State Spotlight: No. 1 Trotwood and No. 2 Kings meet for Region 8 title

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Division Ii Region 8 Final: Trotwood-Madison vs Kings

Two unbeatens. One team looking for a shot at revenge. The other, an “us
against the world” mentality. It’s a precipitous Division II Region 8
rematch depicting Kings Mills Kings against Trotwood-Madison. And it goes down Friday…


Two unbeatens. One team looking for a shot at revenge. The other, an “us against the world” mentality. It’s a precipitous Division II Region 8 rematch depicting Kings Mills Kings against Trotwood-Madison.
 
Both teams arrive at Welcome Stadium Friday with 12-0 marks. Trotwood is the No. 1 seed and top ranked team in the state. Kings is the No. 2 seed and ranked No. 2 in the state. Last week, the Rams overcame sloppy play to defeat Wapakoneta 27-6, while the Knights overcame Cincinnati Turpin 24-0.
 
No football program, no head coach receives more criticism and scrutiny than Trotwood and the colorful and contoversial Maurice Douglass. Often demonized by the media (look no further than last week’s story in the Wapakoneta Daily News), the 47-year-old definitely raps to a different beat – his own…and it works.
 
Douglass’s long dredlocks, backwards baseball cap, sometimes surly attitude and always straightforwardness makes him a target to some.
 
Despite the facade, since returning to his alma mater in 2001, Douglass has built Trotwood into one of Ohio’s top football programs by spending time creating player highlight reels, responding to college recruiters and taking his players on college visits. Subsequently, several of his players have landed  college scholarship offers. Nearly 200 players have received college football scholarships and over 1/3 of that at the D-I level during his 11-year tenure.
 
Douglass’s 2011 squad is again loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. Starting with defense, the Rams secondary is arguably, one of – if not the – best in the state. The leader is senior DB Bam Bradley. He is the team’s second-leading tackler with 49 and has three interceptions, one FF, and two FR. The three-star recruit is receiving national attention from 14 colleges, including Ohio State, Miami (FL), Michigan State, Arizona, and Tennessee. Bradley recently attended the Stanford-Oregon game November 12.
 
Junior CB Cameron Burrows excels on the field and in the classroom. He has three picks and 21 tackles. This three-star recruit runs a 4.46 40-dash and owns a 3.4 GPA. The 6-1, 195-pounder has received 16 offers, including Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and Tennessee.
 
Another speedster in the secondary, junior DB Reon Dawson, has three interceptions, 18 tackles and one FR.
 
In all, the Trotwood as accounted for 19 interceptions and allows 114 passing yards per game.
 
Junior LB Michael McCray leads the team in tackles and interceptions with 67 and four, respectively. Two of his picks were returned for touchdowns. The college offers are just starting to come in from Syracuse, Toledo, Purdue, and Tennessee.
 
Trotwood employs a 4-2 base defense and the front four have recorded 17 sacks on the season. It allows 255 yards per game, 140 rushing.
 
The Rams utilize multiple formations on offense. They are explosive and well-balanced. Trotwood averages 41.6 points per game with 242 yards rushing and 208 yards passing for 450 total yards. Senior QB Michael Simpson has been the missing piece of the puzzle. He returned to Trotwood after three seasons with CJ. This kid is big and strong and not afraid to go vertical. He has completed 160-of-288 passes for 2,358 yards with 26 TDs and six interceptions.
 
The tandem backfield of Junior Isreal Green and Sophomore Ashton “Action” Jackson is explosive. Green averages 9.6 yards a pop and Jackson averages a staggering 11.4 yards per carry. On the season, Green has rushed for 1,498 yards and 18 TDs and caught 11 passes for 145 yards and another TD, while Jackson has accounted for over 800 yards and 12 TDs.
 
Senior FB Darion Heath (257 pounds) is the battering-ram, no pun intended, with over 200 yards and two scores. He also has four FR and 19 tackles on defense.
 
Simpson’s favorite target is Senior WR Trai Mobley with 46 receptions for 778 yards and seven TDs, including an 83-yarder. McCray, who plays both ways, has 22 catches for 386 yards and eight TDs. Senior WR Dalin Byrd has 29 catches for 397 yards and two TDs.
 
Kings head coach Andy Olds is in his 13th season with a 123-34 career record. His team is making its ninth playoff appearance. Last year, the Knights finished 11-2, losing to Trotwood 53-24 in the same regional final.
 
Kings won the Fort Ancient Valley Conference-Cardinal Division title with a 4-0 record. The Knights average 32.5 points per game and allow 8.6 points.
 
Senior WR/DB/Punter Zach Hilderbrand is the alpha male on this team with 29 receptions for 439 yards and five TDs, 33 tackles and four picks, and averages 36.6 yards per punt. He has punted 10 times inside the 20-yard-line and his longest is 61 yards.
 
If  Hilderbrand is the alpha, then Senior RB Jamire Westbrook is the omega. The Miami (OH) recruit has over 6,000 career all-purpose yards. He has rushed for 1,608 yards and 17 TDs this season. Last week against Turpin, Westbrook ran for 187 yards and two TDs. He runs a 4.48 40-dash.
 
Junior RB Brian Huffman has 595 yards on 113 carries and eight scores. He grinded for 81 yards and a score against Turpin.
 
Senior QB Jensen Gebhardt is 109-of-189 (57%) for 1,414 yards and 12 TDs. His primary target is Senior WR Nick Bird, a big target at 6-4, 225 with 37 catches for 476 yards and six TDs.
 
The Kings defense is an opportunistic unit. They have recorded 22 interceptions (1 TD), 12 FRs (3 TDs), and 14 FFs. They have pitched three shutouts. Junior LB Austin Copeland leads the team in tackles with 78, followed by Junior DE Brady Vanover with 70 tackles. Senior LB Sean Horan has recorded 65 tackles.
 
The Kings secondary is a ball-hawking group. Mason Barker has four interceptions, Justin Crull and Nick Handorf three picks each and Hiderbrand’s four for a total of 14.
 
Both teams are much-improved over last season, but don’t expect another blow-out. Drew Pasteur has six points separating the two teams.
 
And don’t expect to see Douglass in a Prince wardrobe. He will be wearing his “game face”. And maybe shorts.

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