Friday Night Lights
Posted Sep 26, 2011

Throughout the high school football season, will be following the progress of Ohio State’s football commitments. Here is how the OSU verbal commitments and their teams fared Sept. 23-24. All are seniors unless noted.

Warren Ball, RB, Columbus DeSales – Ball was held to 21 yards on nine carries and visiting Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary’s cruised to a 42-21 victory against the host Stallions.

While Ball struggled to find traction against the Eaglets (4-1), St. Mary’s wore down DeSales in the second half. St. Mary’s led 21-14 at halftime and rushed for 256 yards after the break en route to the victory. Grant Niemiec led the attack with 143 yards rushing on 16 carries. He was one of three Eaglets with 100-plus yard rushing efforts, joining Spencer McInnis (131) and Parker McInnis (103).

The Stallions (2-3), who committed five turnovers, were led by J.T. Blubaugh. He ran for 107 yards on eight carries.

De'Van Bogard, S, Cleveland Glenville – Glenville evened its record to 2-2 with a 69-0 stomping of Cleveland Collinwood.

The score was lopsided early, as the Tarblooders (2-0 Senate League) built a 34-0 lead through the first quarter and a 55-0 advantage at halftime. Defensively, Bogard and company held the Railroaders (0-5, 0-3 Senate League) scoreless.

Jacoby Boren, OG, and Roger Lewis, WR, Pickerington (Ohio) Central and Patrick Elflein, OG, Pickerington (Ohio) North – Bragging rights went to Boren and Lewis, as the Tigers rallied late to beat the visiting Panthers in a crosstown matchup and Ohio Captial Conference Ohio division battle.

The game was a back-and-forth affair. Central (2-2, 2-0 OCC Ohio) raced out to a 10-0 first-quarter lead on a 28-yard field goal by Jake Raymond and a 9-yard touchdown run by running back Billy Eakins. North (4-1, 1-1) responded by taking a 14-10 lead through three quarters on a 43-yard TD pass from Seth Gamby to Jamie Hence and a 27-yard scoring run by Godwin Igwebuike.

Eakins gave the Tigers a 17-14 lead in the fourth quarter, but the Panthers didn’t quit. A 47-yard punt return for a score by Tabeal Radney gave North a 21-17 lead. That set up a dramatic final drive for the Tigers, one that started with 1:03 left on the clock at the North 45 following a Panther punt. Eakins and QB Nick Jensen-Clagg played the heroes, connecting on a game-winning 16-yard touchdown pitch and catch with 40.7 seconds remaining.

“Roger Lewis was the primary receiver on that play, but Nick saw me open and put it up there for me,” Eakins told the (Columbus) Dispatch. “We knew we could execute on that last drive. We had confidence in ourselves. Nick got us in order and ready to play.”

The win was Central’s fifth in as many matchups against North.

Bri'onte Dunn, RB, Canton (Ohio) GlenOak – Dunn suffered an undisclosed injury during GlenOak’s 21-10 win at Austintown Fitch.

Dunn missed much of the second quarter and the entire second half. Jordan Autrey led the Golden Eagles (5-0, 2-0 Federal League) in Dunn’s place, rushing for 153 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.

"(Dunn) told me he wasn’t coming back at halftime, and it was my time to step up,” Autrey told the Canton Repository.

Dunn ran for 45 yards, including a 4-yard TD run in the first quarter, before leaving the game.

Fitch (4-2) was led by running back Ty’reese Anderson, who ran for 114 yards.

Frank Epitropoulos, WR, Upper Arlington, Ohio – Epitropoulos missed his third straight game while recovering from surgery on his left thumb. The Golden Bears did not need the receiver/defensive back/punter during a 56-21 victory against host Columbus Worthington Kilbourne, however.

Upper Arlington (4-1, 2-0 OCC Central) spotted Kilbourne (1-4, 0-2) a touchdown on a 5-yard run by Brian Miller in the first quarter before scoring 49 unanswered points to take command. Ryan McSheffery led the way with two touchdowns, coming on a 2-yard run in the first quarter and an 11-yard pass from David Smith in the second quarter.

Smith aided UA’s attack by completing 10 of 11 passes for 111 yards.

Najee Murray, DB, Steubenville, Ohio – Murray and the Big Red defense did just enough, holding off host Youngstown Ursuline 22-17 to remain undefeated at 5-0.

Ursuline (1-4) scored the game’s first points with a 31-yard field goal by Chris Durkin before the Big Red built a 15-3 lead at halftime on a 3-yard touchdown run by JoJo Pierro in the first quarter and a 1-yard TD run by Leshawn Luke and a successful two-point conversion pass from Evan Westlake to William Houst.

The Irish got back within a score in the third quarter on a 1-yard scoring run by Jesse Curry, but the Big Red then scored the winning touchdown on another Pierro short-yardage score.

Curry closed the scoring with a 1-yard TD run in the fourth quarter, but the Big Red held on for the victory.

Murray finished with 18 rushing yards on five carries. Steubenville rushed for 200 yards, with 115 from Pierro.

Joshua Perry, OLB, Lewis Center (Ohio) Olentangy – Perry rushed for 143 yards on 32 carries but wishes he could have gotten a few more. He was stopped at the line of scrimmage on a two-point conversion attempt, giving Marysville a 14-13 victory in triple overtime.

The first two overtime periods ended without scores. Marysville (4-1, 2-0 OCC Cardinal) then took a 14-7 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Joseph Boyd and an extra point boot by Nick Mazza. The Braves (2-3, 1-1) answered in two plays – Perry rushes of 13 and 12 yards, respectively. Olentangy head coach Ed Terwilliger then opened to go for the win, only to see Perry stopped on the final play of the game.

“It was a great high school football game,” Terwilliger told This Week newspapers of Columbus. “We all had our opportunities and they made the most of the one that counted.

“I thought (going for two points) was a no-brainer for us. We just gashed them for 25 yards on two carries and we were coming off the ball well, and I didn’t want to put the heat on (kicker Joshua Baumbach). It’s not fair to do that. … The kids wanted to go (for two) and the coaches wanted to go (for two), so we did.”

The only points before OT came on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Jonathan Seymour to Onyebuchi Okafor in the first quarter for Olentangy and a 1-yard TD run by Marysville’s Kody Davisson in the third quarter.

Tyvis Powell, S, Bedford, Ohio – A 18-yard touchdown scramble by quarterback Deon Carter in the final seconds gave visiting Bedford a 12-7 victory at Warren Harding.

For much of the second half, it appeared Harding’s 7-6 halftime lead would hold. The Raiders (1-4) scored the game’s first touchdown on a 48-yard catch-and-run from QB Jimmy Rumple to Orlando Ervin. Bedford (3-2) answered with a touchdown of its own but had the extra point blocked.

Luke Roberts, MLB, Lancaster, Ohio – Roberts contributed 25 yards on offense, but Lancaster remained winless in OCC Ohio play with a 17-0 loss to host Gahanna Lincoln.

The Golden Gales (2-3, 0-2) trained 3-0 at halftime before Lincoln (4-1, 2-0) sealed the victory with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Grassman to Mitchell Rowell in the third quarter and a 2-yard fullback Jesse Kendrick run in the fourth.

Lancaster was held to 107 yards rushing on 46 carries and lost two fumbles that turned into Lincoln touchdowns.

Blake Thomas, TE, Cleveland St. Ignatius – The Wildcats moved to 4-1 with a 49-19 victory against visiting Cleveland John Adams.

Dan Grace led the St. Ignatius attack, scoring three touchdowns on runs of 15 and 3 yards and on a 46-yard TD reception from Eric Williams. He finished the game with 112 yards of offense. Williams completed all five of his pass attempts for 120 yards and three scores.

John Adams (2-3) trailed 21-0 after the first quarter.

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