• DT/OG Adam Bellamy, Aurora, Ohio – Bellamy is the only Ohio State verbal commitment who will be playing this weekend in the Ohio High School Athletic Association state finals. Bellamy and the Greenmen will play for the Division III crown at Canton Fawcett Stadium Saturday at 11 a.m. vs. Columbus Eastmoor Academy.
Aurora (12-2) earned its state final trip with a 20-14 victory over Sunbury Big Walnut in the semifinals. Bellamy and the offensive line starred, opening holes for the Greenmen rushers throughout the game. Aurora compiled 236 yards on the ground. Senior Steven Yung led the way with 129 yards and a touchdown with five minutes remaining.
Junior Steve Snyder ran for 70 yards and senior fullback Chris Jenkins added 43 more for Aurora. The Greenmen defense, which included Bellamy on the line, held Big Walnut to 64 first-half yards.
Eastmoor (13-1) defeated future Buckeye Storm Klein and Newark Licking Valley in the semifinals. The Warriors earned a 14-10 victory behind the play of quarterback Malon Johnson and their defense.
Licking Valley cut into Eastmoor’s 14-3 second-half lead with a 6-yard touchdown by quarterback Drew Ryan with 8:26 remaining in the game, but the Warriors withstood LV’s rally. Johnson converted a key third-and-5 on an 8-yard scramble that had the quarterback 30 yards behind the line of scrimmage at one point, eluding several Panther defenders.
“I always say that big players make big plays in big games, and Malon sure came through,” Eastmoor coach Jim Miranda told the Columbus Dispatch. “I have nothing but the highest admiration for what that young man achieves in clutch situations.”
The Panthers had one last chance after Eastmoor’s Aaron Flowe fumbled after a 20-yard gain on the next play, but Licking Valley had no timeouts remaining and more than 90 yards to go. The Warriors held the Panthers on downs, capped by a Jordan Broomfield sack of Ryan on fourth down, to seal the victory.
• RB Jaamal Berry, Miami (Fla.) Palmetto – The Panthers look for revenge Friday in a Florida High School Athletic Association Class 6A regional quarterfinal vs. Miami Killian at Florida International University.
Killian (9-2) defeated Palmetto 29-0 during the regular season, but the Panthers were without Berry in that contest. The Cougars clinched a district title with the victory and were in control throughout. Rusher Lamar Miller scored a touchdown on an 80-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. He finished with 166 yards and two touchdowns in the rout.
Without Berry, the Panthers were stymied on offense. Palmetto managed only 109 yards.
The Cougars enter the game coming off a 21-14 win over Miami Sunset in the regional quarterfinals. Miller was held to 74 yards on 12 carries playing against a Sunset defense that stacked the line of scrimmage.
Berry had a game-high 176 yards rushing in Palmetto’s 20-14 victory over Southwest Miami in the regional quarterfinals. The Panthers trailed 7-3 at halftime before rallying. Quarterback Kevin Karpiak scored on a 6-yard touchdown run, and Berry added a 5-yard score as the Panthers (7-4) took the lead for good.
• WR Duron Carter, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas – The Raiders have been dominant throughout the season and look to continue that this weekend in a FHSAA Class 5A regional semifinal vs. visiting Fort Lauderdale Dillard.
Carter caught an 82-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter of St. Thomas Aquinas’ 35-7 rout of Coconut Creek in the regional quarterfinals. Carter later added a 10-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter as St. Thomas Aquinas (11-0) built a 28-7 halftime lead.
Raider quarterback Ryan Becker completed 5 of 10 passes for 128 yards and three scores. Carter’s touchdown receptions were his only catches of the night.
Dillard (9-2) has won eight straight games, including a 47-0 pasting of Hollywood McArthur in the regional quarterfinals. The backfield duo of Trabis Ward and Otis Wright led the Panthers. Ward ran for 144 yards and a touchdown, and Wright added 119 yards and two scores. Dillard ran for 323 yards as a team.
The Panther defense held McArthur to 185 total yards.
“It will be a great matchup,” Dillard coach Keith Franklin told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “We know St. Thomas is ranked No. 1 in the country in some polls; we don’t care about rankings, we just want to play football.”
• CB/WR Justin Green, Louisville (Ky.) Male – The Bulldogs will travel to Georgetown Scott County Friday in the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Class 3A state quarterfinals.
Green led Male in its last game, a 41-14 victory over Richmond Madison Central in the second round of the playoffs. He ran for touchdowns of 14 and 32 yards. Male (8-4) scored 27 second-quarter points in taking a commanding 34-0 lead by halftime.
Dexter Britt ran for a touchdown and threw another to aid the Bulldog attack.
Scott County (10-2) take a seven-game winning streak into this weekend. The final of those seven came last weekend in a 41-35 victory over Louisville Fern Creek. Jose Smith ran for 127 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cardinals. Quarterback Cory Cronin completed all five of his passes for 70 yards and an 11-yard touchdown to Anthony Sandoval. Cronin also intercepted a pass on defense.
The game was an offensive showcase, with both teams combining for 756 yards. Scott County led 41-21 midway through the fourth quarter before Fern County rallied to within six. A desperation Hail Mary pass to the end zone on the game’s final play fell incomplete to seal the victory for the Cardinals.
• FB Carlos Hyde, Naples, Fla. – Hyde will try to stay hot as Naples faces visiting Fort Myers Dunbar Friday in a FHSAA Class 3A regional semifinal.
Hyde had a huge game in Naples’ 61-23 rout of Fort Myers Riverside in the regional quarterfinals. He scored on a 50-yard run on his first carry and finished with a career-high 266 yards and five touchdowns for the 10-1 Golden Eagles. He had 223 of those yards by halftime and four of those touchdowns in the first half on runs of 50, 39, 22 and 66 yards.
Dunbar (10-1) defeated visiting Naples Lely, 39-30, in the regional quarterfinals thanks to a fourth-quarter push. Neither team sustained momentum in the first three quarters, but after a Alonte Smith blocked a Lely punt that he recovered in the end zone for a touchdown, the Tigers were in command. The score held as the game winner, as it gave Dunbar a 33-15 lead with less than eight minutes remaining.
Rusher Jorvonte Jones led the Dunbar attack with 59 yards and four touchdowns. Backup quarterback Miguel Rodriguez, making his fourth start in place of injured starter Melvin German, threw for 138 yards and a touchdown.
• LB Jordan Whiting, Louisville (Ky.) Trinity – The Shamrocks will host Louisville Eastern Friday in a KHSAA Class 6A state quarterfinal.
Trinity (11-1) overcame five turnovers in its last game, a 37-13 victory over Louisville Ballard in the second round. Cameron Smyth had his first pass intercepted and returned for a touchdown, but he rebounded and threw for a touchdown and ran for three others.
The Eagles (11-1) rushed for 291 yards and were aided by two defensive stands inside their own 5-yard line in a 31-14 victory over Louisville Seneca in the second round last weekend.
“Tonight we were determined to run the ball, and we got in our offensive linemen’s heads to do their best, and it worked for us,” Eastern coach Ken Whalen told the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Eastern turned an early deficit into a commanding lead by scoring 21 unanswered points. Sean Corrigan led the Eastern attack with 76 yards on 11 carries.
The game will give Eastern a chance to avenge a 49-0 loss to Trinity in the regular season.
The following OSU verbal commits have finished their seasons: CB C.J. Barnett, Clayton (Ohio) Northmont; WLB Dorian Bell and CB/WR Corey Brown, Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway; LB/FB Zach Boren and DB/WR Jamie Wood, Pickerington (Ohio) Central; CB Dominic Clarke, Frederick (Md.) Tuscarora; DE Melvin Fellows, Garfield Heights, Ohio; WR Chris Fields, Painesville (Ohio) Harvey; TE/OL Reid Fragel, Grosse Pointe (Mich.) South; RB/CB Jordan Hall, Jeannette, Pa.; LB/FB Adam Homan, Coldwater, Ohio; WR/CB James Jackson, Grand Ledge, Mich.; LB/RB Storm Klein, Newark (Ohio) Licking Valley; OG Corey Linsley and J.T. Moore (junior), Youngstown (Ohio) Boardman; OT Sam Longo, Bellbrook, Ohio; OL/DL Jack Mewhort, Toledo (Ohio) St. John’s Jesuit; DE Jonathan Newsome, Cleveland Glenville; DT Johnny Simon, Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney.