Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association statewide notebook


OPSWA High School Football Notebook Week 6

COLUMBUS, Ohio – High school football teams all around Ohio went into Week 6 wanting to make a statement as the second half of the season got underway.

And boy did they.

Here are some of the top highlights from all around the state compiled by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association.

} The Mansfield Senior Tygers scored 12 seconds into their 41-0 win over Lexington when Aaron Thornton stripped the Lexington kickoff returner and returned the ball 32 yards for the opening score. Duke Reese and Amarr Davis connected on a 93-yard touchdowns pass, the second consecutive week where the two locked up for a 90-plus yard TD as Reese threw for 313 yards on just seven completions for an incredible 44.6-yard-per-completion average. It was the most passing yards for a Tyger QB since 2013.

} The Ashland Crestview Cougars pushed their regular season winning streak to 17 games with a 31-6 win over Lucas behind Adison Reymer’s 173 yards on 35 carries with two touchdowns. The Cougars handed the Cubs their worst loss since the 2020 season and put themselves in position to compete for a Firelands Conference championship as well as an undefeated regular season for the second consecutive year. The Cougars held Lucas to just 113 yards rushing.

} The Clear Fork Colts used dynamic plays to earn a 48-28 win over Ontario in Week 6. The special teams picked up a couple of huge plays when Trystyn Robison returned a kickoff 85 yards to end the first half before blocking a field goal and seeing Aidan Perry return it 85 yards for a score to begin the second half. Of the Colts seven touchdowns, six went for more than 20 yard as Robison added two more rushing touchdowns on the evening.

} In a matchup of unbeaten, state-ranked teams, Carey got a 36-yard touchdown pass from Lance Rickle to Austin Niederkohr in the third quarter to beat Colonel Crawford 7-3 and run its regular-season winning streak to 15 straight.

} Defiance recorded its first three-game win streak in nine years with a stellar defensive showing for the third straight week by defeating Elida 31-14. A win in week seven would mark the first four-game win streak in 16 years for the Bulldogs.

} Running back Levi Barnum and QB Jacob Cadwell continued to put up dominant stat lines for Stryker in week five of eight-man football action. In a 44-6 win over Sandusky St. Mary Central Catholic, Cadwell completed 21-of-24 passes for 196 yards and two TDs while rushing for another. Barnum needed 14 carries to hit 216 yards with three rushing TDs while catching two passes, including a touchdown, for the 4-1 Panthers. The fourth win passes the total of the four prior seasons combined since Stryker started its varsity football program in 2018.

} In other eight-man action, Holgate quarterback Xavier McCord had as many incompletions as touchdowns, completing 16-of-19 passes for 260 yards and three TDs as the Tigers avenged a 42-20 loss in their season opener against Tri-State King’s Crusaders in Northern 8 Football Conference action.

} Fort Loramie recorded a notable defensive feat in its 42-7 defeat of visiting Edon. The seven points for the Bombers marked the first time Edon had been held below 20 points since Oct. 16, 2020, a run of 20 straight games.

} Bryan’s Sam Herold racked up 264 yards and three rushing TDs on 36 carries as Bryan built up a 28-0 first-half lead and held on to defeat Patrick Henry 42-35.

} Celina defeated Lima Bath 29-0 on Friday for Bulldogs first shutout victory since Oct. 17, 2014 (42-0 win over Lima Shawnee). Celina nearly had a shutout the week before against Elida but a field goal with 43 seconds remaining allowed Elida to avoid the shutout in a 17-3 win for Celina.

} New Bremen running back/kicker Hunter Schaefer tied the school record with five touchdowns and kicked five extra points to set school record for points in a game with 35 in the Cardinals 41-13 win over Fort Recovery.

} Coldwater celebrated an emotional homecoming with a 49-0 win over Rockford Parkway. The game came two days after Hall of Fame baseball coach Brian Harlamert died suddenly at the age of 51. Brian’s son Evan Harlamert had five catches for 45 yards with two touchdowns in the victory. Twin brothers AJ and Braylen Harlamert (nephews of Brian Harlamert) also played and combined for five catches for 78 yards in the game.

} Liberty-Benton quarterback Kam Garlock completed 25-of-28 passes for 275 yards and four TDs and ran for two scores as well in the Eagles’ 45-0 win over Van Buren.

} Blayton Reid of Logan Elm rushed for a program record 310 yards in a 35-14 win over Fairfield Union.

} New Albany amassed 437 yards rushing in a 45-21 win over Grove City in a showdown pitting one-loss teams. Christian Manville gained 230 yards on 28 carries and Dylan Rosser added 165 yards on 25 rushes and each scored two touchdowns for the Eagles.

} Dane Nauman of Marengo Highland rushed for 336 yards on 30 attempts and scored four TDs in a 42-28 win over Marion Harding.

} Trey Cornist of Cincinnati Winton Woods racked up 343 yards and scored six touchdowns on just 18 carries in a 62-31 win over Cincinnati Anderson. Cornist is a Georgia Tech commit.

} Cincinnati Elder quarterback Ben Schoster ran for 102 yards and three touchdowns and was 9-for-12 passing with another score as the Panthers plowed St. Xavier 42-10.

} Winton Woods running back Trey Cornist tallied six touchdowns and 343 rushing yards in their 62-31 victory over Anderson.

} Loveland running back Colton Endicott ran for 157 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-15 win over Walnut Hills.

} Milford quarterback Austin Harden was 26-for-32 for 347 yards and three touchdowns in their 42-17 win over Little Miami.

} Edgewood’s Tavionne Crosby ran for 110 yards and five touchdowns in their 47-18 win over Mount Healthy.

} Wyoming running back C.J. Hester ran for 162 yards and four touchdowns as Wyoming shut out Deer Park 41-0

} Western Brown quarterback Drew Novak was 20-for-31 for 302 yards passing and three touchdowns plus ran for 108 yards and a score in their 36-30 win over New Richmond.

} Blanchester’s Mike Mulvihill ran for 230 yards and five touchdowns in their 45-21 win over Clermont Northeastern.

} Junior WR Reece Davis had 9 catches for 144 yards and three TDs in a 42-17 Milford win over Little Miami

} Safety Tallen Hulvey returned fumbles for 31 and 76 yards for back-to-back touchdowns in the second quarter of Medina’s 48-7 win at Euclid.

} Lodi Cloverleaf quarterback Oakley Kemp (208 rushing yards, 2 TDs) and running back Connor Hitchcock (167, 3) combined for 375 rushing yards and five touchdowns in a 42-27 win over Streetsboro.

} Mentor’s Scotty Fox had passing touchdowns covering 4, 4, 3, 3 and 2 yards in 35-14 victory at Brunswick.

} Licking Heights senior D.J. Fillmore, who won the Division I state long jump last year, used his athleticism and speed to block a punt and return it 34 yards for a touchdown in the 28-18 win against unbeaten Granville. The Hornets(4-2) have knocked off two state-ranked teams in a row, last week handing Newark Catholic its first loss.

} Newark Catholic senior tailback Mason Hackett scored three of his five touchdowns in the first 6:24 of the game in a 42-0 win against Utica. He had 188 yards in 15 carries in a little over two quarters, scoring on runs of 7, 4, 8, 67 and 22 yards, and also had a 58-yard punt return. Senior linebacker Brendan Sheehan had two first-half interceptions.

} Johnstown senior tailback Nathan Sheets scored five touchdowns and had 211 yards on 25 carries in the 41-10 win against Northridge. He scored on runs of 47, 52, 4, 3 and 4 yards.

} Heath sophomore Connor Corbett racked up 125 yards on 13 attempts and scored four touchdowns in a 42-6 win against Lakewood. Junior quarterback Brayden Bayles not only threw for 171 yards and ran for a score, but he opened the game by returning a punt 79 yards for a touchdown.

} Akron Archbishop Hoban senior running back Lamar Sperling and Cleveland Heights senior quarterback Darreon Fair could be dueling for the northeast’s bid at Mr. Football. Both continued to reach the end zone Friday with four scores. Fair rushed for 274 yards and four TDs on 17 carries in a 56-28 win at Strongsville to keep the Cleveland Heights undefeated through six weeks. Meanwhile, Hoban also is 6-0 after Sperling rushed for 152 yards and four TDs on 26 carries in a 32-20 win at Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit. Jones, his junior backup, rushed for 111 yards on 10 carries. Sperling has 1,387 yards and 21 TDs on 132 carries through six games. Fair has 874 yards and 18 TDs on just 68 carries (a 12.9-yard average) with another 368 yards passing and seven TDs to no interceptions.

} Hudson Devins of Berea-Midpark broke the Titans’ single-game rushing record with 256 yards and four TDs on just nine carries in a 48-7 win vs. Amherst. He also had nine tackles on defense.

} Levi Ellis of Elyria Catholic reached 4,000 yards for his career in the Panthers’ 42-7 win against Fairview. Ellis rushed for 157 yards and three TDs.

} Eugene Gibbons of Cleveland St. Ignatius set a school record with five sacks in the Wildcats’ 21-14 win at River Rouge in Michigan.

} Weston Strader of Firelands rushed for a whopping 377 yards and six TDs in a 46-42 win at LaGrange Keystone that not only knocked off the defending Lorain County League champions, but handed the Wildcats their first LCL loss in 23 games. In the loss, Keystone sophomore Zach Shackelford paced the Wildcats with 210 yards and three TDs on 11 receptions. Konner Rodick threw for 363 yards and five TDs, with another 72 yards rushing, for Keystone in the high-scoring affair.

} Defending Division III state champion Chardon put together its best rushing performance of the season, gaining 401 yards in a 35-18 win at Chagrin Falls Kenston. Senior quarterback Alex Henry ran for 164 yards and two TDs, while junior Andrew Bruce added 137 yards with a pair of 19-yard scores.

} Week 7 brings a number of rivalry games in Northeast Ohio and matchups that could determine conference champions. Avon (5-1), which has won six straight Southwestern Conference championships and made five straight state semifinals in Division II, visits Olmsted Falls (5-1). Division VI powerhouse Kirtland (6-0) plays host to Perry (5-1), which hopes to make a run in Division V but first disrupt Kirtland’s Chagrin Valley Conference dominance and 51-game winning streak in the regular season. Medina (5-1) looks to defend its Greater Cleveland Conference crown with a visit from Mentor (3-2). Then on Saturday, Lakewood St. Edward (5-1) heads to Byers Field in Parma for its rivalry game against Cleveland St. Ignatius (4-1). Barring a playoff rematch in Region 1, it will be the final game between the schools for legendary coach Chuck Kyle, who is retiring following his 40th and final season leading the Wildcats.

} Coal Grove running back Chase Hall rushed for 279 yards and five touchdowns on 33 carries in the Hornets’ 43-42 Ohio Valley Conference loss against Portsmouth on Friday night. Hall had two two-point conversion runs as well.

} Portsmouth senior quarterback Tyler Duncan completed 19-of-26 passes for four touchdowns and 300 yards, and rushed for 61 yards on 11 carries, in the Trojans’ 43-42 win at previously-undefeated Coal Grove on Friday night. Duncan’s cousin, Jayden Duncan, made seven receptions for 150 yards with three touchdowns.

} Portsmouth West senior Ryan Sissel rushed for 221 yards and four touchdowns on 32 carries, and made 17 tackles from his linebacker position, in the Senators’ 49-42 win over Waverly on Friday night. West junior Jeffery Bishop caught five passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns.

} Wheelersburg senior Eric Lattimore rushed for a 54-yard touchdown, returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown, and caught three passes for 35 yards in the Pirates’ 42-0 win over Minford Friday night.

} Lucasville Valley senior George Arnett completed a 43-yard pass for a touchdown, caught a 29-yard pass for a touchdown, rushed for a 1-yard touchdown run, and made a defensive interception in the Indians’ 35-7 win at Oak Hill on Friday night.

} Springboro took over the Greater Western Ohio Conference from top-10 teams Centerville and Springfield. Springboro (3-0 in the GWOC) rallied from a 17-7 deficit in the fourth quarter and defeated No. 2 Centerville 21-17 on a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Evan Ruzzo with 14 seconds remaining. Meanwhile, sophomore quarterback Brock Baker scored on a 15-yard run late in the fourth quarter to lift Fairmont past No. 5 Springfield 24-21. Ruzzo completed 14 of 25 passes for 169 yards and overcame two interceptions. Cade Lamb caught nine passes for 113 yards. Centerville’s Drake Wells was 20-of-27 for 238 yards and two touchdowns, both to Jamar Montgomery who caught nine passes for 103 yards. Drew Baker rushed for 115 yards on 32 carries to lead Fairmont, which also scored on an 80-yard blocked kick return by Kamron Payne.

} Miamisburg scored the only 21 points of the second half to defeat Clayton Northmont 42-26 in another GWOC battle. Miamisburg’s Preston Barr threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns and Brock Vaughn added another 80 passing yards. Jackson McGohan caught seven passes for 185 yards and a 25-yard touchdown. Deuce Cortner led Northmont with 330 passing yards and three touchdowns. Dalin Wilkins caught seven passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns.

} Division II No. 5 Xenia defeated Division III No. 2 Tippecanoe 27-22 on Gavin McManus’ 10-yard touchdown pass to Tremmell Wright with 51 seconds left. The score capped a 20-play drive that included three fourth-down conversions and took almost 10 minutes off the clock. Xenia led 20-0, but Tipp got to the lead with a 15-point third quarter. Xenia’s Trei’Shaun Sanders rushed for 190 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries, including 12 on the final drive.

} Ky Warner rushed for 204 yards on 15 carries and scored once to lead Piqua to a 63-0 victory over Fairborn. All three of Dre’sean Roberts’ receptions resulted in touchdowns of 37, 37 and 21 yards from Brady Ouhl.

} Division III No. 8 Bellbrook stayed atop its division in the Southwestern Buckeye League with a 43-29 victory over Waynesville. Elijah Brooks rushed for 156 yards and three touchdowns to lead Bellbrook. Waynesville’s Blaise Sizer was 31-of-51 for 375 yards and four touchdowns. Connor Berrey caught eight passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns.

} Division V No. 7 Milton-Union rolled past Miami East 49-0 as wide receiver Blake Brumbaugh set school scoring records for scoring (313) and receptions (82).

} Division VII No. 2 Springfield Catholic Central stayed unbeaten with a 42-7 victory over Madison Plains. Cole Ray threw for 142 yards and Daniel Kamara rushed for 112 to lead the Irish.

} Liberty Center won its sixth-straight game, defeating Swanton 42-0 in Northwest Ohio Athletic League action. This was the fourth shutout of the season for the Tigers’ defense, which has not allowed a point over the last 10 quarters. Liberty Center’s defense has allowed 27 points all season.

} Patrick Henry quarterback Nash Meyer passed for 397 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-35 loss to Bryan Friday. The Patriots trailed 28-0 before Meyer threw his first TD of the game – a 26-yard strike to Landon Johnson with 20 seconds left in the first half. Meyer threw for three second-half scores, including two in the fourth quarter, and rushed for another touchdown.

} Napoleon’s Andrew Williams rushed for 196 yards on 20 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 47-7 win at Maumee Friday. Napoleon’s defense had three interceptions, including a 27-yard pick-six by Jacob Aguilar on the second play of the game.

} Archbold running back Carson Dominique carried the ball 17 times for a total of 127 yards and 5 touchdowns on Friday as the Blue Streaks cruised to a dominant 43-0 win over Delta. On the season through six games, the senior has rushed for 732 yards and 16 TDs while also adding a pair of receiving scores.

} Southeastern’s Cole Dent made 18 tackles against Greeneview, but the Rams won 39-8.

} Josh Flora for Cedarville caught seven passes for 136 yards and a touchdown in the Indians’ 17-7 win at Greenon. At 3-3 overall, it’s the first time Cedarville is at least .500 past the regular season midway point since 2014.

} Austin Stidham scored once on defense and once on special teams in a 28-14 win for Valley View over Brookville. Stidham returned an interception 38 yards for Valley View’s first score and added a 74 yard punt return.

} Findlay and Fremont Ross met for the 100th time on Friday in the long and storied history between the two schools.

What ensued was literally a game for the ages.

Fremont Ross was 5-0 overall, 2-0 in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference and ranked 12th in the Division II state poll. Findlay, which had graduated a number of skilled players from last year’s 9-4 team, was 1-4 against a brutal schedule. The first two of the losses were to Anthony Wayne (6-0, No. 18 D-II) and Perrysburg (5-1), the two teams picked to win the Northern Lakes League this season. The last two were league losses to Toledo Central Catholic (5-1, No. 7 D-II) and Toledo Whitmer (4-2), the teams picked 1-2 in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference.

Records aside, Findlay took advantage of short-field opportunities to open a 20-7 first quarter lead. The Trojans still led 23-14 at the half.

But Fremont Ross has Kaden Holmes. And in the second half the senior four-year starter showed why he will likely be a Mr. Football candidate after the season.

In the third quarter Holmes, who would amass 519 total yards in the game, had nine carries for 115 yards and a score and completed 12-of-17 passes for 165 yards and two TDs. Fremont Ross had four possessions in the period and scored on all four as Holmes engineered drives of 80, 75, 58 and 80 yards.

Findlay tried to keep pace. Sophomore quarterback Ryan Montgomery, a four-star recruit who has already received offers from many of the top D-I programs in the country, threw two long TD passes, but Findlay trailed 41-37 entering the fourth quarter. When a Montgomery pass was picked off three minutes into the final period, Holmes took Ross on a 14-play drive that ate up yards, time and – gradually – Findlay’s chances.

Ross marched to the Findlay 12-yard line, but on a third-and-2 play, the ball was poked free and Hudson Goebel recovered with 2:19 on the clock. Montgomery kept the drive alive with a 47-yard bomb to Donovan Harris on athird-and-10 call, then found Antwon Murphy for 18 yards on a third-and 11. He then threw a little fade pass that sophomore Reece Little caught for the score, putting Findlay back in front 44-41 with 43 seconds on the clock.

Turns out that was more than enough for Holmes, who drove the little Giants 80 yards in six play, the last a 23-yard TD pass to Brycen Hammer on a crossing pattern in the back of the end zone.

Ross was back on top, 48-44,

Six seconds remained.

What happened then will be replayed for years … and discussed longer than that.

Junior receiver/defensive back Luke Weihrauch fielded the bouncing kickoff at the 5 and headed straight up field. As Fremont Ross defenders closed in him and he was being taken down, Weihrauch tossed the ball to his left and into the hands of Dallas DeLaCruz. DeLaCruz saw some room to his left, got to the corner and outran two defenders the final 72 yards for the touchdown that game Findlay a 50-48 win in one of the most amazing finishes in prep football history.

There were three touchdowns scored in the final 49 seconds and each one flipped the scoreboard. Combined the two teams had 1,079 yards total offense. Holmes was 30-of-45 passing for 348 yards and four scores and rushed for 171 yards and a TD. Montgomery also completed 30-of-45 passes, throwing for 346 yards and six TDs.

Harris, who had 115 yards receiving and caught three TD passes, may have said it best.

“I prayed to God some miracle would happen at the end and look at this. It’s crazy, just crazy,” he said.

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