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Marion Local and Kirtland will clash for the OHSAA football Division VI state championship

The two teams will both enter the state championship game undefeated
Marion Local football Ryan Isley

Division VI state championship game

Date/Time: Saturday, December 3 at 10:30 a.m.

Marion Local (15-0) vs. Kirtland (15-0)

The Saturday state championship slate will begin with two undefeated teams battling for the Division VI state title, as Marion Local and Kirtland both enter at 15-0 and both bring a healthy championship history. 

Marion Local is coming off a 27-0 win over Columbus Grove in the state semifinals, the fourth shutout in five playoff games for the Flyers and their eighth shutout in the last nine games. The Flyers have given up just 33 points total on the season, with 11 shutouts.

Jake Topp leads the defense with seven sacks, while Darren Meier and Nick Rally have six sacks each. Tate Hess leads the team with six interceptions.

On offense, the Flyers average nearly 40 points per game.

The Flyers are led on offense by Kyle Otte with 978 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns and 356 yards receiving with seven touchdown catches. Meier has run for 833 yards and 23 touchdowns and Drew Lause has nearly 900 yards of total offense with 13 touchdowns.

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Hess has thrown for 1,380 yards and 13 touchdowns to just one interception and has rushed for 531 yards and four scores.

Marion Local has moved back up to Division VI after spending the last three seasons in Division VII where they won the state title last season and in 2019. The Flyers have captured 12 state titles in all, with eight in the last 11 seasons.

Kirtland is coming off a 41-6 win over Fort Frye in which running back Tommy Gogolin set a school record with 363 yards rushing on just 18 carries and scored two touchdowns.

Gogolin and Rocco Alfieri give the Hornets a 1-2 punch in the backfield, as Gogolin has 1,643 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns and Alfieri has 1,264 yards and 24 scores. For Gogolin, three of his six games with more than 100 yards rushing have come in the last four weeks. And in the one week he had less than 100 yards, Alfieiri had 256.  

Quarterback Jake LaVerde has thrown for almost 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns and has run for 334 yards and six scores. 

In 15 games this season, the Hornets have allowed just 75 total points, including 18 points in five playoff games. They have pitched six shutouts (two in the playoffs) and have held 13 of 15 opponents to eight points or less. 

The Hornets have moved back down to Division VI this season after finishing as the state runner-up in Division V a year ago and winning the Division V state title in 2019 and 2020. In all, The Hornets have won six state titles since 2011.