ST. BERNARD, Ohio — Roger Bacon football coach Mike Blaut's phone didn't stop buzzing all of Saturday.
It seemed everyone in the Roger Bacon community wanted to send their best wishes to the football program in its regional final Saturday night at Bron Bacevich Stadium.
The Spartans' 31-7 win over Springfield Shawnee in the Divison V, Region 20 final gave another reason for a round of congratulatory messages as Roger Bacon earned its first regional football title in school history.
"So for us to be able to bring this home for the whole community, I'm just really proud that we were able to do that," Blaut said.
"Because we've had a lot of really good players and a lot of really good football teams come through here. So for us to be able to pull this off it's just incredible. It's something that all these guys - we're going to take it to our grave remembering this one. This is awesome."
The Spartans (10-0) play Ironton (10-0) in a Division V state semifinal Nov. 14 at a location to be determined on Sunday by the Ohio High School Athletic Association. Blaut, a 1988 Roger Bacon graduate, and the Spartans can't wait to get on a bus to start the state Final Four journey.
"I'm really proud of these guys," Blaut said.
Roger Bacon led 21-0 at halftime and 31-0 at the end of the third quarter Saturday against Springfield Shawnee (6-3).
Roger Bacon senior running back Corey Kiner rushed 19 times for 142 yards and two touchdowns in his final high school football game at Bron Bacevich Stadium.
"I can't even describe how I'm feeling right now," Kiner said. "My coach just told me that we came from the bottom. They didn't expect us to come this far when I came in my freshman year. They didn't expect us to be in the playoffs. But, we put in hard work and we were dedicated to the grind and we made it. And I'm just proud of my team because it wasn't just me - it was them. They carried me."
Kiner, who is verbally committed to Louisiana State University, surpassed 7,000 career rushing yards Saturday. He has 7,033 career rushing yards which is No. 11 on the OHSAA all-time list.
Kiner smiled when thinking about the significance of playing at Bron Bacevich Stadium - a place he's played at since the seventh grade. The Spartans are 13-0 the past two seasons at home.
"I went out on top here in the home stadium - in the stadium that made me," Kiner said. "So all love."
Junior quarterback Logan Huber threw for 102 yards and two touchdowns. His 65-yard connection to senior Danny Hudepohl helped to give the Spartans a 21-0 lead with 35 seconds left in the first half.
That score was set up by senior Alex Wolf's interception on the previous play. It was an indicator of a strong defensive effort all night by the Spartans.
"We knew we were going to be in a good position this year," Huber said. "And to come this far is great. We were not expecting it but we knew we were good."
Blaut said the Spartans' defense deserved plenty of credit after holding Shawnee scoreless for three quarters.
Senior Evan Webb had eight tackles including a sack, according to the team stats. Wolf had 7 1/2 tackles.
"Our defense played lights out tonight," Blaut said. "My hats off to them. They played really, really well."