The favorite time of year for Hartley High School football coach Brad Burchfield might be when the weather starts to turn cold.

The favorite time of year for Hartley High School football coach Brad Burchfield might be when the weather starts to turn cold.

That time of year also could be called championship season for the Hawks considering how much success they've had the last few years in late November and early December.

After winning the Division IV state title in 2010, Hartley lost in a regional final the next season, but followed with regional titles each of the last four years as well as the state title last season.

The fifth-seeded Hawks will try to extend their regional title streak Friday, Nov. 18, when they play second-seeded Ottawa-Glandorf for the Region 14 championship at Bellefontaine.

"It's really exciting," Burchfield said. "You're now one of the final eight teams that have a chance to win it all. We also enjoy that we have more time to play. There's nothing like practicing under the lights. I tell people that starting at about week 7, 8, 9 of the regular season, that's when the season really starts. This is when you have to be at your very best."

Hartley will try to end the Titans' season for the third time in five seasons.

The Hawks beat Ottawa-Glandorf 41-31 in a regional final in 2012 in the programs' first meeting and defeated the Titans 42-14 in a regional semifinal last season.

In regional semifinals Nov. 11, Hartley improved to 10-2 with a 44-7 win over top-seeded Port Clinton at Tiffin Columbian, while Ottawa-Glandorf beat third-seeded Lewistown Indian Lake 33-28 at Wapakoneta.

The regional champion plays in a state semifinal Nov. 25.

The Hawks recorded three interceptions against the Titans in last year's matchup, with senior defensive back Jaden Manley and senior linebacker Jack Baughman each making one.

Against Port Clinton, Manley, Cody Kirkbride and Phillip Cole all had interceptions and Jacob McFeeters had a fumble recovery.

Ottawa-Glandorf has a new quarterback this season in 6-foot-4, 215-pound junior Jay Kaufman, who rushed for 141 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries and was 7-for-14 passing for 61 yards against Indian Lake.

Other key playmakers for the Titans include running backs Daniel Beemer and Connor Niese and wide receiver Richie Knowlton.

Marquette Dixon led Hartley with 215 yards rushing and four touchdowns against Port Clinton as the Hawks scored the game's first 30 points.

"(Ottawa-Glandorf looks) similar to last year, but their quarterback is better and might be more of a runner," Burchfield said. "They're big, physical and well-coached. Their coach, Ken Schriner, has been there for about 25 years and is one of the most respected coaches in Ohio. The Western Buckeye League that they play in is one of the best leagues in Ohio."

Volleyball team falls in state final

For the third time, the girls volleyball team left the Division II state tournament with the runner-up trophy.

The Hawks lost to Parma Padua 25-17, 25-21, 25-20 in the state final Nov. 12 at Wright State University to finish 25-5 overall.

Hartley, which made its sixth state tournament appearance, is losing just two seniors in North Carolina State-signee Kristen Chatman (outside hitter) and Tatum Wise (right-side hitter/middle hitter), who has committed to play softball for Shawnee State.

"Coach just said this is the icing on the cake," Chatman said. "We won CCL, we were regional champs, we won district (and) we worked hard for it. (The state final) just didn't turn out how we wanted it to, but everything else was a beautiful, beautiful experience."

Hartley won the CCL title at 6-1, ahead of Watterson (5-2), DeSales (4-3), Ready (1-6) and Columbus School for Girls (0-4).

The No. 1 seed for the district tournament, the Hawks beat 18th-seeded Independence 25-4, 25-3, 25-2 on Oct. 17, 21st-seeded Marion-Franklin 25-5, 25-3, 25-7 on Oct. 19, 12th-seeded Whitehall 25-7, 25-10, 25-12 on Oct. 26 and fourth-seeded London 26-24, 25-18, 30-28 on Oct. 29 to win a district title.

In the regional tournament at Zanesville, Hartley beat New Philadelphia 25-15, 25-22, 25-22 on Nov. 2 and New Concord John Glenn 25-17, 25-13, 25-15 on Nov. 5 to advance to the state tournament, where it beat Logan Elm 25-16, 25-19, 25-20 in a semifinal Nov. 10.

Hartley was ranked second in the final state poll, while Padua was ranked fourth and beat top-ranked Mentor Lake Catholic in the other state semifinal.

Coach Mike Rahe expects the Hawks, whose roster featured numerous underclassmen, to benefit from the long postseason run.

Juniors Abby Bergman (middle hitter), Olivia Kirwin (libero) and Paige Rawlins (setter) and sophomores Kayla Malone (outside hitter/right-side hitter) and Chiamaka Nwokolo (middle hitter) all saw action in each of the three sets of the state final.

Junior Killian Sweeney (outside hitter/right-side hitter) and freshman Maya Hendricks (outside hitter) also played against Padua.

"It's nice to have a big group coming back," Rahe said. "Typically, we have six to eight seniors. This year with only two, we got a lot of younger kids experience. We're going to need a couple more to step up, but I think they understand what it takes to get (to the state final). Now we've just got to get over that hump of pulling it off. Rumor has it we've got a great freshman class coming in, so (there could be) more to come."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek