Division II football up for grabs in 2007


Brandon Saine – 2006 Mr. Football
Led by Mr. Football award winner Brandon Saine, Piqua claimed the 2006 Division II state championship, marking the second consecutive year that the title winner came out of Region 6 (Toledo Central Catholic captured the title in ’05). But with Saine now running the football for Ohio State, and with several other starters to replace, the 2007 D-II state title could be anyone's to grab.

Led by Mr. Football award winner Brandon Saine, Piqua claimed the 2006 Division II state championship, marking the second consecutive year that the title winner came out of Region 6 (Toledo Central Catholic captured the title in ’05). But with Saine now running the football for Ohio State, and with several other starters to replace, Piqua is not expected to be a serious threat to repeat. But the Indians will be out to prove doubters wrong. 

In Region 5, Mayfield, Olmsted Falls and Tallmadge will be among the teams battling for a state final four birth (last year’s Region 5 champ – Macedonia Nordonia – has moved up to Division I).

Region 7 appears strong at the top with perennial playoff teams Canfield and Columbus Bishop Watterson. (Last season’s Region 7 champ and state finalist Pickerington Central has also moved up to D-I.)

Region 8 might be the toughest region top-to-bottom in D-II with Cincinnati Turpin, Dayton Carroll, Trenton Edgewood, and a possible sleeper to win it all, Trotwood-Madison.

Ashland (12-1)

     Head coach Scott Valentine pointed the Arrows in the right direction last year as they had the best season in school history with 12 straight wins and a No. 1 seed in Region 6. This year, only five starters return, but MAC schools are heavily recruiting quarterback Taylor House (6-3, 195, Sr.).

Avon Lake (7-3)

     The Shoremen were the odd team out in Region 6 last year with a ninth-place finish in the computer standings. It ended a run of eight-straight playoff births. However, this year they are stocked with talent and will likely return to the postseason. Offensive guard Sam Brown (6-2, 245, Sr.) and DT Aaron Grunick (6-1, 245, Sr.) were all-conference last year.

Canfield (8-3)

     The Cardinals are a perennial playoff team and they lost to state finalist Pickerington Central in the first round last year in a 42-37 barnburner. This year they return a top 100 senior prospect in the state according to Ohio High in two-way lineman Jordan Graham (6-1, 250).

Cincinnati Turpin (12-2)

     Head coach Rob Stoll took the Spartans all the way to the state semifinals last year and returns an impressive group of players, including WR Andy Cruse (6-4, 205, Sr.), OL Aaron Van Kullken (6-7, 285, Sr.) and MLB Luke Kelly (6-4, 220, Sr.).

Cincinnati Winton Woods (6-5)

     The Warriors were the No. 3 seed in the Region 8 playoffs bracket last year, but were bounced in the first round. This season, head coach Troy Everhart welcomes back a lot of talent, including 12 starters (3 offense, 9 defense).

Columbus Bishop Watterson (9-4)

     The Eagles have made the playoffs eight consecutive years, including their 2002 D-III state title season. This year, head coach Dan Bjelac returns another solid group led by QB Mason Takacs (6-3, 200, Sr.).

Trotwood-Madison (7-4)

     The Rams made the playoffs last season and this could be the year they advance very far in the postseason. Head coach Maurice Douglass has a talented group at his disposal, led by arguably the state’s best quarterback in Domonick Britt (6-5, 190, Sr.) who is a University of Cincinnati commitment.

Kings Mills Kings (8-2)

Kings barely missed the playoffs last season, finishing ninth in Region 8. One of the reasons was quarterback Bruce Ernest (6-2, 185, Sr.) was lost for the season with an injury in week seven. He passed for 1,500 yards last year and returns this season.

Logan (8-3)

     In 2006 the Logan Chieftains made their first playoff appearance since 2001 thanks to a defense that shut out five opponents and allowed only 33 points in seven SEOAL games and an unknown junior tailback who nearly eclipsed the school’s single season rushing record despite missing the first and last games of the season. This season Logan drops down to D-II.

Mayfield (10-2)

     The Wildcats were the No. 3 seed in Region 5 last year and they return 10 starters this season. The defense is especially loaded as senior defensive end Carson Bodnovich (6-0, 220) is an Ivy League recruit who had 65 tackles and 10.5 sacks in 2006. Senior inside linebacker Vinnie Durbdella (5-10, 195) racked up 118 tackles and 16 tackles-for-loss last year.

Olmsted Falls (10-2)

     The Bulldogs were the No. 5 seed in Region 5 last year and won a first-round playoff game at Maple Heights. This year, they need to replace a few key skilled-position players, but return an impressive crop of interior linemen. The group is led by OG/DE Cody Connare (6-4, 245, Sr.), OT/DL Paul Print (6-5, 250, Sr.) and OG/DL Zach Laird (6-5, 260, Jr.) who are all two-way starters.

Piqua (13-2)

     The Indians somewhat snuck in the playoffs last year with the No. 7 seed in Region 6, then proceeded to win five straight games and the state championship. Piqua was dominant throughout the postseason where the average score of its games was 29.6-10.2 (including 26-7 over Pickerington Central in the championship game). Linebacker David Rolf (6-4, 218, Sr.) will lead the way this year.

Powell Olentangy Liberty (8-3)

     The Patriots are riding a three-year playoff streak and the school has been in existence for just four years. Head coach Steve Hale welcomes back an impressive group this year, led by linebacker Ross Fleming (6-3, 215, Sr.) and QB Ryan Cypret (5-10, 170, Sr.).

Tallmadge (8-3)

     The Blue Devils are a perennial playoff team, but they were bounced in the first round last year. This season, with 13 returning starters, head coach Joe Vassalotti is optimistic. “We expect to be in the hunt for a Suburban League title,” he said.

Toledo Central Catholic (9-2)

     The Fighting Irish won the 2005 D-II state title and earned the No. 2 seed in Region 6 last year (they fell to eventual state champ Piqua in the first round). This year, head coach Greg Dempsey returns 10 starters (5 on each side) led by QB Tyler Kleeberger (5-11, 175, Sr.).

Trenton Edgewood (9-2)

     The Cougars were the top seed in the Region 8 playoff bracket last year and advanced to the second round. This year, head coach Steve Channell welcomes back 15 starters (7 offense, 8 defense) led by running back John Elder (5-8, 170, Sr.).

Zanesville (4-6)

     The once proud Zanesville football program hasn’t had a winning season during the 2000’s, but if last season’s improvements are any indication, that streak should end in 2007. With a healthy backfield under first-year head caoch and ZHS graduate Chad Grandstaff, the Blue Devils are looking to burn the competition.

* Each of these teams will be featured in-depth with detailed information about returning players, the coach's thoughts on the season and schedule information.

Chardon (10-3)

     The Hilltoppers were the No. 7 seed in Region 5 last year and did some serious damage in the playoffs with two wins.

Columbus Marion-Franklin (9-2)

     The Red Devils won the City League and earned the top seed in Region 7 last year but fell in the first round of the playoffs.

Dayton Carroll (9-2)

     The Patriots are a perennial playoff team and nothing is expected to change this year. They play in the loaded Region 8, but Carroll is always in the postseason mix.

Kent Roosevelt (10-1)

     The Rough Riders stormed through the regular season undefeated and earned the No. 2 seed in the Region 5 playoff bracket last year. However, they were bounced in the first round by Chardon.

Marietta (4-6)

     Though Marietta finished sub-.500 last year at 4-6, the Tigers went 4-3 in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League and was close in a couple of non-conference losses. Twelve starters return for Marietta this year and the Tigers are hoping to roar into the postseason.

New Carlisle Tecumseh (9-3)

     The Arrows were the sixth seed in Region 8 last year and won a playoff game on the road against Winton Woods.

Pataskala Watkins Memorial (10-2)

     The Warriors had an excellent 2006 campaign advancing to the second round of the playoffs in Region 7.

Sylvania Southview (7-4)

     The Cougars were a playoff team a year ago in Region 6 and will look to get past the first round this year.

Uniontown Lake (7-5)

     The Blue Streaks snuck in the playoffs last year with the No. 8 seed in Region 7 and proceeded to upset top-seeded Marion-Franklin.

Wapakoneta (10-2)

     Head coach Kevin Fell and the Redskins advanced to the second round of the playoffs last year in Region 6 with a win over Olentangy Liberty.

* Several of these teams will be featured in-depth, detailed information about returning players, the coach's thoughts on the season and schedule information.

Name Position School
Carson Bodnovich DE Mayfield
Domonick Britt QB Trotwood-Madison
Andy Cruse WR Cincinnati Turpin
Ryan Cypret QB Olentangy Liberty
Josh Dixon OL Toledo Central Catholic
Vinnie Durbdella LB Mayfield
John Elder RB Trenton Edgewood
Bruce Ernest QB Kings Mills Kings
Ross Fleming LB Olentangy Liberty
Jordan Graham OL/DL Canfield
Matt Greiser OL Columbus Watterson
Taylor House QB Ashland
Tyler Kleeberger QB Toledo Central Catholic
Joe Madsen OL Chardon
Brandon Moore TE Trotwood-Madison
David Rolf LB Piqua
Mason Takacs QB Columbus Watterson
Jahmiir Williams LB Trotwood-Madison

Week 1
   Cincinnati Turpin at Cincinnati Glen Este
   Cincinnati St. Xavier at Cincinnati Winton Woods
   Trotwood-Madison at Columbus Marion-Franklin
   Trenton Edgewood at Kings Mills Kings
   Toledo DeSales at Olmsted Falls
   Westerville North at Powell Olentangy Liberty
   Beavercreek at Dayton Carroll
   Uniontown Lake at Copley
Week 2
  Canton South at Canfield
Cincinnati Roger Bacon at Cincinnati Winton Woods
Columbus Watterson at Pickerington North
Piqua at Pickerington Central
Toledo Central Catholic at Wapakoneta
Week 3
   Elyria at Avon Lake
   Alliance at Canfield
   Cincinnati Turpin at Cincinnati Indian Hill
   Westerville South at Columbus Watterson
   Kings Mills Kings at Springboro
   Olmsted Falls at Mayfield
   Powell Olentangy Liberty at Ironton
   Hilliard Darby at Toledo Central Catholic
   Uniontown Lake at Canton McKinley
   Miami Trace at New Carlisle Tecumseh
   Chardon at Canal Fulton Northwest
Week 4
  Columbus Watterson at Cincinnati Glen Este
Trotwood-Madison at Beavercreek
Lyndhurst Brush at Mayfield
Olmsted Falls at Amherst Steele
Gahanna Lincoln at Powell Olentangy Liberty
Week 5
  Wooster at Ashland
  Avon Lake at Olmsted Falls
  Cincinnati Winton Woods at Trenton Edgewood
  Columbus Watterson at Cleveland Benedictine
  Piqua at Trotwood-Madison
  Lodi Cloverleaf at Tallmadge
  Toledo Central Catholic at Toledo St. John’s Jesuit
  Youngstown Ursuline at Chardon
Week 6
  Columbus Watterson at Steubenville
Mayfield at Garfield Heights
Piqua at Trotwood-Madison
Powell Olentangy Liberty at New Albany
Uniontown at North Canton Hoover
Week 7
   Cincinnati Turpin at Kings Mills Kings
   Columbus Watterson at Columbus DeSales
   Pataskala Watkins Memorial at Powell Olentangy Liberty
   Olmsted Falls at Brecksville-Broadview Heights
   Columbus Eastmoor at Columbus Marion-Franklin
   Toledo Rogers at Toledo Central Catholic
   Tallmadge at Copley
Week 8
  Berea at Avon Lake
Salem at Canfield
Troy at Trotwood-Madison
Powell Olentangy Liberty at Sunbury Big Walnut
Tallmadge at Sparta Highland
Toledo DeSales at Toledo Central Catholic
Dayton Chaminade-Julienne at Dayton Carroll
Uniontown Lake at Canton GlenOak
Week 9
  Columbus St. Charles at Columbus Watterson
   Trotwood-Madison at Clayton Northmont
   Macedonia Nordonia at Mayfield
   Piqua at Troy
  Powell Olentangy Liberty at Dublin Scioto
  Toledo Whitmer at Toledo Central Catholic
Week 10
  Canfield at Poland Seminary
Cincinnati Glen Este at Cincinnati Winton Woods
Youngstown Cardinal Mooney at Columbus Watterson
Clayton Northmont at Piqua
Trenton Edgewood at Cincinnati Mt. Healthy


* Final Four: Tallmadge (5), Toledo Central Catholic (6), Columbus Watterson (7), Trotwood-Madison (8)

* Championship Game: Trotwood-Madison over Tallmadge


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