Friday Night Highlights Week 12: From 0-4 to Elite Eight, six backs over 200 yards and six return TDs


Kenton junior QB Maty Mauk had 462 total yards (and five TDs) in a 36-28 win over Clinton-Massie. (Photo by Nick Falzerano)

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 had over 400 yards of
Who set a school record? Who set a stadium record? Who
rushed for over 200 yards?
know…here’s the week’s BEST.

Other than LSU’s unlikely run to a national championship in 2008, college football teams with multiple losses are basically done when it comes to capturing that sports ultimate prize – a BCS national championship.

Fortunately high school football in Ohio is a little more forgiving.

Thanks to a playoff system (novel idea), the OHSAA football tournament rewards teams for playing tough schedules, winning and improving week-to-week.


Minster started the season 0-4 with losses to Division VI playoff teams Fort Loramie, Lehman Catholic, Delphos St. John’s and Marion Local. The Wildcats also lost to D-V regional finalist Coldwater in Week 10, but have won seven of their last eight and made the D-VI playoffs as a No. 8 seed. They’ve beaten No. 1 seed Springfield Catholic and No. 3 Marion Local in successive weeks to work their way into the Region 24 final (against Lehman).

– Speaking of Coldwater, the Cavs are in their seventh regional final in four years and fourth in a row despite ending the regular season with three losses (to Kenton, Delphos St. John’s and Anna).

– In D-I, Cincinnati St. Xavier may have played the toughest schedule in the country and deservedly earned a playoff berth despite being 4-4 at one point and just 5-4 at the start of the playoffs. Since then the Bombers have beaten GCL South co-champ LaSalle and unbeaten and No. 1 Colerain to advance to the Region 4 final.

– In the Region 4 final, St. Xavier will face a Huber Heights Wayne team that was 0-2 to begin the season. Since then – behind Ohio State QB recruit Braxton Miller – the Warriors have rallied to go 9-1 in their last 10 games. Wayne has beaten undefeated Middletown and archrival Centerville in the postseason.

Youngstown Cardinal Mooney was 5-4 in the regular season but made the D-III Region 9 playoffs despite losses to Moeller, St. Edward, Columbus DeSales and Youngstown Ursuline. The Cardinals – after wins over Field and Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary – is in the regional final.

– Other three loss teams that are still alive include Olmsted Falls (Region 6), Uniontown Lake (Region 7), Akron Buchtel (Region 9) and Orrville (Region 14).


Antwan Gilbert, Trotwood-Madison: The senior RB helped send defending Division II state champion Winton Woods packing by rushing for 238 yards and four TDs on 32 carries in the Rams 42-23 win over the Warriors in a Region 8 semifinal at Princeton High School. Gilbert, who rushed for 2,576 yards last season, ended the regular season with just 1,212 yards, but since a Week 5 loss to Springfield he’s rushed for 1,209 yards during Trotwood’s seven-game winning streak.


Cory Blackstock, Lakewood St. Edward: The senior CB returned an interception 85 yards for a TD in the Eagles 42-22 come-from-behind win over Glenville in a D-I Region 1 semifinal at Parma’s Byers Field. Blackstock’s pick six gave St. Edward the lead for good (21-16) and started a run of 28 unanswered points by the Eagles. Overall, St. Edward snagged four interceptions.


Garrett Price, Bridgeport: A tremendously versatile player, Price notched his sixth return TD of the season with an 80-yard kickoff return in the Bulldogs 21-20 win over Newark Catholic in the D-VI Region 23 semifinals at John D. Sulsberger Memorial Stadium in Zanesville. Price’s score came just 17 seconds before halftime and knotted the score at 14-14. Price has returned four punts and two kickoffs for TDs this season. He also has six rushing TDs, five receiving TDs and has booted 30 PATs, including the game-winner in the fourth quarter against the Green Wave.


Carmen Leonelli, Youngstown Mooney:
CB returned an interception 71 yards with 19 seconds left to give the Cardinals a 27-20 win over Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in a D-III Region 9 semifinal at Uniontown Lake High School.

Maty Mauk, Kenton:
Junior QB completed 28-of-43 passes for 356 yards and five TDs and rushed for 106 yards in the Wildcats 36-28 win over previously unbeaten and No. 1 ranked Clinton-Massie in a D-IV Region 16 semifinal at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium.

Jeremy Ortiz, Olmsted Falls:
RB racked up 275 yards and four TDs in a 56-28 win over Maumee in a D-II Region 6 semifinal at Clyde High School.

Jimmy Luther, Uniontown Lake:
Senior RB carried the ball 38 times for 246 yards and four TDs in a 42-38 win over Dresden Tri-Valley in a D-II, Region 7 semifinal at Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium in New Philadelphia. Luther, who is playing without an ACL in his left knee (injured earlier this year), also added a TD catch on a 21-yard screen pass.

Noah Key, Columbus Hartley:
Senior RB carried the ball 35 times for 242 yards and five TDs in the Hawks 39-26 win over Heath in a D-IV Region 15 semifinal at Johnstown-Monroe High School.

Dymonte Thomas and Alden Hill, Marlington: RB tandem combined to rush for 424 yards and five TDs in a 48-21 win over Newark Licking Valley in a D-III Region 11 semifinal at New Philadelphia Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium. Thomas ran for 251 yards and two TDs on 15 carries, while Hill racked up 173 yards and three TDs on 22 carries.

Chris Smelly, Bridgeport:
Senior RB became the school’s all-time leading rusher by racking up 52 yards and two TDs on 16 carries in a 21-20 win over Newark Catholic in a D-Vi Region 23 semifinal at Zanesville’s John D. Sulsberger Memorial Stadium. Smelley now has 4,287 career yards.

Tres Wilks, Ironton:
The senior DB/RB made a one-handed interception against Sparta Highland and returned it 99 yards for a TD in the Tigers 43-7 win in a D-IV Region 15 semifinal. The return set a stadium record at Logan’s Chieftain Stadium. Wilks also ran for a 21-yard TD.

Jamire Westbrook, Kings:
Junior RB, who owns offers from Cincinnati and Kansas, showed why he’s one of the state’s top underclass players by rushing for 215 yards and four TDs on 40 carries in a 42-35 win over Mt. Healthy in a D-II Region 8 semifinal at Mason’s Dwire Field.

Zane Pitzer, Alter:
Senior QB rushed for 183 yards and three TDs on 22 carries in a 28-14 win over Jonathan Alder in the D-IV Region 16 semifinals at Troy.

Cole Benner, Heath:
QB totaled over 300 yards of offense in a 39-26 loss to Hartley in a D-IV Region 15 semifinal at Johnstown-Monroe High School. Benner ran for 150 yards and two TDs on 20 carries and completed 7-of-11 passes for 152 yards and two TDs.

Tommy Waginger, Ironton:
Senior QB ran the ball just four times but gained 130 yards and scored two TDs in a 38-7 win over Sparta Highland in a D-IV Region 15 semifinal at Logan High School. Waginger’s TDs came on runs of 66 and 61 yards.

Marcus Fuller and Chris Thomas, Ashland:
Senior duo led the Arrows to a convincing 49-7 win over previously unbeaten Tallmadge in a D-II, Region 5 semifinal at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Fuller completed 14-of-18 passes for 243 yards and three TDs and also ran for a score. Thomas touched the ball six times, scored four TDs and rushed for 159 yards. Ashland racked up 488 yards of offense overall with 404 of those coming in the first half.

Kyle Nutter, Genoa:
Sophomore RB ran for 177 yards and four TDs on 37 carries in a 38-29 win over Bellville Clear Fork in a D-IV, Region 14 semifinal at Tiffin Frost-Kalnow Stadium.

Kasey Spence, Patrick Henry:
QB accounted for nearly 400 yards of offense in a 48-41 loss to Jeromesville Hillsdale in a D-V Region 18 semifinal at Bowling Green. Spence completed 22-of-32 passes for 310 yards and two TDs and also ran for a team-high 72 yards on 16 carries.

Matt Smith, Fredericktown:
RB carried the ball 22 times for 205 yards and two TDs in a 36-13 win over Wheelersburg in a D-V Region 19 semifinal at Nelsonville-York.

Matt Staubach, McNicholas:
Senior QB ran for two TDs and threw for two TDs in a 31-14 win over Roger Bacon in a D-III Region 12 semifinal at Goshen High School.


Mustang Stampede:
Maple Heights had three players rush for over 100 yards and racked up 675 total yards in a 61-27 win over Sandusky in a D-II Region 6 semifinal at Avon Lake High School. DeVonte Ransom rushed for 209 yards and two TDs on 13 carries, while QB Shaq Washington ran for 168 yards and three TDs and completed 9-of-16 passes for 144 yards and three more TDs. Andre Stubbs added 105 yards and a TD on four carries. Maple Heights scored on nine of its first 11 possessions.

Three, Two…:
Last year Kings won three football games. This year it’s lost just two. A year after going 3-7, the Knights are 10-2 heading into this week’s D-II Region 8 final against Trotwood-Madison.

Three stadium records set at Logan:
Ironton and Sparta Highland combined to set three Logan Chieftain Stadium records in the Tigers 48-7 win in a D-IV Region 15 semifinal. Ironton ran for a stadium record 359 yards and senior DB Trey Wilks returned an interception a stadium record 99 yards for a TD (see defensive player of the week). Highland QB Josh Gahm set a stadium record by attempting 47 passes. He completed 26 for 232 yards.

High Five:
Elida junior QB Reggie McAdams entered the Bulldogs D-III Region 10 semifinal against Watterson having thrown three interceptions all season. McAdams was intercepted five times by the Eagles who won 21-7 at Piqua’s Alexander Stadium. Overall McAdams completed 23-of-48 passes for 358 yards and a TD.

Drive Time:
Orrville beat Elyria Catholic 22-14 in a D-IV Region 14 semifinal thanks in part to an offense that killed clock. In the second quarter of the win, the Red Riders put together a 12-play, 88-yard drive that lasted 9:12 and ended in a 5-yard TD run by Mason Monheim.

Ironton and Sparta Highland combined for over 700 yards off offense in the Tigers 38-7 win in the D-IV Region 15 semifinals. Ironton had 369 yards, all on the ground, while Highland had 320 yards.

Chagrin Falls returned an interception for a TD, returned a punt for a TD and blocked a punt in a 55-28 win over Cortland Lakeview in a D-IV Region 13 semifinal at Aurora’s Veteran Stadium…Hilliard Davidson held Springfield to minus-1 yard rushing and 71 yards passing in a 9-0 win in the D-I Region 3 semifinals.
Friday: D-II, IV and VI Quarterfinals
Saturday: D-I, II and V Quarterfinals

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