meant LCC would need a 2pt PAT to tie the game and move to OT.

The extra point try will be long remembered by both teams….QB Evan Unruh would go in motion and a direct snap went to LCC’s RB Rossi Moore who went to the right side, but he would fall just short thanks to a swarm of Cardinal defenders.

Related: New Bremen holds off LCC

Once again two Special teams played a key part in New Bremen’s win…even though they were trailing 13-0 at the the time, a blocked extra point by Nick Alig, forced the T-Birds to try for two in that final minute. Don’t forget that K Owen Gabel had to kick a 35 yard extra point to make it 21-20 after an unsportsmanlike penalty against the Cardinals.

After the win Coach Chris Schmidt told pressprosmagazine.com

“I just told them we’re playing not to lose…too tentative. I told them we’re going out to play to the win in the second half (with an onside kick to start the half), and they just loosened up and started to make some plays. Once we made some plays we became more confident and took the momentum of the game.”

Players to watch in the title game…

Cam Hollobaugh

The Eagles’ Cam Hollobaugh (Sr. 6’1 215 lbs) is the key to JFK’s run this season. In the playoff win against Lowellville he had 40 passing yards, 227 rushing yards, seven rushing touchdowns and a passing touchdown.

He also is an All-State Linebacker, returns kickoffs and is the long snapper on the punt team.

Coach Prologo said this about him after the Newark Catholic win last night to the tribtoday.com

“Cam Hollobaugh was a grown man playing football tonight … Cam is our Tim Tebow. Remember when Tebow gave that speech? He said no one will ever give more effort than me, and we’re going to win every game — and they did. That’s Cam. He refuses to lose. He’s a competitor.”

Last night Hollobaugh scored all three TDs on short runs, had 129 rushing yards on 29 carries and was 5 for 5 passing for 74 yards.

Mitchell Hays

New Bremen QB Mitchell Hays, much like Hollobaugh, is the key to Cardinals offense (He is also a top defensive player).

Last night again he showed leadership when they needed him the most. He had two scores, including a 55 yard TD, plus the game winner from 6 yards out, as he rushed for 179 yards.

Part of New Bremen’s slow start last night was the early exit of top running back Zach Bertke after the 2nd play of the game. It was next man up time for New Bremen, Sophomore RB Hunter Schaefer stepped in, he would rush for 67 yards and score his first-ever varsity TD.

Don’t forget the last two weeks…Special Teams…New Bremen has used them to make this title run against two of the best D VII teams in the state of Ohio.

2020 Results

New Bremen (9-2)

Aug 28 – Minster 20-0
Sept 4 – Marion Local 21-13 (L)
Sept 11 – Delphos St. John’s 38-6
Sept 18 – Coldwater 24-7 (L)
Sept 25 – Anna 38-7
Oct 2 – Versailles 36-7

Oct. 16 – Southeastern 52-7
Oct. 23 – St. Henry 28-13
Oct. 30 – Ft. Loramie 16-8
Nov. 6 – Marion Local 24-17
Nov. 13 – LCC 28-26

Warren John F Kennedy (9-2)

Aug 28 – Warrensville Heights 39-20
Sept 5 – Aquinas 37-7
Sept 11 – Conneaut 6-0
Sept 18 – Garfield 27-21 (L)
Sept 25 – Gilmour Academy 40-19
Oct 2 – Howland 32-22 (L)

Oct. 16 – Lowellville 65-33
Oct. 23 – Norwalk St. Paul 27-21
Oct. 30 – Dalton 28-18
Nov. 6 – Lucas 21-0
Nov. 13 – Newark Catholic 20-13

Did you know????

***New Bremen, in its first trip to the final game, the 9th member of the Midwest Athletic Conference to play in a state final game. The MAC has won 35 football state championships.

***Warren JFK won the 2016 D VII State football title beating MAC member Minster 24-6