Other than the final score, the Hartley High School football team likely couldn't have written a better script for how it would have wanted the Division IV, Region 14 final against Kenton to go Nov. 19 at Mansfield's Arlin Field.

Other than the final score, the Hartley High School football team likely couldn't have written a better script for how it would have wanted the Division IV, Region 14 final against Kenton to go Nov. 19 at Mansfield's Arlin Field.

The Hawks knew their biggest challenge would be stopping the aerial attack of Wildcats quarterback Maty Mauk, and they limited him to 13-for-21 passing for 97 yards.

Hartley also planned to control the clock with its vaunted rushing attack, and it finished with 302 yards rushing and 325 total yards while holding the ball for 35 minutes, 50 seconds.

One of the few things that didn't go the Hawks' way during a 30-28 loss that ended their hopes of a second consecutive state title was that they couldn't find a way to curb Mauk's running ability.

Mauk, a University of Missouri recruit who entered the game with more than 4,000 yards passing and 58 touchdown passes, rushed for 144 of his team-high 163 yards during the second half.

He also rushed for three touchdowns and completed three of four two-point conversion passes.

Both teams attempted numerous onside kicks in hopes of keeping what coach Brad Burchfield believed was a precious commodity - momentum.

"There were a lot of momentum swings," Burchfield said. "Both of these teams have built their programs on trying to create momentum swings.

"(Mauk) did a nice job running the ball. We felt like we made them work the length of the field. They were able to make plays, and they're a team that's difficult to defend."

Two plays during the fourth quarter also proved to be huge for the Wildcats.

On second-and-8 from the Hawks' 25-yard line with the game tied at 22, junior running back Ja'Wuan Woodley ran 6 yards but fumbled and Kenton's Brice Fackler recovered the loose ball.

Four plays later, Kenton made it 30-22 with a 2-yard run by Mauk, but Hartley answered with a 14-play drive capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by junior running back Marcellus Calhoun.

On the ensuing two-point conversion, Woodley took the snap in the Wildcat formation and threw toward the right side of the end zone, but the ball went off the fingertips of tight end Jacob Matuska.

The loss snapped an 18-game winning streak for Hartley, which finished 11-1 overall. Kenton improved to 13-0 and advanced to a state semifinal.

Hartley posted its first perfect regular season, including a 42-12 win over Ready on Oct. 28 for the CCL-Gold Division title.

The Hawks then defeated North Union 42-14 in the first round of the playoffs Nov. 5 and beat Pemberville Eastwood 21-7 in a regional semifinal Nov. 12.

"We had a great team last year and a great bunch of guys again this year," said senior defensive back Patrick Randall, who had one of Hartley's two interceptions against Kenton. "There was a lot of camaraderie and brotherhood and we all played our hearts out every game."

Hartley loses 16 seniors, including Napoleon Bell (OL/LB), Stephen Moore (OL/DL), Eric Selegue (OL/DL), Matt Simpson (WR/DB), Brent Wahle (kicker) and Jarrod Zang (RB/LB).

Zang rushed for 947 yards and scored 12 touchdowns and had 75 tackles and two interceptions while making first-team all-district on defense. Bell was first-team all-district on the offensive line, Selegue was second-team all-district on the defensive line and Wahle was the first-team all-district kicker. Wahle made 52 extra points and seven field goals.

The Hawks expect to return seven players who earned district honors. Woodley rushed for 1,567 yards and 19 touchdowns and was district Defensive Player of the Year at linebacker while finishing with 65 tackles. Also making first-team all-district were sophomore Kalil Morris (DL) and junior Jacob Matuska (TE).

Sophomore quarterback Jared Brandewie was 24-for-48 passing for 408 yards with seven touchdowns and was honorable mention all-district.

Making second-team all-district were junior Tyler Schaffer (OL) and sophomores Alonzo Saxton (DB) and Max Steele (OL).

Calhoun rushed for 854 yards and 19 touchdowns and made special mention all-district.

Since going 7-3 and missing the playoffs in 2009, the Hawks have gone 24-3.

"We're not intending for this to be over," Burchfield said. "I'd like to think we're in the midst of (our success). I'd like to hope that we've got a lot of good things ahead of us, no question."