Football season has arrived! And so has our weekly look back at the state’s top performances and newsmakers. Who are the JJHuddle Offensive, Defensive and
Special Teams players of the week? Who threw for 437 yards? Who snapped a
30-game losing streak? Who set school records? We know…
There was a surreal feel Friday night at Kenton’s Robinson Field when Coldwater took the football field for the first time in 15 years led by someone other than John Reed.
I was there at the D-V state final in December – Reed’s last game. I was thankful to be at this one too – the Cavs first since his passing in June after a brief and swift bout with esophageal cancer.
Before the game, the standing room only crowd produced a moment of silence and Kenton made a donation to the John Reed Memorial Fund. Players from last year’s game met at mid-field and shook hands. The flag was at half mass.
This was the 11th straight season opener between Coldwater and Kenton and it was the first where the coaching match-up was something different than Reed versus Kenton’s Mike Mauk. Something else was different too this time around. The outcome.
For the first time since 2001 and for just the third time in 12 tries, Kenton beat Coldwater. The score was 50-31, but the game was much closer.
It was also a showcase of two quarterback talents.
Everyone in Ohio knows about Kenton junior Maty Mauk and deservedly so. In just two years of high school ball, Mauk has thrown for 7,849 yards (11th all-time in state history) and 82 TDs. He’s on pace to break his older brother Ben’s national record of 17,000-plus passing yards.
Friday, Maty Mauk completed 37 of 60 attempts for 437 yards and five TDs. He also ran for 69 yards and two TDs against a Coldwater defense that was playing ONE down lineman. It was another solid performance from the state’s top junior QB prospect.
What wasn’t as expected was the performance of Coldwater’s new QB – 6-4, 195 pound sophomore Austin Bruns.
Bruns threw five TD passes of his own (four to senior Reese Klenke who had 13 receptions for 204 yards) and more than held his own in his varsity debut. Bruns future is very bright – and so is Coldwater’s with him taking snaps.
As for Kenton, their state title hopes will hinge on their defense. Points won’t be a problem and neither will conservative play-calling.
Kenton head coach Mike Mauk went for it on fourth down multiple times, including once at his own 32 on the opening drive that helped lead to Coldwater’s first TD. Mauk got that score back though by calling a fake punt on fourth-and-15 from his own 20 with less than two minutes to go in the second quarter. His son Maty – also the punter – completed the pass for a first down and the Wildcats eventually scored a TD with 19 seconds to go before the break to lead 30-19. Had Kenton not scored that TD, Coldwater, which battled back to trail just 36-31 in the fourth quarter, would have actually had a late lead.
That first half? It lasted an hour and 40 minutes. This game was longer than an NFL game. And the NFL plays 15 minute quarters, not 12.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Alex Brooks, Harrison Central: The senior RB rushed for a TD, caught a TD, threw a TD and returned a kickoff for a TD in the Huskies 47-37 win over Urichsville Claymont. Brooks ran for a three-yard score, returned a kickoff 84 yards for a score, caught a 93-yard scoring pass and threw a 28-yard TD pass.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jim Luther, Uniontown Lake: Senior SS helped spark a defense that forced five turnovers by returning a fumble 67-yards for a TD on Green’s first possession in the Blue Streaks 44-14 win. As a RB he added four more TDs and 162 yards.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ben Coffaro, Cincinnati Elder: Senior had over 350 all-purpose yards in the Panthers 38-21 win over then D-II No. 1 Winton Woods. The RB/WR/KR and Wildcat specialist carried the ball 19 times for 90 yards, had five receptions for 137 yards, returned two kick-offs for 113 yards and had two punt returns for 17 yards. That’s 357 yards in 28 touches. Coffaro had a 4-yard TD run, a 50-yard TD reception and returned the opening kickoff of the second half a school record 98 yards for another TD.
Konner Baker, Ada: Junior became the fourth Baker brother to start at QB for the Bulldogs and announced his arrival by accounting for seven TDs in a 69-7 win over Dola Hardin Northern. Baker completed 14-of-20 passes for 375 yards and six TDs. He also ran for a TD and added an interception on defense for good measure.
Kyle Stahl, St. Henry: Sophomore QB completed 17-of-23 passes for 289 yards and three TDs and also ran for two more TDs in the Redskins 48-13 win over Marion Pleasant.
Jordy Scanlon, Clinton-Massie: Senior RB had 15 carries for 221 yards and six TDs – all in the first half – of a 55-0 win over Blanchester.
Brandon Robinson, Colonel Crawford: Senior RB scored five TDs and ran for 190 yards on 28 carries in a 34-7 win over Mt. Gilead.
Andrew Bonnette, Tallmadge: Senior WR caught seven passes for 240 yards and two TDs in a 29-28 win over Ravenna.
Josh Frakes, Hamilton Township: RB bulled his way to 362 yards and five TDs on 35 carries in a 55-30 win over Chillicothe that snapped a 12-game losing skid.
Marcus Fuller, Ashland: Senior QB tied his own school record with five TD passes in a game by throwing for that many in the first half of the Arrows 49-7 win over Willard. Fuller completed 15-of-23 passes for 319 yards.
Danny Reaser, Elyria Catholic: Senior QB completed 26-of-37 passes for 383 yards and 5 TDs in a 45-6 win over Lorain Clearview.
Cole French, Eaton: Junior QB excelled in his varisty debut by completing 23-of-35 passes for 390 yards and four TDs in a 30-0 win over Oxford Talawanda. He also kicked four PATs.
Ryan Adams, Carroll: Senior kicked two field goals, including one from 52 yards out, in a 28-0 win over Xenia.
Nick Smith, Jonathan Alder: K booted a 51-yard field goal in a 24-0 win over Thomas Worthington.
Stebbins snaps 30-game losing streak: The Indians entered Friday having last felt the thrill of victory in Week 10 of the 2006 season. After a 21-9 win over West Carrollton that thrill was back. Led by QB Steve Smith who ran for 150 yards and two TDs, Stebbins built a 19-3 halftime lead and added a safety late to end a string of three straight 0-10 seasons.
Dover Explosion: The Tornados had several standout performances in a 63-14 win over Carrollton. Senior WR Colton Zahner set school records for receptions (14) and receiving yards (291). Junior QB Derek Swinderman threw four TDs to Zahner and six total. He also completed 22-of-33 passes for 381 yards. RB Keith Johnson added three TDs and 176 yards on 17 carries. Dover tied the school record for points in a quarter with 35 in the first.
Mustangs stampede records: Urichsville Claymont junior Nick Merrick and sophomore receiver Tyler Peterson set school records in a 47-37 loss to Harrison Central. Merrick completed 17-of-33 passes for a school record 449 yards and three TDs. Merrick, who also ran for a TD, broke the previous record of 351 yards set by current Claymont assistant coach Derek O’Hara in 2000. Peterson set a school record with 11 receptions (for 165 yards). The old mark of nine was set in 2002 by Brennen Clarke.