The regular season is done. Gone. Over. Memories from this season, however, never will be. So as usual, here’s a few moments that will likely last for a while. 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 happenings from last week.
There are several storied football programs in Ohio. Schools like Cleveland St. Ignatius, Cincinnati Moeller, Newark Catholic, Versailles and St. Henry all have a place in Ohio high school football lore.
So does Steubenville.
Although Big Red doesn’t have as many state titles as the aforementioned, it does have one thing – more wins.
This past Friday, Steubenville became just the third school in state history with 700 all-time wins when it beat Tonawanda (N.Y.) Cardinal O’Hara 34-14. Only Massillon Washington and Canton McKinley have more victories. The tally ranks among the Top 30 nationally.
There is a lot to like about Steubenville.
Not only is it the birthplace of Dean Martin, but Steubenville has arguably the most rabid fan base of any team in the state. The people of Jefferson County are crazy about football and even have a name for the affliction – Big Red Nation. There is no cure.
Steubenville, which is nestled on the banks of the Ohio River, has been playing football for 109 years and has competed in 1,023 games.
Big Red’s home field since 1928 is Harding Stadium, better known as “Death Valley.” The Valley seats 10,000 and since 1970 has been home to Man O’ War, a famed life sized fire-breathing horse that sits atop the scoreboard. Steubenville has won 54 straight games at home.
Big Red has also won 60 straight regular season games, which equates to six straight 10-0 seasons.
Friday, Steubenville hosts Coshocton in the first round of the Division IV playoffs. Big Red and Youngstown Mooney appear to be the Region 13 favorites. A championship is the goal and another trophy would make Steubenville just the 11th school in state history to win four or more state titles.
Lest one think Big Red rests on its laurels, think again.
Just listen to head coach Reno Saccoccia, who in his 26th season has coached (313), won (267) and lost (46) more games than any coach in Big Red history.
“I’m thankful for what we have here and what we’ve accomplished,” Saccoccia told the Herald Star after Friday’s 700th win. “It’s not something we like to talk about until it’s over.
“In athletics, you can never be satisfied or become content, because as soon as you do, that’s when bad things happen and you end up with your teeth kicked in.”
That glare off the Ohio River is from Steubenville’s smile.
JJHuddle Offensive Player of the Week
Maty Mauk, Kenton: You’ve heard the name before, but this is Benny’s little brother. A freshman, Mauk lit up in a 48-7 win over Van Wert. He completed 40-of-53 passes for 565 yards and six TDs. The Wildcats ended the year on a seven-game win streak after dropping their first three and failed to make the playoffs. The next three years you can pencil the Wildcats in the postseason.
JJHuddle Defensive Player of the Week
Sylvestry Gibbs, Austintown-Fitch: Senior DB returned a fumble 105 yards for a TD, returned an interception 30 yards for a TD and forced a fumble in a 33-14 win over Youngstown Boardman. Offensively he rushed for 138 yards and two TDs on 16 carries.
ALSO IN THE RUNNING
James Elchinger, Sherwood Fairview: Senior QB accounted for eight TDs in a 67-21 win over Ayersville. Elchinger completed 25-of-38 passes for 390 yards and six TDs and rushed for 88 yards and two TDs on 15 carries.
Micah Hyde, Fostoria: Hyde went over the 10,000-total yard mark for his career with 395 yards passing and 130 yards rushing in a 50-0 win over Upper Sandusky. He threw for four TDs, ran for two and returned a kickoff for another. He also picked off two passes on defense.
Seth White, Bexley: QB accounted for 442 yards, including 360 on the ground (and five TDs) in 40-27 win over Heath.
Travis Spitnale, Defiance: RB had 378 yards and three TDs on 43 carries in a 35-14 win over Celina.
Aaron Schuerman, Delphos Jefferson: Senior RB carried 13 times for 304 yards and five TDs in a 62-7 win over Spencerville. He also added a 90-yard punt return for a TD.
Ben Cline, Wooster Triway: RB set the Triway single-season rushing record with 1,520 yards in a 57-0 win over Canton Timken. Cline passed the former record of 1,509 with 280 yards and four TDs on 21 carries.
Ben Moody, Cortland Lakeview: Senior RB set the Lakeview career rushing record with 84 yards in a 36-10 win over Champion. Moody wraps his career with 2,829 yards.
Justin Buenger, Patrick Henry: RB set the school’s regular season rushing record with 1,375 yards and tied the school’s single-season scoring record (150 points). Buenger broke and tied both records by running for 267 yards and four TDs on 17 carries in a 47-10 win over Wauseon.
Chris Snook, Medina Highland: Senior RB and West Virginia recruit set the school single-game rushing record with 301 yards and a TD on 48 carries in a 20-14 overtime loss to Lodi Cloverleaf.
C.J. Collins, Summit Country Day: Senior QB ran for 240 yards and three TDs, passed for 105 yards and two TDs and returned a kickoff 83 yards for a TD in a 46-22 win over Cincinnati Christian.
Troy Bell, Toledo Start: Senior RB became the school’s all-time leading rusher and scorer with 226 yards and three TDs in a 21-12 win over Toledo Scott.
Mike Hanhauser, Perry: Senior RB set a Lake County single-season TD record with 31 after he scored two in a 27-14 win over Chagrin Falls. Hanhauser ran for 157 yards on 28 carries.
OTHER BIG PERFORMANCES
Brandon Rice, Walnut Ridge: Senior RB rushed for five TDs and 276 yards on 36 carries in a 48-16 win over Columbus Independence.
Kyle Stadlemeyer, Girard: Senior RB had 240 yards and four TDs on 40 carries in a 36-22 win over Youngstown Liberty.
Colin Leidinger, Bishop Ready: RB had 218 yards and four TDs on 30 carries in a 52-6 win over Bishop Hartley.
Tyler Brooks, Hannibal River: Senior RB carried the ball 13 times for 198 yards and four TDs in a 56-12 win over Frontier.
Fitzgerald Toussaint. Youngstown Liberty: Michigan recruit and senior RB had another 200-yard game with 219 yards and two TDs on 25 carries in a 36-22 loss to Girard. Also had a 2-point conversion and an interception. Toussaint finishes the regular season with 2,300 yards.
Anthony Hitchens, Lorain Clearview: Senior RB returned a kickoff for a TD, returned an interception for a TD and added two rushing TDs in a 32-14 win over Columbia.
Ryan O’Rourke, Avon: Senior QB completed 11-of-13 passes for 206 yards and four TDs in a 45-6 win over Bay Village. He finishes the regular season with 30 TDs and no interceptions.
Elijah Sparling, Marion Pleasant: WR caught six passes for 210 yards and three TDs in a 40-6 win over Marion Elgin.
Tyler Fortner, Tallmadge: Senior RB rushed for 284 yards and three TDs in a 31-14 win over Green.
Christian Albertson, Little Miami: Senior RB carried the ball 14 times for 274 yards and four TDs in a 53-27 win over Amelia.
Quinton Jones, Franklin: Senior RB tallied 218 yards and two TDs in a 17-14 upset of Dayton Oakwood that earned Franklin its first playoff berth since 1993.
Ben Wonderly, Sherwood Fairview: Senior WR caught 11 passes for 158 yards and three TDs and rushed for another TD in 67-21 win over Ayersville.
Massillon Washington 17, Canton McKinley 0: Michigan recruit Justin Turner led Massillon to the win in the teams’ 117th meeting. Turner tallied 208 yards and a TD on 28 carries.
St. Ignatius 34, St. Edward 12: A sellout crowd of 11,500 at Parma’s Byers Field watched the Wildcats win their ninth straight game. Now the two get to do it all over again this Saturday in the first round of the D-I playoffs.
Moeller 17, St. Xavier 14: A sellout crowd of 7,000 at X watched Moeller earn its seventh straight playoff berth in what amounted to a play-in game for the D-I state playoffs. The Crusaders rallied from a 14-7 deficit and knocked the defending D-I state champion Bombers out of the postseason.
North Canton Hoover 26, Massillon Jackson 7: The Vikings broke open a tie game at half with 19 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarters. Junior RB Erick Howard ran for 211 yards and three TDs for the winners.
Cincinnati Indian Hill 27, Cincinnati Wyoming 24: The Braves became the first school in Cincinnati Hills League history (started in 1985) to win four straight outright conference titles. Senior QB Bo Cordell scored the decisive TD on a sneak with 38 seconds left. Indian Hill, which was left out of the playoffs (ninth in Region 12), has now won 33 straight CHL games.
Logan Elm 16, Canal Winchester 13 (OT): In a battle of unbeatens, Logan Elm escaped and capped a perfect turnaround from 0-10 to 10-0 thanks to Taylor Steele’s 21-yard field goal. The win earned the Braves the Mid-State League Buckeye Division title and marked the first time in history that a Logan Elm football team went 10-0.
Storied Tradition: Youngstown Ursuline has a solid football tradition with 14 playoff appearances and a state title. The Irish did something this season though they’ve never done before. Ursuline defeated Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 34-7 to record the school’s first undefeated regular season since 1956 (when they went 9-0). The Irish finished 10-0 for the first time ever.
Not Since 1978: Had a team finished undefeated in the Toledo City League. Toledo Central Catholic accomplished the feat Friday with a 37-12 win over Toledo Waite. The title was the Irish’s fourth straight.
Famous Venue Closes: Akron’s famed Rubber Bowl hosted its final Akron City Series league title game with Garfield beating Buchtel 49-20. The championship is Garfield’s first since 2001. Junior Tyson Gulley led the charge with 151 yards and two TDs. The University of Akron is opening a new football stadium next year and will close the Rubber Bowl.
Pad Call: The Medina Highland- Lodi Cloverleaf game ended in some controversy. Highland recovered a fumble by Cloverleaf in the first overtime and just had to kick a 30-yard field goal to win it. That’s when Highland’s all-league kicker Eric Duale was flagged for not having a tailbone pad in. The 15-yard penalty made it a 45-yard attempt, which Duale missed. Cloverleaf won in the second OT. Duale had kicked throughout the game with no penalty prior.
Double Trouble: Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy had one player eclipse 2,000 yards for the season, while another went over 1,000. John Pettigrew rushed for 207 yards and a TD on 30 carries to go over the 2,000 yard mark for the season and over 6,200 for his career. Teammate Alex Utley also went over 1,000 yards as CVCA beat Manchester 21-14 for the PAC title.
Back In The Saddle: Columbus DeSales recorded its first back-to-back undefeated regular seasons since 1994-95 with a 35-21 win over Cleveland Benedictine. The Stallions rushed for 336 yards.
200 Wins: Cincinnati Mariemont head coach Tom Crosby won his 200th career game as the Warriors beat Deer Park 34-6. Crosby is now 200-113-1. He was head coach at Cincinnati Purcell-Marian in 1976-77 and went 7-13. At Mariemont he is 193-100-1, including state runner-up finishes in 1980 (D-IV) and 1995 (D-V).
500 Wins: McComb captured the program’s 500th win with a 41-14 victory over Van Buren.
Ram Tough: After dealing with OHSAA recruiting violations and missing three regular season games due to it, Trotwood-Madison head coach Maurice Douglass led the Rams to the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division title. The Rams started out 0-5 with Douglass missing games 3-5 while serving a suspension. The last five weeks the Rams went 4-1, including 4-0 in the GWOC North. They beat Butler 27-25 Friday on a 12-yard TD pass on the last play of the game to secure the championship.
Losing Skid: Bradford beat New Paris National Trail 45-14 in a regular season finale between two winless teams. National Trail now takes a 31-game losing streak into next year.
DEEE-Fense: Wooster Triway held Canton Timken to seven total yards in a 57-0 win…Mentor’s defense had five turnovers in a 35-8 win over Cleveland Heights…West Jefferson scored 21 points off of six Licking Heights turnovers in a 28-0 win…Pickerington Central forced eight turnovers in a 28-0 win over Reynoldsburg.
OFFF-Fense: Delphos Jefferson rushed for 493 yards in a 62-7 win over Spencerville. Jefferson did not attempt a pass…Northwood ran for 418 yards in a 54-6 win over Cardinal Stritch that secured the school its second straight Toledo Area Athletic Conference title…Patrick Henry ran for 408 yards in a 47-10 win over Wauseon.
A look at how Ohio State’s homegrown recruits faired this weekend, courtesy of Bucknuts recruiting analyst Bill Kurelic. Click here to read.
How did the teams fair? Where are they ranked now? Check here to find out.
A LOOK BACK