Key takeaways, eight weeks into pandemic-altered football season
STEUBENVILLE — So, looking back, there were a couple key takeaways from the week that was in this high school football season unlike any other:
THE GROUND GAME STILL MATTERS
¯ Forty-five carries yielded 385 yards, as Oak Glen’s state-ranked Golden Bears rolled to a 58-14 victory over Weir High. Hunter Patterson was his usual terrific self, gaining 131 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries. He also caught three passes for 55 yards and two more scores, then he sprinted 60 yards with a Red Rider punt for a score.
¯ Buckeye Local ran for 342 yards in its 28-0 road victory over Newcomerstown. The win was the second of the season for the Panthers. Trey Hoover had a huge game, collecting 242 yards on 26 trips and scoring three times. Buckeye’s defense also mattered as it held the Trojans to just 78 yards of total offense. The Panthers scored a touchdown in each quarter. Hoover now has 785 rushing yards for the season. He has carried 151 times and scored nine touchdowns.
¯ Catholic Central also captured its second victory, a 35-19 triumph over Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans, by running for 323 yards and five touchdowns. Ryan Gorman compiled 144 on 25 carries and found the end zone four times. Timmy Lamantia added 125 on 16 totes. As Central coach Anthony Agresta said, “If you can run the ball and control the line of scrimmage, you should get away most days with a win.”
¯ First-year Madonna coach Dan Rovira freely admits he prefers to run the football, and his Blue Dons delivered 255 rushing yards in their 61-20 whipping of Beallsville. Thomas Sessi carried the rock 15 times for 210 yards and four touchdowns. Sessi also had pick-6, covering 70 yards.
¯ Big Red was upset by Dover in the second round of the Division III, Region 9 playoffs, but Reno Saccoccia’s club was able to post 279 rushing yards. Rodney James, Jr., healthy again after a Week 2 injury, went for 216 yards on 20 carries. He scored twice, one touchdown coming on a 75-yard sprint.
¯ Toronto also fell in the playoffs (a 20-6 loss to Howard East Knox in the Division VII Region 27 second round). But, Garrett Dozier, the leading rusher in the Herald Star/Daily Times coverage, area had another strong outing for the Red Knights. Dozier posted 120 yards on 31 carries and recorded his 15th rushing touchdown.
¯ John Marshall put on a ground-game clinic in pinning a 61-21 loss on Brooke. The Monarchs produced 559 rushing yards on 59 carries. Two JM backs went over the 200-yard mark.
TWO AND DONE
Like Big Red and Toronto, Harrison Central also suffered a Round 2 playoff defeat, falling to unbeaten South Range 55-14 in Division V, Region 17 action. The now 7-0 Raiders advance to play Beachwood.
South Range led 27-14 at the half before scoring 28 unanswered points, 21 in the third quarter to put the game away. South Range quarterback Michael Patrone threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 72 yards and another score. Unlike Big Red and the Red Knights, the Huskies moved to the second round when Rootstown was able to play due to issues with COVID-19.
Kobe Mitchell now has thrown for 1,327 to lead the Huskies. He has completed 56 percent of his passes and thrown for 12 touchdowns. Trevor Carman is the area’s leading receiver with 38 catches for 610 yards and six scores. Jonathon Vermillion has 22 grabs for 392 yards and four touchdowns.
Schools eliminated from the OHSAA playoffs or schools that chose not to participate in the postseason have the option to scheduled additional regular season contests through Nov. 14. A maximum of 10 regular season contests is permitted. Area schools have been busy looking for and securing new opponents.
Big Red will be back in action inside Harding Stadium Friday when it entertains Stow. Edison will return to action Friday when it welcomes Wellsville to Cartwright Field.
Toronto was scheduled to visit Barnesville this week for a regular season contest, but those plans fell through when the Shamrocks captured a playoff victory. So, the Red Knights will entertain Union Local. Harrison Central has scheduled a home contest against Southern Local on Friday.
On the West Virginia side, Oak Glen originally was scheduled to face Spring Mills on the road Saturday. That game was canceled following the release of the state’s COVID-19 metrics map. The backup plan to face Robert C. Byrd also fell through, so the Golden Bears may be without an opponent this week.
¯ Madonna’s Santino Arlia now ranks as the top passer in the coverage area. The junior completed 10 of his 18 attempts in the rout of Beallsville for 337 yards and three touchdowns. For the season, he has thrown for 1,485 yards and an area-best 18 touchdowns. Arlia and his fellow Blue Dons face a major test this week when they welcome Wheeling Central to Jimmy Carey Stadium.
¯ Aurora, which eliminated Big Red from the postseason in 2019, advanced in the Region 9 playoffs by knocking off Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, 41-24. The Greenmen rolled despite missing eight starters in quarantine because of contact tracing for the coronavirus at the high school.
¯ Friday’s game between Big Red and Stow will be the first ever meeting between the schools. Meanwhile, when Catholic Central closes its three-game run at Leo Buffone Field on Saturday, the Crusaders will play their first career game against Buckeye Local.
242, Trey Hoover, Buckeye Local, 3 touchdowns
216, Rodney James Jr., Big Red, 2 touchdowns
210, Thomas Sessi, Madonna, 4 touchdowns
144, Ryan Gorman, Catholic Central, 4 touchdowns
131, Hunter Patterson, Oak Glen, 2 touchdowns
125, Tim Lamantia, Catholic Central
120, Garrett Dozier, Toronto, touchdown
337, Santino Arlia, Madonna, 10 of 18, 3 scores
201, Josh Shorts, Brooke, 14 of 27, 2 scores
149, Anthony DiMatteis, Weir High, 6 of 12, 2 scores
128, Cade Kernahan, Big Red, 6 of 19, score
7, Braelyn Sperringer, Brooke, 66
5, Trevor Carman, Harrison Central, 61, touchdown
4, Lucky Pulice, Madonna, 116
4, Vince Carapellotti, Catholic Central, 43
3, Gage Reitter, Weir High, 117, touchdown
3, Thomas Sessi, Madonna 92
3, Hunter Patterson, Oak Glen, 55, 2 touchdowns
3, Carson Yobaggy, Weir High, 32, touchdown