Temperatures are getting cool, leaves are changing colors and beginning to fall, every restaurant is selling something with pumpkin flavor in it. Sure signs of fall? Nope, sure signs that high school football is getting serious.
So, too, is the First and 10 Honor Roll. Without any further adieu, here are the recipients for week number eight.
For the first time since West Jefferson moved to the Mid-State League’s Cardinal Division, Licking Heights knocked off the Roughriders. The Hornets won 36-16, and are now 8-0, in great position to win the division and reach the playoffs.
After losses to Hilliard Darby and Dublin Coffman, many left Hilliard Davidson for dead. You should know better than to write off a Brian White-coached team. The Wildcats got past a tough Olentangy Liberty squad 28-7 on Thursday night, and now are eighth in computer points in Region 3. Davidson is being driven by running back E.J. Jennings, who carried 45 times against the Patriots for 254 yards and all four touchdowns. Over the past two weeks, Jennings has 564 yards and ten scores.
It’s the greatest rivalry in Central Ohio, so it’s fitting that Watterson and DeSales needed three overtimes to settle things on Friday. The Eagles Michael Harper booted a 21-yard field goal for the winning margin, 24-21. At 5-3, Watterson is in much better playoff shape than the 4-4 Stallions, but both still have the opportunity to get in.
Hilliard Darby sits on top of Region 3 with a perfect 8-0 mark, but it hasn’t been easy. The Panthers trailed 17-7 and 24-14 to Dublin Scioto this weekend before rallying for a 28-24 win. On fourth and one, quarterback Chase Longwell kept it for the go-ahead score.
In the Mid-Buckeye Conference Danville got a huge 42-35 win over Johnstown. Both were 4-0 in league play coming into the game, with the Blue Devils taking sole possession of first place.
Not only was the game between Westerville South and Westerville Central for in-town bragging rights, but it was also a key OCC Cardinal Division game, which the Wildcats won 50-28. Senior quarterback Nick Renzetti is having a fantastic season, and he completed 17-32 passes for 412 yards and six touchdowns in the victory.
North Union’s mastery of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference continued with a 35-0 win over Buckeye Valley to improve to 8-0 on the season.
In a wild finish, Thomas Worthington got past Central Crossing by preventing a two-point conversion late in the game. Tony Harvard put the Cardinals ahead 28-21 in the final minute with a touchdown catch (he also had 224 yards rushing), but the Comets’ Tory Clark returned a Worthington fumble 82 yards to cut it to 28-27 before the ill-fated 2-point try. Central Crossing recovered the on-side kick, but the game’s final play ended inside the Cardinals’ ten yard line.
In an upset, previously 2-5 Bloom-Carroll pulled the shocker on Circleville, handing the Tigers just their second loss of the season.
Onto to some individual recognition, and what a night Friday was in the City League. Marion-Franklin quarterback Corey Benson has been limited due to injury, so Joe Alverson has stepped in. In a 53-14 win over West, he passed for 134 yards and three touchdowns while running for 192 more and tacking on two scores.
Beechcroft’s Maurice Hale continues to amaze. He was 13-20 for 267 yards and 7 touchdowns in a 66-13 triumph over East. Wide receivers Khaleed Franklin (4 catches for 127 yards, 3 TD) and Darius Ford (seven for 98, 3 TD) also make the list.
Whetstone’s Ramroth Finnegan threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-0 shutout of Linden.
Independence’s Vincent Rambo ran roughshod over Africentric in a 76-22 win. He totaled 300 yards and three touchdowns for the 76ers.
South’s Deone Lindsey found the end zone six times, but in a variety of ways. He ran for three, caught one, and twice returned a fumble for a score in a 58-30 decision over Briggs.
There were also some impressive rushing performances. Fairfield Christian’s Ben Tobin is already over the 2,000-yard mark for the season, thanks to 426 yards and six touchdowns in a 67-14 win over Ridgemont.
New Albany ran for 346 as a team in a 17-6 victory over Big Walnut. Alan Watson had 158, Leslie Anoyke 105, and future Buckeye Darron Lee added 92.
Olentangy Orange beat Franklin Heights 49-13 thanks to some long distance runs from Larry Rode (59, 69 and 60) and Tristan Richardson (65 and 35) all of which went for touchdowns.
Pickerington Central plowed through Newark 35-6. Brent Walton ran for 203 yards and three touchdowns, while Tawain Gordon came up with 226 and two scores.
Finally, the OSU punt block team wants to be known as the “freak show”, but Pickerington North’s Kody Kasey is a one-man wrecking crew, blocking two punts in the 35-7 win over Groveport.
Several huge games coming up in week nine that we’ll be keeping our eyes on, like two big City League battles between Beechcroft at Brookhaven and Marion-Franklin at Eastmoor.
Westerville South visits Dublin Jerome, while 8-0 Dublin Coffman heads to Olentangy Liberty. Plus, Gahanna is at Pickerington North, and Harvest Prep comes to Grandview.