Our weekly look back at the
state’s top performances
and newsmakers continues. Who are the JJHuddle
Offensive, Defensive and
Special Teams players of the week? Who rushed for 400 yards? Who went over 11,000 career yards? Who had three return TDs in a game? We
know…here’s the week’s BEST.
There were several great games and crazy outcomes this past weekend in Ohio high school football. Did you see the Lakewood St. Edward and Columbus DeSales score? The Eagles won 62-0? How about Massillon Washington beating visiting Steubenville 28-7? Big game.
Nowhere though was the craziness and intrigue larger than it was in the Southwest part of the state. Specifically in Division I.
Region 4 is arguably – and in my mind – the deepest playoff region in the state. This past weekend several teams vying for the postseason and league/conference titles experienced memorable outcomes and achievements.
Middletown beats Mason 69-44
The Middies rallied from a 23-21 halftime deficit with 35 third quarter points in a game that saw 934 yards of total offense between the two teams. Middletown was led by sophomore QB Jalin Marshall who ran for 240 yards and four TDs and threw for 112 yards and two more TDs. Mason was paced by senior RB David Fulcher, Jr. who rushed for five TDs and 206 yards.
Colerain survives Hamilton 17-14
The state’s No. 1 ranked Division I team ran its home win streak to 56 games and survived an upset bid by Hamilton. The Cardinals rallied from a 14-3 halftime deficit and watched as Big Blue missed a potential game-tying 26-yard field goal with 27 seconds left. Senior QB Tyler Williams set Colerain’s career rushing record with a 158-yard night that gives him 3,231 yards for his career.
Northmont upends Centerville 24-21 in Double OT
The state’s No. 3 ranked team wasn’t as lucky as the No. 1 squad. Centerville was dropped from the ranks of the unbeaten courtesy of a 24-yard field goal by a soccer player. Senior Logan Murphy, who connected on the game-winning kick, is a goalkeeper for the T-Bolts and was nursing sore ribs he suffered in a game against Carroll on Thursday. Northmont recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff and returned it for a TD. The T-Bolts had four turnovers themselves but still made enough plays to pull out the shocking win.
LaSalle knocks out St. Xavier 27-24
The undefeated Lancers continued their best start in school history as senior QB Drew Kummer threw for two TDs and ran for another. LaSalle built a 14-3 lead and then rallied from a 17-14 fourth quarter deficit for the win.
OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Jake Burns, London: The junior set a school record and tallied one of the best nights in state history by a RB when he rushed for 400 yards and six TDs on 20 carries (20 yards per carry) in a 53-15 win over Miami Trace. Burns scored on runs of 83, 50, 29, 72, 83 and 39 yards. Burns’ effort marks just the 29th time in state history a back has reached the 400-yard mark in a game. The state record of 532 yards was established by Williamburg’s Jason Bainum in 2001.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Stephen Wilmington, Ravenna: Senior RB/DB did a little bit of everything for the Ravens in a 28-14 win over Kent Roosevelt. Wilmington recovered a fumble and had an interception on defense. On offense he accounted for all four of Ravenna’s TDs by rushing for three and throwing for another.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Darren Johnson, Collins Western Reserve: Senior WR/DB helped the Roughriders beat defending Division VI state champion Norwalk St. Paul 42-21 by coming up huge in the return game. Johnson returned two punts for TDs (one in each half) and also returned an interception for a TD. He touched the ball three times and had 142 yards and three TDs.
Alex Utley, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy: Senior RB set a school record by rushing for 398 yards and two TDs in a 34-7 win over Tuscarawas Valley. Utley also had nine tackles, including four TFL.
DeVonte McGhee, Toronto: Senior RB set a school record by rushing for 382 yards in a 54-30 win over Beallsville. McGhee scored five TDs (all 40 yards or longer) and left the game with 6:07 left in the third quarter. The win was the third straight for Toronto, which hasn’t had a winning streak this long since 2003.
Marcus Fuller, Ashland: Senior QB went over the 6,000 career yard mark and accounted for all six of his team’s TDs in a 42-28 win over Orrville. Fuller completed 25-of-33 passes for 322 yards and four TDs and ran the ball 17 times for 74 yards and two TDs.
Dan Graziano, Girard: Senior QB accounted for all 422 yards of total offense for the Indians in a 28-21 win over Niles. Graziano completed 15-of-21 passes for 364 yards and four TDs and also ran for 58 yards. He also picked off a pass at the five-yardline in the closing seconds to secure the win.
Luke Smurthwaite and Jake Green, Grove City: This pass and catch combo terrorized Newark in the Greyhounds 56-9 win. Smurthwaite completed 8-of-11 passes for 350 yards and four TDs. He also ran for another TD. Green caught all four of Smurthwaite’s TD throws and had seven receptions for 282 yards overall. Smurthwaite and Green hooked up for TDs of 38, 68, 56 and 80 yards.
Josh March, Madison: RB ran for six TDs and 324 yards on 24 carries in a 62-39 win over Chardon.
Levi Stump, Mount Vernon: RB had 301 all-purpose yards and scored three TDs in a 29-22 come-from-behind win over Hilliard Bradley. Stump scored on 97- and 42-yard runs and on an 84-yard kickoff return.
Tyler Ketty, St. Ignatius: Needing a spark to snap a three-game slide, the Wildcats got one from the senior WR/DB. Ketty returned a punt 37 yards for a second quarter TD and returned an interception 35 yards for another TD in a 48-19 win over Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep. St. Ignatius has been to the playoffs 22 straight years but is just 3-4 with three weeks left. Iggy is No. 15 currently in Region 1 playoff points.
Luke Credit, Waynesville: Junior QB threw for 299 yards and four TDs and rushed for 124 yards and a TD in a 45-35 win over Oakwood.
Rob Harping, Lakota East: QB threw for three TDs and ran for three TDs in a 41-14 win over Princeton.
Sheldon Akin, Beechcroft: QB threw for three TDs, ran for three TDs and also tossed a 2-point conversion in a 53-6 win over Columbus East.
Sabastian Neikirk and Bobby Bright, Garrettsville Garfield: Pass and catch combo dominated in a 67-24 win over Woodridge. Neikirk completed 13-of-25 passes for 352 yards and four TDs. All four of those TDs went to Bright who hauled in six passes for 171 yards.
Jayshon Jackson, Westerville South: Senior RB ran for 191 yards and four TDs on 35 carries in a 42-35 win over Marysville.
Cole Fench, Eaton: Junior QB threw four TDs, ran for a TD, kicked five PATs and snagged an interception on defense in a 41-7 win over Bellbrook. He also punted seven times.
K.C. Hawkins, Circleville: QB completed 16-of-31 passes for 387 yards and a TD in a 35-27 loss to Teays Valley. He also ran for three TDs.
Jordan Mitchell, Columbus Whetstone: RB had 208 yards and four TDs in a 53-6 win over Linden-McKinley.
Jalen Campbell, Springboro: Junior RB ran for 233 yards and a TD and added two TD receptions in a 34-0 win over Fairborn.
Noah Key, Hartley: Senior RB ran for 207 yards and four TDs on 19 carries in a 38-14 win over Dayton Thurgood Marshall.
Bo Wilburn, Little Miami: Junior QB accounted for four TDs and over 300 yards of offense in a 42-19 win over West Carrollton. Wilburn ran for 170 yards and two TDs and threw for 131 yards and two TDs.
Dakota Dartis, North College Hill: Senior QB completed 18-of-25 passes for 377 yards and five TD passes in a 58-9 win over Clark Montessori.
Teryn Jarrett, Beallsville: QB threw for 309 yards and four TDs and ran for another TD in a 54-30 loss to Toronto.
Brandon Winesickle, Union Local: Sophomore DB had a big game in a 27-13 loss to Bellaire with 11 tackles (including four for loss) a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Danny Reaser, Elyria Catholic: Senior QB completed 27-of-48 passes for 397 yards and three TDs in a 41-23 loss to Padua Franciscan.
Paul Ghude, Kirtland: Senior QB threw for 229 yards and four TDs and also ran for 92 yards and another TD in a 42-0 win over Middlefield Cardinal.
Matt Galland, Brecksville-Broadview Heights: RB ran for 248 yards and three TDs on 36 carries in a 25-22 win over North Olmsted.
Robbie Plagens, Rocky River: Senior QB accounted for six TDs in a 53-34 win over Bay Village Bay. Plagens threw for five TDs and ran for another.
Chad Neff, Louisville: QB accounted for over 400 yards of offense in a 45-34 win over Carrollton. Neff threw for 205 yards and three TDs and ran for 204 yards and two TDs.
Dymonte Thomas, Marlington: Sophomore RB/LB ran for 232 yards and three TDs on 13 carries and also added nine tackles (including three sacks) in a 34-14 win over Alliance.
Donovan Wilson, Dublin Jerome: Sophomore RB scored five TDs and ran for 205 yards in a 49-21 win over Olentangy.
Connor Smith: Lancaster: RB tallied 227 yards and a TD on 13 carries in a 28-6 win over Reynoldsburg.
18 Straight Winning Seasons: Kenton beat Celina 58-14 to secure its 18th straight winning season in Western Buckeye League play. The WBL is one of Ohio’s toughest mid-sized school leagues and that feat isn’t a small one. In the win over the then-WBL leading Dogs, Kenton junior QB Maty Mauk surpassed 11,000 career yards by completing 28-of-37 passes for 478 yards and five TDs. He also ran for 42 yards and three TDs and accounted for four 2-point conversions (ran for two, threw for two). Max Morrison, who has over 1,000 receiving yards this season, caught 13 passes for 189 yards and a TD. Dustin Howell added six catches for 177 yards and a TD. Kenton led 8-0 29 seconds into the game and scored 38 first quarter points.
Call It A Comeback: Richmond Edison and Bellaire are enjoying a resurgence this season. Edison is 6-1 after winning six games combined the last two years. This past Friday the Wildcats beat previously unbeaten St. Clairsville 34-28 in three OTs. Bellaire, once a state power, is 5-2. Heading into this season the Big Reds were 5-25 the last three years.
First Time: Fenwick improved to 7-0 with a 33-27 OT win over Chaminade Julienne. It was the Falcons first win ever over the Eagles.
Cross Reaches 200: Olentangy Orange head coach Brian Cross won his 200th game in a 39-14 win over Watkins Memorial. Cross won a state title at Canton McKinley and also coached at Grove City before taking over Orange’s new program.
Bucyrus Wynford Win Streak Reaches 45: The Royals extended the state’s longest regular season winning streak to 45 with a 27-20 win over Bucyrus Colonel Crawford. This week Wynford faces a stiff test on the road at fellow unbeaten New Washington Buckeye Central. The Royals last regular season loss was to Sycamore Mohawk on Oct. 1, 2006.
Genoa Runs Win Streak To 36: The Comets won their 36th straight regular season game by blasting Gibsonburg 75-12. Genoa hosts Millbury Lake (5-2) this week.
Nice Fit: West Jefferson improved to 31-1 in Mid-State League Cardinal Division games over the last five seasons with a 53-0 win over winless Millersport.
OFFF-ense: Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy had 596 yards, including 571 on the ground, in a 34-7 win over Tuscarawas Valley.
DEFFF-ense: Watterson scored three defensive TDs and held Lorain to minus-13 yards of total offense in a 63-0 win…Sparta Highland held Buckeye Valley to 60 total yards, including 12 rushing, in a 42-0 win…Winton Woods scored on a fumble recovery and an interception return in a 47-13 win over Loveland…Walsh Jesuit blocked two punts (and got 10 points off them) in a 17-10 win over Akron SVSM…