2011 Midseason Report: 10 Things to Think About with Five Weeks left

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Steubenville beat Ursuline 22-17 in one of the state’s big Week 5 games.

A look at hidden gems, surprise players, surprise programs, huge
numbers, playoff pictures and more…Here’s 10 things we think stick out
after five weeks of football action.


Five weeks down, five weeks left. Here are 10 Things to Ponder at the halfway point of the high school football regular season…

1. Hidden Gem: There are several players who have had big seasons thus far, but one of note is Delaware Hayes WR Matt Bingaya. Remember that name. You’ll hear it again on Saturday’s soon. And likely in the Big Ten. Bingaya, a 6-4, 208 pound senior, has helped the Pacers to a 3-2 record by catching 36 passes for 512 yards and 11 TDs (which according to the OHSFCA and MaxPreps statewide statistics is the most in the state).

As of right now, Bingaya is completely under the recruiting radar due to several factors. For one, Bingaya played QB as a sophomore and missed all of last year with an injury. On top of that he didn’t attend any camps this summer, had no prior film at receiver before Week 1 and was hampered by off-field and academic issues, which he’s since righted (is in position to qualify according to the NCAA Clearinghouse).

So far Bingaya’s recruitment has consisted of a personal visit from Bowling Green and informal inquiries from others. That’s about to change – big time.

Said Hayes head coach Zebb Schroeder: “I think it’s going to be a mad (recruiting) rush in December, January and February.”

If football doesn’t work out (and there’s no reason to think it won’t), Bingaya doubles as a D-I basketball prospect. Last year the forward averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds per game. He was first team All-Central District and special mention All-Ohio.
Hear that recruiters? You can thank me later.

2. Surprise Player: Last year the Greater Western Ohio Conference – which placed two teams in state finals (Huber Heights Wayne was D-I state runner-up and Trotwood-Madison was D-II state runner-up) – recognized Trotwood’s Antwan Gilbert as its regular season rushing champ with 1,212 yards. Entering Week 6 of the 2011 season, Vandalia Butler’s Tyler Jones will likely surpass that total Friday. After rushing for just 320 yards and two TDs on 41 carries last season, Jones has rushed for 1,104 yards and 14 TDs on 107 attempts this year. He’s scored three or more TDs in four of five games and has rushed for more than 249 yards in three of five.

3. Ursuline is in trouble: Youngstown Ursuline is widely recognized as one of Ohio’s top programs regardless of division due in part to its recent dominance in Division V. The Irish have played in four straight D-V state finals and have won three straight. After five weeks, that streak is in jeopardy. Ursuline sits 1-4 due mainly to a ridiculously tough schedule that may prove to be too ambitious. There’s no doubt Ursuline is one of Ohio’s top D-V programs. There is however serious doubt as to whether or not it can qualify for the playoffs. Ursuline currently sits 13th in the Region 17 computer points. Of the Irish’s last five games, you could consider them the favorite in only two – Week 7 against St. Peter’s Prep (NJ) and Week 8 against Cleveland East Tech. Ursuline’s other three second half opponents are St. Edward (Week 6), Youngstown Mooney (Week 9) and Akron SVSM (Week 10). Ouch.

4. Maty Mauk Update: Kenton’s standout senior quarterback is closing in on several national records – most of which are owned by his brother Ben. Through five games, Maty, a Missouri commit, has completed 130-of-193 passes for 1,717 yards and 20 TDs. He’s also rushed for 589 yards and seven TDs on 84 carries. What this means is:

– Mauk needs to throw 15 more TDs to break Chris Leake’s national career record for passing TDs (185)

– Mauk needs 2,129 passing yards to break Ben’s national career record (17,364).

– Mauk needs 1,850 total yards to break Ben’s national career record (19,628).

Depending on how far Kenton goes in the playoffs, all are attainable.

5. Ohio’s Deepest Playoff Region? That would be Division V’s Region 19. At the halfway mark of the season there are still nine undefeated teams and  six 4-1 teams. Jeromesvile Hillsdale is 5-0 and No. 16 in the region. No. 15 is Fredericktown (3-2).

Again, this region is ridiculous.

6. Southeast Ohio Stronghold: There’s more in Athens County than Ohio University. There’s solid high school football too. Consider: three Athens County teams – Nelsonville-York, Athens and Albany Alexander – are each 5-0. And all three are members of the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division and will met in the final five weeks. As a whole the TVC-Ohio (also includes Wellston, Vinton County and Meigs) is one of the state’s pleasant surprises. Through five weeks the six teams in the TVC-Ohio are 23-7 overall. Vinton County (1-4) is the only team with a losing record.

7. Delphos St. John’s Lives: Call me a critic. I was saying before the season that I didn’t think the Blue Jays, who have played in three straight D-VI state finals, would even qualify for the playoffs. But after five weeks, I wouldn’t be shocked if DSJ defended its state title. The Blue Jays have turned me into a believer. Despite heavy graduation losses, DSJ has picked up where it left off. The Jays have only suffered two seven-point losses to undefeated Lima Central Catholic and Detroit (Mich.) Central Catholic. They’ve beaten Minster, Anna and St. Henry. If DSJ beats either Coldwater (Week 7) or Marion Local (Week 9) they’re back in the playoffs. And that means watch out…

8. Ohio’s Deepest Playoff Region II: That would be Division VI’s Region 24, which includes five of the Top 10 teams in the Muscle Milk and JJHuddle D-VI Power Poll. Marion Local (No. 2), Minster (No. 3), Ada (No. 4), Fort Loramie (No. 7) and Springfield Catholic (No. 9) will all fight it out to see who gets to face DSJ (maybe) in the state semifinals.

9. Speaking of Division VI: There are only four undefeated teams left in D-VI in the state – Berlin Center Western Reserve (5-0, R21), Thompson Ledgemont (5-0, R21), Arcadia (5-0, R22) and Lockland (5-0, R24). On top of that, only 23 out of 122 teams in D-VI has at least 4 wins (19%). Region 23 is the only region regardless of division without any undefeated teams left.

10. Cleveland East Tech: The Scarabs deserve some recognition for being unafraid to face anyone. In addition to its Cleveland Senate League slate, which includes Glenville (3-2) and Cleveland JFK (5-0), East Tech filled its non-league schedule with Kettering Alter (5-0), Youngstown Ursuline (1-4) and Findlay (5-0).

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