Perfection was in the air as four central Ohio football teams – Dublin
Coffman, Amanda-Clearcreek, Fredericktown and North Union – clinched
undefeated records as the regular-season came to a close. All fall sports are now in the postseason as cross country runners from
across the state invade Scioto Downs this weekend for the state meet
and regional titles are decided in soccer and volleyball.
Perfection was in the air as four central Ohio football teams – Dublin Coffman, Amanda-Clearcreek, Fredericktown and North Union – clinched undefeated records as the regular-season came to a close.
All fall sports are now in the postseason as cross country runners from across the state invade Scioto Downs this weekend for the state meet and regional titles are decided in soccer and volleyball.
The frenzy of the football postseason also starts with games on Friday and Saturday for pigskin fans to feast on as powers such as Amanda-Clearcreek return to the postseason for the first time since 2006, while schools like North Union, Pickerington North and Grove City Christian make its first appearance in the playoffs.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Bishop Ready, football: Ready won a Central Catholic League battle against archrival Bishop Hartley 31-21 and also earned a spot in the Division V playoffs in the process.
The Silver Knights trailed Hartley 21-7 late in the second quarter, but rallied for 24 unanswered points. Ready took the lead about midway through the fourth quarter as a 50-yard run by Christian Knapper set up a 10-yard touchdown tote from Matt Feeney,
Demetrius Clark scored three touchdowns for Ready, including its final score.
Cody Culbertson also snuffed out a Hartley fake field goal attempt in the fourth quarter, dropping Jarrod Zang for no gain and giving the ball back to the Knights.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Jayshan Jackson, Westerville South football: Jackson scored on touchdown runs of 13 and 20 yards and carried the football 28 times for 273 yards in a 47-20 win over Olentangy Liberty that gave the Wildcats the Ohio Capital Conference Cardinal Division crown. After dropping its first two games of the season, South has won its last eight and could push Dublin Coffman, Hilliard Davidson and Pickerington Central in Division I, Region III.
NEWS, NOTES & NUGGETS
All Orange: Olentangy Orange overcame a 14-0 deficit to upend host Delaware 17-14 and qualify for the playoffs for the first time in its second year of existence. The Pioneers were led by Brandon Schoen scoring on touchdown runs of one and 23 yards.
Central wins Route 256 battle: Pickerington Central defeated archrival Reynoldsburg in the battle for state Route 256 and also won a share of the Ohio Capital Conference Ohio Division title with a 27-7 win. Malcom Pannell had two touchdown receptions and returned an interception 79 yards to pay dirt to help power the Tigers.
West Jeff takes Cardinal battle: The Mid-State League Cardinal Division championship wasn’t the only thing on the line when Liberty Union traveled to West Jeff. A playoff spot also awaited the winner, and the Roughriders made sure they defended home turf with a 26-16 decision to win their fourth straight league title.
Senior quarterback D.J. Mendenhall threw for 287 yards and a pair of scores and ran for 191 yards on 27 totes, including a 54-yard touchdown scamper with 5:45 remaining to help clinch the win.
The Roughriders overcame a 10-0 deficit to LU, helped along by Mendenhall hitting D.J. Gray for one of his two touchdown passes.
Good rebound: After starting the season 0-3, Jonathan Alder rebounded to clinch a Division IV playoff spot with its seventh win of the season, a 21-10 decision over St. Charles.
Austin DeHart and Graham Johnston had touchdown runs in the first quarter to stake the Pioneers to a 14-0 lead and Justin Ault had an 85-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth to help put the game on ice.
Granville runner-up, Circleville also advances: The Granville boys cross country team was a Division II regional runner-up at a muddy Pickerington North course. The Blue Aces were paced by Nick Burger taking 18th in 18:41.23, Erik Sneckenburg finishing 19th in 18:43.76 and Cody Washka taking 22nd in 18:51.93. Circleville finished third to also advance to the state meet, led by senior Brad Liston with a 17:02.28. Liston is on a streak of winning the Mid-State League Buckeye and a Southeast District race. Brad Kline finished 15th in 18:27.41.
North defends home: Racing on its home course, the Pickerington North cross country team won a Division I regional title, beating runner-up Reynoldsburg 75-118. Daniel Garleb took first for North in 17:04.64 and Nick Hissrich finished third in 17:12.72. Reynoldsburg was led by Lamar Booker 17:53.11.
More cross country: In Division III boys at Pickerington North, Liberty Union finished as runner-up, led by Drew McCormick taking fourth with a 17:41.80 and Jeff Hanson finishing 13th in 18:07.77. Fredericktown and Northmor also advanced to the state meet.
In the Division III girls race, Johnstown-Monroe won the regional crown thanks in part to performances by Erin Radigan finishing 10th in 21:13.34 and Meghan Schulze taking 16th in 21:27.33. Northmor, Centerburg and Mount Gilead also earned spots for state.
Logan Elm defends district crown: The Lady Braves earned their second consecutive Southeast District title by defeating Washington Court House 25-18, 25-10 and 25-17.
Paige Penrod contributed 23 kills, Alyvia Clark had 10 kills and Hannah Gabriel dished out 40 assists. Danielle Wipert gathered four aces for 25-0 Logan Elm.
Division I regional volleyball tournament at Hilliard Davidson – Wednesday and Saturday: Dublin Coffman looks to continue its undefeated season and advance to the Final Four, but the Lady Rocks face a tough regional field that includes semifinal opponent Pickerington North, along with Thomas Worthington and Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame.
Canal Winchester (8-2) at Logan (10-0) football, Friday at 7:30 p.m.: The Indians qualify for the playoffs for the third consecutive year but face a stiff test in their first season in Division II by traveling to unbeaten Southeastern Ohio Athletic League champion Logan.
State cross country meet, Scioto Downs, Saturday, 11:05 a.m.: Central Ohio athletes will try to add more hardware to the fall sports season display.
Pickerington North (7-3) at Pickerington Central (9-1) football, Saturday at 7 p.m.: Pickerington will be a busy place on Saturday as its two high schools meet for the second time this season. Central edged North 7-6 in the first meeting at Crew Stadium. North is making its first playoff appearance in school history.
Grove City Christian (9-1) at Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans (8-2) football, Saturday at 7 p.m.: Grove City Christian is making its first playoff appearance and will try to avenge a 10-7 loss to Rosecrans earlier this season in a Division VI game.