Football team turns focus on North Union
The Hartley High School football team spoiled North Union's first playoff appearance a year ago when it posted a 42-14 opening-round victory.
Doing it again won't be as easy, according to coach Brad Burchfield, despite the roll his team has been on this season.
The Hawks followed their second consecutive undefeated regular season by defeating visiting Upper Sandusky 63-19 in the first round of the Division IV, Region 14 playoffs Nov. 2.
That set up the matchup Friday, Nov. 9, at Ohio Wesleyan University against North Union, which beat Galion 40-21 on Nov. 2 for the first postseason win in program history and, like Hartley, is 11-0.
The Hartley-North Union winner plays Ottawa-Glandorf or Genoa Area in a regional final Nov. 16. Ottawa-Glandorf and Genoa Area both are 11-0.
"This is going to be a great game," Burchfield said. "North Union has a ton of confidence and I know they have a score to settle with us after last year. They're very well-coached, have great size and a great scheme. They are very aggressive. We're going to have to play well."
Hartley led Upper Sandusky 56-0 after three quarters.
Marcellus Calhoun finished with 210 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 16 carries, Ja'Wuan Woodley had 20 carries for 116 yards and three touchdowns and Sam Mackowiak added 41 yards and one score. Jared Brandewie completed seven of 12 passes for 97 yards and a 5-yard touchdown to Jacob Matuska. Matuska, Woodley and Dominique Scott all had interceptions and Jacob Mercier and Alex Rupert recovered fumbles.
Even with Brandewie's 12 passing attempts, he has attempted just 71 on the season. He has completed 46 for 905 yards with 12 touchdowns and only one interception.
Woodley enters the game with 1,632 yards and 19 touchdowns rushing, and Calhoun has 1,390 yards and 21 scores.
While it's clear top-seeded Hartley will attempt to establish the run against fourth-seeded North Union, the Wildcats might attempt to do the same depending on the health of their quarterback. Drew Crabtree left the Galion game with an injury that occurred in the second quarter while he was playing defense.
Crabtree threw 46 yards to Jake Blevins on North Union's first play from scrimmage and Kam Smith completed the drive with a 27-yard touchdown run.
Crabtree hit Nate Curts for a touchdown and Smith ran for a 65-yard score to give North Union a 21-7 lead.
Crabtree returned in the second half for North Union.
Franz places 28th at state
Sophomore Emily Franz came up short of placing among the top 25 to earn all-state honors in the Division II state girls cross country meet Nov. 3 at National Trail Raceway.
Franz was 28th in 19 minutes, 17.65 seconds as Dayton Oakwood freshman Mary Kate Vaughn won in 17:41.57.
After finishing 30th (19:35.07) at state a year ago, Franz strategized passing runners throughout the final two miles.
"She ran a good race," coach Julie Gerdeman said. "We talked about her not getting caught up in the wave, so her one-mile time doesn't look great but she had a great middle mile and a half, which was the plan. Last year in her last mile she had really spent herself and didn't have anything left. We were looking for a (personal-best time) and we were off by about 10 seconds.
Franz entered the postseason coming off a CCL championship Oct. 13, when she finished in 19:31.9 in the league meet at Westerville Recreation Center.
She followed with a fifth-place district finish (20:09.15) on Oct. 20 at Watkins Memorial and placed eighth (19:28.86) at regional Oct. 27 at Pickerington North as the top 16 individuals advanced to state.
The girls team was last (90) in the CCL meet behind Watterson (49), DeSales (53), Columbus School for Girls (75) and Ready (76).
The Hawks then were 10th (243) in the 14-team district meet behind champion Granville (41). Senior Mallory McCormick was 43rd in 22:58.87.
Other runners included seniors Jillian Sommer and Jordan Sekinger and juniors Madeline Menzie, Kate Supelak and Alexa Williams.
The boys team finished last (120) in the CCL meet behind St. Charles (19), Watterson (56), DeSales (68) and Ready (116). The Hawks then were sixth (142) in the eight-team Division II, district 2 meet behind champion Watterson (51).
Senior Sean Fitzgerald was 26th (19:25.98) to lead the boys team at district.
Other key runners were junior Paul Matheke, sophomores Michael Bungard, Brandt Groene, Andrew Gold and Ian Sampson and freshman Cameron Morello.
Girls volleyball team losing talented seniors
The girls volleyball team will lose six seniors after going 16-9 overall and finishing second in the CCL at 6-2, behind DeSales (7-1) and ahead of Watterson (4-4), Ready (3-5) and CSG (0-8).
The Hawks beat DeSales 25-11, 20-25, 25-19, 25-22 on Sept. 27 but fell to the Stallions 25-19, 23-25, 26-24, 25-22 on Sept. 11 as well as 25-20, 25-22, 37-35 in a Division II district final Oct. 27.
The second loss to DeSales snapped Hartley's seven-year run of district championships.
The Hawks opened the district tournament with wins over Bexley (25-11, 25-5, 25-8 on Oct. 18) and Licking Heights (25-19, 25-15, 25-11 on Oct. 23).
Brooke Betts, a senior who has verbally committed to Louisville, suffered a season-ending injury in the first loss to DeSales.
"At the time (of Betts' injury) we were 4-1 with our only loss to Toledo St. Ursula (25-14, 20-25, 25-16, 16-25, 15-12 on Sept. 8)," coach Max Miller said. "During that match (against St. Ursula), Kayla Smith hit her head and we pulled her during the fourth (game). Molly Shonk went down with a high ankle sprain against Bloom-Carroll (in a 25-21, 16-25, 29-27, 22-25, 15-10 loss Oct. 3). We sat her the remainder of that match as well as (two other matches). Junior Jamie Thivener went down with a sprained knee. ... This has been the worst case of injuries I have seen in our 13 years overseeing the Hawks."
Smith and Shonk are seniors hoping to play college volleyball.
Shonk and sophomore setter Emily Rahe were first-team all-league, and sophomore middle hitter Madeline Brandewie was second-team all-league. Shonk and Rahe were first-team all-district, Smith made the second team and Brandewie was honorable mention.