If there's one word that best summarizes performances by area football players during Week 6, it's this: Playmaker.
Indian Creek's Alex Young topped the weekend charts. He accounted for 321 total yards and five touchdowns as the Redskins moved to 5-1 with a 54-22 Buckeye 8 win over Union Local.
The senior ran for 132 stripes and three scores on just four carries, passed for 99 and raced 90 yards with a Jets kickoff for another six-pointer. Just for good measure, he added a 20-yard field goal. Young finished the homecoming game with 32 points, allowing him to become the scoring leader in the Herald Star/Daily Times coverage area. He now has 66 points on the season.
Creek will hit the road Friday, traveling to Martins Ferry for a key Buckeye 8 battle.
Harrison Central's Maurtice Hython became the first local running back to top the 1,000 yard mark for the season thanks to his great night against Edison.
The senior tailback toted the ball 35 times against the Wildcats for 330 yards and four scores.
During the second half, when the Huskies wore down Edison, he compiled 230 stripes and all of his touchdowns. For the season, Hython has 1,071 yards on 132 trips, an average of 8.3 stripes per carry.
Madonna juniors Ross Comis and Nick Ossman accounted for three touchdowns each as the Blue Dons blitzed visiting Bridgeport 55-0.
Comis scored on runs of 23 and 17 and connected with fellow junior, Marcello Biondillo for a 51-yard touchdown pass.
Ossman had scoring runs of 23, 11 and 26. His touchdown jaunts came on three consecutive carries.
Madonna has a date this week with Bishop Donahue in Moundsville.
"They are a well-coached, physical team so we're going to have to buckle up or chinstraps and get ready for that one," Blue Don coach Doug Taylor said.
Senior quarterback and veteran playmaker Alec Buchmelter had a hand in all five scores as Brooke cracked the victory column for the initial time via a huge 34-33 win at Point Pleasant.
The Big Blacks entered the game unbeaten and were ranked fourth in the West Virginia Class AAA poll.
Buchmelter scored four times on runs of five, 28, two and one. He also hit freshman Thomas Cole for 51 yards and another touchdown.
The Bruins were down 27-14 at the half and scored the game winner late in the final period.
Sean Blumette, Brooke's first year coach, called the victory "a great team win against a very solid football team.
"We did it as a team, as a program and we did it the right way. We went back to what Brooke football is. We pulled one out in the fourth quarter and that is something that's always been a trademark of Brooke."
Toronto running back Chez Glenn isn't quite as big as Hython but his effort in Saturday's 48-28 come-from-behind victory over Bellaire St. John was huge.
The junior ran for 73 yards on 13 carries and crossed the goal three times. In addition, he grabbed four passes from little brother Blaze for another 82 stripes and a score. The Glenn brothers combined on a 53-yard scoring strike that helped Toronto outscore the Irish 27-0 during the fourth period.
Senior Joey Chadwick also flashed his playmaker skills as the Red Knights grabbed their second straight win. He recorded two pass interceptions and returned both for touchdowns (going 62 on one and 30 on the other).
Weir High found a young playmaker in Friday's 33-12 loss to Oak Glen in the form of sophomore wide receiver Jonathan Rice. He caught two scoring passes from sophomore quarterback William Larch. Both touchdowns came on spectacular plays.
Larch hit the open Rice in full stride down the right sideline at Jimmy Carey Stadium. One went for 69 yards and the other for 82.
The smallest of the weekend's big playmakers had to be Catholic Central's Johnny DiCarlantonio. The junior slot is listed at 5-6, 125. Both vital stats might be a stretch.
In Saturday's 54-7 win over Conotton Valley, DiCarlantonio caught two Brenton Colabella aerials for 85 yards. His second grab resulted in a 73 yard score.
Colabella found his classmate open over the middle. DiCarlantonio avoided several Rocket defenders, broke a tackle and motored to the house.
Where they stand:
Four local teams remain in the hunt for Ohio playoff berths thanks to Week 6 victories.
Big Red is sixth in Region 21 of Division III, according to information released Sunday by Joe Eitel, Ohio's computer rankings guru. Alliance Marlington continues to lead the region with Millersburg West Holmes second and Zanesville Maysville third.
Reno Saccoccia's club faces a tough assignment this week when Youngstown Ursuline visits Harding Stadium. The Irish are 3-3 but have lost to unbeaten Zanesville, Lakewood St. Edward and Erie Cathedral Prep.
Indian Creek is 10th in the region.
Harrison Central is holding the sixth spot in Region 15 of Division IV. St. Clairsville now leads the region after Ironton, the previous leader, was knocked off by Johnson Central, Ky.
Martins Ferry, which will host Creek this week, is fifth.
Central remains seventh in Division VI's Region 21. Mogadore is No. 1 and Malvern holds the two spot. The Crusaders could help their cause this week by knocking off 4-2 Barnesville, which ranks ninth in Region 17 of Division V.
Leading the state:
Colabella had another huge night, throwing for 304 yards and four touchdowns, in the win over Conotton Valley. The game was called because of bad weather after three quarters. Colabella, however, was watching from the sidelines long before the storm hit.
In addition to leading quarterbacks in the Herald Star/Daily Times coverage area, Colabella also is No. 1 one among Division VI signal callers in the state.
Through six weeks, Central's all-time passing leader has thrown for 1,613 yards (he's hit on 97 of 158 attempts for a 61 percent completion rate) and 21 touchdowns. His main competition at the state level is Ada's Mason Acheson, who has tossed for 1,299 stripes.
His favorite target, Zack Herrington, leads the division in receptions (27) and is second in yardage (485). He also tops the Division IV ranks with eight TD receptions. Kyle Laukert, who along with Ryan Fletcher has 18 catches, is third in the state with 375 receiving stripes.
Thanks to Mother Nature, the Crusaders have missed three quarters of play.
Running wild: 330, Hython, Harrison Central, four touchdowns; 157, Tyler Steed, Oak Glen, two touchdowns; 132, Young, Indian Creek, three touchdowns; 80, Teshawn Luke, Big Red, touchdown; 79, Ossman, Madonna, three touchdowns; 74, Comis, Madonna, two touchdowns; 73, C. Glenn, Toronto, three touchdowns.
Gunslingers: 304, Colabella, Central, 16 of 22, four scores; 206, Corey Stinson, Big Red, 11 of 19, two scores; 149, Larch, Weir, 5 of 13, two scores; 146, Nolan Marcus, Edison, 11 of 21, score; 100, Comis, Madonna, 5 of 6, score; 99, Young, Indian Creek, 6 of 18, score.
Hands team: 6, Matt Petrella, Big Red, 102, touchdown; 4, C. Glenn, Toronto, 82, touchdown; 4, Herrington, Central, 57, two touchdowns; 3, Rice, Weir, 151, two touchdowns; 3, Laukert, Central, 57; 3, Fletcher, Central, 60, touchdown.