The time has come to start separating the pretenders from the contenders. Some of that has already occurred. Here’s our fourth weekly
look back at the state’s top performances, games and news. In
addition to announcing our JJHuddle.com Offensive and Defensive players
of the week, we take a look at Ohio’s top playmakers, teams and games
from last week. Hut, hut.
Lets take a quick three-question quiz.
Had a chance to catch two big football games this weekend from different ends of the Ohio high school spectrum: big school powers Colerain-Princeton and small school powers Marion Local-Coldwater.
Here’s your test questions:
1. Which game prompted people on the sideline to utter the phrases “THIS is high school football” and “THIS is the way football was meant to be played?”
2. At which game did the winner of the 50/50 drawing receive $4,119.50 (compared to $380 at the other one)?
3. Which game had a player who is committed to Ohio State in it?
If you answered Colerain and Princeton, you’d be wrong. The correct answer is Coldwater and Marion Local.
To be fair, not all small school games in Ohio can compare to a Coldwater-Marion Local game, but then again, not many games between “big schools” do either.
I’ve seen plenty of high school football games over the years and one thing that continues to impress me is the caliber of play, talent and support that many of Ohio’s small school programs have. Sure the big schools have the pageantry (there was a sizeable fireworks display during halftime of the Colerain-Princeton game) and draw (the Colerain-Princeton game was broadcast on Fox Sports Ohio), but for shear excitement and emotion, nothing beats a small school football game between neighboring rivals and in the case of Coldwater and Marion Local – two defending state champions.
Also, unlike the Colerain and Princeton game where hundreds of fans were turned away at the gate, Coldwater and Marion Local had no problem fitting everyone in who wanted to watch (albeit some had to stand 10 deep around the fence).
Another perk of small school games? Free food – at least in Coldwater. It was announced over the PA at Cavalier Stadium that McSobers, a local dine and drink establishment, was offering free hot dogs and chilli after the game.
Now that’s big-time.
JJHuddle Offensive Player of the Week
Aaron Craft, Findlay Liberty-Benton: Junior QB and Tennessee basketball recruit showed he knows how to play football as well in 41-6 win over McComb. Craft completed 12-of-17 passes for three TDs and rushed for 206 yards and three TDs on 20 carries.
*Honorary JJHuddle Offensive Player of the Week
Craig Gordon, Sugarcreek Garaway: The box score from Sugarcreek Garaway’s 55-7 rout of Sandy Valley shows that Gordon scored on a 30-yard run. On the surface, that doesn’t sound impressive. When you consider that Gordon has down syndrome, that score is timeless. Gordan has been a part of the Garaway team for four years and this season has dressed for all varsity games. In the team’s previous two outings he got to play the final minutes of the game (taking a knee to run out the clock). Friday’s jaunt to the end zone though will echo forever.
JJHuddle Defensive Player of the Week
Doran Grant, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary: Sophomore DB helped Irish rally from 12-0 halftime deficit to beat Akron Hoban 20-12 with two fourth quarter returns (one interception, one fumble) for TDs. An estimated 10,000 watched the game at Akron’s Rubber Bowl. Grant’s 58-yard INT return for a score with 1:24 left sealed the deal.
ALSO IN THE RUNNING
David Gerber, Sugarcreek Garaway: Senior QB completed 9-of-11 passes for 278 yards and five TDs and also ran for a TD in 55-7 rout of Magnolia Sandy Valley.
Jacob Fidler, Archbold: RB torched Metamora Evergreen for 268 yards and six TDs on 22 carries in a 48-21 win.
Cory Becher, Granville: QB completed 18-of-26 passes for 270 yards and five TDs and rushed for 82 yards and another score in 42-0 rout of previously unbeaten Newark Catholic.
Jake Spencer, Waynesfield-Goshen: Senior RB had huge all-around game with a 79-yard kickoff return for a TD, a 95-yard punt return for a TD and two rushing TDs and 123 yards on 18 carries in a 27-13 win over Lima Perry.
Allen Strouble, Marlington: Standout WR caught six passes for 114 yards and two TDs, rushed for a TD and had five PATs in 35-0 win over Carrollton.
Steve Roby, Columbus St. Charles: DB racked up three interceptions and returned one for a TD in a 29-7 win over Marion Harding.
Micah Hyde, Fostoria: Last week’s Offensive Player of the Week posted another set of big numbers in a shocking 38-14 rout of Bellevue. Hyde completed 21-of-32 passes for 241 yards and three TDs. He also rushed 16 times for 148 yards and two TDs and added a PAT and 24-yard field goal.
Fitzgerald Toussaint, Youngstown Liberty: Michigan recruit continues to light it up. Had 264 yards and four TDs on 19 carries in 32-14 win over Struthers.
Logan Battershell, Hicksville: RB helped the Aces move to 4-0 by rushing for 239 yards and four TDs on 32 carries in a 27-7 win over Antwerp.
Max Nusser, Elmore Woodmore: RB carried the ball 20 times for 333 yards and four TDs in a 48-22 win over Tontogany Ostego.
Chad Beals, West Unity Hilltop: Turned in solid all-around game with an interception return for a TD, a punt return for a TD and two rushing TDs (136 yards on four carries) in a 40-7 win over Lakeside Danbury.
Alex Pidcock, Sylvania Southview: QB led Cougars to 34-17 win over Whitehouse Anthony Wayne cy completing 9-of-10 passes for 255 yards and two TDs. He also had 81 yards and three TDs on 19 carries.
Braxton Miller, Huber Heights Wayne: Sophomore QB completed 16-of-23 passes for 165 yards and a TD and ran for 80 yards and three TDs on eight carries in a 35-21 win over Trotwood-Madison.
D.J. Mendenhall, West Jefferson: Senior QB set school single-season passing record with 321 yards on 17-of-26 passing in 41-13 rout of previously unbeaten Liberty Union. Threw for four TDs and two two-point conversions.
Jordan Barbina, Union Local: Senior QB/DB continued torrid pace in 33-21 win over Wintersville Indian Creek. Barbina completed 23-of-43 passes for 311 yards and a TD, rushed for 39 yards and two TDs on 20 carries, kicked a PAT and had an interception.
Dalton Worthington, West Muskingum: WR registered 15 catches for 221 yards and two TDs in a 49-20 loss to Dresden Tri-Valley.
Sheldon Akin, Columbus Africentric: QB completed 19-of-37 passes for 455 yards and five TDs (60, 18, 10, 22, 93) in a 32-21 win over Columbus West.
Erick Howard, North Canton Hoover: Junior RB scored all three of team’s TDs in 21-0 win over Perry. Howard ran for 226 yards and a TD on 23 carries and caught two passes for 97 yards and two scores.
Josh Boggan, Cincinnati Wyoming: Senior RB tied a school record with six TDs in a 68-6 win over North Bend Taylor. Boggan had 164 yards on 16 carries.
Allante Staten, Richmond Heights: Senior QB completed 7-of-14 passes for 205 yards and a TD and rushed for 202 yards and two TDs in 34-14 win over Newbury.
Timmy Jones, Beallsville: Had solid all-around game in 49-7 win over Bishop Donahue (W.Va.) with 101 yards rushing and three TDs on offense and 10 tackles and a blocked punt for a safety on defense.
Kyle Jarrett and Tyler Arigoni, Union Local: Jarrett recorded 19 tackles and Arigoni added 14 in a 33-21 win over Wintersville Indian Creek.
Dylan Garloch and Devon Parsons, Bellaire: Garloch had 19 tackles and a sack, while Parsons had 16 tackles, a sack and four TFL in a 22-14 win over St. Clairsville.
Julian Nash, Toledo Whitmer: Senior RB scored five TDs and had 145 yards in 49-28 win over Start.
DeSales 38, Cincinnati Anderson 17: The Stallions showed they were worthy of the No. 1 ranking in the D-II Power Poll by blasting the No. 2 Indians. Adam Griffin (yes, Archie’s son) had a big game with 100 yards rushing on nine carries and a 67-yard punt return for a TD. Teammate Josh Kusan added 95 yards rushing and four TDs for the winners. Click here for video highlights.
Colerain 42, Princeton 27: The Cardinals won their 33rd straight regular season game and 59th straight Greater Miami Conference game (dating back to 1999) thanks to a large effort from junior QB Greg Tabar. Tabar ran for four TDs and threw for another as the Cards racked up 405 yards rushing. Sophomores Trayion Durham (37 carries for 221 yards) and Tyler Williams (18 carries for 133 yards) helped the Cards ground game.
Louisville 33, Canal Fulton Northwest 7: The Leps dominated this match up of highly-ranked teams with a dominating defensive effort. Louisville held Northwest, which was averaging 324 yards on the ground, to 41 yards rushing on 41 attempts. Louisville also had six sacks and limited Northwest to 96 total yards.
Youngstown Ursuline 23, Massillon Washington 13: Chalk one up for the little guys. Division V power Ursuline, the No. 1 ranked team in the Power Poll, beat the D-I Tigers thanks in part to strong second half defensive effort. The Irish held Massillon to 30 yards of offense in the third and fourth quarters. All 13 of the Tigers points were results of Ursuline turnovers.
St. Xavier 17, Don Bosco (N.J.) Prep 10: St. X rolled to its third straight victory by handing nationally-ranked Don Bosco (No 4 in the USA Today Super 25) its first loss of the season. Defense was the key for X. Aside from one 45-yard run, the Bombers held Don Bosco to 54 rushing yards and 145 yards passing and had five sacks. DE Pat Muldoon had 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss, while LBs Luke Kuechly and Pete Lees added 10.5 and nine tackles, respectively. The loss snapped Don Bosco’s 24-game win streak.
Coldwater 33, Marion Local 14: The Cavs fell behind 14-0 early as Marion returned two interceptions for scores. From then on though Coldwater scored 33 straight points. Click here to read the JJhuddle.com game story.
Cleveland St. Ignatius 28, Mentor 14: The Wildcats won their third straight thanks in part to a 61-yard run by Michael Antler with 1:45 to play.
Casstown Miami East 28, Covington 7: Vikings beat Miami County rivals for first time since 1994 and moved one step closer to just the third league title in program’s 50-year history. East, who is now the overwhelming favorite to capture Cross County Conference title, last won a league title in 1983.
Tigers have bite: Galion snapped a 44-game Northern Ohio League losing streak (that dated to 2001) with its 33-7 win over Norwalk. Three-year starting QB Alex Nicholls played especially large by completing 9-of-17 passes for 134 yards and one TD. He also ran for two TDs and 56 yards on 15 carries. The Tigers are off to a 3-1 start after having won just 4 games in the previous 6 seasons.
Tigers have bite II: Shadyside pulled off a big win for the Buckeye State by snapping Wheeling (W.Va.) Central’s 35-game win streak 22-14.
Yellow Jackets have sting: Mount Vernon ended a 22-game losing streak with a 22-20 win over Olentangy Orange. The winning points came courtesy of a 36-yard field goal from Corey Sheller.
Crestview defense shines: Ashland Crestview has yet to give up a point this season. The Cougars beat Mapleton 45-0 on Friday and have now outscored the opposition 146-0. The Cougars streak will probably end this week as they tangle with Norwalk St. Paul. The Flyers are ranked No. 1 in the D-VI Power Poll and have scored 184 points (46 points per game average).
Bulldogs snap streak: Swanton snapped a 34-game Northwest Ohio Athletic League losing streak with a convincing 34-6 win over Montpelier. Senior RB Tim Vannewhouse ran for a pair of TDs, while Alex Maier threw for two.
DEEE-Fense: Ridgewood scored three defensive TDs (punt return, interception return and fumble return) in a 49-3 win over Conotton Valley…Columbus St. Charles recorded three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, two TDs and a safety in 29-7 win over Marion Harding…Mayfield held Solon to 34 yards of total offense and tallied 11 sacks in a 6-0 win…Brunswick allowed just 3 second half yards to Macedonia Nordonia in a 30-7 win.
OFFF-Fense: Cincinnati North College Hill rushed for 503 yards in a 42-21 win over Cincinnati Summit Country Day. Senior Everett Horne rushed for 214 yards and five TDs on 14 carries himself…Dayton Dunbar laid an 81-0 beat down on Dayton Public League foe Dayton Belmont…New Richmond rushed for 436 yards in a 62-6 win over Williamsburg…Cleveland Heights blasted Southview 74-28 with senior WR Brian Underwood catching three TD passes and returning a kickoff for a TD…Pemberville Eastwood had 504 yards of offense, including 438 yards rushing, in a 49-13 win over Gibsonburg.
A look at how Ohio State’s homegrown recruits faired this weekend, courtesy of Bucknuts recruiting analyst Bill Kurelic. Click here to read
A LOOK BACK