Ohio HS Insider: Ohio’s Top Conference? New Rushing Record? Preview Picks?

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JJHuddle’s Ohio HS Insider

Just 24 teams are left and nearly half come from just four conferences; How important are the additional postseason practices teams get? Ask Coldwater; A state final that could feature two players that have produced a combined 110 TDs – this year; That and more on this week’s Insider…


 

Week 14 is here…

PLAYOFF
INSIDER ITEMS

Ohio’s Top Conference? With just 24 teams left in the postseason, it’s notable that nearly half of them (10) come from just four conferences. Heading into the state semifinals, the Midwest Athletic Conference (Coldwater, Marion Local, Delphos St. John’s) and Chagrin Valley Conference (Aurora, Chagrin Falls and Kirtland) each have three teams left. The Western Buckeye League (Kenton and Elida) and North Central Conference (Buckeye Central and Wynford) each has two.

The MAC and NCC could square off in both the D-V and VI finals, while the WBL and CVC could square off in the D-III final.

The CVC is a rare position to win state titles in three different Divisions: Aurora (D-II), Chagrin Falls (D-III) and Kirtland (D-V).

Trotwood’s Maurice Douglass not shy: Make no mistake, Trotwood-Madison head coach Maurice Douglass’s pink high-tops aren’t the only thing loud about him. Douglass has no problem speaking his mind. And he had plenty to say after his Rams outscored Kings 35-0 in the second half of the Region 8 final to rally from a 20-0 hole and make the D-II state semifinals.

“This was the greatest comeback in the history of Region 8 football,” Douglass told our crew at MVP HD. “What you witnessed was belief. Belief in one another. The kids showed true character. They were able to overcome adversity…It’s destiny. It has already been written. Year of the Ram. State champs.”

I’m sure Columbus Marion-Franklin will have something to say about that this week, but give credit to Douglass – he’s turned Trotwood into a disciplined program that’s not going away anytime soon.

“To be honest, I thought Trotwood would self-destruct after that first half,” Kings head coach Andy Olds said. “No disrespect, but they hadn’t experienced adversity the whole season. We definitely gave them a dose of adversity, but they responded. Hats off to them. They are a great program.”

Preview Picks Look Pretty Good: I took a look back at the 2011 MVP Ohio High School Football Preview Magazine and checked out how the state semifinal picks I made back then looked now. Got to say – not bad. In D-I I picked three of the four finalists (Whitmer, Pick Central and St. X) and in D-II I had two 9Trotwood and Marion-Franklin). In D-IV and V I only picked one of the correct state semifinalists, but I did have 4 of the eight regional finalists in each divisions. I totally tanked in D-III and VI going a combined 1-7 on state semifinalist teams. 

Johnstown-Monroe RB has real shot at setting state rushing and TD records: In 2001, Bedford Chanel’s Tony Franklin set a state record for rushing yards in a season with 3,439. This season Johnstown-Monroe’s Ross Franklin has a shot to beat it. Heading into this weekend’s D-IV state semifinal against Creston Norwayne, Franklin has 3,096 yards. He needs 343 yards. Franklin is averaging 238 yards a game.

Through 13 games, Franklin has rushed for 3,096 yards and 47 TDs on 300
carries. He’s fumbled twice. Franklin is also three rushing TDs away from the
state record
of 50 set by
Maurice Hall (Columbus Brookhaven)
in 2000. His 49 total TDs also leave him three shy of the state record
for total TDs
in a season (52) set by Hubert Bobo of Chauncey-Dover in
1952.

Team of the Century: How important are the additional practices a team gets in the postseason? Ask Coldwater. The Cavaliers have played in 46 postseason games since 2000, which equates to four and a half additional football seasons for the program. The Cavs have taken advantage of the extra work. Coldwater has won more games (144-22) than any team in Ohio regardless of division since 2000 and is making its eighth appearance in the Final Four in 12 years. The Cavs are looking to play in their fifth state final in seven years.

Dover’s offense remind you of anyone? It’s no coincidence Dover has been a part of two of Ohio’s highest scoring playoff games ever this year – the Tornadoes are modeled after another high-scoring offensive attack…Kenton.

Head coaches Dan Ifft (Dover) and Mike Mauk (Kenton) – both active in the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association – have traded trade secrets over the years and Ifft has built much of his Dover offense to match Mauk’s at Kenton (although he does still believe in a RB). The result? Four straight regional finals and five in six years for the Tornadoes. Kenton is still alive in the D-IV state semis.

Combined this season QBs Maty Mauk (Kenton) and Derik Swinderman (Dover) have combined to complete 534-of-844 passes for 7,975 yards and 92 TDs.

AND A FINAL THOUGHT…

The D-IV state final could feature a record-setting rusher and passer against each other: See Kenton’s Mauk and Johnstown-Monroe’s Franklin above. Wouldn’t that be something…potentially a QB that’s thrown for over 60 TDs and a RB that’s run for 50-plus – just this season.

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