This is how Loveland Magazine reported the Tiger’s road to their Div. II Football Championship in 2013
(If you can’t view the videos, follow the headline links to the original story.)
Div. II Champs
First ever State Title
Loveland Tigers Un-defeated, Perfect 15-0
Underclassmen instrumental in Championship
Canton, Oh. – Sophomore, Drew Plit was 5 for 5 passing for the game, and with two touchdown throws in the first half, one to freshman,Tre Heath for 22 yards and one to Jake Elfers for 12, combined with a 66 yard touchdown run by freshman Luke WaddelL, a Gunner Gambill 5 yard touchdown, and a Beau Ngu 50 yard interception return, the Loveland Tigers had the number one team from the north down 34 to nothing at the half.
Glenville tried in vain all night to play catch-up. Loveland capitalized on mistakes, the Tarblooders from the Cleveland City School District, did not. Four fumbles by each team in the game and Glenville lost 85 yards via 9 penalties. Loveland intercepted 3 times, punishing the Tarblooders for trying the long ball in a blinding, blizzard.
Tiger defenders were relentless getting in Glenville’s backfield forcing them out of their play and game plan.
The temperature was 28 degrees, wind was 5-10 mph, and a steady snow kept plows busy clearing the Canton Fawcett Stadium yard lines throughout the game.
Glenville Academic scored three times in the second half, but Gunner Gambill again scored on a 6 yard run in the third, keeping the game so out of reach that the only reason Tiger fans had to glance at the scoreboard was to check their disbelief, or waiting out the final countdown of the clock.
The score was 41-15 until late in the 4th quarter.
Loveland out rushed Glenville 340 to 209. Glenville put up 293 yards in the air to Loveland’s 66. Both teams had 23 first downs. Time of possession only gave Loveland a slight edge.
Loveland Freshman, Like Waddell had 175 ground yards on 19 carries, and 194 total yards. Gunner Gambill ran 24 times and 115 rushing yards.
Glenville had no answer for Darren Sackett’s 6 solo tackles and 5 assists or Max Mather’s 6 solo and 2 assist night. James Canigilla and Charlie Lawyer each had 5.5 tackles.
Glenville’s Marshon Lattimore, the number one prospect in the state of Ohio was kept out of the end zone until he caught a 47 yard pass with 3:25 left in the game.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Loveland............ 7 27 7 0 - 41 Record: (15-0) Glenville Academic.. 0 0 15 8 - 23 Record: (13-2)
|1st||04:23||LOVE||Luke Waddell 66 yd run (Evan Burig kick)|
|1 play, 66 yards, TOP 0:12||7 – 0|
|2nd||08:37||LOVE||Trc Heath 22 yd pass from Drew Plitt (Evan Burig kick)|
|5 plays, 36 yards, TOP 2:25||14 – 0|
|03:25||LOVE||Gunner Gambill 5 yd run (Evan Burig kick)|
|8 plays, 46 yards, TOP 3:14||21 – 0|
|03:13||LOVE||Beau Ngu 50 yd interception return (Evan Burig kick failed)|
|27 – 0|
|00:30||LOVE||Jake Elfers 12 yd pass from Drew Plitt (Evan Burig kick)|
|5 plays, 41 yards, TOP 1:36||34 – 0|
|3rd||09:57||GLENV||Davon Anderson 2 yd run (JonesWashington kick)|
|4 plays, 30 yards, TOP 1:50||34 – 7|
|07:46||LOVE||Gunner Gambill 6 yd run (Evan Burig kick)|
|5 plays, 65 yards, TOP 2:04||41 – 7|
|02:29||GLENV||Q. Robinson Jr. 7 yd run (Erick Smith pass from Q. Robinson Jr.)|
|15 plays, 80 yards, TOP 5:17||41 – 15|
|4th||03:25||GLENV||M. Lattimore 47 yd pass from Q. Robinson Jr. (M. Lattimore pass from Q. Robinson Jr.)|
|2 plays, 85 yards, TOP 0:23||41 – 23|
The community believed
by Ricky Mulvey
Story courtesy of Loveland High School Roar
Ricky Mulvey is Editor-in-Chief of the Roar and Sports Director for Loveland Magazine
There has just got to be a wee bit of irony in this. The two wins leading up to the game, where Loveland was evenly matched, were decided in the final seconds. This one though; the one where Loveland was expected to lose, the game against the number one recruit in the state, and a defense that posted six shutouts on the year; well, this game was simply a stroll in the snow for the boys from Loveland.
The keys to Loveland’s monster game were pretty simple. After the first half, former Ohio State head coach, Jim Tressel commented that, “They are keeping great focus, and creating turnovers and when that happens you get a big lead. They look to me like they are a pretty focused bunch.” Loveland ended up generating eight Tarblooder turnovers in the game, four of them interceptions coupled with four fumble recoveries. It appeared the Tigers were more at home in a snowstorm than the northern dwelling Tarblooders from Cleveland. It was a bit of a shock just how lopsided the matchup was though.
Likely the biggest surprise of the game was the shutdown of wide receiver Marshon Lattimore by Tiger cornerback Jeff Prifti. Lattimore, the top recruit in the state, is so good that he is able to play college ball wherever he wants. According to Rivals.com, he has offers from 17 different Division I programs including Ohio State, Michigan, and Alabama. On that cold December night, the Goliath was neutralized by Prifti. The junior cornerback was able to keep his body in front of Lattimore for pretty much every pass thrown to him, and held him to less than 30 receiving yards through three quarters.
While the defense was iron, and the offense superb, maybe another game changer was the community support. For the past two weeks, it has been impossible to take a drive through Loveland without seeing a Tiger football sign planted somewhere. Though the trip to Canton was roughly four hours long, and many had to buy hotel rooms and take a day off work to make the game, Loveland managed to sell 2,200 pre-sale tickets. Even in the press box, hundreds of feet away, the Loveland faithful were loud. The community believed. The team fed off the energy from the stands.
The state championship win is the first one for Loveland. It was the first time any Tiger football team made an appearance in the state championship, and it cemented this Tiger team as the best, the unequivocal best football team to grace Loveland. Even to Tressel, a man that has a NCAA National Championship and won five straight Big 10 titles, “The Loveland Tigers are impressive.”
To help celebrate the accomplishments of the Loveland High School State Champion Football Team the police department has “re-striped” its newest Tahoe in the high school colors. The “Tiger Tahoe” will make its first public appearance at the parade on Sunday, December 15th.
For full information about the parade and celebration read: Come congratulate the Loveland High School State football champions
How did Loveland High School’s Jeff Prifti shut down Marshon Lattimore the #1 football player in Ohio
Canton, Oh. – This LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV video is Ricky Mulvey’s Post Game interview at Canton Fawcett Stadium with Loveland High School defensive back, Jeff Prifti after his team captured the State Div. II Title on December 6.
Prifti neutralized Glenville wide receiver, Marshon Lattimore, who was kept out of the end-zone until late in the 4th quarter when the outcome had already been decided. Lattimore has offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Oregon. He is the top recruit in Ohio, and was held to only three receptions and 83-yards; 47 of those yards came with 3:25 left in the game.
The Loveland Tigers defeated the Glenville Tarblooders 41-23
Canton, Oh. – This LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV video is Ricky Mulvey’s Post Game interview at Canton Fawcett Stadium with Loveland High School Defensive Coordinator, Alex Wanstrah after his team captured the State Div. II Title on December 6.
The Loveland Tigers defeated the Glenville Tarblooders 41-23
Canton, Oh. – This LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV video is Ricky Mulvey’s Post Game Rap from Canton Fawcett Stadium after the Loveland Tigers captured the State Div. II Title on December 6.
Loveland defeated the Glenville Tarblooders 41-23.
Mulvey also half-time guest on Zanesville radio
Here is Loveland Magazine Sports Director, Ricky Mulvey reporting from St. Vincent DeSales High School just north of Columbus at the conclusion of the Loveland Tiger’s miraculous come from behind win over Zanesville on November 29. The 38-35 win puts the Tigers in the State Div. II Finals in Canton on December 6.
The video leads with clips of Mulvey being interviewed, and the halftime guest for the live broadcast by Zanesville’s North Valley Banks Halftime Show on Z-92FM and AM1240.
District will enact early release Friday, Dec. 6 for all students
The Loveland City School District congratulates our Loveland High School (LHS) Tiger Football Team on their outstanding win in the State Semi-Finals Game Friday, Nov. 29. In preparation for the Friday, Dec. 6, Division Two State Championship Game, we want to make the Tiger Family aware of game details as well as an early release planned for all students.
Friday, Dec. 6, all Loveland City School District students will have an early release. The dismissal times are as follows:
- 12:15 p.m. Loveland High School, Loveland Middle School, Loveland Intermediate School
- 1:30 p.m. Loveland Elementary School, Loveland Primary School
- Noon Loveland Early Childhood Center (Any parent wanting to pick up their LECC student needs to do so by 11:40 a.m.)
- There will be no afternoon kindergarten
Game Date and Time
7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 (Gates Open at 5:30 p.m.)
Canton Fawcett Stadium, 1835 Harrison Ave. NW, Canton, OH 44708
Our Loveland Tigers (visiting team) versus Cleveland Glenville Tarblooders (home team)
$8 pre-sale, $10 at the gate, for all ages
(Please remember no passes are accepted. The game ticket you buy for our game is only good for the Division Two game. If you want to attend any other Division Game, separate tickets must be purchased.)
Game Ticket Sales
Advance tickets may be purchased in LHS Athletic Office on the following dates and times:
- 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3
- 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4
- 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5
The cost to park is $3 – $5 for cars.
The Tiger Family can watch coverage of the State Championship Game on Channel 99 Time Warner and Sports Time Ohio. The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) has information on radio coverage of the game. Please visit http://www.ohsaa.org/news/Radio/radiohome.asp for those details.
Game Day in Canton
by Ricky Mulvey
Story courtesy of Loveland High School Roar
Ricky Mulvey is Editor-in-Chief of the Roar and Sports Director for Loveland Magazine
That was until Drew Plitt (10) connected a couple of passes to Giovanni Ricci (11); one of which was a 36-yard bomb to the end zone. A leaping Plitt gave Loveland the needed two-point conversion. Only 17 seconds remained with the game tied. Better head back to the stands. Of course the Tigers could do it. The Tigers are a loud and hungry team. Whoever needed more than a minute to cover the length of a football field anyway?
Overtime arrived. Loveland and Zanesville matched each other with touchdowns in the first go around, but a 29-yard field goal from Evan Burig (11) put the Tigers up by three in the second stanza.
“It felt pretty good man; it felt pretty good,” said Burig.
Zanesville tried to surpass Loveland when Thomas Wibbeler connected a touchdown pass to Dar Stanford, but Stanford’s toes were out of bounds. In a game of 100 yards, three inches was what it came down to. Three inches sent Loveland to the state championship.
“It’s been a heck of a ride, but were not done yet,” said Jake Junod (11).
This roller coaster will make its final stop in Canton against the Glenville Tarblooders. The team is under the stewardship of Ted Ginn who coached Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith, and his son, Ted Ginn Jr, who currently plays for the Carolina Panthers.
Ginn has a pantheon of talent for the state championship, but his top weapon, his atomic bomb, will be senior Marshon Lattimore.
Lattimore scored four touchdowns in their 41-13 state semi-final victory against Highland. He is the number one prospect in the state of Ohio and has received offers from The Ohio State University and Alabama. Scout has listed him as the fifth ranked receiver nationally, and Lattimore is also a talented cornerback. He will be the best player Loveland has faced all season.
Glenville has one loss, though it came against Division I heavyweight St. Edward; a team that chalked up a victory against Moeller.
Many are not giving Loveland a chance in this game. After all, Glenville has the momentum. Glenville is a loud
and hungry team. It will be cold game against a northern ball club. Better go home.
Evan Burig gets last say with 29 yard field goal
Loveland to State Div. II Final
by Willie Lutz
Loveland, Oh. – It is simply impossible to associate the word “quit” with the Loveland Tigers. Two weeks in a row, the Tigers appeared to be defeated. With the clock dwindling and the opposition preparing to bask in the sweet taste of glory, the Tigers reversed the course of history and advanced deeper into the playoffs; this time, the spot is much sweeter. Knocking off AP ranked #1 Zanesville, the #2 ranked Tigers won by a final score of 38-35 in double overtime. The team that was a portrait of mediocrity just a season ago, will now advance to their first ever state championship.
The Tigers traveled nearly two hours to get to St. Vincent DeSales High School just north of Columbus for Friday night’s contest. Even though their hometown of Loveland was chilly, it was unrivaled by the snow-laden ground of Columbus. When it comes to attendance, weather didn’t play a factor. The stadium, which holds 6,000 people in its stands, was overflowing with people. The Tigers even sent eight “spirit buses” filled with students and teachers to the game.
Drew Plitt once again started the game for the Tigers on a rough note. For the second time this postseason, the Loveland quarterback’s first pass of the game ended up an interception. This week, the opposition made it count.
The Blue Devils had by far the best offense the Tigers have seen this season, most of that offense comes from the right arm of their quarterback Thomas Wibbeler, who had thrown for over 4,000 yards and 47 touchdowns coming into the game. He showed his talent early when on the first touchdown of the game he hit wide receiver, JT McFarland, on a 25-yard pass to the end zone.
Just as the scoreboard reflected, the game was neck and neck at the half. With a 14-14 score, the game was just as tight with a 136-132 battle in yards. Plitt only threw two passes for the entire half, the interception and a big twelve yard pass to Jake Elfers for a first down. Gunner Gambill was forced to step up as the feature back for the Tigers as the Zanesville defense was shutting down Luke Waddell. On eight carries, Waddell had only gained 27 yards; an average of 3.2 yards per carry. Gambill picked up 92 yards and 2 touchdowns in the first half of action.
Plitt began to pick up his performance in the third quarter including a marvelous 41-yard bomb to Giovanni Ricci that led to a Loveland touchdown. Then, a moment that would haunt the minds of Tiger fans later in the matchup; Evan Burig missed the extra point. Immediately, Loveland fans in the stands and watching on their TVs at home thought the worst, “what if a missed extra point costs us the season?” Their thought was justified. After the Tiger touchdown, the Blue Devils methodically marched down the frozen gridiron and made their extra point to take a 21-20 lead.
Now, to the fourth quarter. After the teams traded possessions for the majority of the quarter, Michael Weber slammed Wibbeler to the turf to pin the Zanesville drive inside their ten-yard line on fourth down, which meant all signs pointed to punt and great field position for the Tigers. After a wobbly punt by JT McFarland, Evan Dever attempted to field a ball at his feet; and then muffed the ball.
The Tigers had a chance to shut the books on the Zanesville drive when the Blue Devils pulled a wildcard; the direct snap fake punt. The Tigers had the Blue Devils halted on fourth and two when the fake punt was perfectly executed. A few plays later, the Devils would hand the ball to Jamel Giadden for a 38-yard touchdown. Immediately after that play, the “Tiger Faithful” begin the mass exodus to their cars assuming the worst; the season was over, the Tigers had lost.
To say the road to the championship was rough was an understatement. After rallying to beat the Mt. Healthy Fighting Owls in the Regional Finals, where they were down by 14 with under six minutes on the clock, the Tigers would be caught in a hole once again late in the game against the Blue Devils.
On their first attempt to make up for lost points, the fans once again felt that undeniable feeling in their stomach that the season may, in fact, be over, when Plitt threw a ball into triple coverage, inevitably picked off by the Zanesville defense.
After a great stand by the Tiger defense, a punt and a solid return by Dever gave the Tigers a 57- yard field to work with in order for his offense to have any chance of moving on to the state championship. Then, a legend was born. Plitt led the most perfect drive with only one minute remaining on the clock. Throwing completion after completion, hitting receivers on simple routes in order not to put the game in danger by throwing another interception, and picking up good yardage in an almost Tom Brady- like fashion. After those simple plays, Plitt delivered another deep touchdown to Giovanni Ricci, this time for 36 yards, to put the score at 28-26, still in favor of the Zanesville Blue Devils.
The Tigers had to make up for lost time, as the Burig missed extra point forced the Tigers to go for two late in the game. That’s when the “Holy Plitt” moment was born. The play was drawn up for Drew Plitt to run to the outside edge and into the end zone. The play appeared to be broken along with the Loveland Tigers when Plitt leapt into the air and across the goal line for the perfect two-point conversion. 28-28, the game would be knotted up and heading for overtime.
Zanesville started overtime with the ball. In high school overtime, both teams are given a position at the 20-yard line and battle it out until one team is either stopped or is forced to kick a field goal, which would then have to be followed up by a touchdown. Giadden would get them on the board first. After the extra point, the Blue Devils took a 35-28 lead. The Tigers then got the ball and allowed the previously scoreless Waddell to punch his way into the end zone. The kick by Burig was good and the game was knotted at 35-35.
The Tigers received the ball first to start the second overtime. The Zanesville defense refused to let the Tigers coast into the end zone, so head coach Fred Cranford put his faith in the left leg of Evan Burig, who earlier in the game had missed an extra point. The snap: good, the hold: good, and finally, the kick: good. The Tigers took a 38-35 lead, then it was up to the defense to stop Zanesville from taking their ticket to the Division II State Championship. On first down, quarterback, Wibbeler threw a near perfect pass to the corner of the end zone that would’ve sealed the game for the Blue Devils, but the feet of his target landed only inches out of bounds. After two more stops by the Tiger defense, the Blue Devils had no choice but to match the field goal by Burig, however Logan Graham doesn’t have that same ice water running through his blood that we’ve seen this postseason from Burig. The kick was missed, and once again, the Loveland Tigers had come back from the depths of failure to survive.
“It was the perfect recovery after that missed extra point,” said a near speechless Burig after the game.
Given a day to recover, the two players who nearly went down in infamy gave their comments on the game.
“It was a great team win. Two miracles in two weeks. This team is so amazingly resilient and persistent. I’m so blessed to be a part of this team and have the opportunity to play for this community,” said Burig, “I give a lot of credit to the unsung heroes, the long snapper (Danny Kruzel) and the holder (Jeff Prifti).”
“It was a great team win. We never give up. That’s what makes our team so special. We play hard every game because losing is not an option,” said Dever.
Drew Plitt said, “Tigers never stop believing because we fight until the very last second. Two weeks in a row. You can’t ever stop, because you never know what god has planned, so you have to do your best and see how it plays out. I couldn’t do it without my teammates picking me up after that second interception. Now, it’s on to Canton to play Glenville.”
Friday, the Loveland Tigers will take on the Cleveland-Glenville Tarblooders at Canton Fawcett Stadium, where the NFL Hall of Fame game is played every year. The stadium is next door to the National Football Hall of Fame. Game time is 7 PM.
The Tarblooders come into this game ranked #5 in the Division II Ohio AP polls, while the Tigers are posted at #2. The Tarblooders have the #1 Ranked player in Ohio in Marshon Lattimore, who is being recruited by a list of schools highlighted by Alabama, Ohio State, and Oregon. Lattimore plays wide receiver and corner and scored four touchdowns in Glenville’s 41-13 rout of Medina Heights on Friday night. Look for the Jeff Prifti versus Marshon Lattimore battle to be one of the best of all time.
The Loveland Tigers will have the opportunity to see what magic they have left in their flawless 14-0 season.
Tigers in State Final
Columbus, Oh. – This LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV video is Rickey Mulvey interviewing Loveland High School Head Football Coach, Fred Cranford after the win on Friday that sends the Tigers to the State Championship game next Friday.
Watch the plays that tied the game and Evan Burig’s winning field goal.
For the second week in a row, the Loveland Tigers stunned their gridiron opponents with a come back win, this week in the Ohio State Div. II Semi-Final game on Friday in Columbus against Zanesville.
Halftime brought a tie 14-14 contest, and Zanesville went up 21-20 with 19 seconds left in the 3rd quarter and added 7 more early in the 4th to make it 28-20.
With time and hope dwindling to 17 seconds, Drew Plitt hit Giavanni Ricci for a 36 yard pass down the right sideline for a score. The Tigers still needed 2 to stay alive. For the extra points, Plitt faked a hand-off to the obvious choice Gunner Gambill to carry the ball and headed to the right looking for open receivers. Plitt almost threw the ball twice, but instead, headed to the end-zone and leaped high over a defender to tie the score at 28-28.
Zanesville got the first chance from the 20 yard line in overtime and scored. Loveland answered to again tie the game, 35-35.
Evan Burig kicked a 29 yard field goal in the second overtime to take Loveland ahead, 38-35. The Tiger defense held Zaneville in their last possession to end the game after a Zanesville field-goal attempt failed.
Columbus, Oh. – Loveland pulled some magic again in its 38-35 double-overtime victory over Zanesville in the DII State semi-final game played November 29. The Tigers trailed with seconds remaining and got a score on a pass from quarterback Drew Plitt to Giavanni Riccito send the game into overtime. Deja vu you say? Well, the same magic occurred the week before against a tough Mt. healthy squad when Mike Weber picked up a fumble and returned it 81 yards for a score with just over a minute remaining in the contest, giving the Tigers a 35-28 victory. (From EECSports.com.)
|Friday, November 29, 2013|
|ZAN||TD||07:20||MCFARLAND,JT 25 YD PASS FROM WIBBELER,Thomas (GRAHAM,Logan KICK)||0||7|
|LVL||TD||02:44||Gunner Gambill 4 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||7||7|
|LVL||TD||04:56||Gunner Gambill 15 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||14||7|
|ZAN||TD||01:25||WIBBELER,Thomas 4 YD RUN (GRAHAM,Logan KICK)||14||14|
|LVL||TD||04:21||Giavanni Ricci 41 YD PASS FROM Drew Plitt (Evan Burig KICK FAILED)||20||14|
|ZAN||TD||00:19||GIADDEN,Jamel 9 YD RUN (GRAHAM,Logan KICK)||20||21|
|ZAN||TD||03:36||GIADDEN,Jamel 38 YD RUN (GRAHAM,Logan KICK)||20||28|
|LVL||TD||00:17||Giavanni Ricci 36 YD PASS FROM Drew Plitt (Drew Plitt RUSH)||28||28|
|ZAN||TD||12:00||GIADDEN,Jamel 5 YD RUN (GRAHAM,Logan KICK)||28||35|
|LVL||TD||12:00||Luke Waddell 2 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||35||35|
|LVL||FG||12:00||Evan Burig 29 YD||38||35|
|Team Stat Comparison|
|3rd Down Efficiency||7-13||6-11|
|4th Down Efficiency||3-3||0-1|
Like Loveland, Zanesville is coming into the State Semifinal Game with a perfect record. In four of their past five games, the Blue Devils’ defense has posted shutouts, and offensively, they will bring new challenges to the Tigers.
Zanesville quarterback, Thomas Wibbler, will arguably be the best passing quarterback Loveland has seen to date. If he was larger, he could be a potential Big 10 recruit, but standing at 5’10, Wibbler would likely play college ball at a MAC level school, (like Ohio or Bowling Green), should he choose to play at the next level. He has thrown 46 touchdowns on the year with only seven interceptions, and uses a battery of receivers. In fact, five receivers on the Blue Devils have attained over 300 receiving yards this season. Loveland will have to protect the corners of the field more than in other games, and be ready to stop long bomb against this spread offense.
The Tigers’ biggest issue in the game may come from 6’4, 220 pound tight end Granger Long. Long averages 19.3 yards per reception and has 12 touchdowns on the year. Last week Loveland struggled against Mt. Healthy players David Montgomery and Tyree Elliot. These players had a keen ability to break tackles and run over players. Long has a similar skill set, and will need to be contained for a Tiger victory.
Other stars to look out for Zanesville are linebacker Tristian Rock, wide receiver Dar Stanford, and running back Jamal Gladden. Rock leads the team in tackles with 119, and also has ten sacks on the season. Gladden and Stanford have each obtained over 1,000 offensive yards.
The one spot where Loveland has a true advantage in this game is experience. Zanesville took on DIII or DIV opponents in eight of their ten regular season games. Loveland on the other hand, faced much stronger DI and DII adversaries in their regular season match-ups, such as DI Lebanon and Oak Hills. Loveland also defeated highly ranked DII, Winton Woods and Kings. So while the regular season stats make look incredible for the Blue Devils, it is important to take some of those numbers with a grain of salt since they were achieved against opponents of a lower caliber.
Loveland (13-0) will play Zanesville (13-0) at Columbus St. Francis DeSales Alumni Stadium, Friday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 PM.
Zansville defeated New Albany Friday 35-28 at this stadium. Read about their senior, JT McFarland, and watch this feature video interview about him at www.whiznews.com.
Late Loveland rally wins regional title over Mt. Healthy 35-28
by Willie Lutz
Loveland, Oh.- High School football is a game of 48 minutes, two halves, and four quarters. It doesn’t matter whose down when, who makes mistakes, and what bad calls were made. All that matters is that who has the higher score when that clock reads 0:00 at the end of the game. With six minutes remaining in the game, the Tigers were trailing 28-14 to the Mt. Healthy Owls and showed no sign of life. As the clock expired and the Tigers lined up in that magical victory V formation, the warriors from Loveland High School pounded their way to the Ohio Div. II State semi-finals.
Mt. Healthy had their story inked out in pen in the history books of the OHSAA, all they had to do was close the book. Instead, the Tigers denied fate and rewrote the course of history. It was almost paranormal; Loveland’s student section had been muted for the first time all year. Almost for an entire half of football, but in the nature of the Tiger, they weren’t ready to go home. All that mattered were those magical final six minutes of football where the Tigers left every ounce of sweat on that Lockland High School gridiron.
They weren’t ready to let everything they worked for in the offseason slip through their fingers and begin the discussion of next year. An offseason that would last for nearly ten months, a time after the Tigers would lose all the seniors who have worked countless months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds perfecting their game of football. They couldn’t let that happen. The senior class has become accustomed to championships; they won league championships in 7th grade, 8th grade, as freshman, JV, and again this season in varsity football. They couldn’t let all of those championships be overshadowed by the looming trophy that trumps all other titles; the OHSAA Football State Championship.
After stopping the drive at the goal line, which would’ve been the nail in the coffin for the Loveland Tigers, Drew Plitt launched a perfect pass up the gridiron to Tre Heath which put the Tigers right in the Red Zone. Then, Luke Waddell punches in a ten yard touchdown. 28-21, Mount Healthy leads, 5:14 remains.
Then, Mt. Healthy was faced with the task of reclaiming the energy and emotion they had captured all game. They were playing for their slain brother, Vincent Turnage, who was a former football and track star at Mt. Healthy. Turnage had received a full ride scholarship to the University of Akron, but he was need home by his family. On November 17th, Turnage walked up stairs due to some commotion he was hearing. He saw both of his parents tied up before he was shot and killed. It was very tough on many of the players to see a man who they had played with just a season ago, now no longer with them.
Wide Receiver, Tyree Elliot, was wearing Turnage’s #85 as opposed to his normal #10 jersey. The boxing match between the Mt. Healthy Fighting Owls and the Loveland Tigers was one of those games where football was much heavier than the game itself. Mt. Healthy had the weight of the community on their backs, and for the most part, carried it without a struggle.
After a Max Mather kick-off, the Owls were at their own twenty yard line. On this drive, a hero was born. After two great stops on defense, the Tigers were faced with the challenge of containing Owls quarterback, David Montgomery on third down. Montgomery had been taking whatever he wanted from the Tigers. He was playing like Cam Newton in his days at Auburn. Montgomery had picked up 222 yards throughout the course of the game. Nothing Loveland tried could truly stop him. That was until on third down. A Montgomery pass is deflected… then intercepted, by who other than Max Mather. Immediately, every ounce of momentum headed to the Loveland side line. Drew Plitt launched a perfect spiral to Alex Hesse. Then Gunner Gambill slammed the ball into the end zone. 28-28, tie ball game, 3:49 remains.
Once again, Mather’s kick out of the back of the end zone but the Owls on the 20 yard line. Montgomery takes a quarterback keeper all the way down to the Loveland 30 yard marker. After a systematic 3 play, first down pickup, the Tigers had to stop the Owls inside the red zone, a place that was Mt. Healthy’s stomping grounds. On first down, Montgomery goes down with a knee injury that would hold him out for the remainder of the game, so it was up to Tyree Elliot to fill in as the quarterback for the Owls. On second down, magic happened.
Elliot was heading down the far side of the field, when it appeared the play had been halted due to a tackle, all of the sudden, a man in black was seen sprinting towards the Tiger end zone. Michael Weber had recovered an Owls fumble and hauled down field to pick up an 81yard Tiger Touchdown. An almost overwhelming volcanic eruption of cheers from the Tiger fans and the Tigers on the sideline themselves had proved to be a loud sigh of relief. Just like every other extra point, ice water Evan Burig pounded the ball square through the gilded uprights. 35-28, Tigers recapture the lead, 1:20 remaining.
It was time for the Tigers to finish the comeback that will be remembered in folk lore for the rest of time. Mather kicks the ball deep, but not out of the end zone. The referee swung his arm in a circle signaling the clock to start, and the returner stood on the one yard line, assuming the play was over, where he was splattered by the Loveland kick-off team. Could Mt. Healthy do it again? Last week, on their last drive of the game, they marched down field to knock off the Winton Woods Warriors. Tonight, the Loveland Tigers refused to let that happen. Four plays later, the Loveland Tigers had defeated the Mt. Healthy Owls despite all odds. The moral of the story for that miraculous Friday night, the team led by head coach Fred Cranford wasn’t going to let anyone, including their own fans, write them off.
Next week, the DIV. II state ranked #2 Tigers will take on the #1 team in Ohio, the Zanesville Blue Devils. Expect a historic battle on both sides of the ball. Zanesville took down New Albany by a final margin of 35-28 to reach their spot in the state semi-final pairing. The team will be a battle of the undefeated. Both teams are looking at their 13-0 records and have no intention of adding blemishes to perfect seasons.
Friday’s game will be played at Columbus St. Francis DeSales Alumni Stadium at 7:30 PM.
Final 4 Tees 4 sale
This news report is courtesy of WhizNews, reporting on the Zanesville win over New Albany last Friday. Loveland will travel to Columbus St. Francis DeSales Alumni Stadium next Friday to see which of these two teams go on to the State finals.
5 lead changes… #1 Zanesville in dramatic fashion gets #2 Tigers in Final 4 playoff
For the Tiger Record Book
|#1 LOVELAND (10 – 0) 54|
|11/08 – 7:30 PM @ Loveland High School||#1 LOVELAND (11 – 0) 45|
|#8 VANDALIA BUTLER (6 – 4) 0|
|#1 LOVELAND (12 – 0) 35|
|#4 CIN. NORTHWEST (8 – 2) 56||
|11/08 – 7:30 PM @ Colerain HS||#4 CIN. NORTHWEST (9 – 2) 14|
|#5 HARRISON (7 – 3) 35|
|11/22 – 7:30 PM @ Lockland HS||LOVELAND (13 – 0)|
|#2 CIN. MT. HEALTHY (9 – 1) 40|
|11/08 – 7:30 PM @ Mount Healthy HS||#2 CIN. MT. HEALTHY (10 – 1) 13|
|#7 CIN. WITHROW (8 – 2) 19|
|11/15 – 7:30 PM @ Lockland HS||#2 CIN. MT. HEALTHY (11 – 1) 28|
|#3 CIN. WINTON WOODS (8 – 2) 40|
|11/08 – 7:30 PM @ WINTON WOODS||#3 CIN. WINTON WOODS (9 – 2) 10|
|Friday, November 22, 2013|
|LVL||TD||10:06||Luke Waddell 44 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||0||7|
|MH||TD||01:50||ELLIOTT, TYREE 35 YD PASS FROM David Montgomery (Keandre Smith KICK)||7||7|
|MH||TD||09:27||Jalin Davis 3 YD RUN (Keandre Smith KICK)||14||7|
|LVL||TD||07:39||Gunner Gambill 5 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||14||14|
|MH||TD||04:24||ELLIOTT, TYREE 8 YD RUN (Keandre Smith KICK)||21||14|
|MH||TD||02:13||David Montgomery 6 YD RUN (Keandre Smith KICK)||28||14|
|LVL||TD||05:14||Luke Waddell 10 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||28||21|
|LVL||TD||03:49||Gunner Gambill 1 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||28||28|
|LVL||TD||01:20||Mike Weber 81 YD FUMBLE RECOVERY RETURN (Evan Burig KICK)||28||35|
|Team Stat Comparison|
|3rd Down Efficiency||2-12||1-8|
|4th Down Efficiency||1-4||0-0|
|Mount Healthy Stats|
Tigers roll on, 45 – 14 over Northwest
Loveland will play Mt. Healthy next week. Mt. Healthy beat Winton Woods tonight, 13 – 10.
|Friday, November 15, 2013|
|LVL||TD||08:53||Alex Hesse 26 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||0||7|
|NTW||TD||07:12||Cory Roberson 4 YD RUN (Kyle Kostoff KICK)||7||7|
|LVL||TD||06:22||Luke Waddell 65 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||7||14|
|NTW||TD||04:10||DeVohn Jackson 13 YD RUN (Kyle Kostoff KICK)||14||14|
|LVL||TD||00:20||Gunner Gambill 18 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||14||21|
|LVL||FG||00:25||Evan Burig 24 YD||14||24|
|LVL||TD||04:06||Drew Plitt 5 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||14||31|
|LVL||TD||10:02||Drew Plitt 3 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||14||38|
|LVL||TD||05:59||Gunner Gambill 53 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||14||45|
|Team Stat Comparison|
|3rd Down Efficiency||3-9||6-9|
|4th Down Efficiency||1-1||1-1|
Loveland, Oh. – These are two videos that were shot last Friday. One, is of some of the pregame and post game celebration at the playoff football game against Butler, including an interview with 5th grader, Raymond Barrish who has been a Ball Boy all of the Tiger un-defeated season.
The second video os from the pep rally held at the high school last Friday afternoon.
Loveland (Its more than a bike trail), Oh. – These LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV videos are Ricky Mulvey’s rap-up after the Loveland Tigers shut-out Butler 54-0 last Friday in the home opener of a run in the state football tournament, and Willie Luts interviewing head coach Fred Cranford after the game. Also, highlight clips of some of the action.
SAVE $2 and assure getting in the gate!
The Loveland Tigers will play the Northwest Knights at Lakota West High School at 7:30 PM Friday, Nov. 15 in the semi-final round of the State Regional football tournament.
Tickets will be sold in the Loveland High School Athletic Office starting 7 AM. to 2:30 PM Wednesday, Nov. 13, through Friday, Nov. 15.
The Athletic Office will also be open for evening sales 5:30PM to 8 PM Thursday, Nov. 14
Price and Passes
Presale tickets are $7 each, and gate tickets are $9 each for ages six and older (this includes senior citizens). Please remember, there are no passes accepted.
Read about the 1st round win: Loveland Tiger Wrecking Paws 54, Butler Aviators, Zeroed – by Willie Lutz
Loveland Tiger Wrecking Paws 54, Butler Aviators, Zeroed
Next up, Northwest Knights in West Chester at Lakota West’s Firebird Stadium
Loveland’s defense out-gained Butler offense 112-108
by Willie Lutz
Loveland, OH – Flash back to August 30th. Loveland High School’s football team beats Vandalia-Butler by a commanding 35-6 margin, which was Fred Cranford’s first win as the head coach of the Loveland Tigers. Now, flash forward to November 8th. The Loveland Tigers have won their first playoff game 54-0 over the same team they started with, the Vandalia-Butler Aviators.
The Tigers “Wrecking Paws” as former Loveland teacher Marirose Stiver calls them, dominated on both sides of the ball, out-gaining the Aviators 521-108 in total offensive yards. It was 41 to nothing at half-time.
Tiger Stadium was filled to the brim Friday night. If you arrived late to the game and had the intentions of finding a seat in the stands, you were out of luck. The game had a college atmosphere. Although it was never that close, Loveland’s student section was electrified. Every snap of the ball was followed by cheers. Every big play was an eruption of excitement.
Early in the game, there was a sign of life from the Vandalia-Butler Aviators. Sophomore quarterback Drew Plitt was intercepted on his first pass. Vandalia-Butler had all the momentum at that point. The Aviators led a solid drive using an almost videogame-like offense all the way into the Red Zone. Then, Loveland’s wall of a defense stopped the Aviators on fourth down. Right after the stop, Loveland handed the ball to freshman stand-out running back, Luke Waddell, for an 85 yard touchdown. That play, swung the momentum to Loveland for the remainder of the game.
Loveland’s defense was astonishing. They intercepted Vandalia-Butler’s quarterback, Chandler Craine, four times, including two interceptions for a touchdowns by seniors, Michael Weber and Max Mather. The Tiger defense held the Aviators to only 108 yards of total offense, which included only 37 yards of rushing. Based on fumble returns and interceptions, Loveland’s defense actually out-gained the Vandilia-Butler offense by a margin of 112-108. Outscored them 13 – zip.
In Loveland’s first home playoff game in the history of the football program, there were a few oddities. Junior kicker Evan Burig missed two extra points, one on a bad snap. Before the first missed extra point, he was a perfect 60 for 60 on the season. With the misses, Burig is now 62 for 64 on the extra point attempts this season, an impressive 97% on kicks. Evan Burig shouldn’t lose any sleep over the two blemishes to his miraculous season. Another strange play happened when Quarterback Drew Plitt lined up in shotgun formation on fourth down and then punted. This was a strange, but smart call by head coach, Fred Cranford, to catch the defense off guard, and gave the defense a great chance to stop the Aviators deep in their own territory.
Freshman Luke Waddell scored twice, ran for 130 yards and had 33 receiving yards. Gunner Gambill added another 113 rushing yards of his own. Drew Plitt threw 11 passes and completed 10 for 169 yards.
After this week’s destruction of Vandalia-Butler, Loveland will have a full week to practice for next Friday’s pairing with the four-seeded Northwest Knights, who were victorious over fifth-seeded Harrison by a score of 52-36 on Friday. The game will be played in West Chester, at Lakota West’s, Firebird Stadium. Game time is 7:30 PM. MAP
Fans are encourage to buy tickets at one of the participating schools. Tickets are $7 in advance and $9 at the gate. Participating schools keep a percentage of presale tickets.
In other action Friday:
- #4 seed Northwest (9-2) over #5 seed Harrison, 56 – 35, at Colerian H.S.
- # 2 seed Mt. Healthy (10-1) over #7 seed Withrow, 40 – 19, at Mt. Healthy.
- #3 seed Winton Woods (9-2) over #6 seed Kings, 40 – 14, at Winton Woods.
Loveland with 3rd straight shutout and 54 points scored on Butler
Loveland, Oh.– Loveland wins big in first round of regional football tournament, 54-0 over Butler. 41-0 after first half. 521 total yards. Now 11-0. Will play Northwest next Friday at a yet to be determined field. Northwest beat Harrison tonight 56-35.
Freshman Luke Waddell scored twice, ran for 130 yards and had 33 receiving yards. Max Mather and Mike Weber took interceptions to the house. Gunner Gambill added another 113 rushing yards of his own. Drew Plitt threw 11 passes and completed 10 for 169 yards.
|Friday, November 08, 2013|
|LVL||TD||07:53||Luke Waddell 85 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||0||7|
|LVL||TD||11:33||Luke Waddell 15 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||0||14|
|LVL||TD||08:50||Max Mather 66 YD INT RETURN (Evan Burig KICK)||0||21|
|LVL||TD||04:56||Drew Plitt 2 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||0||28|
|LVL||TD||04:49||Mike Weber 22 YD INT RETURN (Evan Burig KICK FAILED)||0||34|
|LVL||TD||00:29||Gunner Gambill 2 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||0||41|
|LVL||TD||08:10||Jake Elfers 20 YD PASS FROM Drew Plitt (Evan Burig KICK FAILED)||0||47|
|LVL||TD||06:55||Gunner Gambill 80 YD RUN (Evan Burig KICK)||0||54|
|Team Stat Comparison|
|3rd Down Efficiency||1-12||5-7|
|4th Down Efficiency||2-4||0-0|
Loveland, Oh. – These LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV videos are from Tiger Stadium last Friday night when the Loveland High School football team defeated their crosstownship rival Milford Eagles, 46-0.
The win was the tenth of the undefeated season and assured an outright claim to the ECC title. The Tigers are also headed to a playoff game tonight at home agains Butler who they defeated in their first game of the year, 35-6.
Game time is 7:30 PM. Call the High School at 683-1920 for ticket information.
In the videos you can see the celebration on the field and the talk Coach Cranford gave to the team. Then listen in on what he told the seniors as he huddled with them in the far end zone away from awaiting fans. He asked the seniors to hold hands, took a knee in front of them and said he would never forget this group of seniors. He said the team just went 10-0, but they are now 0-0 as they head into the post season.”I love each and every one of you. I’ve got your back because I know for a fact, you’ve got mine.”
In the senior huddle, Principal Chris Kloesz said, “We love you. We are proud of you. You’re Tigers.”
The senior “Band of Brothers” then spread across the field and walked the 100-yards to the other goal post holding hands, past the parents who had formed two lines to cheer for their sons.
Also, Athletic Director, Julie Renner talks about the team and what it is like to be in her first few months on the job and seeing a team with such success.
Assistant Athletic Director, Kevin Taylor is also interviewed along with Wayne Achterman who was an assistant coach the last time the Tigers went un-defeated. Taylor sorts out some of the history of undefeated seasons and playoff appearances of Loveland teams. They talk about a former team that went undefeated and only had 6 points scored against them all year.
Wrestling Coach, Chris Switzer also talks about the success of the football athletes he has coached and how wrestling skills pay off on the gridiron.
Loveland Athletic Booster President, Jeff Williams shares his pride, and talks about “Building Tradition” a phrase he coined to encourage high standards among players, coaches, and the booster organization. He gives credit where credit is due.
Principal, Chris Kloesz says, “This is awesome. This is Exciting. This is Tiger football. All the greatness is yet to come.”
|We are excited our Loveland High School Varsity Football Tigers not only made it to the regional playoffs after an UNDEFEATED season, but that LHS will also serve as the host for the 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, event.
Click here for complete game details.
We caught up with a very busy Coach Fred Cranford and District Director of Student Athletics Julie Renner to talk Tiger football…
Loveland, Oh. – These LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV videos are from Tiger Stadium last Friday night after the 46-0 win over Milford. Loveland also captured the outright EEC title, and head to the State playoffs. Well, they head nowhere, because they are the #1 seed in region 8 and will host Butler this Friday.
For Milford game stats CLICK HERE: Tigers remain udefeated 10-0, Win ECC with 46-0 win over Milford
This photo and graphic is by Tiger mom, Suzanne LaChapelle. She took the photo Friday night after the 46-0 win over Milford. The senior players huddled in the far end-zone, and then walked to the locker room to be with the rest of their team after completing their undefeated season.
Tigers Top Seed in Div. II, Region 6
AP Poll says Zanesville and Loveland are tied for top Div. II schools in Ohio
The Ohio High School Athletic Association has announced the final football computer ratings, regional playoff brackets, and first round pairings Sunday following the conclusion of the regular season Saturday night. A total of 224 schools have qualified for the postseason out of the 714 that played football this season (31.4 percent).
The Loveland Tigers, #1 seed (10-0) will host Vandalia Butler #8 seed (6-4) on Friday at 7:30 PM.
Loveland beat Butler 35-6 to open the season on August 30. Vandalia-Butler is a northern suburb of Dayton. The Aviator’s colors are purple and gold and play in the Northern Division of the Greater Western Ohio Conference. They finished second in their division behind Trotwood-Madison.
During the regular season, Butler beat Tecumseh (14- 0), Graham (39-0), Greenville (31-15), Troy (33-28), Sidney (20-19), and Piqua (31-14). They were defeated by Miamisburg (14-6), Wayne (54-27), and lost to Trotwood-Madison (41-6) last Friday.
First round games are played at the home site of the higher seed, or the site of the higher seed’s choosing. The athletic administrators of the first round host schools will go to Columbus Monday to confirm their game site and go over other hosting logistics. Although, not official until Monday, the game will be at Loveland Tiger Stadium.
Butler’s leading rusher is Michael Hutchsinson with 521 yards. Chandler Craine, has 1206 passing yards, and spreads the ball to 6 receivers. He has a 124.8 rating. Layton Flatt leads Butler in tackles. Butler has scored an average 23 points a game and allowed 21.
Loveland has averaged 42 points a game and averaged a stingy 7 given away. Drew Plitt now has 925 passing yards after taking over throwing from Giavanni Ricci who is now on the receiving end and has 172 receiving yards for the season. Plitt has a 180.7 rating. Luke Waddell is Loveland’s leading receiver with 16 catches and 341 yards. Waddell is also the leading Tiger rusher with 892 yards. Nate Slagel is out for the season, but rushed for 1340 yards before he tore his ACL. Evan Burig is now a perfect 56-56 kicking extra points.
Read full Butler stats HERE.
Read full Loveland stats HERE.
Loveland Magazine will publish ticket information as soon as it becomes available. But early word is that they will be on sale at the High School on Wednesday. (683-1920)
The Associated Press poll, a state panel of sports writers and broadcasters has Loveland and Zanesville tied for the number one spot among Division II schools in Ohio. This week’s games were not yet factored into the poll. (Source: newarkadvocate.com)
Beginning this season, there are seven divisions in the football playoffs. The largest 72 schools are in Division I, which is divided into two regions. The top 16 teams in both Division I regions have qualified for the playoffs. There are approximately 108 schools each in Divisions II through VII, which are each divided into four regions. The top eight teams in each region in those divisions have qualified for the playoffs.
OHSAA Football Online Home (full computer ratings report, regional maps, news and notes, etc.): http://www.ohsaa.org/sports/ft/boys/default.asp
OHSAA Football Final Computer Ratings – Nov. 3, 2013
Region 6 – 1. Loveland (10-0) 37, 2. Cin. Mount Healthy (9-1) 27.2, 3. Cin. Winton Woods (8-2) 23.9711, 4. Cin. Northwest (8-2) 20.1, 5. Harrison (7-3) 19.45, 6. Kings Mills Kings (7-3) 18.4919, 7. Cin. Withrow (8-2) 17.9, 8. Vandalia Butler (6-4) 14.3586, 9. Cin. Walnut Hills (4-6) 12.05, 10. Cin. Glen Este (5-5) 12, 11. Lima Senior (5-5) 11.95, 12. Cin. Western Hills (6-4) 10.4
All Division II – Region 6 Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8
8 Vandalia Butler (6-4) at 1 Loveland (10-0)
7 Cin. Withrow (8-2) at 2 Cin. Mount Healthy (9-1)
6 Kings Mills Kings (7-3) at 3 Cin. Winton Woods (8-2)
5 Harrison (7-3) at 4 Cin. Northwest (8-2)