Friday Night Highlights Week 1: Coldwater takes the field without Reed
Football season has arrived! And so has our weekly look back at the state's top performances and newsmakers. Who are the JJHuddle Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams players of the week? Who threw for 437 yards? Who snapped a 30-game losing streak? Who set school records? We know...
There was a surreal feel Friday night at Kenton’s Robinson Field when Coldwater took the football field for the first time in 15 years led by someone other than John Reed.
I was there at the D-V state final in December – Reed’s last game. I was thankful to be at this one too – the Cavs first since his passing in June after a brief and swift bout with esophageal cancer.
Before the game, the standing room only crowd produced a moment of silence and Kenton made a donation to the John Reed Memorial Fund. Players from last year’s game met at mid-field and shook hands. The flag was at half mass.
This was the 11th straight season opener between Coldwater and Kenton and it was the first where the coaching match-up was something different than Reed versus Kenton’s Mike Mauk. Something else was different too this time around. The outcome.
For the first time since 2001 and for just the third time in 12 tries, Kenton beat Coldwater. The score was 50-31, but the game was much closer.
It was also a showcase of two quarterback talents.
Everyone in Ohio knows about Kenton junior Maty Mauk and deservedly so. In just two years of high school ball, Mauk has thrown for 7,849 yards (11th all-time in state history) and 82 TDs. He’s on pace to break his older brother Ben’s national record of 17,000-plus passing yards.
Friday, Maty Mauk completed 37 of 60 attempts for 437 yards and five TDs. He also ran for 69 yards and two TDs against a Coldwater defense that was playing ONE down lineman. It was another solid performance from the state’s top junior QB prospect.
What wasn’t as expected was the performance of Coldwater’s new QB – 6-4, 195 pound sophomore Austin Bruns.
Bruns threw five TD passes of his own (four to senior Reese Klenke who had 13 receptions for 204 yards) and more than held his own in his varsity debut. Bruns future is very bright – and so is Coldwater’s with him taking snaps.
As for Kenton, their state title hopes will hinge on their defense. Points won’t be a problem and neither will conservative play-calling.
Kenton head coach Mike Mauk went for it on fourth down multiple times, including once at his own 32 on the opening drive that helped lead to Coldwater’s first TD. Mauk got that score back though by calling a fake punt on fourth-and-15 from his own 20 with less than two minutes to go in the second quarter. His son Maty – also the punter – completed the pass for a first down and the Wildcats eventually scored a TD with 19 seconds to go before the break to lead 30-19. Had Kenton not scored that TD, Coldwater, which battled back to trail just 36-31 in the fourth quarter, would have actually had a late lead.
That first half? It lasted an hour and 40 minutes. This game was longer than an NFL game. And the NFL plays 15 minute quarters, not 12.
Alex Brooks, Harrison Central: The senior RB rushed for a TD, caught a TD, threw a TD and returned a kickoff for a TD in the Huskies 47-37 win over Urichsville Claymont. Brooks ran for a three-yard score, returned a kickoff 84 yards for a score, caught a 93-yard scoring pass and threw a 28-yard TD pass.
Jim Luther, Uniontown Lake: Senior SS helped spark a defense that forced five turnovers by returning a fumble 67-yards for a TD on Green’s first possession in the Blue Streaks 44-14 win. As a RB he added four more TDs and 162 yards.
Ben Coffaro, Cincinnati Elder: Senior had over 350 all-purpose yards in the Panthers 38-21 win over then D-II No. 1 Winton Woods. The RB/WR/KR and Wildcat specialist carried the ball 19 times for 90 yards, had five receptions for 137 yards, returned two kick-offs for 113 yards and had two punt returns for 17 yards. That's 357 yards in 28 touches. Coffaro had a 4-yard TD run, a 50-yard TD reception and returned the opening kickoff of the second half a school record 98 yards for another TD.
Jordy Scanlon, Clinton-Massie: Senior RB had 15 carries for 221 yards and six TDs – all in the first half – of a 55-0 win over Blanchester.