Playoff Notebook: Bertke learns from early-season picks, leads Flyers to state semis

WAPAKONETA -- Adam Bertke learned the hard way about letting an interception snowball 12 weeks ago.

Bertke threw three costly interceptions in the second half of the Flyers Week 1 13-7 overtime loss to Lima Shawnee. Marion Local head coach Tim Goodwin even pulled Bertke from that game.

That benching and that  lesson carried over.

Flash forward to Saturday night, when the lanky sophomore threw a pick on the opening play from scrimmage of Saturday night's playoff game against Minster. There was no panic when Troy Kauffman stepped in front of  Bertke's pass to the right flat to start Saturday's game.

"I had to have a short memory about it," Bertke said. "The first game of the season I had three interceptions and it just kept coming. So I knew I had to bounce back from it."

Marion Local's defense got a three-and-out and Bertke played flawless the rest of the way, going 10-of-17 for 160 yards and a touchdown while picking up key first downs with his legs.

"I thought really a nice plus for us was Adam moving the chains with his feet," said Marion Local head coach Tim Goodwin, who was receiving a steady stream of congratulatory text messages mid-interview. "I mean he really was critical there."

Bertke connected four times with Dylan Thobe for 70 yards, twice with Kellen Goettelmoeller for 49 yards a score and three times with Lee Pierron for 37 yards.

UP NEXT: Marion Local will now face fellow MAC squad Delphos St. John's next Saturday night at a place to be determined by the OHSAA. 

Delphos St. John's won the regular season match-up between the two teams, 21-14. The two teams played in the 2009 state semifinals. DSJ won that game at Wapak, 13-7 in overtime.