For a long time, Derek Kidwell was the face of Fostoria football. The standout was named Mr. Football in 1991 and led the Redmen to a state title that fall after a runner-up finish in 1989. This year Kidwell has some competition. Current Fostoria senior QB Micah Hyde has broken most of Kidwell’s school records, but he doesn’t have that Mr. Football tag or state title – yet.
SHELBY – The game was not even six minutes old and already it was decision time for Fostoria coach Tom Grine.
The Redmen were facing a fourth-and-11 at the Shelby 31 yard line. A 48 yard field goal attempt didn’t make a lot of sense, nor did a punt that might end up netting only 11 yards if it landed in the end zone for a touchback.
So Grine rolled the dice.
The Redmen never looked back.
Quarterback Micah Hyde took the shotgun snap, rolled to his right to avoid Shelby linebacker Andre Rhode and rifled a strike to wideout Derrick Pullom for a 17-yard gain to the Shelby 14. Three plays later, Hyde scored the first of his three rushing TDs on a 3-yard keeper and the Redmen were on their way to a convincing 35-6 win over the Whippets.
Down and distance don’t matter to Grine, not with Hyde at the controls.
“You saw the things he can do out on the football field,” Grine said. “It’s third-and-28 and nobody’s panicking on the sideline. Everyone’s like, ‘Well, let’s see what we can do here.’ “
Hyde did it again early in the third quarter after back-to-back penalties set up a second-and-19 at the Shelby 38-yard line. A middle screen to Shaquille Taylor picked up 32 yards. On the next play, Hyde ran around the left end for a 6-yard TD.
“There were times we were able to stop them, but just for one down,” Shelby coach Chris Solis said. “If there were two downs in football, then it would be very easy to defend Micah Hyde. “You give him four downs, you give that offense four downs … they are very good.”
The Redmen are 6-0 and in the driver’s seat in the chase for the Northern Ohio League championship thanks largely to Hyde, a 6-foot-1, 155-pound senior and a legitimate Mr. Football candidate. He’s completed 99 of 133 passes for 1,144 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for 588 yards and 10 scores on 98 attempts.
When asked if his senior standout should be considered for Ohio’s top honor, Grine didn’t mince words.
“I believe he is (a Mr. Football candidate),” he said. “He holds every record we have at Fostoria High School and most of those records were held by a former Mr. Football, (1991 winner) Derek Kidwell.
“The thing of it is, Derek right now had 19 more games than Micah has played in his career and Micah has already broken every record that (Kidwell) held.”
Solis is a believer, too.
“He’s probably one of the best spread quarterbacks we’ve seen,” he said. “I put him ahead of (Former Ashland standout and 2007 Division II Offensive Player of the Year) Taylor Housewright. He just makes you miss. He makes plays. He’s elusive. He’s got a nice arm. You look at him and you think, ‘You’re not a very big kid.’ He’s a great high school football player.”
What impressed Solis most was Hyde’s composure in the pocket. Contrary to popular belief, he’s not a run-first quarterback.
“If Micah sees his first option is not open, he tries to find his second and third option,” Solis said. “Normally in high school football, if teams go from their first to second option, they’re going to get sacked. He doesn’t get sacked. He goes to his third or fourth options. He knows their offense and he executes it very well.”
With Friday’s win, Fostoria has avenged all three of its losses from a year ago. The Redmen, who are sixth in Division IV in this week’s ONN/Ohio Associated Press state poll, beat Ottawa-Glandorf 21-7 in the season opener and knocked off Toledo Whitmer 42-35 in Week 3.
“Our coach told us at the beginning of the year, we’ve got to get back Whitmer and we’ve got to get back Shelby and, of course, we got back O-G in the first game,” Hyde said.
In addition to his responsibilities as Fostoria’s quarterback, Hyde is a hard-hitting safety, returns punts and kicks and handles all the kicking duties for the Redmen.
“He’s as good as advertised,” Galion coach Chris Hawkins said. “He’s their quarterback and he’s completing about 80 percent of his passes and he’s one of the leading rushers in the conference. He’s a free safety, he does all their punting and kicking and he returns punts and kicks.”
Hyde scored six touchdowns in Fostoria’s 45-22 win over Galion in Week 5.
“You’ve got to slow him down or he’ll make you look stupid,” Galion linebacker Rich Ulmer said. “It’s not about getting the big hit on him. You’ve got to contain him and wait for help.”
Hyde already has offers from several Mid-American Conference schools and has begun to draw the interest of some Big Ten programs. His older brother, Marcus, is a sophomore safety at Michigan State.
“You’d never know he was a Division I recruit if you talked to him,” Grine said. “He never says anything about it.”
Most recruiting analysts list Hyde as an athlete and think he’ll end up playing defense in college. Grine said there’s no doubt where Hyde is most valuable at the high school level.
“We love him on defense, but we’ve got enough athletes over there that we could find somebody to do the job,” he said. “There’s no replacement for him offensively.”
No matter where he ends up, somebody is getting a steal.
“Somebody is going to get a very nice football player at the next level,” Solis said. “He’s a competitor and he’s a leader on that field.”