Rough landing for Fliers

LIMA – Last week, Clyde was able to vanquish a Toledo Central Catholic team led by Notre Dame-Bound DeShone Kizer.

Messiah DeWeaver is not a Division I college recruit.

At least, not yet. He’s just a sophomore, after all.

But after watching him and his Trotwood-Madison Rams thrash the Fliers Friday night, the prevailing opinion is a D-I college indeed is in the young QB’s future.

DeWeaver was brilliant in the first half of the Division III semifinals here, and the 33-point effort he navigated turned the contest into a rout early.

The Rams advanced to the state final with a 54-7 win. Trotwood-Madison, making its fourth-consecutive state final appearance, will face Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.

DeWeaver completed 14 of 17 passes over the game’s first 24 minutes, tossing four touchdown passes and going for 328 yards in the air.

DeWeaver, who finished with 416 passing yards, didn’t miss on either of his two passes in the second half.

“He does a good job at the line of scrimmage making his calls,” Madison coach Maurice Douglass said. “We usually give him a couple of calls when he goes to the line of scrimmage: one to be a pass, one to be a run. He has the leeway of being able to check in and out of a play”

On this night, DeWeaver was prominently a passer. He threw two touchdowns to Ryan Lucas, two to Demarcus Lewis and one each to Dontay White and Kendric Mallory.

“(DeWeaver) played pretty well, overall they played well,” Clyde coach Ryan Carter said. “With the way we were playing them, we were trying to squeeze the box and take away their run, and they were gonna throw it. We were hoping they’d miss a few.”

While the Rams were rolling, Clyde’s offense was unable to get on track.

Over their first six possessions, the Fliers threatened to score just once. That came in the first quarter, after the Rams already had built a 14-0 advantage.

Over nine plays, Hoppe moved the Fliers to the Trotwood-Madison 7. But on a fourth-and-1 from there, Hoppe was hit on a carry and the ball came out. Madison’s Kevin Turpin, a defensive end, fell on it at the 5.

Five plays later, the Rams were in the end zone again. DeWeaver hit Wilson over the middle for a 66-yard touchdown.

DeWeaver threw two more touchdowns in the third quarter, giving him six for the game. Douglass pulled him midway through the period with his team up, 47-0.

“They did everything that they needed to do to get out to the lead they did,” Carter said.

Hoppe finished the game 5 of 17 passing for 72 yards. He was intercepted once.

Clyde eventually broke through after Blake Miller forced and recovered a fumble deep in Rams’ territory. That set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Damian Coburn.

Coburn finished with 62 rushing yards to lead Clyde, which finished its season 12-2.

“Not trying to look past tonight, but just overall, what we’ve accomplished this year and that we did, I’m very, very proud of this group of kids,” Carter said.

Madison (12-2) also had a rushing touchdown from Marc Raye-Redmond, and a 31-yard fumble recovery by Verondtae Wilkinson.

White ran for 90 yards, most of which came in the second half.

While the offense put up the stats, Douglass said his defense was key.

The Rams forced five turnovers, for of which came from fumble recoveries.

“The defense, we’ve been doing what we do,” Douglass said.

Another performance like that, and “doing what we do” could mean a state title for Madison.