The electrical charge last weekend wasn’t from the kickoff of high
school football season. It was Mother Nature postponing a majority of
games, creating a loaded Saturday schedule for central Ohio fans to do
a little double-dipping. See who did what and how…
The electrical charge last weekend wasn’t from the kickoff of high school football season. It was Mother Nature postponing a majority of games, creating a loaded Saturday schedule for central Ohio fans to do a little double-dipping. While the lights across the South-Western City School District of Grove City, Central Crossing, Westland and Central Crossing high schools were dark, due to the district eliminating athletics, the march to the playoffs began with fierce games dotting the landscape.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Garren Dilley, Amanda-Clearcreek football: Amanda-Clearcreek and Newark Catholic. Enough said. In one of the best games to kickoff the season every year between these two storied small school powers, Amanda-Clearcreek tailback Garren Dilley gave a memorable performance, picking up 192 yards rushing on 28 carries. Dilley scored touchdowns on runs of one and two yards in the fourth quarter, helping Amanda-Clearcreek to a 14-0 season-opening victory over the visiting Green Wave.
How good was Dilley and the rest of the Amanda-Clearcreek running game, which racked up 319 total yards? The Aces didn’t have one passing yard.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Pickerington Central, football: The Tigers carried the flag for Ohio high school football this weekend, soundly defeating Orange Lutheran (Ca.) 28-14. Orange Lutheran was the No. 3 ranked team in California’s second-largest division.
Pickerington Central outgained Orange Lutheran 406-184, and used its athletic defensive front to hassle quarterback Bobby Wheatley.
Josh Kristoff led the Central defense, recording nine tackles and two of the team’s six sacks.
Leading 21-14 in the fourth quarter, Central gained 74 yards on a reverse to Jarred Miller and capped the drive with a three-yard scamper to pay dirt by Wuan Tatum to go ahead 28-14 with 7:23 left.
Tamani Carter then intercepted a Lutheran flea-flicker to help seal the win.
On offense, the Tigers were led by Miller with 107 yards on the ground, and teammate Speedy Hammond accounted for 88 more.
NEWS, NOTES AND NUGGETS
A winning debut: First-year program Hilliard Bradley notched a win in its debut, holding off Columbus West 19-18. Linebacker Blair Wolcott intercepted a pass from West quarterback Eric Stewart with 59 seconds left to preserve the win.
Derek Tieman scored the winning touchdown for the Jaguars, and registered 115 yards on 23 totes.
Crushing your neighbor: Olentangy Orange was in the same situation as Hilliard Bradley this time last year. Now as a second-year school, Orange routed big brother Olentangy – who Orange received most of its students from – 27-6.
Orange’s Corey Joe did a little of everything to help the Pioneers to the win, picking off a pass, returning a punt 57 yards for a touchdown and completed six passes for 50 yards. The Pioneers scored 14 points in the fourth to put the game away behind two scoring runs by Blake Joe.
A wild hold: Hilliard Davidson denied a two-point conversion to beat Westerville South 21-20 in the Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Series.
Jake Trubiano broke up a two-point conversion pass for Davidson in a redemption play after being out leaped by South wide receiver Jack Tomlinson the play before for a touchdown.
The Wildcats scored on three of their first four possessions of the game at Ohio Stadium. Spencer Delande picked up 107 yards on just 10 totes and also caught a touchdown pass to help lead Hilliard Davidson.
Still kicking: The Logan Elm Braves were arguably the top story in all of Ohio high school football a season ago, going from 0-10 in 2007 to 12-1 last year under first-year head coach Scott Bartholomew and a hard hitting defense. Logan Elm kept it up in its season-opener, extending its regular-season winning streak with a 22-7 road win over Washington Court House.
After falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter, the Braves rolled off 22 unanswered points, led by two touchdown runs by Anthony Vagnier and quarterback Johnnie Brown gaining 159 yards on 23 carries.
Burning the midnight oil: In a game that didn’t conclude till early Saturday morning, Bishop Watterson used two touchdowns by tailback Mark Theado to upend Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 21-7.
The game was sealed by a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown by Matt Redfield with 2:36 remaining.
Big calls: It takes a lot of courage to go for a two-point conversion when an extra point would keep the game going.
Two central Ohio coaches had that courage during the opening week.
After Joey Alford scored a touchdown on a one-yard run in overtime, Fairfield Union coach Tom McCurdy decided to go for two. The conversion was good on a run by Tyler Turner, lifting the visiting Falcons past New Lexington, a Div. IV regional champion a season ago, 28-27.
The call didn’t work out so good for Westerville South as the two-point conversion pass was deflected in a 21-20 loss to Hilliard Davidson in the Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Series.
The ‘Haven: In a interdivision City League showdown, Brookhaven scored on an interception return and a kickoff return to take a 23-21 win over Marion-Franklin in the first meeting between the two programs since 2002.
The kickoff return by Brookhaven’s Jonzelle Meek was the key to the game. After Marion-Franklin tied the game on a 61-yard keeper by quarterback Verlon Reed, Meek took the kickoff back 93 yards to put the Bearcats back in front 21-14 with 11 minutes remaining. Kicker Prince Gboya added a 31-yard field goal with 3:51 left for Brookhaven.
Picktime: Westerville North was finding receivers. The problem was they were wearing the wrong jersey.
Bryant Bednarek came away with three of four interceptions for New Albany, as the Eagles built a 28-0 lead before holding on for a 33-28 opening win.
One yard short: Following a 0-10 season last year, Westerville Central was looking for a big upset of rival Big Walnut to kick start a turnaround.
The WarHawks fell three feet short.
On a fourth down play, Central quarterback Kyle Stephenson completed a pass to Nick Vannett for 20 yards. The only problem was 21 yards was needed to hit pay dirt as the clock ran out, and the Big Walnut defense secured the win for first-year head coach Joe Weaver.
Riding rough: A year after making a Div. V regional championship game appearance, West Jefferson appears to be loaded to a scary level for another run this season.
The Roughriders opened the season with a 28-14 victory over Mechanicsburg, led by D.J. Mendenhall throwing touchdown passes of 74 yards to D.J. Gray and 24 yards to Clay Smith and running for a 73-yard score.
Northern lights: The relentless pressure of the Pickerington North defensive line left Dublin Scioto seeing stars as the Panthers pulled off a 12-7 upset in a game that took two days to complete. North, which was originally supposed to square off with Central Crossing before South-Western cancelled athletics, benefited from two field goals by Sean Flaherty to build on a 6-0 halftime lead.
The Panther sacked Scioto quarterback Charlie Suich three times, and limited him to 41 yards passing and 60 rushing.
Canal Winchester (1-0) at Jonathan Alder (0-1), Friday at 7:30 p.m.: The Indians kicked off their 100th season of football last week with a 43-0 lashing of Bexley. Div. IV power Jonathan Alder was upset in a way by Div. I Thomas Worthington, who went 2-8 last year, 35-28. The game is important for both teams for early season momentum and playoff points. Canal Winchester needs all the points it can get as a Div. II playing a schedule of mostly Div. III-IV schools. An 0-2 start for Alder would also put it behind the eight ball in playoff points.
Logan Elm (1-0) at Westfall (1-0), Friday at 7:30 p.m.: The Braves beat Washington Court House 22-7 last week, and Westfall came from behind to knock off Teays Valley 26-14. The game always has emotion as a Pickaway County rivalry game, but this season features two of the best teams in south central Ohio. Former Westfall head coach Scott Bartholomew returns for the first-time after leading Logan Elm to a school-record 12 wins last season.
Hilliard Davidson (1-0) at Brookhaven (1-0), Friday at 7:30 p.m.: Davidson beat Westerville South 21-10 last week and Brookhaven edged Marion-Franklin 23-21.
A bragging rights game in the debate about the strength of the Ohio Capital Conference against the Columbus City League.
Zanesville (1-0) at Licking Valley (0-1), Friday at 7:30 p.m.: Zanesville hammered Newark 51-6 before the game was called in the third, and Licking Valley fell 21-0 to Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit 21-0 in a game that was called in the third. Licking Valley needs to grab two non-league wins before jumping into a tough Mid-State League Ohio Division race.
Cleveland Glenville (0-1) at Reynoldsburg (0-1) Saturday at 7:30 p.m.: The Raiders, which fell 16-6 in the season-opener to Dublin Jerome, have a big test against one of the best programs in northeast Ohio. Glenville fell 14-13 to Cleveland St. Ignatius in Week 1.