CLYDE — Last week, Ottawa-Glandorf football was able to get a convincing 31-6 victory over Elyria Catholic at Clyde High School to extend their season.

This week, the Titans will be back at that same field for a Division V, state semifinal game against a juggernaut of a program in Kirtland.

The Hornets, who have not lost a game since their 2017 state championship loss to Marion Local, are vying for their fourth-straight state title. They are currently in the midst of a 54-game win streak which means their senior class this season has not lost a single game in their high school careers. They are coming off a 38-15 victory over then undefeated South Range in the regional finals.

It hasn’t just been five years of dominance for Kirtland either. Since 2011, the team has been to the state championship game ten times and has won it six times.

Beating them will be a huge task for a Titans team that has won eight straight since their narrow loss to Wapakoneta earlier this season, but head coach Ken Schriner knows that it is important for his team to keep it simple.

“It’s obviously a huge task. We realize they’re a great program,” Schriner said of the challenge that lies in front of them. “The good thing is they don’t know us. The bad thing is we don’t know them. It’s gonna be a game to go out early and get a feel for what’s going on. We told our kids to not do more than you’re capable of, just go out and do your job.”

The Hornets are led by their rushing attack. Senior Mason Rus is the leader of the backfield pack with 208 carries for 1,798 yards and 23 touchdowns. Junior Tommy Gogolin has also racked up 82 carries for 729 yards and 10 touchdowns. Quarterback Ramon Lescano is also a threat with his feet with 86 carries for 416 yards and seven touchdowns.

Lescano can also be a threat through the air as he is 55-of-97 this season for 1,175 yards, 20 touchdowns and three interceptions. Gage Sullivan leads the team in receiving with 42 catches for 881 yards and 17 touchdowns on the season.

The offense is obviously good for the Hornets but it has been the dominance on defense that has made them unstoppable during this decade-long run. This season, they have allowed more than a touchdown in a game only twice.

Getting behind a team like Kirtland, which has won their 13 games this season by an average of 35 points is a death wish in terms of trying to win a football game. Schriner stressed making sure that his team sees some success early.

“Well, this is no different than any game for us. We want to get up and have success early on,” Schriner said. “Obviously, they’d have the ability to drain the clock. They’ve got a heck of a run game and they can mix in the pass when they want to, but we need to go out and play our style of game and take advantage of our opportunities.”

Though it may seem like all the cards are stacked towards Kirtland, the Titans have some players and experience this season that they believe give them a fighting chance.

They started out 0-2, and eventually 3-3 before they started their win streak to get to where they are now. They were on the ropes against Otsego just two weeks ago and managed to pull a win out.

Quarterback Landen Jordan will lead his team into the battle behind 173-of-297 passing (58%), 2,932 yards, 30 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Caleb Kuhlman is his top receiving weapon with 68 catches for 1,365 yards and four touchdowns. Ian Fenbert leads the way on the ground with 135 carries for 931 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Putting all of the incredible stats for the Titans aside, if there is one thing that Schriner knows about his team, it is that they aren’t going to be afraid of anyone.

“To get to this point, we’ve had to be some very good football teams and we’ve had to overcome a lot of adversity. If you look at our Otsego game and go back to our Shawnee game, to be able to come out with wins in those tight ball games showed a lot of resiliency and a lot of character from our kids,” Schriner said.

“Our kids, they’re going to battle hard and they’re not going to back down. They’re going to respect everybody, but we’re not going to be afraid of anybody either.”

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