• Warren Ball, RB, Columbus DeSales – Top-seeded DeSales had little trouble in its first-round matchup against No. 8 Caledonia River Valley, dispatching the visiting Vikings 35-0 in OHSAA Division III, Region 10 play.
Ball scored three touchdown in the victory, reaching the end zone on runs of 30, 6 and 55 yards. He finished with 163 yards and went over the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season.
“We know that teams aren’t dumb. They’re going to shut down No. 34 (Ball),” DeSales coach Ryan Wiggins told This Week Newspapers of Columbus. “But when he is on he’s tough to stop.”
DeSales quarterback Ryan Perrine completed 9 of 11 passes for 155 yards and two scores. His TD throws both went to Charles Chandler. The first was a 20-yard strike that gave the Stallions (7-3) a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The duo connected again on a 15-yard scoring pass in the second quarter to double that advantage.
River Valley finished the season 7-3.
The Stallions advance to face fifth-seeded Elida (7-3) in the regional semifinals. The Bulldogs (8-3) defeated No. 4 Bellevue 54-20 in their playoff opener.
• Jacoby Boren, OG/DL, and Roger Lewis, WR/CB, Pickerington (Ohio) Central – Lewis scored two touchdowns and Boren helped the offense run like a well-oiled machine in a 55-14 beatdown of Dublin Coffman in a Division I, Region 3 quarterfinal.
The No. 2 Tigers (8-2) dominated the seventh-ranked Shamrocks (8-3) and won their eighth straight game. Pickerington Central scored on its first five possessions and built a commanding 35-0 lead. One of those scores came from Lewis, who was on the receiving end of an 81-yard TD pass from Nick Jensen-Clagg. Lewis later added another touchdown when he took the second-half kickoff 98 yards to the end zone.
“We knew we had to make big plays to beat Coffman,” Lewis told This Week newspapers of Columbus. “We work very hard on special teams, because that’s what wins games. I used a burst of speed to get open on my touchdown catch and I got great blocking on my touchdown return.”
Devone Penick also aided Pickerington Central’s cause by rushing for 95 yards and two touchdowns on six carries. Jensen-Clagg completed 6 of 7 passes for 166 yards.
Coffman was without star wide receiver Marcus Davis, who was serving the second game of a suspension for violating team rules. The Shamrocks had limped into the postseason after losing three of their last four games.
Pickerington Central will face another Ohio Capital Conference foe in the regional semifinals when they host Gahanna Lincoln. The sixth-seeded Lions upset No. 3 Westerville Central in the first round.
• Bri’onte Dunn, RB, Canton (Ohio) GlenOak – Dunn rushed for 170 yards on 29 carries, but his season came to an end thanks to a furious fourth-quarter rally by visiting Wadsworth. The seventh-seeded Grizzlies knocked off No. 2 GlenOak, 35-28, in a Division I, Region 2 game.
The Golden Eagles blew a 21-7 halftime lead and a 28-14 advantage they held with 10:31 left in the fourth quarter. Wadsworth erased the latter deficit with a 1-yard TD run by fullback Bret Baughman and a 5-yard TD by Wadsworth’s standout tailback Jack Snowball with four minutes left.
GlenOak (9-2) then turned the ball over on its next possession. Quarterback Reid Worstell had a pass picked off by Ryan Wise at the GlenOak 38. Snowball then gave his team the lead for good with a 7-yard TD run with 1:12 left.
The Golden Eagles drove to the Wadsworth 40-yard line after Snowball’s touchdown but turned the ball over on downs.
In addition to his rushing totals, Dunn scored three of his team’s touchdowns. He reached the end zone on runs of 26, 12 and 1 yard. Snowball led the Grizzlies (10-1), who advance to play No. 3 Hudson next week, with 164 yards rushing. He added three TDs.
• Frank Epitropoulos, WR, Upper Arlington, Ohio – A defensive stop pushed No. 4 Upper Arlington past fifth-seeded Troy in a Division I, Region 3 quarterfinal.
After Marcus Foster reached the end zone on a 3-yard run in overtime, visiting Troy decided to go for two and the win. The Golden Bears, led by senior linebacker Tyler Pfister, stuffed Isaiah Willams at the 1-yard line and gave Upper Arlington a 21-20 victory.
“I just wanted to lift up all my teammates,” Pfister told This Week newspapers of Columbus. “We had a good idea they wanted to win the game there and then. We played to the bitter end.”
Upper Arlington began overtime by scoring a touchdown on a 25-yard run by Gus Ackley on the first play of its offensive possession. Ackley finished with a team-high 118 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
Williams opened the scoring for Troy (8-3) in the first quarter on a 19-yard touchdown run. The Trojans missed the extra point. UA then built a 14-6 halftime lead on TD runs by Ackley and Jared Drake of 8 and 4 yards, respectively. Troy answered in the third quarter with a Williams 2-yard scoring run and a successful two-point conversion that tied the game at 14-14. That score held until overtime.
The Golden Bears (9-2) will next play OCC foe Hilliard Davidson. The top-seeded Wildcats improved to 10-0 with a 22-0 win against No. 8 Lewis Center Olentangy Orange.
• Najee Murray, DB, Steubenville, Ohio – Eighth-seeded Wintersville Indian Creek gave No. 1 Steubenville a quick scare in the first round of Division III, Region 3 play before the Big Red cruised to a 68-13 victory at Harding Stadium.
The Redskins (8-3) took the opening kickoff and marched 76 yards for a touchdown. David Kemp connected with Mike Furda on a 12-yard score that gave the Buckeye 8 champions a quick lead and stunned the Steubenville crowd. It did not take long, however, for the Big Red to take control. In fact, it took less than four minutes. A 1-yard touchdown run by LeShawn Luke, a 15-yard scamper by Jo Jo Pierro and a 27-yard TD pass from Marcus Prather to Eric Robinson made it 21-7 and erased any hopes Indian Creek had of an upset.
"It's a 48-minute game, no matter how you look at it," Steubenville head coach Reno Saccoccia told the Steubenville Herald Star. "They won the first two minutes and we won the rest of the game. I want to congratulate Coach Andrew Connor, his staff and his players for a great season. They came out and played their game and we played our game. We just had more breaks than they did."
Murray helped the Big Red’s cause by catching a 53-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. It was one of two passes he hauled in on offense. Murray also helped a defense that held Indian Creek scoreless in the second half.
Steubenville (11-0) will face fourth-seeded Youngstown Cardinal Mooney in the regional semifinals. Mooney (7-3) defeated No. 5 Canal Fulton Northwest 42-22 in the opening round.
• Blake Thomas, TE, Cleveland St. Ignatius – Quarterback Eric Williams led No. 2 St. Ignatius to a 29-14 win against seventh-seeded Youngstown Boardman in Division I, Region 1 play.
Williams completed 15 of 25 passes for 174 yards and rushed 15 times for 98 yards in the victory at Parma Byers Field.
St. Ignatius (9-2) spotted Boardman (7-4) a 7-0 lead before taking command. Boardman running back Devin Campbell rushed for a 1-yard score to give the Spartans a brief lead. Then the Wildcats scored 29 unanswered points. Thomas scored six of those points when he caught a 15-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
The Wildcats outgained Boardman, 371-148. They advance to face No. 6 Lakewood St. Edward. The Eagles beat third-seeded Cleveland Heights 28-14 in the first round.
• In regular season action, OSU verbal commits Cardale Jones and Mike Thomas suited up for Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy in its post-graduate football game Friday night against Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy. No score was reported.
The following OSU verbal commits have completed their seasons: Devan Bogard, S, Cleveland Glenville, Patrick Elflein, OG, Pickerington (Ohio) North, Joshua Perry, OLB, Lewis Center (Ohio) Olentangy, Tyvis Powell, S, Bedford, Ohio, Luke Roberts, MLB, Lancaster, Ohio.