The Firebirds appeared poised to send the game into overtime when Nathan Kohl scored on a 1-yard run with 54.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Fairmont head coach Brian Blevins lined his team up in an unusual manner, but changed his mind and sent out his kicking team when Northmont appeared to not be fooled. Gress then broke through the Fairmont line and blocked the point-after attempt.
Northmont (10-1) nearly blew a 28-14 lead it held with 11:09 remaining in regulation. Fairmont (7-4) even blocked a T-Bolt 42-yard field goal attempt with 4:31 remaining to set up its final scoring drive.
The win was Northmont's first playoff victory since 2003. Fairmont was making its first postseason appearance.
The T-Bolts will face Cincinnati Elder (10-1) on Saturday at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati in the regional semifinal.
• WLB Dorian Bell and CB/WR Corey Brown, Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway – Gateway blanked Mt. Lebanon, 42-0, in the first round of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League Class AAAA playoffs.
The top-ranked Gators (10-0) were led by running back Brian Williams, who scored on touchdown runs of 1, 7 and 31 yards. Williams rushed for 194 yards on 20 carries. Quarterback Rob Kalkstein threw for 109 yards and one score. He also ran for another.
The Blue Devils finished the season 2-8.
Gateway will next face Glenshaw Shaler (8-2) on Friday at Norwin in a WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal.
• DT/OG Adam Bellamy, Aurora, Ohio – Senior Steven Yung piled up 171 yards rushing with two touchdowns as the Greenmen defeated visiting Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedrial Latin, 30-14, in an OHSAA Division III regional quarterfinal.
Aurora (9-2) also got 150 yards passing from quarterback Brenden Gallagher, who also added a 63-yard touchdown pass to Steve Snyder. Yung added touchdown runs of 52 and 27 yards.
Quarterback John Fioritto had a hand in both scores for the Lions (5-6). He scored on a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and added a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
The Greenmen will next face Hubbard (9-2) in a regional semifinal at Warren Mullenkopf Stadium on Saturday.
• RB Jaamal Berry, Miami (Fla.) Palmetto – Berry missed his third consecutive game because of a high ankle sprain, but his teammates did not miss a beat in a 17-0 victory over Miami Coral Reef.
Jeremy Williams picked up the slack in Berry's loss, rushing for 197 yards and a touchdown. Wilfred Butler added 113 rushing yards.
Palmetto (6-2, 3-1 Class 6-A District 16) clinched a playoff berth with the win. The Panthers will face Miami Killian (6-1, 3-0) next week in a game that will likely decide the district title.
• LB/FB Zach Boren and DB/WR Jamie Wood, Pickerington (Ohio) Central – Boren and Wood both reached the end zone as third-seeded Pickerington Central defeated Delaware, 38-21, in an OHSAA Division I regional quarterfinal.
The Tigers (11-0) scored 28 points in the second quarter to pull away. Boren had two touchdown runs of 3 and 1 yards, and Wood added an 8-yard score. Tyler Hammond rushed for 157 yards with two touchdowns to lead Central's attack.
Next up for Central is a regional semifinal matchup Saturday at Gahanna Lincoln vs. second-seeded Upper Arlington (10-1).
• WR Duron Carter, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas – Carter and his teammates continued to dominate the competition with a 38-0 rout of Hollywood McArthur.
The win earned the Raiders (8-0, 4-0 Class 5-A, District 16) their 12th consecutive district title and 28th overall. Aquinas has not lost a district came since 1996, a streak of 49 games.
McArthur (5-3, 3-1 Class 5-A, District 16) intercepted two passes, but Aquinas quarterback Ryan Becker still passed for 186 yards and ran for touchdowns of 3 and 14 yards. Running back Beau Bucci and Giovanni Bernard both caught touchdown passes.
• CB Dominic Clarke, Frederick (Md.) Tuscarora – The Titans improved to 7-2 with a 28-14 victory over Monocacy Valley Athletic League Chesapeake Division foe Westminster.
Tuscarora (4-1 MVAL Chesapeake) will end its regular season next week vs. Sykesville South Carroll.
• CB/WR Justin Green, Louisville (Ky.) Male – Green returned to the lineup, but Louisville Eastern made it a sour return by beating Male 21-14.
Eastern capped a 97-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run by Jon Davis with 11 second remaining to give the host Eagles (8-1) the win. Eastern led 14-6 at halftime, but the Bulldogs (6-3) tied the game with a 56-yard touchdown reception by Dexter Britt and a two-point conversion run by Britt in the third quarter.
Green had missed Male's three previous games with a knee injury.
Pryor, who arrived during the first half and spent some time with the Jayhawks during halftime, saw fourth-seeded Jeannette (9-1) cruise behind four touchdown runs by Hall. The Jayhawks rebounded in style after suffering its lone loss of the season a week earlier against Greensburg Central Catholic.
Hall helped Jeannette build a commanding 28-7 lead by halftime and finished with 116 yards on 16 carries. He scored on runs of 44, 2, 3 and 5 yards before sitting out nearly all of the fourth quarter.
"Some of us knew he was going to be here," Hall told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "It was good to see him, and it was good that we could put on a good performance tonight."
Hall said he saw Pryor arrive right after the opening kickoff.
"He got me pumped up a little bit," Hall said. "We had a fourth-and-1 and took a timeout. When I went over to the huddle, I looked over at him, and he said, ‘We need this.' "
After the timeout, Hall broke through the offensive line and raced for a 44-yard touchdown.
Valley (7-3) committed six turnovers in the loss.
Jeannette will next face 12th-seeded Beaver (8-2) in the second round.
• LB/FB Adam Homan, Coldwater, Ohio – The Cavaliers began the defense of their OHSAA Division IV state title with a blanking of eighth-ranked Cincinnati North College Hill, 42-0, in the first round of the Region 16 playoffs.
Coldwater (11-0) won their 24th straight game thanks in part to its 35-0 lead by halftime. Quarterback Cory Klenke threw for three touchdowns and ran for two others. The Cavalier defense did its part by holding North College Hill (7-4) to 17 yards rushing.
The Cavaliers will next face Oakwood in the regional semifinal at Piqua. The Lumberjacks (8-3) upset Plain City Jonathan Alter in the first round.
• FB Carlos Hyde, Naples, Fla. – Hyde compiled 60 yards of total offense with a touchdown in a 38-6 win at winless Naples Golden Gate.
Hyde rushed three times for 10 yards and caught 4 passes for 50 yards. One of those receptions went for a 7-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Naples (7-1, 3-0 Class 3-A, District 14) led 14-0 after the first quarter and 28-3 at halftime.
Naples outgained Golden Gate (0-9, 0-3 Class 3-A, District 14) 330-125.
• WR/CB James Jackson, Grand Ledge, Mich. – Jackson and Grand Ledge's high-powered passing attack took a back seat in the Comets' Michigan High School Athletic Association Division I pre-district win over Battle Creek Central.
Grand Ledge (10-0) got 205 rushing yards from senior tailback Steven Kingery in the win. Kingery rushed 24 times and scored on runs of 4 and 5 yards. Grand Ledge led 28-12 at halftime, but Central kept the game close by scoring three touchdowns in the second half. Future Michigan State Spartan Larry Caper led Central (5-5). He rushed for 241 yards on 29 carries, including touchdown runs of 1, 36, 65 and 6 yards.
Grand Ledge will face Rockford (9-1) in a district round game on Friday.
• LB/RB Storm Klein, Newark (Ohio) Licking Valley – Klein led Licking Valley with 97 yards rushing on 17 carries in a 37-6 win over seventh-seeded Rayland Buckeye Local in an OHSAA Division III playoff opener.
"The line opened it up," Klein told the Newark Advocate. "They had a good defense. There were good tacklers on their defense, but our offensive linemen just pounded it out."
The Panthers (10-1) outgained Buckeye Local (7-4) 382-151 and dominated throughout. Klein, who had been suffering with a right foot injury, left the game early in the second half as a precaution.
"He could have played more, but once we got the lead we didn't want to push it," Valley coach Randy Baughman said. "We just wanted to get him iced and thinking about next week."
Drew Ryan had a hand in all five of LV's touchdowns. He rushed for three and threw for two others. Ryan also nabbed two interceptions on defense. He finished with 92 rushing yards and 108 passing.
Licking Valley will next face Poland Seminary (9-2) on Saturday in a regional semifinal at Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium in New Philadelphia.
• OL/DL Jack Mewhort, Toledo (Ohio) St. John's Jesuit – The Titans did not qualify for the OHSAA playoffs, but St. John's Jesuit did have another game following the end of the regular season. The Titans faced host Toledo Whitmer in the City League Hall of Fame charity game and fell 42-28.
The Panthers (6-5) avenged a 28-17 loss to the Titans (7-4) on Oct. 3 with the win. Whitmer senior running back Julian Nash led the way, finishing with 212 yards on 24 carries with three touchdown runs of 20, 3 and 3 yards. He also sealed the victory with a 54-yard run that set up Whitmer's final touchdown with less than three minutes left to play.
• DE Jonathan Newsome, Cleveland Glenville – Unbeaten Glenville earned a rematch with Cleveland St. Ignatius by defeating fifth-seeded Brecksville Broadview Heights in an OHSAA Division I regional quarterfinal.
The Tarblooders (11-0) overcame five turnovers in the win. Robert Walton Jr. and Mordecai Cargill led the Glenville rushing attack, which finished with 337 yards. Walton compiled 144 yards on the ground with two touchdowns on 15 carries. Cargill added 99 yards on 14 carries.
St. Ignatius (10-1) defeated Cleveland St. Edward 37-0 in its playoff opener to get another shot at Glenville. In the early season matchup, the Tarblooders took a 20-17 victory behind a last-season field goal by Marvel Brooks.
The rematch will be Saturday at Lakewood Stadium.
• DT Johnny Simon, Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney – Mooney sputtered on offense at times but still managed to defeat Cuyahoga Falls Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, 14-6, in the first round of the OHSAA Division IV playoffs.
The Mooney defense starred, holding CVCA (9-2) to 83 rushing yards, compared to 280 for the Cardinals. CVCA did not score until the fourth quarter, but Braylon Heard's 47-yard kickoff return helped fourth-seeded Mooney (9-2) ice the game.
Simon missed most of the game, according to the Youngstown Vindicator. He suffered a high ankle injury in Mooney's game against Columbus Bishop Watterson a week ago.
The Cardinals will face top-seeded Steubenville (11-0) in the regional semifinals Friday at Canton Fawcett Stadium.
The Shamrocks (8-1) also got 203 passing yards from quarterback Cameron Smyth.
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.