Friday Night Highlights Week 9: Overcoming death, emotion, 100 years and the weather


Patrick Henry cruised 35-0 against Pemberville Eastwood in a match up of small school powers. (Photo by Scott Grau)

That’s what the JJHuddle Players of the Week did in Week 9. What else happened? One team hasn’t allowed a point in 17 straight quarters, one team had a 68-game winnning streak snapped and one player rushed for 269 yards – on five carries. There’s more too as we take our weekly look back at the state’s top performers, teams and newsmakers.

Nothing lasts forever and Steubenville found that out the hard way on Friday.

Facing Inkster (MI) at Harding Stadium, the Big Red had their 68-game regular season and 60-game home winning streaks snapped with a 36-29 loss to the visiting Vikings.

How it happened adds to the sting.

Down two scores – 28-15 – with five minutes left, Steubenville battled back to take the lead, 29-28, on a JoJo Pierro TD run with 1:19 to go. Inkster – led by senior QB and Michigan recruit Devon Gardner – answered with a 63-yard scoring pass with 49 seconds remaining. Steubenville’s last-ditch effort was intercepted in the end zone.

Gardner was 14-of-25 for 275 yards and four TDs. Steubenville QB Dwight Macon, a Central Michigan recruit, completed 6-of-14 passes for a TD, but also rushed for 148 yards and a TD on 19 carries. Both QBs had an interception.

“These kids have carried a lot of weight on their shoulders and they’ve handled it well. You can’t win them all,” Big Red coach Reno Saccoccia told the Steubenville Herald Star. “Our teams have had a lot to live up to over the last few years, this team in particular. Nobody likes to lose, but losing is a part of football.”


JJHuddle Offensive Player of the Week
Ben Palmer, Cadiz Harrison Central:
The senior RB led the Huskies to a school record seventh victory under some extremely difficult circumstances. On senior night at Central, Palmer was without his father who passed away earlier in the day after a lengthy illness. Palmer ran for 147 yards and three TDs on 22 carries and also caught two passes for 28 yards and another score. “It was pretty hard to come out here and play, but that is what me and my father had agreed upon,” an emotional Palmer told the Herald Star. “He came to the games he was able to, but he was pretty sick. I dedicated this game to him.”

JJHuddle Defensive Players of the Week
Spyro Spondyl and Brandon Martin, Canton GlenOak:
In a game where its’ offense mustered just seven first downs, GlenOak’s defense rose to the occasion – particularly Spondyl and Martin. Spondyl returned an interception 100 yards for a TD and Martin took a fumble recovery 96 yards to the house for the Golden Eagles only TDs in a 13-9 win over North Canton Hoover. The victory also gave GlenOak sole possession of first place in the Federal League.

JJHuddle Special Teams Player of the Week
Greg Gallaway, Ashland:
Sophomore kicker broke a school record that had stood since 1910 by kicking eight consecutive extra points as the Arrows improved to 8-1 and earned a share of at least a share of the Ohio Cardinal Conference title with a 59-28 win over Mansfield Madison. Gallaway also kicked a 29-yard field goal as the Arrows scored the most points in a game since putting 60 on Defiance in 1963.


Justin Elder, Edgewood: Senior RB carried the ball five times for 269 yards and three TDs in a 49-7 win over Norwood. He averaged 54 yards a carry.

Ronnel Spates, Cleveland VASJ:
Senior RB set a school record (281 yards rushing) and tied another (six TDs) in a 42-13 win over Bedford Chanel.

Zane Pitzer, Alter:
Junior QB only carried the ball seven times, but five of those runs produced TDs in a 44-14 win over Purcell Marian. Pitzer rushed for 133 yards, averaging 19 yards per carry.

Brandon Bornhauser, Anderson:
Senior QB carried the ball 15 times for 248 yards and six touchdowns in a 63-21 win over Milford. As a team the Redskins registered 526 yards on the ground.

Dillon Matthews, Akron Springfield:
Sophomore RB became the first Spartan in 11 years to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season when he ran for a 67-yard TD on the second play from scrimmage in a 33-15 win over Coventry. Matthews finished the game with 218 yards and four TDs on 15 carries as the Spartans, now 6-3, secured their first winning season since 1998.

George Blake, Parma:
Senior QB had over 400 yards of offense as the Redmen upset previously unbeaten North Royalton, 47-41. Blake completed 13-of-24 passes for 304 yards and two TDs, and had 133 yards rushing, including the game-winning TD on an 11-yard run with 1:30 remaining.

Miles Iverson, Madison:
Senior QB had 374 total yards and accounted for six TDs in a 51-28 victory over Eastlake North. Iverson rushed for 242 yards and four TDs and completed 7-of-10 passes for 159 yards and two TDs.


Patrick Angle, Logan: Senior QB completed 18-of-20 passes for 250 yards and four TDs in a 27-7 win over Jackson. He also carried the ball 11 times for 57 yards and had an interception on defense.

Jordan Mitchell, Columbus Whetstone:
RB went for 308 yards and three touchdowns on 37 carries in a 28-18 win over Mifflin.

Eric Stewart, Columbus West:
QB completed 17-of-23 passes for 303 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another in a 49-12 win over Columbus South.

Jarred Merrick, West Liberty-Salem:
RB/LB had a great all-around game in a 28-6 win over Mechanicsburg. Offensively Merrick rushed for 84 yards, had 57 yards receiving and scored two TDs. Defensively he recovered a fumble and had two sacks.

Antwan Gilbert, Trotwood-Madison:
Junior RB carried the ball 35 times for 191 yards and two TDs and caught four passes for 97 yards and a TD in a 31-21 win over Springboro.

Bryan Jones, Canal Fulton Northwest:
QB completed 18-of-20 passes for 300 yards and five TDs (only played the first half) during a 55-6 win over West Branch. As a team Northwest set team records with 517 yards passing and seven TDs.

Ben Ault, Smithville:
RB carried the ball 27 times for 264 yards and 3 TDs in 35-7 win over Rittman.

Marcus Fuller, Ashland:
In a little over two quarters of action, the junior QB completed 7-of-8 passes for 243 yards and four TDs in a 59-28 win over Mansfield Madison.

Mitch Phillips, Colonel Crawford:
RB rushed for 177 yards in a 42-6 win over Crestline to set the school’s single-season rushing record with 1,327 yards.


St. Ignatius 30, St. Xavier 21: St. Ignatius won its 23rd straight game thanks on part to four turnovers by the Bombers. A crowd of 5,200 at John Carroll watched as two of the state’s top big school programs faced off.

Dover 23, Coshocton 8:
Despite a solid performance from Coshocton QB Marcus Johnson – who set the school’s single season rushing record (1,547 yards) –  Dover turned away the visitors to remain unbeaten in the East Central Ohio League. Dover QB Marcus Mamarella set a record of his own by becoming the school’s single-season rushing leader for QBs. His 885 yards bettered that of Corey Lisowski who set the previous record of 844 just last season.

Ridgewood 27, Malvern 26:
In a meeting of unbeatens Ridgewood remained perfect by stopping Malvern’s two-point attempt with 1:41 left in the game. The victory snapped Malvern’s 21-game regular season win streak. Ridgewood senior Jake Conrad had a huge game, rushing for 116 yards and three TDs. He also made the stop on the Hornets failed two-point attempt and intercepted a double-pass to end the game.

Tecumseh 26, Tippecanoe 0:
The Arrows bounced back from last week’s 14-10 loss to Springfield Shawnee, which snapped an 18-game regular season win streak, to dominate the visiting Red Devils. Tecumseh held Tipp to 87 total yards and four first downs. The Red Devils entered the game riding a seven-game win streak. Both teams are tied with Bellefontaine atop toe CBC Kenton Trail Division.


All-Time Wins Leader: Thanks to Ironton’s 32-12 win over visiting Nelsonville-York, Tigers head coach Bob Lutz became the state’s all-time wins leader with 361 victories. Former Hamilton Badin coach Terry Malone held the record with 360. Click here to read more.

Streak Snapped:
Cleveland East snapped an 18-game losing streak with a 28-22 win over Lincoln West.

Long Time Coming:
Galion clinched at least a share of the Northern Ohio League title with a 34-20 win over Willard but the Tigers can win their first outright NOL title since 1985 with a win at Bellevue in Week 10.

South Charleston Southeastern trailed Springfield Northeastern 32-14 at halftime but rallied for a 42-40 win. Senior QB Reed Florence was the catalyst. Florence completed 10-of-23 passes for 186 yards and three TDs and rushed 24 times for 146 yards and two more scores.

Central Stingy:
Pickerington Central has gone 17 straight quarters without allowing a point. The Tigers have allowed just 56 points all year and have five shutouts, including four straight.

Different Ways:
Toledo Start rushed for eight TDs but also scored on a interception, fumble and punt return in a 76-0 win over Toledo Woodward.

Big Win:
Little Miami beat Kings for the first time in 14 years thanks to a 34-31 decision in overtime. Panthers senior quarterback Kyle Cook scored two touchdowns, including a 1-yard run with 47 seconds left in regulation that helped tie the game. He also scored the go-ahead touchdown in overtime. Cook finished the game 23-of-41 passing for 384 yards  and three TDs. He also rushed 28 times for 50 yards and two touchdowns.

Beechcroft scored 30 first quarter points and led 51-0 at halftime in a 57-0 win over Centennial…Sparta Highland rushed for 463 yards in a 65-0 win over Ridgedale…Olentangy Orange rushed for 396 yards in a 42-0 win over Hilliard Bradley…Ashland had 603 yards of offense in a 59-28 win over Mansfield Madison…Northwood had 509 yards of offense, including 488 on the ground, in a 38-11 win over Toledo Christian.

Big Walnut returned three interceptions for TDs in a28-0 win over Mount Vernon…Heath allowed minus-4 yards total in a 39-6 win over Bexley…Watterson forced six turnovers in a 20-0 win over St. Charles…Walnut Ridge returned two interceptions for TDs in a 23-6 win over Africentric…Canfield held Niles to two yards of total offense in a 28-0 win…Patrick Henry held Eastwood to 91 total yards and four first downs in a 35-0 victory.

Score of the Week:
Colerain 10, Middletown 7: The Cardinals extracted some revenge on the Middies, who ended their 61-game Greater Miami Conference win streak last year, by handing the visitors their first loss of the season.


Week 10 Power Poll. Who is in, Who is out, Who moved up?


This week’s statewide scoreboard.


From JJHuddle and MaxPreps


Pick your winners now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *