Southeast Ohio Huddle: Football teams out…Attention turns to basketball


Southeast Ohio Huddle

The southeast entered Week 13 with all eyes on Ironton and the
Fighting Tigers were locked up in yet another amazing finish.
Unfortunately, this time Ironton found themselves on the wrong side of
the overtime conclusion. Here’s what else happened this week in Southeast Ohio…

The southeast entered Week 13 with all eyes on Ironton and the
Fighting Tigers were locked up in yet another amazing finish.
Unfortunately, this time Ironton found themselves on the wrong side of
the overtime conclusion. A big reason for Ironton going down had to do
with one of Ohio’s top running backs from Coshocton and we honor this
talent in our Player of the Week section.

With Ironton no longer alive, we stretch the southeast a little in our Team of the Week section to jump on the bandwagon of some of the “southeast killers” from this postseason and wish them luck in the Final Four.

still have a little soccer and volleyball in this week’s news as some
of the southeast elite continue to earn postseason honors. For
basketball, the preseason is in full-go for both boys and girls, and in
the Tri Valley Conference’s Hocking Division, a Lady Lancer received
some great news this week from a Division I University despite nursing
a serious injury entering her senior season.

Also on the
hardwood, many conferences are holding their annual previews to allow
teams a full dress rehearsal before playing for real, and several
schools are playing in OHSAA Foundation Games which allows the host
school to raise money for some great causes.

So here we go! We
start by looking at playoff football with a detailed look at Ironton in
action at Nelsonville York High School.


Steubenville, Coshocton, & Ridgewood: With
Ironton being eliminated from the playoffs this past week; we turn to
the extended southeast area. The Southeast Ohio Huddle would like to
wish Steubenville, Coshocton, and Ridgewood the best of luck. The three
regional championship wins are all documented in this week’s New, Notes, & Nuggets.


Marcus Johnston, Coshocton Football: In
a game that featured the last chance for the southeast district to put
a team in this year’s Final Four, Johnston and his Coshocton Redskins
outlasted Ironton in an overtime, instant classic 20-14 win. In the
win, Johnston rushed 25 times for 140 yards and two scores – the second
being the game-winner in overtime. The Coshocton star has been among
the top 10 rushers and scorers in Ohio this season and will now attempt
to make his Redskins the best team in Ohio over the next two weeks.


Heartbreaking Finish:
Ironton’s hope of reaching this year’s Final Four came to a stop this
past weekend with a heartbreaking 20-14 loss in overtime. Two first
half turnovers for Ironton made it tough for the Fighting Tigers to
find an offensive rhythm, and it allowed Coshocton to play out in front
in Saturday night’s Division IV, Region 15 championship at Nelsonville
York High School.

After a scoreless first quarter, Coshocton
posted two second-quarter touchdowns. Trailing 14-0, Ironton got on the
board when Josh Pancake took a pitch from quarterback Ethan Preston and
launched a pass to tight end Jon Monnig for a 36-yard touchdown

The Fighting Tigers then got even when a Brian
Warner interception set up the Fighting Tigers’ short field. Ironton
capitalized as Preston fought his way into the end zone from eight
yards out. A Keith Wetzel extra point tied the game at 14-14.

overtime, Ironton had the ball first, but after three plays equaled
just a yard, the Tigers attempted a field goal. Coshocton’s J.J. McKay
came off the end to block the kick.

On Coshocton’s possession,
the Redskins earned a first down on a pass down inside the five yard
line. Two plays later Marcus Johnston delivered the winning score with
a three-yard run.

The regional championship was the first for Coshocton.

SOC Soccer Well Represented:
South Webster junior Connor Scott and Minford senior Duncan Jordan led
a solid list of Southern Ohio Conference players on the 2009 Ohio
Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association All-State teams. Scott and Jordan
both earned a place on the first team.

Braden Ruth, who made
second team, joined Scott in being helpful in leading the Jeeps to a
19-2 record and a spot in the regional tournament where the team fell
2-1 to Worthington Christian.

Also earning second team were
Wheelersburg senior Kyle Brooks and junior Dillan Lewis. Lewis finished
the season with 37 goals, one short of the single-season record at
Wheelersburg, and has 69 for his career with still a year to play.
Brooks scored 20 goals with 15 assists this season.

SOC Soccer Not Alone:
John Glenn High’s Andrew Fitzgerald earned all-state recognition from
the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association for 2009. Fitzgerald, a
senior goalkeeper/forward for the Muskies, earned a second team spot in
boys’ Division II.

After posting 142 saves on 177 shots as a
junior and recording five shutouts, Fitzgerald split time between two
positions this fall. In goal, he played a little over nine games,
recording 74 saves on 102 shots while he also played forward for nearly
eight games, notching four goals and three assists to finish as the
team’s second-leading scorer. Those numbers were good enough to make
him the winner of the “Goalkeeper of the Year” in the Muskingum Valley
League as well.

Ready for Rubber Match: Steubenville vs.
Mooney III – here we go. Many southeast football fans still wanting to
follow some gridiron, playoff action turned their attention to the
Steubenville/Dover battle. Steubenville beat Dover 28-14 to advance to
the Division III Final Four. Steubenville and Mooney will meet for the
third time in three years. Year one was Mooney winning with year two
going to Steubenville. In both cases the winner went on to be the state
runner-up. This time the winner will return to the championship to play
for D-III title.

Division I Signing: Federal Hocking
guard Iris Butcher signed her national letter-of-intent during the
early signing period to accept a scholarship offer and play Division I
basketball for head coach Bob Lindsay at Kent State University.
Butcher, who has already surpassed the 1,000-point career mark as a
Lancer, is likely out for the year after suffering an ACL injury this
summer. Despite her blown left knee, Kent State didn’t back down from
the shooting guard who was ranked in the top 100 for the 2010
graduating class by Scouts, Inc.

Ridgewood Wins Battle of Southeast Killers:
West Lafayette Ridgewood and Fredericktown were both responsible for
taking out many of the southeast giants the past two weeks with wins
over the likes of Minford, Wheelersburg, and Oak Hill. The Week 13
battle went to Ridgewood as they defeated the Freddies 21-14 in the
Division V, Region 19 title game.

It Starts With a Good Pass:
Warren senior Katie Fisher earned All-Ohio status this season. Fisher
had 120 kills and 20 blocks to go with 92 points and 31 aces but the
impressive stat was her 97 percent passing efficiency.

Final Tune-ups:
Several high school basketball teams – both boys and girls – spent the
past weekend getting ready for the 2009-2010 season. Many leagues on
the girls’ side had preview action and many boys and girls played in an
OHSAA Foundation Game.

In girls’ preview action at Minford, the
SOC II schools won every match-up over their SOC I counterparts. At
Adena, the SVC was in action with all eyes on the Unioto Lady Shermans
and the Zane Trace Pioneers. Both teams made district final runs a year
ago, and both return a nice nucleus that should make for a great battle
at the top of the league.

In foundation games, Vinton County
boys defeated Warren while Warren took the girls’ game. Huntington boys
beat Portsmouth Clay in a game that raised money for the Sabrina Fraley
and Wayne Haines Scholarships. Other match-ups for the various great
causes include Northwest and Green (both boys and girls), Zanesville
and Thomas Worthington (boys tripleheader), Ironton St. Joe and Ironton
(boys), Peebles at Georgetown (boys), Oak Hill at Gallia Academy (boys
and girls), New Boston at South Webster (boys and girls), and North
Adams will host Williamsburg (junior high and high school girls) for
Multiple Sclerosis.


Final Four Football: Football
fans, once you digest that Thanksgiving turkey, feast on some Final
Four football. As mentioned before, with no southeast district football
teams remaining, we now follow the teams that eliminated some of our

Youngstown Cardinal Mooney (13-0) vs. Steubenville (12-1), Division III State Semifinal, Football, Friday, November 27, Canton Fawcett Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Youngstown Ursuline (9-3) vs. West Lafayette Ridgewood (13-0), Division V State Semifinal, Football, Friday, November 27, Canton Central Catholic Lowell Klinefelter Field, 7:30 p.m.

Coshocton (11-2) vs. Kettering Archbishop Alter (13-0), Division IV, State Semifinal, Football, Saturday, November 28, Hamilton Township Field, 7:00 p.m.

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