Regional breakdown, top players, big games, big names, teams to beat, teams to watch and more…
Region 22 Preview
Playoff Teams: Our Predictions
Delphos St. John’s, McComb, Tiffin Calvert, Norwalk St. Paul, Edon, Leipsic, Arlington, Fremont St. Joe’s
Dark Horses: Edgerton, Arcadia, Ottawa Hills
10 Players To Watch
1. Tyler Jettinghof, RB., jr. DSJ: All-MAC RB reurns for second season as a starter
2. Jerry Brown, RB, sr., McComb: Accounted for 38 TDs & had 90 tackles last year
3. Dan Kwait, LB/RB, sr., Tiffin Calvert: Ran for 1,005 yards & made 108 tackles as a junior
4. Hunter Flower, WR, sr., Edgerton: Caught six TD passes & had four INTs last year
5. Connor Hug, WR, sr., Edon: 28 rec. for 454 yards and 10 TDs as junior
6. Joe Hinckley, QB, jr., St. Paul: Starter as freshman coming off injury as sophomore
7. Devin Mangas, WR, sr., Leipsic: Caught 50 passes for 969 yards and 11 Tds as a junior
8. Dalton Ishmael, RB, sr., North Baltimore: Ran for 1,173 yards and 20 TDs last year
9. Zack Yeckley, QB, sr., Fremont St. Joseph: Threw six TDs in a game last season
10. Will Longthorne, RB, sr., Ottawa Hills: Ran for 1,103 yards and 21 TDs as a junior
Calvert @ St. Paul, Sept. 1 (Week 2)
Edgerton @ Edon, Aug. 31 (Week 2)
DSJ @ Marion Local, Sept. 28 (Week 6)
North Baltimore @ Fremont St. Joe, Oct. 20 (Week 9)
McComb @ Lepsic, Oct. 26 (Week 10)
DSJ @ Minster, Oct. 26 (Week 10)
Team To Beat
* Delphos St. John’s (10-4, State Semifinalist): The Blue Jays are 52-7 with four trips to the state semifinals and two state titles since the start of 2009. DSJ will again contend for a MAC and state title although there are holes to fill. “Two a days will be a very important part of our success in Weeks 1 and 2 (against Lima Central Catholic and Port Clinton),” head coach Todd Schulte (136-36 in 14 years) said. “We will be inexperienced up front so the faster they develop and gel together the better chance we will have to compete (in non-league games). Hopefully we can have some success in our to non-league games so we can carry that into league play the rest of the year.” Key returners include: Mark Boggs (sr., QB, 6-1 185), Tyler Jettinghoff (jr., TB, 6-1 208), Seth Bockey (sr., OG, 6-3, 235), Brock Bonifas (sr., DT 5-10, 198) and Cody Looser (jr., OLB, 6-2, 200).
Teams To Watch
* McComb (8-4, Regional Semifinalist): Head coach Kris Alge (120-41 in 14 years) has one of the divisions most versatile players in RB/LB Jerry Brown (6-1, 185, sr.). The senior accounted for 38 TDs, ran for over 1,300 yards and had over 900 yards receiving last year. He added 90 tackles on defense. RB/LB Cody Wilson (5-10, 175, sr.) is a talent in his own right. McComb could be poised for a breakout year. The Panthers graduated only four starters and have a talented junior class. Other contributors will be OL/DL Spencer Nauth (6-1, 275, sr.) and QB Dalton Buck (5-10, 165, sr.). Due to the amount of two-way players, remaining healthy is pivotal. Key games include Liberty-Benton (Week 3), Arlington (Week 6) and Leipsic (Week 10).
* Tiffin Calvert (9-3, Region 22 Quarterfinalist): The Senecas made the playoffs for the first time since 2002 last year and won a game (42-20 over Edon) before falling to Delphos St. John’s (35-0). For an encore they’ll try to do it again. LB/RB Dan Kwait (6’1, 215, sr.) is a threat on both sides of the ball (108 tackles; 1,005 yards rushing). Defensively, OL/DL Marcus Somers (6’2, 250, jr./52 tackles), TE/DL Jared Thompson (6’1, 195, sr./46 tackles, six sacks) and LB/QB Tyler Long (6’2, 195, so./56 tackles) will key a unit that will be the team’s strength early. Keep an eye on OL/DL Austin Perry (6’2, 245, jr.). “Defensively, we return seven starters,” head coach Todd Fox (13-9 in two years) said. “Potentially, we could start 10 guys who started somewhere on that side of the ball for multiple games in 2011.”
* Edgerton (8-3, Region 22 Quarterfinalist): The Bulldogs return senior WR Hunter Flower (5-10, 170) who caught 23 passes for 563 yards (24.5 yards per catch) and six TDs last year. He also had four INTs on defense.
* Edon (7-4, Region 22 Quarterfinalist): The Bulldogs return a pair of outstanding WRs in juniors Brock Thiel (5-10, 185) and Connor Hug (5-11, 174). Thiel caught 22 passes for 562 yards (25.5 yards per catch) and six TDs last season, while Hug had 28 receptions for 454 yards and 10 TDs. Hug also returned 22 kickoffs for 603 yards. Senior OL Matt Cook (6-1, 220) anchors the line. The big hurdle is replacing graduated RB Shannon Geren who went for 1,967 yards and 27 TDs last year.
* Norwalk St. Paul (6-4): The Flyers have missed the postseason the last two years (finished ninth both times) and are eager to get back to the postseason. Prior to missing the playoffs in 2010, SP had been to six straight regional finals. Head coach John Livengood (194-56 in 21 years) returns a solid core led by several underclassmen who logged minutes last year due to injury. The senior class is small (just seven) but “filled with good leaders” according to Livengood. One player of note to watch for is junior QB Joe Hinckley. Hinckley (6-0, 175) started at QB as a freshman but missed most of last season with a broken ankle. He’s a dual threat.
* Arcadia (7-4, Region 22 Quarterfinalist): The Redskins are coming off the first playoff appearance in school history but must replace 17 seniors from that squad. Senior QB/DB Casey Mock returns for his third year as starter under center. Also back is senior RB/LB Tyler Bame. Pat Gehrisch is the new head coach, taking over for Paul Shoemaker who stepped down after last year’s historic season.
* Leipsic (11-2, Region 22 Finalist): The Vikings made the regional finals and fell to Delphos St. John’s in the closing minutes. Back from that historic run are senior QB Zach Kuhlman (6-2, 170) and senior WR/K Devin Mangas (5-11, 170). Kuhlman threw for 2,444 yards and 26 TDs last year, while Mangas caught 50 passes for 969 yards and 11 TDs.
Keep An Eye On
* Greenwich South Central (1-9): New head coach Aaron Brokaw inherits a team that returns some talent but is looking for its first winning season since 2006. Defensively, the Trojans return senior DL Dominic Davis (6-0, 280/45 tackles), LB David Allison (5-11, 200/68 tackles), senior LB Anthony Shepherd (5-11, 210/67 tackles), senior DB Caleb Barnett (5-11, 170/53 tackles) and junior DL Shayson Wilhelm (6-0, 240/35 tackles). On offense SC returns senior QB Haydon Dotson (5-10, 165/630 yards passing, four TDs) and senior RB Shawn Hale (5-10, 180).
* Convoy Crestview (5-5): Senior QB/DB Trevor Roop returns after earning All-NWC honors on both sides of the ball – despite missing the last two games of the year with injury.
* North Baltimore (2-7): Senior RB Dalton Ishmael is one of the state’s top small school backs. Last year the first team All-MAL selection ran for 1,173 yards and 20 TDs on 171 carries.
* Fremont St. Joseph (4-6): Four of the Crimson Streaks losses last year came to playoff teams. Expect St. Joe’s to be in the mix this year with a strong core of seniors back in WR Jordan Sessler, LB Luke Stierwalt and QB Zack Yeckley. Yeckley threw six TDs in a game last year, four of which went to Sessler. Also back are junior standouts Grant Mercer (DL) and Mitchell Gonyan (LB).
* Arlington (6-4): The Red Devils return a solid senior tandem in QB Blaiz McBride and RB Kyle Bormuth.
* Cory-Rawson (3-7): The Hornets return senior DB Tyler Harris, who led the BVC in INTs last year with seven.
* Ottawa Hills (7-4, Region 22, Regional Quarterfinalist): Went from a 3-7 finish in 2010 to the playoffs last year. Key returner is senior RB Will Longthorne (5-11, 200) who rushed for 1,103 yards and 21 TDs last year on 161 carries.
Also In This Region
Sycamore Mohawk (3-7), Sandusky St. Mary (3-7), Fostoria St. Wendelin (4-3), Hilltop (4-6), Danbury Lakeside (3-7), Cardinal Stritch (2-7), Toledo Christian (2-8), Lima Perry (2-8), Ayersville (2-8), Holgate (2-8), Pandora-Gilboa (2-8), Montpelier (1-9), Vanlue (1-9), Monroeville (2-8), Antwerp (1-9)