State Spotlight: Kenton and Wapakoneta set to stage one for the ages?

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Undefeateds Kenton and Wapakoneta meet Friday for the Western Buckeye League championship.

Game of the century! Not that gullible? How about the MVPHD Game of the Week? This showdown between D-II Wapakoneta (8-0, 9-0) and D-IV Kenton (8-0,
9-0) has enough cloak-and-dagger activity, along with blazon storylines,
to create a box office bonanza. Better put the women and children to
bed before this one.


Game of the century! Not that gullible? How about the MVPHD Game of the Week?
 
A volcanic tilt between two state-ranked and undefeated Western Buckeye League powers. This showdown between D-II Wapakoneta (8-0, 9-0) and D-IV Kenton (8-0, 9-0) has enough cloak-and-dagger activity, along with blazon storylines, to create a box office bonanza. Better put the women and children to bed before this one.
 
Five reasons not to miss this epic shootout…
 
1.  Maty Mauk – This kid has been responding to the echoes of history; a history that screams ridiculous passing numbers established by older brother Ben from 1999-2002. The double barrel quarterback has passed for 16,922 yards and rushed for 2,988 yards in 44 games. He’s accounted for 243 TDs. Yes – 243.
 
During the season, Mauk has eclipsed five national schoolboy records (total yardage, total touchdowns, passing touchdowns, pass attempts, and pass completions). The senior is on the verge of setting the all-time passing yardage record of 17,367 yards set by Ben Mauk. Maty needs 443 yards. Might as well say that the record book has been written. Just waiting for the final prodigious chapter like a hurricane on the horizon.
 
Through nine games this season, Maty is 246-of-361 (68%) with 3,403 yards and 43 TDs. He’s thrown eight interceptions. He’s added 1,037 yards on the ground (7.8 avg.) and 14 TDs. When Kenton punts, which is rare, he averages 43.6 yards.
 
No doubt, this game promises to be a high-flying, high-scoring affair with Maty Mauk at the helm. Last year, Kenton defeated Wapakoneta 46-15. In that game, Mauk was 19-of-37 for 318 yards and three TDs. He ran for 115 yards. Don’t expect anything less this game.
 
2.  A WBL Championship at Stake – This is Week 10 so it doesn’t get any better. Both teams are 8-0 and the winner is outright champs. Win or go home crying. Kenton has eight titles and will be gunning for a fourth straight. The Redskins have seven titles, the most recent in 2006.
 
Kenton is ranked No. 1 in the state in both the JJHuddle Muscle Milk and AP Division IV polls. Wapak is ranked No. 9 in the JJHuddle Muscle Milk poll and No. 7 in the AP Division II poll.
 
3.  A Tale of Two Explosive Offenses – The Wildcats are averaging 46.4 points per game and operate out of the “Spread” with a five-wide, no-huddle, empty backfield offense. Maty Mauk is the conductor, but has plenty of young and talented receivers. His go-to guy is Justin Sawmiller with 93 catches for 1,228 yards and 10 TDs. Zach Wolowicz is Maty’s check-down receiver with 55 receptions for 463 yards and four TDs. Always a big play threat, Matt Bahr has caught 34 passes for 622 yards and 10 TDs.
 
The Redskins are averaging 39.4 points per game with their new “Wing-N-Fling” offense. It is a hybrid of the Wing-T and Spread offenses. Senior FB Connor Pickens drives the wing portion with 1,482 yards on 209 carries with 24 TDs. He averages 7.1 yards a clip. Week two he ran for 267 yards, five yards shy of the school record set by Josh Bishop (1994). Josh Windle and Jensen Merricle are the downhill runners with over 300 yards each.
 
Wapak unveiled the fling portion week seven and junior QB Kyle Gibson responded big time with 20-22 passing for 289 yards and three TDs and rushed for 118 yards and a score. Hello. Now the Kenton defense has more to think about. On the season, Gibson is 40-73 (55%) for 804 yards and eight TDs with one pick.
 
4.  Three Intriguing Stats – Kenton’s pass offense averages 378 yards per game. Wapakoneta’s pass defense allows 112 yards per game. Something has to give. Wapakoneta’s rushing offense averages 318 yards per game. Kenton’s rush defense allows 155 yards per game. Something has to give. And finally, Kenton averages 46.4 points per game, while Wapak’s defense allows 13.3 points. Something has to give.
 
5.  The Coaches – Two veteran coaches who know each other well and have played against each other 12 times. Kenton coach Mike Mauk is in his 28th season with a 198-116 record and two state titles. He owns all eight of the school’s WBL championships. He is the mastermind behind Kenton’s unique spread offense that he started implementing 24 years ago. What a remarkable career. Which begs two questions. Is this Mauk’s swan song season? Will his son Ben be the next Kenton coach?
 
Wapakoneta coach Doug Frye spent 11 seasons with St. Mary’s and compiled an 89-35 record with three WBL titles. His 2004 team was D-III state runner-up. After sitting out one year, he joined the coaching ranks again and landed in Wapakoneta. His first season in 2010, the Redskins finished 7-3 and he was named D-II Coach of the Year. For an encore, his squad is 9-0 this season. Like Mauk, Frye is equally innovative as evident by the “Wing-N-Fling”.
 
This game should be a battle of wits on the opposing sidelines. A real chess match.
 
Prediction: 
Expect a few tricks and plenty of treats. Never bet against Maty Mauk.

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