• CB C.J. Barnett, Clayton (Ohio) Northmont – The Thunderbolts put a scare into state power Cincinnati Elder, but it was the Panthers who ended Northmont's season with a 13-10 victory at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati in an Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I regional semifinal.
Northmont (10-2) led 10-7 thanks to a 15-yard touchdown run by Mark Mays with 6:43 left in the third quarter. But a key third-down conversion by Elder (11-1) turned the tide of the game. The T-Bolts had Elder pinned deep in its own territory, facing a third-and-19 at the Panther 11. Elder quarterback Mark Miller scrambled right on the play, avoided Northmont defenders and found Josh Jones for a long reception. Jones fumbled on the play, but the Panthers recovered the ball at the T-Bolt 15-yard line.
The drive ended with a 22-yard field goal by Anthony Miliano, but Elder had the momentum. After holding the Northmont offense, the Panthers took the lead for good on a 31-yard field goal by Miliano.
"Our kids played their hearts out tonight," Northmont head coach Lance Schneider told the Dayton Daily News. "We went toe-to-toe with a team that I think might win it all."
• WLB Dorian Bell and CB/WR Corey Brown, Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway – Bell scored on three short touchdown runs, and the Gators overcame several miscues in a 24-0 victory over Glenshaw Shaler in a Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League Class AAAA quarterfinal at Norwin.
Gateway (11-0) fumbled once inside the Shaler 10-yard line and threw an interception inside the 10, but that was not enough to give the Titans (8-3) a chance at pulling the upset. Bell compiled 86 yards rushing on 16 carries. Brian Williams added 183 yards on 22 carries. Quarterback Rob Kalkstein completed 7 of 13 passes for 131 yards.
The Gators will next face Pittsburgh Penn Hills (8-3) Friday in the semifinals.
• DT/OG Adam Bellamy, Aurora, Ohio – The second-seeded Greenmen scored a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter and it stood as the final margin of victory in a 14-7 win over No. 3 Hubbard in a OHSAA Division III regional semifinal.
Aurora quarterback Brendan Gallagher threw the game-winning, 9-yard touchdown pass to Dee Brizzolara. Gallagher completed 15 of 24 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. Steven Yung caught the other score for Aurora (10-2) in the first quarter on a 58-yard pass.
Hubbard (9-3) tied the game in the fourth quarter on an 8-yard touchdown run by Cody Farcas.
Aurora will face top-seeded Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit (9-2) for the regional title on Saturday at Solon.
• RB Jaamal Berry, Miami (Fla.) Palmetto – Miami Killian claimed the District 16-6A title and the Cat Trophy with a 29-0 whipping of Palmetto at Florida International University South Stadium.
The Cougars (7-1, 4-0 District 16-6A) won their first district crown since 2004 and snapped a two-year playoff drought with the victory. The tone was set early, as running back Lamar Miller scored the game’s first touchdown on an 80-yard run on the game’s first play from scrimmage. Miller bruised the Panthers (6-3, 3-2) and finished with 166 yards and two touchdowns.
Palmetto was without Berry for the fourth consecutive game. The Panthers managed only 109 yards of offense. Berry is nursing a high ankle sprain and a left forearm injury.
• LB/FB Zach Boren and DB/WR Jamie Wood, Pickerington (Ohio) Central – The Tigers trailed for the first time all season, but Central still emerged with a 24-16 victory over Upper Arlington in an OHSAA Division I regional semifinal.
The three-pronged rushing attack of Wood, Boren and Michigan State-bound Patrick White led the Tigers (12-0) on back-to-back touchdown drives in the third quarter that gave Central the lead for good.
"Coach (Jay Sharrett) told us in the locker room that we were going to go right down the field and score on the first drive," Boren told the Columbus Dispatch of what was said at halftime when the Golden Bears led 9-7.
Wood carried the ball three times for 30 yards on the first drive after halftime. Boren added three carries for 24 yards, and White ran twice for 15 yards. The drive took just more than three minutes, with Boren capping it with a 1-yard touchdown run.
After holding UA (10-2) to a three-and-out, Wood extended the lead with a 71-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter. Wood finished with 116 yards on eight carries, and Boren added 95 yards on 11 carries.
The Tigers will face top-seeded Hilliard Davidson (11-1) for the regional title Saturday at Upper Arlington.
• WR Duron Carter, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas – Carter caught a touchdown pass and had 94 receiving yards in St. Thomas Aquinas’ 51-3 rout of host Davie Western.
Giovanni Bernard ran for two touchdowns, and Ronnie Kennedy returned a punt 69 yards for a score. The Raiders (9-0, 5-0 District 16-5A) cruised to an easy victory a week after clinching the district title with a win over Hollywood McArthur.
Carter’s score came thanks in part of a last-second decision.
“I wasn’t supposed to be in, but it was a fourth-and-long situation and coach threw me in,” Carter told the Miami Herald. “I ran a post route and (Jacob) Rudock hit me with the ball.”
Abraham Mercado kicked a field goal for the only points by Western (4-6, 3-2).
• CB Dominic Clarke, Frederick (Md.) Tuscarora – The Titans ended the regular season with a 40-21 come-from-behind victory over Monocacy Valley Athletic League foe Sykesville South Carroll.
The win gave Tuscarora an 8-2 record heading into the postseason, its best mark in the five-year history of the football program.
“This team deserves it,” Tuscarora coach Shawn Carey told the Frederick (Md.) News-Post. “They’ve worked hard all season. They’ve done a great job.”
Tuscarora led 12-7 at the end of the first quarter, but South Carroll (3-7) rallied to take a 21-12 lead midway through the second quarter. The Titans defense then held the Cavaliers scoreless the rest of the night.
Clarke was part of the Titan comeback, scoring on a 7-yard run with two minutes left in the first half. It was one of two scores by Clarke.
The Titans earned a No. 3 seed in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association Class 3A playoffs and will face second-seeded Urbana (7-3) Saturday.
• CB/WR Justin Green, Louisville (Ky.) Male – Louisville duPont Manual won this season’s edition of the Old Rivalry game, 41-21, at Papa Johns Stadium.
Manual (8-2) posted 502 yards of offense, 273 on the ground and 229 through the air. James Clay led the rushing attack with 93 yards on 15 carries. Joey Harness completed 6 of 13 passes for 169 yards and two scores.
Male (6-4) struggled with its running game, compiling only 57 yards on 21 carries. Quarterback Dexter Britt picked up the slack, completing 11 of 27 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
“We were never in the ballgame,” Male coach Bob Redman told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “We were totally noncompetitive. I apologize to all the people who wore purple. It was embarrassing.”
Green scored on a 94-yard kickoff return but was held to only three carries for 3 yards on offense.
The Bulldogs and the Crimsons have been playing each other since 1893. Male leads the series 79-41-6, but Manual has now won two in a row after dropping 17 of 18.
Male will begin its Kentucky High School Athletic Association Class 6-A playoff run with a game at home Friday vs. Shelbyville Shelby County (1-9).
• RB/CB Jordan Hall, Jeannette, Pa. – Hall scored three touchdowns and Jeannette and Beaver combined for 12 trips to the end zone in a 57-28 win by the Jayhawks in a WPIAL Class AA quarterfinal at Pittsburgh Fox Chapel.
Moziah Harris scored two touchdowns for Jeannette (10-1), and Cameron Baradziej added two touchdown passes and ran for another. Beaver (8-3) scored first, but Jeannette scored 43 of the next 50 points to pull
The win sets up a WPIAL Class AA semifinal matchup between the fourth-seeded Jayhawks and No. 1 Beaver Falls (11-0). It will be a rematch of last season’s WPIAL championship game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Jeannette won that game, 61-12.
“We both want to get to Heinz Field. They’re standing in our way, and we’re standing in theirs,” Jayhawks coach Ray Reitz told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Word is that they want to play us, and now they have us. ... They’ve been talking about playing us all year, from what I understand.”
Hall finished with 108 rushing yards on 17 carries. He sustained a cut on his forehead during the game, and went to the hospital afterward to receive stitches.
• LB/FB Adam Homan, Coldwater, Ohio – The Cavaliers set up a showdown with Kettering Alter with a 35-7 drubbing of Oakwood in an OHSAA Division IV regional semifinal.
Soon after Coldwater (11-0) dispatched the Lumberjacks (8-3), the talk quickly turned to the upcoming rematch with the Knights. In the teams’ last meeting during the 2007 playoffs, Coldwater defeated Alter 59-52 in triple-overtime.
“We were walking off the field and we were asking coaches what the score was,” Coldwater senior fullback/linebacker Adam Homan told the Dayton Daily News, referring to Alter’s 42-7 win over Hamilton Badin. “We enjoyed this a little bit, but we’re starting to think about the next game.”
Oakwoood kept the Cavaliers at bay in the first quarter but could not halt the spread offense of Coldwater for long. Coldwater scored on passes of 31, 64 and 90 yards and added a pair of touchdown runs.
The Coldwater-Alter showdown will be Friday at Troy.
• FB Carlos Hyde, Naples, Fla. – Hyde rushed 15 times for 218 yards with touchdown runs of 3, 40 and 22 yards in Naples’ 50-33 victory over rival Naples Lely in the annual Coconut Bowl game.
The win gave the Golden Eagles (8-1) the Class 3-A, District 14 championship with a perfect 4-0 mark. It was the ninth victory in 10 games for Naples over Lely (7-2, 3-1).
Lely scored on the first play from scrimmage on an 80-yard touchdown run by Darion Hall, but Naples rebounded and silenced Hall in the second half. That is when Naples pulled away. With the Golden Eagles ahead 29-25 just a minute after halftime, Naples senior defensive end Richard McCoy recovered a fumble. On the first play after the turnover, Hyde ran for a 40-yard touchdown.
“It was a great momentum changer,” McCoy told the Naples News. “When you get a turnover, it’s a lot of fun.”
Hyde, along with backfield teammates quarterback Juno Prudhomm and running back Greg Pratt, scored all seven of Naples’ touchdowns.
• WR/CB James Jackson, Grand Ledge, Mich. – The Comets saw their season come to an end with a 56-14 loss to visiting Rockford in a Michigan High School Athletic Association Division I district game.
The Rams’ rushing attack kept Grand Ledge (10-1) offbalance all night. Rockford (10-1) used an early touchdown on an interception return to take control from the start. The Rams scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and added three more in the second to take a 42-14 lead into halftime.
Jackson caught a 48-yard touchdown pass and finished with four receptions for 73 yards. He also added three rushes for 19 yards.
• LB/RB Storm Klein, Newark (Ohio) Licking Valley – Second-seeded Licking Valley won its 11th straight game with a 41-7 rout of Poland Seminary in an OHSAA Division III regional semifinal at New Philadelphia.
The Panthers (11-1) only threw the ball six times but did not need to do much through the air. Klein and quarterback Drew Ryan took care of the offense by piling up big yardage on the ground. LV rushed for 327 yards on the FieldTurf at Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium, 241 coming in the first half.
"In honor of Woody, that's right," LV coach Randy Baughman told the Newark Advocate. "There's no dust, but it was working for us, so you certainly want to stay with what's working."
Klein and Ryan both had three rushing touchdowns. Klein finished with 188 yards on 20 carries, while Ryan added 110 yards on six carries. The future Buckeye scored on runs of 15, 7 and 3 yards.
"I think we can come out and pound the ball against just about anybody," Klein told the Newark Advocate. "We help each other out. We've got a nice offense and we've got a good rhythm going. I'm loving it. It's fun and we're playing loose, and it's working out well for us."
The Panthers, the second seed in the region, will face top-seeded Dover (11-1) for the regional crown on Saturday at Zanesville.
• DE Jonathan Newsome, Cleveland Glenville – The rematch between Glenville and Cleveland St. Ignatius was another close game, but this time a field goal gave the Wildcats the victory. St. Ignatius defeated the Tarblooders, 8-7, on a 37-yard field goal by Seamus Hennessey with 6:11 remaining in an OHSAA Division I regional semifinal at Lakewood.
Glenville (11-1) had a chance late in the game, driving to near midfield with just more than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter. Facing a fourth-and-2 with 66 seconds left, Glenville QB Terrance Owens was hounded by Scott McVey. Owens underhanded the ball downfield to avoid the sack, but his pass was picked off by Wildcat cornerback Tom Hunt. That sealed the victory for St. Ignatius (11-1).
Glenville rallied from a 5-0 halftime deficit with a 35-yard touchdown reception by Mike Edwards with 5:49 left in the third quarter. The lead did not hold, however, and three blocked kicks by St. Ignatius came back to haunt the Tarblooders. One of those blocks resulted in a safety, another led to a field goal and a third was a blocked Glenville field-goal attempt.
• DT Johnny Simon, Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney – Mooney’s streak of appearances in the OHSAA Division IV state championship game has ended at four after the Cardinals suffered a 28-16 loss to unbeaten Steubenville in a regional semifinal at Canton Fawcett Stadium.
The Big Red (12-0) built a 21-3 halftime lead before the Cardinals cut into the deficit with a third-quarter score. That was not enough, however, and the Cardinals finished the season 9-3. Big Red quarterback Dwight Macon and fullback Branko Busick led the attack by accounting for three of Steubenville’s four touchdowns.
Braylon Heard led the Mooney attack with 75 yards on seven carries. Quarterback Alex Zordich completed 10 of 19 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. Two of Zordich’s passes was intercepted and that was two of three Moooney turnovers.
• LB Jordan Whiting, Louisville (Ky.) Trinity – The Shamrocks finished the regular season with a 65-0 whitewash of Lexington Lafayette.
Cameron Smyth led Trinity (9-1) by having a hand in six touchdowns. He ran for three, threw for two and added a receiving score. Smyth completed 12 of 14 passes for 168 yards and ran for 41 yards on six carries.
Lafayette (7-3) had only 27 yards of total offense and earned only two first downs.
The Shamrocks will open their KHSAA Class 6-A postseason with a home game Friday vs. Mayfille Graves County (5-5).
The following OSU verbal commits have finished their seasons: DE Melvin Fellows, Garfield Heights, Ohio; WR Chris Fields, Painesville (Ohio) Harvey; TE/OL Reid Fragel, Grosse Pointe (Mich.) South; OG Corey Linsley and J.T. Moore (junior), Youngstown (Ohio) Boardman; OT Sam Longo, Bellbrook, Ohio; DB Bradley McDougald, Dublin (Ohio) Scioto; OL/DL Jack Mewhort, Toledo (Ohio) St. John’s Jesuit.