QB Adam Bertke big in state final win


Adam Bertke (Maria Stein, Ohio/Marion Local) showed just why Division I college programs are hot on his trail. In a back-and-forth Division VI state final that was calling for a superstar, the ESPN Watch List junior grabbed the spotlight in a 28-21 win by the Flyers over Newark Catholic.

Marion Local won its second consecutive title and sixth overall thanks to heady play under pressure by the 6-foot-4, 190-pound quarterback. With an offer from Toledo and plenty of other Division I interest, Bertke showed he was the real deal in a 13-play, 76-yard drive that sealed the deal.

“I was thinking touchdown all the way,” Bertke said. “I was just taking what they gave me and bringing it hard. These guys stepped up. It was amazing to see.”

As for the nerves, those were nonexistent as Bertke finished 17-of-23 for 166 yards. While he didn’t throw a touchdown pass, he certainly set up all four with cool-under-pressure play.

“I get nervous before the game, but these guys came to play,” Bertke said. “It was amazing. It was an honor to our school and our community. “Mental toughness is what it’s all about. My teammates have picked me up all season. It’s basically just not worrying about the pressure, getting between the lines and playing.”