Archbold returns to the Ohio High School Athletic Association state football playoffs for the first time since 2017 and welcomes the Coldwater Cavaliers to Blue Streak Stadium, Friday, Nov. 8,witha7pmkickofftime.
Coldwater, who finished sixth in Division VI, Region 23, has qualified for the playoffs for 23 straight years (1997-2019), a new state record, and 25th overall.
The Cavaliers (8-2, #2 in last week’s Associated Press poll) play in the Midwest Athletic Conference, where they finished fourth with a 6-2 record.
The Cavaliers have played in 12 state championship games with six state titles (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2007, 2005), and have played in the state semifinals 15 times.
Coldwater is 73-18 in playoff appearances for a winning percentage of .802.
The Streaks, who jumped from fifth to third in Div. IV, Region 23 with Friday’s win over Wauseon, are making their 13th playoff appearance and have one state title (1988) and a state runner-up finish (1982) while appearing in the state semifinals five times.
Archbold is 16-11 in playoff appearances.
“Coldwater is one of the best programs in the state, and it is very evident watching their film that they have a number a great athletes that are well-coached,” said David Dominique, AHS head coach.
“They make very few mistakes and are battle-tested, so we will need a great week of preparation in order to be ready for them come Friday night.”
This season, Archbold has scored 381 points for an average of 38.1 points per game while defensively allowing 159 points for an average of 15.9 ppg.
Coldwater scored 350 points for a 35.0 ppg average and gave up 165 points for a 16.5 ppg average.
Jake Hammellgarn leads the offense for the Cavaliers.
The senior signal caller passed for 1,788 yards on 140-216 passes with 18 touchdowns and three interceptions. He is the leading rusher with 761 yards on 106 attempts with 14 touchdowns.
Nate Grieshop, a senior, has rushed for 326 yards on 50 carries and has six touchdowns.
Noah Miller, a senior, is the top target for the Cavs, catching 39 passes for 502 yards with four touchdowns.
Will Broering, a senior, and Zack McKibben, a junior, contribute to the Coldwater passing attack with 371 and 370 receiving yards, respectively. They combined for eight touchdowns.
Archbold is led by sophomore quarterback DJ Newman, who was 93-141 passing for 1,429 yards and 14 touchdowns, with five interceptions. He rushed for 550 yards and seven touchdowns.
Noah Gomez, a junior, rushed 101 times for 745 yards in an injury-shortened season. He scored 10 touchdowns.
Caleb Hogrefe, a junior, rushed 93 times for 468 yards and scored 11 touchdowns.
Antonio Cruz, a junior, had 46 receptions with 725 yards and 10 touchdowns to lead the Streaks.
Elijah Zimmerman, a senior, had 18 receptions for 350 yards with four touchdowns.
Brandon Taylor, a junior who made the switch from quarterback to wide-out, finished with 19 receptions and 276 yards with two touchdowns.
Defensively, Coldwater is led by Russell Klosterman, a senior with 73 tackles; Grieshop, 66 tackles; and Josh Hrycko, a senior with 57 tackles and 4.5 quarterback sacks.
Carson Meyer, a junior, leads AHS in tackles with 85, followed by Zimmerman with 60.
Matthew Gladieux, a senior, leads the Streaks with six sacks. Caleb Ranzau, a junior, chipped in with five sacks.
Zimmerman leads the team in interceptions, with three.
Other Playoff Facts
Coldwater and Maria Stein Marion Local set the Ohio High School Athletic Association record for most consecutive playoff victories, with 24. Coldwater’s streak ended in 2016; Marion Local, in 2015.
Coldwater went to the state championship game eight straight years (2009- 16) to tie Newark Catholic (1980-87) for the state record of consecutive title game appearances.
Since 1998, Coldwater is 21-0 in the first round of the playoffs, and 22-2 all-time in the first round.
The Midwest Athletic Conference (which Coldwater is in) has produced 38 state champions. The Northwest Ohio Athletic League (which Archbold is in) has produced four.
For the first time since 2001, an undefeated record wasn’t enough to qualify for the playoffs. Northwood (Div. V, Region 18) and Gibsonburg (Div. VI, Region 23), both went 10-0 and didn’t qualify.
Newcomerstown was the last school to go undefeated but not make the playoffs, in 2001.
The OHSAA football playoffs were expanded to eight teams per region in 1999.