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Coldwater takes down Columbus Grove for another state berth

SIDNEY – On a night full of offensive firepower, Coldwater’s barrage was too much to handle for Columbus Grove in the Division VI state semifinals at Sidney High School. The Cavaliers tallied 470 yards on 51 snaps and dashed Grove’s hopes of the second state title in program history with a 41-27 triumph.
“This is such an awesome team,” remarked Grove mentor Andy Schafer. “These guys are my family. That group of seniors I’ll never forget. I honestly think they changed the culture of the school. We had great community support. We had a big parade all the way here. It’s a great place to be at Columbus Grove.
“It really hurts losing this game,” added Schafer. “But I told the kids, look at the day when we didn’t think we were going to have a season. We’re going to look back and say, wow, that was a good football team.”
Coldwater will play in its 13th state championship game next Sunday at 5 p.m. at Fortress Obetz in southeast Columbus against New Middletown Springfield.

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Grove underclassmen playing for “family” mentality created by seniors

COLUMBUS GROVE – Spend any amount of time around the Columbus Grove football program and the word – family – comes up frequently.
“I think we all need to play as a family and not as a team,” said junior running back Colin Metzger. “Playing as a team each person comes in individually … the seniors are like family at this point because of how much we’ve played together and been together.”
Metzger is one of the Bulldogs’ underclassmen that are following the lead of a senior class that is on a mission.
Grove’s next journey will take them to the Division VI state semifinals on Saturday at Sidney High School against state power Coldwater.
To get there, the Bulldogs dispatched a talented Fairview squad last Saturday in the Region 22 championship game 42-21.
The triumph was savored by Grove headman Andy Schafer.
“That game and that win last Saturday was so special,” remarked Schafer.

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MAC power stands in way of state final berth for Columbus Grove

A MAC power stands in the way of Columbus Grove’s shot at a state championship on Saturday night at Sidney High School.
The Bulldogs will face state championship favorite Coldwater in the state semifinal with the winner advancing to next Sunday’s state title game against the winner of Fort Frye and New Middletown Springfield.
“They’re the best-coached team I’ve seen,” lauded Grove leadman Andy Schafer. “They’re just sound football players. They don’t make mistakes, they know the game and they’re always in the right position. They understand how to read keys.
“I’m not saying any of the teams we’ve played aren’t doing it right,” added Schafer. “Coldwater just does it differently and they know the game. Secondly, they know the weight room. Those kids are strong. You look at them and watch video, they’re put together and strong kids.”
A MAC program has been in the state semifinals every year since 1994. New Bremen is also in the state semifinals from the MAC in D-VII this weekend.

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Episode 44: Black Swamp Football Podcast

Tony Haynes and Lynn Groll look back at Columbus Grove’s Region 22 championship victory over Fairview while looking ahead to the Bulldogs’ matchup with top-ranked Coldwater in the state semifinals this Saturday.

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Column: Grove ends 240 days of torment

March 12, 2020: A dark day for winter sports athletes around the Buckeye State.
It was the day the OHSAA suspended all winter sports tournaments due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Columbus Grove, it was a day several athletes had their livelihoods taken away. The unbeaten and top-ranked Bulldogs’ boys basketball team was set to play for a regional championship that night at Bowling Green State University’s Stroh Center against Parkway.
Meanwhile, a trio of Grove wrestlers were set to compete at the state wrestling tournament the next day in Columbus.
However, the Grove roundball team and grapplers Jeff Meyer, Dylan Sargent and Dakota Sargent never got their chance at state glory when the OHSAA called off all sports that Thursday afternoon.
The decision shook Columbus Grove head football coach Andy Schafer to his core, with several of his football players affected by the decision.

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Reynolds’ halftime speech ignites second-half Columbus Grove surge

DEFIANCE – An inspiring halftime speech from senior quarterback/defensive back Blake Reynolds left an impression on his Columbus Grove teammates and coaches on Saturday night in the Division VI, Region 22 championship game at Defiance High School.
The Bulldogs outscored Fairview 28-7 in the final 24 minutes to break a 14-14 halftime deadlock on the way to a 42-21 triumph.
Columbus Grove, which is now 5-0 in regional championship games, will play state power Coldwater in the state semifinals next Saturday at a site to be determined today by the OHSAA. The top-ranked Cavaliers rolled past Mechanicsburg, 35-14, in the Region 24 championship game Saturday night. The victory was the 600th in program history for the MAC juggernaut that’s won six state championships, finished state runner-up six times and is making its 16th Final 4 appearance.
Grove is playing in its first state semifinal since 2014 following three straight appearances from 2001-03.
“I can’t talk highly enough about our seniors,” said Grove headman Andy Schafer. “I wish I had a recording to capture the moment in the locker room when Blake – really for the first time ever – shared his heart. He got up in front of the team at halftime and shared his heart. There were tears, there was leadership.”

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Listen in to the

Black Swamp Football Podcast

Your #1 Source for everything happening in the Black Swamp area! Lynn Groll speaks with coaches, players, and other special guests to discuss local football. Check it out on iTunes today!

Black Swamp Football Podcast

Your #1 Source for everything happening in the Black Swamp area! Lynn Groll speaks with coaches, players, and other special guests to discuss local football. Check it out on iTunes today!

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Lynn Groll

Publisher of

Black Swamp Edition

of Touchdown Publications Magazine

Lynn Groll has been covering football in “The Black Swamp” area since 2002 and his enthusiasm for football in the area is second to none.

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