Division II: Region 5 Overview

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Region 5

Regional breakdown, top players, big games, big names, teams to beat, teams to watch and more…


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2013 Ohio HS Football Preview

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Region 5 Preview

Team To Beat

*Zanesville (9-2, Region 7 quarterfinalist): The Blue Devils are poised for a big season. The goal? To make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history. No lie. Zanesville owns just five postseason appearances in school history and is 1-5 in the postseason. Time to write some history. Senior QB Thomas Wibbeler (6-0, 179) returns after throwing for a school record 2,954 yards and 36 TDs last year. His favorite target – senior WR JT McFarland (5-11, 181) – is also back…MORE

Teams To Watch

*Columbus St. Charles (5-4): A pair of 21-17 losses to Kings
and Watterson in weeks 8 and 9 doomed the Cardinals playoff chances last
year. This year Week 11 is within reach again. St. Charles has three
legit D-I prospects in the senior
trio of…MORE

*Hamilton Township (7-3): The Rangers opened 4-0 for the first
time since 1975 last season but a 3-3 finish over the final six games
kept them out of the playoffs. Head coach
Nathan Hillerich (20-10 in three years) expects this year’s club to
contend for the program’s first postseason berth since 2002.
“Expectations will be high,” Hillerich said. “We return seven all-league
players and 13 starters from 2012. Filling the quarterback position
will be the toughest task.”…MORE

*Mansfield Senior (8-3, Region 6 quarterfinalist): The Tygers are thinking playoffs with a standout cast returning. Defensively, Mansfield returns a strong senior trio in DL Antonio Sanderfer (6-0, 190), LB Jaleel Taylor (6-0, 200/129 tackles, seven sacks, two INTs) and DB Chek Washington (6-0, 190/89 tackles, five INTs, three defensive TDs). On offense…MORE

*New Albany (11-3, Region 7 Champion): The Eagles have a new head coach
Pat Samanich whose served as the program’s offensive coordinator since
2005. New Albany returns six starters on defense, including…MORE

*Walnut Ridge (7-3): The Scots lost two games by one point last year and finished ninth in computer points in Region 7. Ouch. Senior DE Robert Bowers (6-5, 207) is a JJHuddle Top 100
prospect who holds offers from Cincinnati, West Virginia, Louisville,
Michigan State and Pittsburgh…MORE

Keep An Eye On

*Ashland (6-4): Senior DE Heath Reinke (6-3, 220) has committed to Toledo. Senior OL/DL Ty Green (6-4, 295) is one to watch.

*Ashville Teays Valley (5-5): Head coach
Steve Evans is 23-17 in four years at TV where the Vikings are looking
for their first playoff berth since 1999. Key returners are seniors
Tyler Primmer (WR/P, 6’4, 190), Clayton Seymour (OL/DL, 6’3, 230) and
Thad Smith (OL/DL, 6’1, 240), junior Anthony Jones (RB/DB, 5’10, 170)
and sophomore Neal Davis (OL/DL, 5’10, 240)…MORE

*Canal Winchester (9-3, Region 7 semifinalist): The Indians
join the OCC Cardinal Division this year after being a member of the
Mid-State League since 1966. Only two teams (Delaware Hayes and Dublin
Scioto) remain from last year’s schedule. Senior DB Khari Golden (5-9,
170) returns after making 100 tackles and eight INTs as a junior. Also
back is…MORE

*Columbus Briggs (1-9): Former Buckeye great Butler By’not’e returns for his second season as head coach.

*Columbus Northland (5-5): The Vikings return a potent
offensive skill set in juniors Glen Smith (QB), Nateshawn Hargrove (RB)
and Abu Turay (RB). Smith threw for 753 yards and six TDs and ran for
363 yards and seven TDs last season…MORE

*Columbus West (5-5): Senior WR Charles Holland (6-2, 180/17 rec., 305 yards, TD) returns.

*Columbus Whetstone (4-6): The Braves have never been to the playoffs but will try to ride the momentum of a 3-1 finish last year and the arm of senior
QB Ramroth Finnegan (6-3, 210) to Week 11. Finnegan, who owns an offer
from Buffalo, threw for 2,458 yards and 20 TDs  last year. He also ran
for two TDs and three 2-point conversions. Whetstone returns three…MORE

*Dublin Jerome (4-6): The Celtics finished 2012 under .500,
but there wasn’t a better four-win team in the state, if there was such
an honor. The Celtics, however, will need to replace Dononvan Wilson,
who left Jerome holding every rushing record in school history. The
Georgia Tech frosh ran for 2,068 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior, which helped earn him nearly 5,000 career-rushing yards and 59 TDs.  Senior quarterback Jake King (6’0/170) will be welcomed back along with seniors WR Connor Kerns (6’1/175) and RB Mikey Bano (5’9/160). Senior Erik Harlock (5’9/165) also returns as receiver. Up front…MORE

*Dublin Scioto (8-3, Region 3 quarterfinalist): The Irish will
be dropping to Division II after making week 11 a season ago in D-I. 
Scioto dropped regular season decisions to playoff participants Dublin
Coffman and Hilliard Darby before losing to Olentangy in the playoffs.
“We graduate a talented senior class that took us back to the playoffs and had us in the hunt for a league championship,” stated head coach
Karl Johnson. “Our success in 2013 will be dependent upon our ability
to fill those positions lost by graduation and our juniors ability to
step into leadership roles and to lead by example”…MORE

*Franklin Heights (2-8): The Falcons started last year winning
their first two games before losing eight-straight. However FH has
shown steady improvement since going winless in 2010 despite its last
winning season coming in 2002. “We have daily goals of making a
commitment, being disciplined, developing work ethic, understanding team
unity, developing mental toughness, and striving for perfection,” Owens
said. “We expect and demand our players and coaches to give effort and have a great attitude in our program.” Head coach
Mike Owens welcomes back…MORE

*Hilliard Bradley (4-6): The Jaguars changed divisions within
the Ohio Capital Conference from 2011 to 2012, and this year will be
relocating once again. However, this time, it will be state divisions.
Bradley bumps down to Division II with the new realignments. The Jaguars
return starting quarterback Tommy Horn (6’0/180/Sr.) along with WR/FS
Ryan Reffitt (6’5/210/Sr.) and WR/LB Zack Popovec (6’3/190/Sr.). Reffitt
and Popovec are two kids Bradley boss Mike LoParo believes have
Division I potential. The offensive line will be anchored by C/NT Skylar
Hartley (6’2/315/Sr.), who has committed to Buffalo. G/DT Ryan
Beveridge (6’0/260/Sr.), G/DT Austin Miller (6’2/255/Sr.), G/DT Josias
Cruceta (6’2/275/Sr.), and T/DE Zac Davis (6’4/250/Sr.) are also back in
the mix up front. Bradley will also welcome back…MORE

*Lewis Center Olentangy (10-2, Region 3 semifinalist): The
Braves are coming off a playoff appearance where they made the regional
semifinals following an opening round win over Dublin Scioto before
being knocked out by two-time state champion, Hilliard Davidson. With
the new seven-division insertion, Olentangy will be heading to Division
II. Not only that, but the Braves will have a new head coach in Mark
Solis, the former boss at Twinsburg. The backbone for this season’s team
could be the return of four starting offensive linemen.…MORE

*Logan (2-8): The Chieftains have a new head coach in Billy
Burke who previously spent four seasons (2008-2011) as the head coach at
Medina Buckeye.

*Marion Harding (2-7): The Presidents will lean heavily on
senior RB L.J. Scott (5-10, 210) who is ranked the No. 2 fullback
prospect in the country by 247sports.com. Scott ran for 1,478 yards and
18 TDs last season and also had a school-record 357 yards in one game…MORE

*Mt. Vernon (5-5): The Yellow Jackets return a good one in
junior RB J.D. Orr ((5-9, 190) who rushed for 1,244 yards and 12 TDs as a
sophomore.  Senior LB Matt Lyberger (5-10, 200/95 tackles_ leads the
defense.

*Olentangy Orange (6-4): The Pioneers have made the playoffs
the last two odd numbered seasons (2011 and 2009) under head coach Brian
Cross so they should make Week 11 this year right? Experience is in
short supply. “We will be a very young team that has a chance to be
competitive if we learn fast and play physical,” Cross said. “We believe
we have had a good off season and that it will pay big dividends.” Key
contributors will be…MORE

*Pataskala Licking Heights (10-1, region 7 quarterfinalist):
The Hornets made the playoffs for the first time in five years last
season. LH owns one of Ohio’s most versatile players in senior ATH
Ronald Carruthers-Kimball (5-11, 182).

*Thomas Worthington (2-8): The Cardinals will lean on senior RB Tony Harvard (5-10, 180) who returns after rushing for 1,172 yards and 11 TDs.

*Watkins Memorial (2-8): The Warriors are coming off a two-win
season, but several things will change in 2013. Watkins will join the
newly formed Licking County League ending its run in the Ohio Capital
Conference- Capital Division. Licking Heights will remain on the
schedule, but will move from week 1 to week 9 and Athens and Columbus
Mifflin will be out-of-conference foes once again. Columbus Briggs is a
new addition to the schedule and will be an out-of-conference contest.
The league games will feature Utica, Newark Catholic, Granville, Licking
Valley, Heath, Lakewood, and the aforementioned Licking Heights. “Our
second game is at Athens who were in the playoffs last year,” sixth year
boss Jeff Severino mentioned. “We will rekindle the rivalries between
Newark Catholic, Licking Valley, and Granville from the old LCL back in
the 1980s.  We will play against three Division 1 quarterback prospects
(Newark Catholic, Granville, and Athens)…MORE

*Wooster (3-7): The Generals will ride top prospect and junior QB Cameron Daugherty (6-5, 200) who threw for 2,241 yards and 23 TDs last year.

*Worthington Kilbourne (3-7): The Wolves lost to four playoff
teams and lost four games by seven points or less last year. Senior DL
Gavin Elifritz (6-1, 220/63 tackles, 7.5 sacks) returns after earning
first team All-OCC honors. Also back are…MORE

D-II Preseason All-Ohio Team

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Playoff Teams: Our Predictions

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10 Players To Watch

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Top Games

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