LONDON — Sammy Anderson had seen the play before and let his instincts take over.
The two-way standout for the Trotwood-Madison football team knew what Hartley quarterback Miles Fleming was going to do from the moment he rolled right late in the fourth quarter of a Division III state semifinal Nov. 29 at London.
Anderson made his move to sack Fleming for a 13-yard loss to the Rams’ 45 and help secure a 24-19 win over the top-ranked Hawks.
“It was a read, and we had seen him roll out on the backside before on film,” said Anderson, a University of Cincinnati recruit. “I saw the fullback roll over and I was able to shed the block and get over to (Fleming).”
The seventh-ranked Rams improved to 11-3 and advanced to face Mansfield Senior in the state final Dec. 6 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. The ninth-ranked Tygers defeated third-ranked Aurora 27-21 in two overtimes in the other semifinal.
Hartley finished 12-2.
Trotwood-Madison dominated the first three quarters, building a 24-0 lead following a 40-yard punt return for a touchdown by Anderson with 51 seconds left in the third. However, Jalan January scored three touchdowns in the fourth on runs of 1, 1 and 2 yards to help bring the Hawks back.
“We just ran out of time,” Hartley coach Brad Burchfield said. “That’s the way football is. Those guys are going to win a state title. They are big, strong, fast and physical.”
Anderson caught touchdown passes of 35 and 26 yards from quarterback Cooper Stewart on the Rams’ first two possessions of the game, and Carter Mims added a 17-yard field goal with 10:01 left in the first half.
Hartley scored on its first two possessions of the fourth quarter, but failed to convert a pair of two-point pass attempts and trailed 24-12 with 5:06 remaining. However, the Hawks’ Angelo Evans recovered the ensuing onside kick at the Rams’ 44 to set up the third touchdown by January with 3:40 left.
“They hurt us in the passing game,” Burchfield said. “We played well and made some stops late. It was just a good football game.”
January rushed for 145 yards on 45 carries and Evans caught two passes for 78 yards.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final TROTWOOD-MADISON 14 3 7 0 24 HARTLEY
0 0 0 19 19
TM—Anderson 35 pass from Stewart (Mims kick)
TM—Anderson 26 pass from Stewart (Mims kick)
TM—Mims 17 FG
TM—Anderson 40 punt return (Mims kick)
H—January 2 run (pass failed)
H—January 1 run (pass failed)
H—January 1 run (Hawk kick)