Offense certainly was the name of the game during week 6 of the high school football season.
Consider the following:
* Madonna compiled 670 offensive yards in clobbering Bridgeport 55-0. Of the total, 633 came via the ground.
GETTING OFFENSIVE — Steubenville Catholic Central’s Aleks Porreca gains yardage after catching a pass from Brenton Colabella in a 62-8 win over Conotton Valley at Harding Stadium Saturday.
-- Mike Mathison
READY TO GO — The Madonna offense prepares to start a drive during Friday’s 55-0 win over Bridgeport at Jimmy Carey Stadium.
-- Mike Mathison
* Toronto rolled up 542 in its 58-13 rout of Bellaire St. John.
* Catholic Central posted 432 in blasting Conotton Valley 62-8.
* Big Red racked up 427 in its 36-7 victory at Barberton.
* Edison and Buckeye Local combined for 645 in their Buckeye 8 shootout, the Wildcats earning a 26-22 triumph.
Ross Comis ran for 171 and three scores on just eight carries (an average of 21 yards per trip) and passed for 137 more and another touchdown. Elliot Nero toted the pigskin 13 times for 176 (his average per carry was 13.5). He found the end zone twice.
The Blue Don offense is averaging 484 yards per outing and 48 points.
Toronto's sophomore quarterback Blaze Glenn collected 101 yards on just three carries (an eye-popping average per trip of 34). He scored on jaunts of 47 and 53. His brother Chez added 116 on seven carries.
Catholic Central's quick-strike offense recorded 294 of its total in the first half while scoring 56 points. Brenton Colabella threw for 170 and five touchdowns. Through six games, the record-setting senior has passed for 1,288 and 14 touchdowns. He now has more than 6,800 passing yards in his career.
Super quick senior Khalil Jones caught one Colabella pass (good for a 62-yard score) and also had one carry (which produced a 13-yard touchdown).
Central is averaging 390 offensive yards per game and 48 points.
Sophomore quarterbacks Mandela Lawrence-Burke and Dimitri Collaros passed for 209 yards and a couple of scores in Big Red's fifth victory. They've passed for more than 800 stripes in six weeks.
Lucas Herrington caught a scoring toss from both of the youthful signal-callers.
Buckeye Local, which fell to 0-6, actually outgained Edison 331-314 in the wild game at Cartwright Memorial Field.
Chase Hopkins passed for 126 yards and a pair of scores to lead the Panthers.
Nolan Marcus had his usual big game for the 4-2 Wildcats. The senior quarterback passed for 138 and ran for 101 more. To date, he has passed for 1,063, the second best total in the area.
Ethan Shannon ran for 70 and found the end zone three times.
Edison, now 4-2, used a late punt return by Carter Andreozzi and a pass interception by Devan Tennant to earn the victory. Andreozzi also caught five Marcus passes.
"We just have to do enough things perfect in order to win," said Buckeye Local's Phil Pest. "We just aren't going to get any breaks. I wanted our kids to win bad, but we'll just have to keep plugging away."
Reno's big three:
Big Red's Reno Saccoccia believes three drives are the most important of a high school football game.
"The first drive of the game, the last drive of the half and the first drive of the third quarter are the three most important drives of the game," he said recently. "It's real important to start a game off fast with a score."
His Big Red went three-for-three against Barberton Friday.
The now 5-1 Red scored on its first drive of the game, going 31 yards after senior Cody Saltsman forced a fumble and then recovered the loose pigskin. Senior tailback Robert Hayden got the TD when he started to his right, found no running room and alertly cut back to his left, sprinting 16 yards. Hayden, by the way, turned his first three carries into scores.
Saltsman, who had three receptions for 37 yards, also had an interception that led to a Big Red six-pointer.
Saccoccia's club also turned its last drive of the half into a touchdown. Collaros hit sophomore wide receiver Niko Petrides for 64 yards. Then, he found Herrington alone in the end zone.
Big Red started the third quarter by chewing up nearly seven minutes on a 72-yard scoring march. Lawrence-Burke tossed the TD strike to Herrington.
"It's also important to end the half on a positive note with a big play defensively or a nice drive offensively," Saccoccia stated.
Petrides delivered the big play defensively when he picked off a Barberton pass.
Where they stand:
Catholic Central, according to computer guru Joe Eitel, has advanced to third in the Region 25 playoff standings. The 6-0 Crusaders trail Shadyside and Glouster Trimble.
Steve Daley's club is the first to start a season with six consecutive victories since 1991.
Toronto's now 3-3 Red Knights are 15th in the same region.
Big Red has climbed to fifth in Region 13. Saccoccia's crew is behind Indian Valley, Philo, Newark Licking Valley and Zanesville Maysville (Big Red's first round playoff opponent in 2012).
Indian Valley is the lone unbeaten squad in the region. Edison holds down the ninth spot while Indian Creek is 10th.
Tony the prophet:
Veteran Weir High football coach, Tony Filberto, who has been at his profession for nearly 30 years, turned out to be quite the prophet last week.
His red hot Weir team won its third straight game beating Oak Glen 27-23. Filberto predicted this annual rivalry game would be a good game.
It turned out to be better than a good - it was thrilling, especially in the fourth quarter - one of the most exciting finishes in the 49-year history of the series.
The teams exchanged the lead four times in the final period alone, and one other time in the first half. The game ended with Oak Glen knocking on the Red Rider door for the winning score. The Golden Bears drove from their own 35-yard line, where they put the ball in play with 1:31 left in the game after Weir High scored what proved to be the winning touchdown on a 4-yard blast by Matt Hartman and the conversion kick by Alyssa Shingle.
Oak Glen sophomore quarterback Zac Porter, who assumed the position when Chase Hartley broke a leg in the first game of the season, engineered the drive. He completed a pass to Alec Swiger for 14 yards and kept the ball on a nice 19-yard run then hit senior Colt Speece on a post pattern for 25 yards to the Red Rider 5.
With no time outs and about 45 seconds left on the clock, Porter spiked the ball on first down. Porter tried the left side on a keeper for no gain, then quickly spiked the ball again with 30.4 seconds left. That left the Bears with fourth down at the five and the decision was for Porter to go right on a keeper. He again was stopped for no gain with 24.7 seconds left in the game. The Red Riders took a knee to let the clock expire and take home the coveted Carl Hamill Memorial Trophy.
Filberto seemed to surprise the Oak Glen defense when he introduced the "wildcat" formation in the game with sophomore tailback, Kam Davis, at the controls. It was successful as Davis had a career high 141 rushing yards on 15 carries and scored twice on runs of 62 and 22 yards.
Three tough ones:
Madonna, which has taken over the top spot in this week's West Virginia Class A poll, will finish the home portion of its regular season with three straight tough opponents.
Bishop Donahue will bring a 3-2 record to Jimmy Carey Stadium on Friday. Clarksburg Notre Dame, which stands at 4-1 after losing to Danville, Ohio, last week, is set to visit Oct. 18. Next up will be the huge Oct. 26 tussle with currently unbeaten Catholic Central.
Running wild: 176, Nero Madonna, 13 carries, 2 touchdowns; 171, Comis, Madonna, 8 carries, 2 touchdowns; 141, Davis, Weir, 13 carries, 2 touchdowns; 116, C. Glenn, Toronto, 7 carries, 3 touchdowns; 110, Swiger, Oak Glen, 22 carries, touchdown; 101, Marcus, Edison, 15 carries; 101, B. Glenn, Toronto, 3 carries, 2 touchdowns
Gunslingers: 170, Colabella, Catholic Central, 8 of 12, five scores; 158, Aaron Walker, Brooke, 8 of 19, score; 138, Marcus, Edison, 12 of 21; 137, Comis Madonna, 6 of 8, score; 126, Hopkins, Buckeye Local, 8 of 12, 2 scores; 109. Lawrence-Burke, Big Red, 11 of 16, score; 100, Collaros, Big Red, 5 of 7, score
Hands team: 5, Herrington, Big Red, 52, 2 touchdowns; 5, Andreozzi, Edison, 60; 5, Dalton Rutter, Harrison Central, 46; 4, Thomas Cole, Brooke, 121, touchdown