Prep Notebook: Danville rolling as regular season comes to an end


By Craig Merz - AP Sports Writer



A regular season that began in late August with temperatures in the 70s ends this weekend 20 or more degrees cooler.

That’s football in Ohio.

With the completion of the 10-game schedule, the approximately 715 teams will be whittled to a field of 224 competing in seven divisions, as determined by computer rankings, to vie for the state championships.

The final ratings will be announced Sunday morning to start the road to Ohio Stadium in Columbus for the title games on Dec. 3-5.

Also at stake is the right for seven schools to enter the postseason atop their respective Associated Press divisional state polls.

Danville put an emphatic claim to Division VII when the top-ranked Blue Devils (9-0) beat then-No.2 Lucas 41-0 on Friday.

The Blue Devils outgained Lucas 497-111 and had 16 first downs compared to five for the Cubs (8-1). They led only 14-0 at the half but scored on their final four possessions.

Danville quarterback Ridge Durbin was 25-for-32 for 349 yards with four touchdowns. Through nine games, Durbin has completed 77 percent of his passes for 36 touchdowns and four interceptions.

The Blue Devils have shutouts in six of the past seven games with the only blemish a late touchdown conceded by reserves to Loudonville. The Blue Devils for the season have outscored opponents 474-20.

Elsewhere around Ohio:

COMEBACK KIDS: Westerville Central defeated Hilliard Darby 17-13 in a battle of unbeaten Division I teams to avenge a Week 9 loss last season to the Panthers that ruined a shot at a perfect season and the Ohio Capital Conference Cardinal Division title. Central quarterback Gavin Lyon scored on a 6-yard run with 4.8 seconds left for the victory. … Miamisburg led 28-3 and then trailed 32-28 before Tony Clark scored the decisive touchdown on an 11-yard run with 46 seconds left to beat Springboro 35-32 to clinch at least a share of the Greater Western Ohio Conference South Division. After his score, Clark sealed the win with an interception on Springboro’s last drive. … Cleveland St. Ignatius was losing 13-10 at the half to Cincinnati St. Xavier but scored 24 straight points en route to 34-20 win. … Cincinnati Moeller had a 17-0 lead only to see Lakewood St. Edward storm back for a 49-17 win. … Toledo Central Catholic overcame a 14-7 halftime deficit to defeat Toledo St. John’s 28-14 to earn at least share a share of the Three Rivers Athletic Conference title.

RARE SIGHT: Jackson beat Oxford Talawanda 30-7 in its first Saturday afternoon game since Sept. 18, 2004, at London. It was also the Ironmen’s first day game at home on a Saturday in 80 years. Jackson senior Dakota Nichols had a successful debut as a kicker by making all three extra points and converting field goals of 35, 40 and 36 yards. He got the assignment because the three kickers on the roster — Sheldon Moore, Michael Benson and Caden Southard — were playing for the Ironmen in the Division II soccer sectional championship match at Vincent Warren.

FOOT NOTABLES: Greenfield McLain broke an 18-game losing streak with a 28-21 win against Lees Creek East Clinton. … McArthur Vinton County defeated Nelsonville-York for the first time since 1999 with a 38-26 win. … Oak Hill defeated Beaver Eastern 32-14 to clinch a share of Southern Ohio Conference Division I championship for fourth straight season and sixth time in seven years. … West Chester Lakota West senior Jack Nguyen has not missed a kick in his two-year varsity career. Nguyen, who also plays for the Firebirds’ soccer team, is 71-for-71 on extra points and made all nine field goal tries. On Friday night, he kicked a career-long 48-yard field goal as time expired to give West a 38-36 victory over Cincinnati Sycamore. … Middletown Madison beat Waynesville 56-13 to improve to 6-3, clinching the Mohawks’ first winning season since 2000. … Hunter Hovest had 409 yards rushing on 26 attempts with five touchdowns for Pandora-Gilboa in a 55-18 win over Arcadia.

ON THE RECORD: Logan senior QB Lane Little has a school single-season record 27 touchdown passes, with 15 going to senior wide receiver Isaiah Smith, also a Logan record for TD receptions. Little has thrown for 1,917 yards with just five interceptions. Smith has 865 reception yards — 29 yards off the school single-season record — and has caught a pass in a school-record 25 straight games. … Zack Marks rushed for 250 yards on 24 carries and four touchdowns and caught a pass for a touchdown as Celina defeated Lima Shawnee 48-12. … East Palestine, which had one winning season in 12 years and only eight wins the previous four seasons, is 6-3 and captured at least a share of the Inter-Tri County League Red Division title, its second league championship in 30 years. … Canfield South Range had only 18 offensive plays, but piled up 380 total yards in a 63-6 win over Salineville Southern on Friday. Ethan Dominguez ran for 211 yards on five carries, including touchdown runs of 62 and 93 yards, and Taymer Graham and Nick Stanton scored on punt returns. … Brevin Renollet completed seven of eight passes, all in the first half, with four going for touchdowns as Defiance Tinora built up a 42-6 halftime advantage en route to a 56-12 win over Haviland Wayne Trace.

By Craig Merz

AP Sports Writer

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