Week 9 of the high school football season will be remembered for three things: high-octane offenses, the drive and the drop kick.
The winners of the seven games involving area clubs averaged 44 points. Plus, eight gridders topped the 100-yard rushing mark and several more just missed.
Big Red led the scoring parade, ringing up 68 points in its victory over Sir Wilfrid Laurier from Canada. Steubenville's offense compiled 555 yards on the ground. Three players (Garon Lytle, Johnny Blue and Donte Brown) came off the Big Red bench to surpass the century mark.
Lytle, a junior, topped the Week 9 honor roll, collecting 168 stripes on just seven attempts.
Toronto rolled to 515 (393 rushing and 122 passing) offensive yards in its 62-22 triumph on senior night against Hundred. Chez Glenn touched the pigskin just four times for the Red Knights but compiled 173 stripes and scored three times. He had 121 running on three carries and caught one pass for 52 more.
Freshman Chantz Cassella rolled to 131 yards on 11 attempts and found the end zone for the Red Knights.
Freshman quarterback Blaze Glenn surpassed the 1,000 yard mark in passing.
Brooke blasted Weir 62-12 behind an offense that compiled 422 yards. The Bruins celebrated the return of senior running back Raleigh Mason, who had sat out since the third play of the opening game. He made an immediate impact, carrying the ball 10 times for 92 yards and a touchdown.
Sophomore Matt Hartman was the primary rusher in the second half for Brooke and he responded with 113 stripes and three scores. He had touchdown runs of 48, 18 and 1.
Two Indian Creek backs rushed for more than 100 yards as the Redskins whipped Buckeye Local, 49-7. Logan Woods and Tran Huynh both had 104. Woods scored once and Huynh twice.
Creek had 412 yards of total offense with Alex Young throwing for 97. Frank Kamarec had three catches for 47 and a score.
Harrison Central cranked up its aerial game in disposing of Union Local, 33-13. Rasheen Mitchell connected on 11 of 18 attempts for 241 yards and three scores. Nate Olmstead grabbed four for 108 and two of the touchdowns.
Maurtice Hython has his usual solid game, running for 96 and a score and catching a Mitchell toss for another six-pointer.
Nolan Marcus recorded a solid night in defeat for Edison. He threw for 205 and a touchdown. Rich Springer hauled in eight of Marcus's tosses for an area best 141 yards.
Madonna's Blue Dons came through with the drive of the week and perhaps the season in their instant classic game with Catholic Central.
Down 20-14 with less than five minutes remaining, Madonna started what proved to be the game winning march from its own 20. In four plays, thanks to an interference call against the Crusaders and a 26-yard run by Ross Comis, the Blue Dons had a first down at the Central 32.
Comis ran for 10 then was tripped up for no gain on a nifty tackle by Central's Chris Murphy. Following an incomplete pass, Comis managed to escape from several tacklers and scramble to the 11 for another first down.
Three plays later, he found Elliott Nero for the tying touchdown. Matthew Green's extra point gave the Blue Dons their first lead of the game and the 21-20 victory. The 12-play, 80-yard drive took 4:01.
Comis finished the evening with 99 yards rushing and 76 passing. With two regular season games left, the junior is closing in on 1,000 yards in both categories. Nick Ossman, bad shoulder and all, had 88 rushing stripes, 80 coming in the second half.
Brooke's Heath Hildreth took fans on a trip down memory lane in Friday's game with Weir. The junior followed a touchdown by drop kicking the extra point. Hildreth tried a drop kick on the second Bruin score of the third quarter but missed.
Where they stand:
Big Red controls its own playoff destiny heading into Week 10, according to Joe Eitel, the guru of Ohio's computer rankings.
Reno Saccoccia's club jumped to fourth in Region 11 after disposing of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, a Division I school by Ohio standards. Big Red is 7-2 and will entertain Akron Buchtel, 4-5, Friday. Steubenville got some help last week as Woodrow Wilson, Brooke, Pittsburgh Westinghouse and Morgantown all posted victories.
Indian Creek holds the fifth spot in the region. The 8-1 Redskins will wrap up the regular season Saturday by hosting Edison for the annual backyard brawl.
Alliance Marlington is No. 1 in Region 11 and has clinched a home playoff game, according to Eitel. Millersburg West Holmes is second and Zanesville Maysville third.
Harrison Central stands seventh in Region 15. St. Clairsville tops the standings and has clinched the number one seed. The Huskies will look to finish at 7-3 when they entertain Buckeye Local Friday.
Central's tough loss to Madonna dropped the Crusaders to eighth in Region 21. The Crusaders close with a road date against 7-1 Magnolia. Eitel notes the three teams behind Central (McDonald, Leetonia and Conotton Valley) all have been mathematically eliminated.
Madonna jumped to No. 5 and clinched a playoff spot in the West Virginia Class A standings following its win at Harding Stadium. The Blue Dons still have games left with Toronto and Clay-Battelle.
Drew Pasteur, who operates another Website focused on computer ratings, is predicting Big Red will finish fourth in Region 11 and host Zanesville Maysville in the first round. Further, he notes, Indian Creek will wind up seventh and travel to West Holmes.
Other first round Region 11 matchups would have Marlington hosting Poland and Granville visiting Dover.
Pasteur has Harrison Central finishing seventh in its region, meaning the Huskies will play at Ironton. St. Clairsville, Pasteur predicts, will entertain Chillicothe Unioto.
Catholic Central would place eighth in Region 21 and earn a trip to top-seeded Mogadore.
Pasteur's information can be found by visiting www.fantastic50.net.
Running wild: 168, Lytle, Big Red, touchdown; 131, Cassella, Toronto, touchdown; 130, Blue, Big Red, touchdown; 121, C. Glenn, Toronto, touchdown; 113, Hartman, Brooke, three touchdowns; 104, D. Brown, Big Red, touchdown; 104, Woods, Indian Creek, touchdown; 104, Huynh, Indian Creek, two touchdowns; 99, Comis, Madonna, two touchdowns; 96, Hython, Harrison Central, touchdown; 92, Mason, Brooke, touchdown.
Gunslingers: 241, Mitchell, Harrison Central, 11 of 18, three scores; 205, Marcus, Edison, 11 of 24, score; 132, Brenton Colabella, Catholic Central, 12 of 23, score; 122, B. Glenn, Toronto, 4 of 6, two scores; 97, Young, Indian Creek, 6 of 13, two scores.
Hands team: 8, Springer, Edison, 141; 5, Kyle Laukert, Catholic Central, 59; 4, Olmstead, Harrison Central, 108, two touchdowns; 3, Kamarec, Indian Creek, 47, touchdown.