Friday Night Lights

Throughout the high school football season, will be following the progress of Ohio State's football commitments. Here is how the OSU verbal commitments and their teams fared Sept. 9-11. All are seniors unless noted.

Warren Ball (junior), RB, Columbus DeSales – Overtime was not the right time for Ball and the Stallions in a 13-10 loss to visiting New Albany.

New Albany (3-0) used a 12-play touchdown drive to tie the game at 10-10 in the final minute of the fourth quarter, and a 23-yard field goal by Jimmy Gammill provided the game's lone points after regulation.

Those late heroics overcame a Ball touchdown, scored on a 1-yard run midway through the third quarter. That touchdown, along with a 34-yard field goal by Anthony Ciammaichella, gave DeSales (2-1) a 10-3 lead with 5:53 left in the fourth quarter.

Ball finished with 11 rushes for 46 yards. He was forced to leave the game with an injured ankle.

Michael Bennett, DT, Centerville, Ohio – A pregame speech from former Ohio State quarterback Kirk Herbstreit helped spark the Elks to a 24-7 win over Kettering Alter in a showdown pitting two Dayton-area powers.

Herbstreit, a former Centerville quarterback, called from Alabama prior to the game to give Centerville (3-0) a pep talk before the game against the Knights (2-1). Centerville head coach Ron Ullery took the call and played it on the sound system at Centerville Stadium for his team as they sat and listened.

"He talked about how important this game was," Bennett told the Dayton Daily News. "I think we took it to heart."

Once the estimated crowd of 12,000 took their seats, Centerville took control. The Elks dominated undersized Alter, snapping the Knights' 32-game winning streak and holding the two-time OHSAA Division IV state champions to minus-2 yards rushing on 22 carries.

Centerville also had its way on offense, outgaining Alter 332-184. The Elks built a 17-0 halftime lead on a 3-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jon Overstreet, an impressive 80-yard catch-and-run by Ayinde Ramsey and a 13-yard field goal by Chris Kuzma.

Alter got on the scoreboard with an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter before the Elks closed the scoring with a 5-yard touchdown run by Chris Barr.

Brian Bobek, C, Palatine (Ill.) Fremd – Elk Grove quarterback Nick Meyer led his team past Fremd 29-22 in a Mid-Suburban League crossover game.

Meyer threw two touchdown passes and completed 12-of-25 passes for 201 yards. He also ran for 99 yards on 22 carries and another score. That was enough to push the Grenadiers (2-1) to victory.

"He was a playmaker, he was a difference-maker," Fremd coach Mike Donatucci told the Chicago Daily Herald. "We didn't have anybody step up."

Fremd (0-3) quarterback Rich Concialdi had four passes intercepted. Running back Justin Wallace led the Vikings' offense with 141 yards on 28 carries and a touchdown.

Bobek slid over to guard during the game and helped the running game on pulling plays.

Tommy Brown, OT, Akron Firestone – Do-it-all player Shakeel Howard led host Kent Roosevelt to a 38-23 victory against Firestone. Howard played tailback, receiver and cornerback. The Kent State recruit rushed for 124 yards on 17 carries and intercepted a pass on defense that led to a touchdown.

Brown and the Firestone offense did not struggle to find yards. The Falcons rushed for 191 yards and had 21 first downs, but four fumbles and an interception helped send Firestone (1-2) to a loss.

"We stink, we absolutely stink," Firestone coach Tim Flossie told the Akron Beacon Journal. "They are a good football team, but we had too many mistakes."

Chris Carter, OG, Cleveland John F. Kennedy – Carter and the Eagles cruised to a 41-6 victory against host Cleveland Lincoln West.

The game was the Senate Athletic League opener for both Kennedy (2-1) and Lincoln West (0-3). No individual stats were available.

Jeremy Cash, S, Plantation, Fla. – Plantation built a 21-9 lead against visiting Cypress Bay only to have the Lightning storm back for a 30-21 victory.

Plantation (0-2) took advantage of an early miscue in scoring the game's first touchdown Cypress Bay fumbled away the opening kickoff, and the Colonels turned that into a 2-yard touchdown by Rijante Randall. That lead extended to 12 points before the Lightning (1-1) rallied to take a 24-21 lead into halftime and shutout Plantation in the second half.

Chase Farris, DT, Elyria, Ohio – Farris scored a special teams touchdown, but it was not enough in a loss to Elyria Catholic that was 61 years in the making.

The Panthers defeated Elyria 56-35 at a packed Ely Stadium on a night that featured more than 1,000 yards of total offense. An estimated crowd of more than 5,000 saw Elyria Catholic quarterback Danny Reaser pace the Panthers (3-0) with a fantastic performance in the first-ever matchup between the two schools. Reaser threw for 508 yards and six touchdowns and helped his team win the first-ever meeting between the schools.

"I owe it all to the guys surrounding me," Reaser told the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram. "The whole team worked to shard. All my receivers are phenomenal and the offensive line stepped up."

The Elyria Catholic offensive line did keep Farris and company at bay, but Farris did make an impact late in the first half. After falling behind 28-7 with 5:30 left before halftime, Elyria (1-2) scored three touchdowns to quickly get back in the game. The first came on a 1-yard touchdown run by Keon Nealy. Then after the Elyria defense held the Elyria Catholic offense to a punt on the ensuing drive, Reaser mis-hit a punt from his own end zone after a high snap. The punt only made it to the 5-yard line, where Farris scooped it up and rumbled in for a touchdown. Elyria capped its comeback when the Panthers fumbled away the next kickoff and the Pioneers turned it into points thanks to a 24-yard touchdown pass from Dustin Stolarski to Myles Tyler with 1:50 left before the break.

Reaser then made the play of the game on Elyria Catholic's next drive. Facing a fourth-and-4 from its own 22, Reaser lined up to punt. Instead he rolled right once he got the snap and found an open Brandon Graham racing down the right flat. Graham broke one tackle and went in for a touchdown.

Elyria Catholic took a 35-28 lead into halftime remained in command in the second half.

DerJuan Gambrell, CB, Toledo Rogers – A furious rally fell just short for Rogers in a 21-20 loss to visiting Sylvania Northview.

Northview (2-1) built a 21-0 lead in the first half. Addison Hirschfeld scored on touchdown runs of 3 and 2 yards, and Zach Crampton added a 10-yard score. The Rams (1-2) then stormed back on a 7-yard touchdown run by Glandoy Hill, a 28-yard touchdown by Nate Gregory and a Damond Powell 26-yard touchdown pass from Marquise Snider. Unfortunately for Rogers, one of the extra-point attempts failed, giving Northview the victory.

Joel Hale, DT, Greenwood (Ind.) Center Grove – Hale and the Trojans went west and returned with a 30-7 victory against Terre Haute North.

Hale and the defense allowed only a third-quarter touchdown to the Patriots (2-2, 1-1 Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference). Hale also intercepted a Chad Holler pass and Center Grove turned that play into points on a 12-yard touchdown run by Chris Flowers.

Center Grove improved to 3-1 (1-1 MIC) with the victory.

Ken Hayes, DE, Toledo Whitmer – Visiting Fostoria posed little threat in a 69-0 rout.

Hayes and the Whitmer defense had a successful night, blanking Fostoria (0-3). Quarterback Alex Palicki threw three touchdown passes for the Panthers (2-1) and completed 11 of 14 passes for 174 yards. Nigel Hayes caught two touchdown passes, and Nate Miranda caught another.

Tre Sterritt led the rushing attack with 105 yards and touchdowns of 30 and 40 yards.

Jeff Heuerman, TE, Naples (Fla.) Barron Collier – The Cougars (1-1) earned their first win of the year in a 49-0 rout of visiting Miami Choice Prep.

Choice Prep (0-2) brought only 17 players to the game and the lack of depth led to a blowout. The first-year program also lost seven fumbles, committed nine penalties for 50 yards, and allowed four safeties.

Heuerman caught only one pass for five yards, but the Barron Collier offense did more than enough to earn the victory. Quarterback Julio Gomez rushed for touchdowns of 6 and 1 yard, and Bobby Dehnz added TD runs of 7 and 26 yards.

Braxton Miller, QB, Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne – Miller bounced back after missing Wayne's previous game against Canton McKinley in a 31-7 rout of visiting Louisville (Ky.) Seneca.

Miller helped Wayne (1-2) avoid its first 0-3 start in 32 years but did not run the ball once. Instead he stayed in the pocket and took advantage of some of Wayne's other offensive weapons. Miller completed 10 of 23 passes for 92 yards and an interception. Anthone Taylor led the Warriors with 131 rushing yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Seth Stuart added 100 more yards on the ground and another score.

"It felt good just to sit back in the pocket," Miller told the Dayton Daily News. "I was a natural quarterback."

Steve Miller, DE, Canton (Ohio) McKinley – The Bulldogs dropped their first game of the season and their first Federal League game, 21-14, against visiting Uniontown Lake.

Lake raced out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, built a 21-6 lead by halftime and never trailed. Jim Luther led the Blue Streaks (3-0) to victory behind two touchdown runs before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with an injury.

McKinley's touchdowns came on two 4-yard Sa'Veon Holloway runs.

Josh Perry (junior), OLB/RB, Lewis Center (Ohio) Olentangy – Perry rushed for a touchdown on offense, but the Braves (2-1) were bested by visiting Sunbury Big Walnut on the last play of the game.

A 48-yard pass from Tyler Beam to Seth Wandling set up a 32-yard field goal by A.J. Fleak as time expired. The kick broke a 10-10 tie and gave the Eagles (3-0) a 13-10 victory. Perry rushed for a second-quarter touchdown, and the Braves (2-1) added a third-quarter field goal by Kyle Culbertson. But in the fourth quarter Big Walnut took over. The Eagles limited Olentangy to eight plays on offense in the final quarter.

The all-time series between the two schools is now tied 23-23 with 14 of the last 19 games decided by seven points or less.

Devin Smith, WR, Massillon (Ohio) Washington – A balanced offense overcame a penalty-filled evening in a 27-10 victory against visiting Monroe Falls Stow.

Massillon (2-1) rushed for 168 yards and threw for 166. That helped the Tigers overcome 120 penalty yards, two turnovers and several mishandled snaps. Jacar Roberson and Jake Reiman scored a pair of touchdowns.

Stow fell to 1-2.

Evan Spencer, WR, Vernon Hills, Ill. – Spencer caught a 40-yard touchdown pass and ran for a 53-yard score in a 47-0 victory at Lake Villa Lakes.

Spencer's catch provided the game's first score, and his only run resulted in his other score. Vernon Hill (3-0) posted its third straight shutout and gave Lakes (2-1) its first loss.

"We just came out with so much intensity," Spencer told the Pioneer Press.

Ron Tanner, S/QB, Columbus Eastmoor – Tanner and the Warriors (0-2) did not have a game this weekend. Eastmoor's next game is Sept. 17 vs. Columbus West.

Antonio Underwood, OG, Shaker Heights, Ohio – Shaker Heights fell to 0-3 with a 34-24 loss to visiting Hunting Valley University School.

University School (3-0) pulled away for the victory after holding a narrow 13-10 lead at halftime. Two Geoff Geppert touchdown passes from Tyler Eden in the third quarter extended the lead to 27-10 and gave the Preppers the cushion they needed to drop the Raiders to 0-3.

Nick Vannett, TE, Westerville (Ohio) Central – The Warhawks fell to 0-3 with a 21-3 home loss to Canal Winchester.

The Indians' defense led the way to victory. Canal Winchester (2-1) forced three turnovers and allowed Westerville Central to score only three points despite three trips to the red zone.

A 27-yard field goal by Blake Munn with 3:05 left in the third quarter provided the Warhawks' only points. BSB's Adam Jardy was at the game and reported Vannett caught nine passes for 114 yards and also played end and tackle on defense.

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