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Kirtland beats Otsego 39-13 to reach D5 title game again

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

It’s been quite a ride getting back to the Division 5 state finals for both teams and it is the matchup fans wanted to see.
The two teams met last year in the finals with Kirtland winning 17-7. Each team had a battle in the state semifinals to create the rematch.
Ironton (11-0) rallied in the fourth quarter from a 19-13 deficit to beat Cincinnati St. Bernard Roger Bacon 22-19. Kirtland led just 15-13 at the half before outscoring Otsego 17-0 in the fourth quarter to win 39-13.
Mason Sullivan ran 71 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to make it 22-13 and then in the fourth quarter Mario Rodin hit a 32-yard field, Anthony DeMarco ran 80 yards for a score with7:22 left and Ramon Lescano bolted 44 yards with just 1:50 to play to cap the scoring.
DeMarco finished with 233 yards on 19 carries while Sullivan had 160 yards on 18 attempts. Each scored twice.
Quarterback Liam Powers was 6-of-7 passing for 56 yards with Gage Sullivan catching four passes for 33 yards.
The Hornets had 442 yards rushing on 47 attempts and racked up 498 total yards. The Knights were held to 177 total yards with just 36 yards rushing on 18 tries and hit 19-of-34passes for 141 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
On the season, Mason Sullivan has 144 carries for 1,350 yards and 19 touchdowns while DeMarco had 585 yards on 87 attempts with seven TDs.
Powers is 45-of-66 passing for 844 yards with 12 touchdowns. He has also rushed 53 times for 354 yards and eight scores.
Joey Grazia leads the team with 15 catches for 269 yards and four touchdowns while Gage Sullivan has 17 receptions for 252 yards and five TDs.
Sullivan also averages 40.6 yards a kick on only seven attempts.
Kirtland head coach Phillip “Tiger” LaVerde is 165-14 since taking over the program in 2011.
LaVerde’s teams have now reached the state finals nine times with five championships. The Hornets have won 40 straight games after losing in the state championship game in 2017 but going 15-0 the past two years and 10-0 this season.
Last season in the title game, Ironton fell behind 10-0 at the half and missed on a golden opportunity just before halftime when they failed to score.
Ironton used a 60-yard pass from quarterback Gage Salyers to wide receiver Jordan Grizzle to get to the 2-yard line.
But with time running out and no timeouts, Reid Carrico ran for one-yard and Salyers was stopped inches short of the goal line. With only seconds left, Salyers ran another quarterback sneak and was ruled short of the end zone although replays appeared to show he had scored.
Ironton was held to just 48 net yards rushing on 28 attempts in the game with Reid Carrico getting 40 on 12 rushes. Salyers was 7-of-18 for 205 yards including a 77-yard touchdown pass to Grizzle for the Fighting Tigers lone score.
The pass play set a Division 5 state championship record for the longest touchdown pass. Grizzle had just two catches but for 137 yards.
The Hornets had 244 total yards compared to 253 for Ironton. Kirtland ran 46 times for 123 yards and quarterback Liam Powers was 4-of-5 passing for 114 yards and at TD. Joey Grazia was 1-of-1 for 7 yards and Mason Sullivan was 0-of-1.
Kirtland Hornets
Offensive Lineup
Pos.Player No. Ht. Wt. Gr.
WR Gage Sullivan 20 6-03 190 Jr.
TE Bobby Whitaker 21 6-00 170 So.
RT T.J. Green 52 6-02 220 Sr.
RG George Prusock 73 6-00 225 So.
C Kelly Faber 63 5-11 190 Sr.
LG Kiki Grman 50 5-09 225 Sr.
LT Jonathan Withrow 78 6-00 216 Jr.
WR Joey Grazia 2 5-10 150 Sr.
QB Liam Powers 13 5-10 175 Sr.
FB Anthony DeMarco 16 5-11 190 Sr.
RB Mason Sullivan 1 6-00 200 Sr.
RB Danny Davidson 26 5-11 165 Sr.
PK Mario Rodin 83 6-00 160 Sr.
Defensive Lineup
DL Nick Schwartz 40 5-09 225 Sr.
DL Brad Davis 7 5-10 180 Sr.
DL Luke Gogolin 36 5-09 165 Sr.
LB Mason Rus 25 6-00 170 Jr.
LB Mason Sullivan 1 6-00 200 Sr.
LB Joseph Coleman 24 6-00 180 Jr.
LB Carson Andonian 23 6-00 170 Sr.
DB Anthony DeMarco 16 5-11 190 Sr.
DB Danny Davidson 26 5-11 165 Sr.
DB Ramon Lescano 3 5-09 155 Jr.
DB Joey Grazia 2 5-10 150 Sr.
P Gage Sullivan 20 6-03 190 Sr.
Key Reserves
DT Alex Fellinger 68 6-01 240 Sr.
RB Phillip LaVerde 4 5-10 170 So.