Friday Night Highlights Week 13: JJ Power Poll downs AP Poll, state TD record falls and 16 INTs


Alter QB Zane Pitzer ran for four TDs in the Knights victory over Kenton. (Photo by Mickey Shuey)

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 has 632 yards rushing in three playoff games? Who set a state record for TD catches? Who picked off three passes? We
know…here’s the week’s BEST.

Friendly competition is good. Especially when you win. That being said, chalk one up to the JJHuddle Power Poll, which out-performed the AP Poll this year.

Heading into the state semifinals in each division, the JJHuddle Power Poll has 15 of the final 24 teams ranked in its final Top 10s. The AP Poll has 12.

Those teams ranked in the JJHuddle
Power Poll
Top 10s and not in the AP Poll Top 10s are: Toledo Whitmer (D-I), Chagrin Falls (D-IV), Lima Central Catholic (D-V) and Sidney Lehman Catholic (D-VI).

The JJHuddle Power Poll struck out on Shadyside, which it mentioned in its D-VI “Best of the Rest” but did not rank in its final Top 10. The AP had Shadyside ranked No. 10.

In 2009, both the JJHuddle Power Poll and AP Poll had 16 of the 24 state semifinalists in the Top 10s.

In the JJHuddle
Power Poll
, we had 14 of 24 state semifinalists ranked.


Shaq Washington, Maple Heights: The senior QB accounted for over 300 yards and five TDs in a 48-16 win over Olmsted Falls in the D-II Region 6 final at Baldwin-Wallace’s Finnie Stadium. Washington ran for two TDs and 143 yards and threw for three TDs and 184 yards.


Chris Pohlman, Delphos St. John’s: The senior linebacker helped the Blue Jays win their third straight D-VI Region 22 title, by intercepting three passes and returning two for TDs in a 56-20 win over McComb at Findlay’s Donnell Stadium. Pohlman also scored on offense on a 15-yard run.


Nick Holley, Toledo Whitmer: The DB didn’t score a TD this week but he set up both of Whitmer’s TD drives with returns in the Panthers 14-10 win over Toledo St. John’s in the D-I Region 2 final at Bowling Green. At the end of the first half, Holley returned a blocked punt (by Joe McNabb) 23 yards to the St. John’s 2-yardline where he was hit and fumbled into the end zone. The ball was recovered by teammate Nigel Hayes for the TD. In the fourth quarter Holley returned a punt 18 yards to set up the Panthers game-winning drive.

Wes Wilson, Uniontown Lake:
DB returned two interceptions for TDs in the Blue Streaks 42-14 win over Big Walnut in the D-II Region 7 final at Ashland University. Wilson’s pick sixes covered 84 and 60 yards.

Antwan Gilbert, Trotwood-Madison:
The senior RB ran for 241 yards and five TDs in the Rams 53-24 win over Kings in the D-II Region 8 final at Princeton. In three playoff games Gilbert has rushed for 632 yards and 11 TDs on 72 carries.

Akise Teague, Youngstown Ursuline:
Senior RB had over 300 yards of offense in the Irish’s 48-0 win over Kirtland in the D-V Region 17 final at Aurora. Teague rushed for 199 yards and a TD and caught two passes for 144 yards and two TDs.

Zane Pitzer, Alter:
Senior QB ran for 186 yards and four TDs, including the game-winner on a 24-yard run with 1:33 left, in the Knights 35-32 win over Kenton in the D-IV Region 16 final at Wapakoneta.

Nathan Cubbage, Fredericktown:
DB snagged three interceptions in the Freddies 28-21 win over Oak Hill in the D-V Region 19 final at Hamilton Township.

Maty Mauk, Kenton:
Junior QB threw for 386 yards and four TDs and also ran for a TD in the Wildcats 35-32 loss to Alter in the D-IV Region 16 final at Wapakoneta.

Brent Wahle, Hartley:
K made two fields gals (27 and 33 yards) and two PATs in the Hawks 26-20 win over Ironton in the D-IV Region 15 final at Logan.

Alex Williamson, Marlington:
Junior WR caught five passes for 100 yards and to two TDs and added an interception on defense in the Dukes 35-23 win over Dover in the D-III Region 11 final at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium.

Keith Heitzman, Hillard Davidson:
Senior DE and Vanderbilt recruit logged three sacks (including one on the game’s final play), one batted pass and a forced fumble in the Wildcats 13-6 win over Pickerington Central in the D-I Region 3 final at Upper Arlington.


Coldwater continues to write history:
What program is tops in Ohio over the last 10-15 years? Hard to argue it’s not Coldwater. The Cavaliers played in their 11tth regional final in 13 years on Saturday and beat West Jefferson 44-12 in Region 20 to advance to their eighth state semifinal since 1998. With a win over Fredericktown in the D-V state semifinals, Coldwater will advance to its fourth state final in six years. Since 1998, the Cavaliers have averaged 11.7 wins a season. This year they are 10-3. In the win over West Jeff, senior RB/LB Adam Rammel came up big on both sides of the ball, running for two TDs and returning an interception for another.

Record Breaker:
Despite the fact that his team fell 56-20 to Delphos St. John’s in the D-VI Region 22 final at Findlay’s Donnell Stadium, McComb’s Taylor Haines set a state record for receiving TDs in a season when he snared No. 30 from QB Andrew Dee in the first quarter. Hanes finished the game with seven catches for 135 yards.

Six Pack:
McNicholas intercepted Eaton junior quarterback Cole French six times and forced a safety on intentional grounding as the rockets moved within one win of their first state final since 1984 with a 39-14 win in the D-III Region 12 final at Mason. French had thrown six interceptions all season coming into the game. McNick head coach Steve Klonne, who led Moeller to state titles in 1982 and 1985 and runner-up finishes in 1989, 1993 and 1997, is also one win away from his sixth state championship game.

Powers has Buchtel rolling again:
Ricky Powers might not like to talk about it but his impact on the Akron Buchtel program is significant. Before starring at Michigan, Powers led the Griffins to back-to-back D-II state titles in 1987 and 1988. This year – as head coach – he’s led the program back to the state semifinals. The Griffins beat defending D-III state champion Youngstown Mooney in the Region 9 final at Ravenna to advance to their first state semifinal since 2005 and their first under Powers who took over four years ago. Buchtel was also a state finalist in 1995 and 1996. Defensively, the Griffins held Mooney to six first downs and 139 total yards. They also had 12 tackles for loss and returned an interception for a TD.

Hartley back in the Final Four:
Columbus Hartley punched its first ticket to the state semifinals since 1988 with a 26-20 win over Ironton in the D-IV Region 15 final at Logan. Noah Key rushed for 179 yards and three TDs on 36 carries in the win. In 1988 Hartley lost to Versailles in a D-V semifinal at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium.

First Time:
Marlington earned its first berth in the state semifinals by beating Dover 35-23 for the D-III Region 11 title at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium. Junior QB Jesse Carpenter led the way, throwing for two TDs and 191 yards on 10-of-18 passing.

Maple Heights had 468 yards of offense and scored four TDs that covered over 40 yards in a 48-16 win over Olmsted Falls in the D-II Region 6 final at Baldwin-Wallace…Chagrin Falls racked up 424 total yards in a 37-14 win over Akron Manchester in the D-IV Region 13 final at Nordonia…Ursuline racked up 635 yards in its 48-0 win over Kirtland in the D-V Region 7 final at Aurora.

Delphos St. John’s picked off five passes and held McComb to minus-4 yards rushing in a 56-20 win in the D-VI Region 22 final at Findlay.

Friday: D-II, IV and VI Quarterfinals
Saturday: D-I, II and V Quarterfinals

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