Friday Night Highlights Week 15: Private schools go 5-0, new All-Ohio needed and an empty Ohio Stadium?

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Columbus Hartley was one of two Central Catholic League teams to win state titles. Watterson was the other.

This is our FINAL weekly look back at the
state’s top performances
and newsmakers. Who are the final JJHuddle
Offensive, Defensive and
Special Teams players of the week
? Who set state finals records? Who might have earned themselves a scholarship? We
know…here’s the week’s BEST.


Week 15: State Finals Recap

Hats off to the OHSAA and Stark County for putting together another great football state finals weekend. The weather, venues and hospitality were top notch. There were however some things that weren’t – depending on who you asked. Everyone has an opinion and here’s mine.

These
are the top five storylines I witnessed this weekend:

1. Private schools are at an advantage: Duh. I know, but this is always a hot-button topic and it was again this weekend in the pressbox, stands, sidelines and local establishments. The main discussion? Splitting private and public schools into two divisions and having separate championships for both. While that topic has been discussed for years, it may finally be gaining some legs. There was no doubt disgusted looks and disappointment among observers with the relatively lopsided games between public and private schools. Overall, five of the six divisions featured a match-up pitting “public vs private” and private schools won all five by the combined score of 210-80. That’s an average of 42-16 per game.

In the last three years private schools are 10-0 against public schools in state football finals. Since 2000, they are 24-9. Take that for what it’s worth.

2. Delphos St. John’s did not run up the score on Shadyside:
The final score – 77-6 – looks ridiculous. And so does anyone accusing Delphos St. John’s of running up the score on Shadyside in the D-VI state final. Anyone with a straight face who has ever been around the program or met the coaches – particularly head coach Todd Schulte – would know how laughable it is to label the Blue Jays as “classless.” I’ve read the posts on the message boards here and there are a lot people who believe that. I cover the MAC and I’ve seen Delphos St. John’s play before, and I have to admit that in the fourth quarter there were guys in the game for the Jays – and scoring TDs – that I had never even heard of. And speaking of unheard of, ask yourself this – when was the last time you saw a team take a knee in a state championship game with four minutes left? That’s what DSJ did. Classless would have been putting 100 on the board, which is what the Blue Jays could have done. Shadyside has had and will have better days.

3. St. Edward has the fourth best OL in Ohio:
In the pressbox before the D-I state final, the comment was made that St. Edward had the fourth best offensive line in the state. That aroused some feedback. When the follow-up was made that “the Browns, Bengals and Buckeyes are 1-3” most agreed. The Eagles massive offensive line features six legitimate D-I college football recruits: seniors Geoff Mogus (Northwestern recruit), Brandon Jackson (Toledo, Ball State, Ohio and Akron offers) and Trent Rivera (Penn recruit) and juniors Kyle Kalis (Ohio State commit), Tyler Orlosky and Sam Grant. In the D-I final, the Eagles were tied 7-7 with Huber Heights Wayne at halftime and had 85 total yards. In the second half – behind that line that averages 6-4, 290 – St. Edward racked up 236 yards and a 35-28 win.

4. The AP All-Ohio process HAS to change:
I know I spoke about this in Friday’s “What We Learned,” but a lot of people commented on that piece and sent me some more info. The conclusion? The AP All-Ohio team process needs revamped. On Friday, I talked about how Delphos St. John’s senior QB Jordan Leininger, despite being a two-time All-Ohioan at RB and a three-time 1,000-yard rusher, was left off the D-VI All-Ohio team this year. He also threw for over 1,300 yards and 15 TDs this season. If that wasn’t bad enough, check this out: A scan of the recently released 2010 D-VI All-Ohio team reveals the following numbers: Delphos St. John’s (15-0, state champions) has four All-Ohio players, Buckeye Central (9-2) has two, Bucyrus Wynford (10-1) has one and Norwalk St. Paul (7-3) has one. Pretty prestigious right? Exclusive? Not really. Now check this out. On that same D-VI All-Ohio team, Fairport Harding, which finished 3-7 and beat teams that were a combined 2-28, had seven All-Ohioans. Lutheran East, which went 3-6 and beat teams that were a combined 1-29, had four All-Ohioans – the same number as state champion Delphos St. John’s. Thomson Ledgemont, which did go 11-1, had 11 All-Ohioans. That’s half the starting line-up. What? Exactly. Ledgemont lost to Mogadore in the regional semifinals. Mogadore lost to Shadyside in the state semifinals. Shadyside lost to Delphos St. John’s…well you get the picture.

And Sidney Lehman’s Kaleb Goins was a second team pick? All he did was rush for over 2,000 yards and score 36 TDs for a state semifinalist team that “only” lost to DSJ 49-7.

5. How empty will Ohio Stadium look?
When the attendance was announced for the D-II final Friday night I was struck by how low it was – 3,987. That immediately made me think what will 3,987 look like in Ohio Stadium in 2014. Ohio Stadium seats over 102,000. The state finals will be held in Stark County for three more years, but will move to Columbus for a two-year run after that. Ohio Stadium has hosted the finals before (1989 was the last time the Shoe hosted every divisional state final). No doubt TV has affected attendance (the 2000 D-II final drew 9,082), but it’s probably best for the sport overall that its broadcast statewide and nationally. The argument can be made too that the immensely populated Central Ohio region and a more centrally located site will pull in greater attendance figures. One thing to watch out for starting next year, though – regardless of location – is the Big Ten Championship game. When that game is scheduled (and if the Buckeyes are playing in it) could impact attendance as well on the final day of the state football finals. 

INDIVIDUAL HONORS

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Akise Teague, Youngstown Ursuline and Shaq Washington, Maple Heights (tie):
Flip a coin. That’s what you’d have to do to decide which one of these guys shined brighter. In the D-II final, Washington led Maple Heights to its first state title by accounting for seven TDs in the Mustangs 45-33 win at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Washington completed 11-of-19 passes for 216 yards and three TDs and tied a D-II finals record with four rushing  TDs and 174 yards on 29 carries. In the D-V final, Teague helped the Irish win their third straight state title with 405 all-purpose yards and five TDs in a 51-21 win over Coldwater at Fawcett Stadium. Teague set a D-V finals record and tied an all-divisions record with his five TDs. He also set a D-V finals record with four rushing TDs.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jarrod Wilson, Akron Buchtel:
The junior DB recovered a fumble and had two interceptions, one of which he returned a D-II finals record 80 yards for a TD, in a 13-12 loss to Columbus Watterson at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Antwan Gilbert, Trotwood-Madison:
Senior RB carried the ball 28 times for 179 yards and returned a punt 45 yards for a TD in a 45-33 loss to Maple Heights in the D-II final at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

BIG PERFORMERS

Reese Klenke, Coldwater: Senior wide receiver set a D-V finals record and tied an all-divisions finals record with three TD receptions in a 51-21 loss to Ursuline at Fawcett Stadium. Klenke ended the game with nine catches for 125 yards. Klenke ended the season with 1,790 yards and 23 TDs on 105 receptions.

Andre Stubbs, Maple Heights:
Senior WR caught seven passes for 170 yards and two TDs in a 45-33 win over Trotwood-Madison in the D-II final at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Kevin Burke, Lakewood St. Edward:
Senior QB led the Eagles to their first state title by running for 130 yards and a TD on 15 carries and completing 9-of-13 passes for 89 yards and a TD in a 35-28 win over Wayne in the D-I final at Fawcett Stadium.

Ty Bergfeld, Delphos St. John’s:
Senior DB had three interceptions and also caught a TD in the Blue Jays 77-6 win over Shadyside in the D-VI final at Fawcett Stadium.

Noah Key, Columbus Hartley:
Senior RB ran for 130 yards and two TDs on 24 carries in a 34-13 win over Chagrin Falls in the D-IV final at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Key finished the season with 2,905 yards rushing and 41 TDs.

Jordan Leininger, Delphos St. John’s:
Senior QB completed 7-of-10 passes for 136 yards and two TDs and ran for 101 yards and two more TDs in a 77-6 win over Shadyside in the D-VI final at Fawcett Stadium.

Marcus Graham, Trotwood-Madison:
Senior QB completed 9-of-16 passes for 145 yards and two TDs and ran for 29 yards and two TDs in a 45-33 loss to Maple Heights in the D-II final at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Braxton Miller, Wayne:
Senior QB completed 15-of-24 passes for 200 yards and two TDs and carried the ball 15 times for 64 yards and two more TDs in a 35-28 loss to Lakewood St. Edward in the D-I final at Fawcett Stadium.

John Welcome, Maple Heights:
Senior LB racked up 8.5 tackles, including three TFL, in a 45-33 win over Trotwood-Madison in the D-II final at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

Aaron Rammel, Coldwater:
Senior LB registered 11.5 tackles, including two TFL, in a 51-21 loss to Ursuline in the D-V final at Fawcett Stadium. Rammel also threw a TD pass out of the Wildcat.

Nicholas Grigsby, Trotwood-Madison:
Senior LB Had 10.5 tackles, including a sack and TFL, in a 45-33 loss to Maple Heights in the D-II final at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

BIG NEWS

From Friday’s Finals (D-II, IV and VI): Records, Recaps and More

From Saturday’s Finals (D-I, III and V): Records, Recaps and More

STATE FINALS SCORES

Division I
St. Edward 35, Wayne 28

Division II
Maple Heights 45, Trotwood-Madison 33

Division III

Watterson 13, Akron Buchtel 12

Division IV
Columbus Hartley 34, Chagrin Falls 13

Division V
Youngstown Ursuline 51, Coldwater 21

Division VI
Delphos St. John’s 77, Shadyside 6

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