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 Dec. 2-3.

Ohio State verbal commit Blake Thomas concluded his prep career with an Ohio State High School Athletic Association Division I title Saturday night at Fawcett Stadium in Canton. The tight end earned bragging rights against future teammates Jacoby Boren and Roger Lewis as Cleveland St. Ignatius earned a 34-13 victory against Pickerington Central.

St. Ignatius earned its 11th Division I crown and prevented the Tigers from earning their first. The Wildcats built a 20-0 lead by the 8:42 mark of the second quarter, one which Pickerington Central never recovered from.

"We knew their blitzing could be a problem because of the size and depth of their team," Pickerington Central coach Jay Sharrett told the (Columbus) Dispatch. "Getting behind so soon was the problem. Once they got up two scores, it sort of changed our approach."

The Wildcats (13-2) built their lead behind a 45-yard touchdown pass from Eric Williams to Tim McCoy, field goals of 31 and 43 yards by Tim Shenk and an 8-yard TD connection from Williams to Tim McVey.

The Tigers (12-3), winners of 12 in a row coming into the game, did not quit. Pickerington Central narrowed its deficit to 20-13 by halftime. Lewis started things by catching a 15-yard touchdown pass from Nick Jensen-Clagg with 6:47 left before halftime. Less than two minutes later and after a St. Ignatius three-and-out, Sabastian Smith raced for a 75-yard score after hauling in a Jensen-Clagg pass.

The second half belonged to the Wildcats, however. The Tigers were dominated by the St. Ignatius defense, and the Wildcats iced the game with two more scores. McVey rushed for a 1-yard TD with 8:27 left in the third quarter. Jake Mooney later caught a 40-yard TD from Williams with 3:50 left in the fourth.

McVey, a 5-9, 178-pound junior, led all rushers with 107 yards on 24 carries.

"Tim runs as hard as any running back I've ever seen," Thomas told the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer. "He's a quick, fast kid. I think he's got a great future.

"The power that kid runs with, for his size, is just unbelievable. He'll gain weight in the off-season, and I know he'll get faster, and next year he'll be unbelievable."

Pickerington Central was held to 22 yards rushing as a team. Both quarterbacks played well. Williams completed 19 of 31 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns. Jensen-Clagg completed 21 of 38 passes for 282 yards and two more scores. He also had one pass intercepted.

Each of the future Buckeyes had solid games. Thomas caught four passes for 47 yards, including one catch for 21 yards. Lewis caught three passes for 28 yards. He also returned two kickoffs for 16 yards.

Boren, who played on both the offensive and defensive line, finished with 3½ tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

• In Florida, recent OSU verbal commit Ricquan Southward and host Lakeland earned a Class 7A-Region 2 title with a 42-14 victory against Tampa Gaither.

The Dreadnaughts (13-0) were led by Southward, who finished with 168 all-purpose yards. The 6-1, 190-pound wide receiver had 96 yards receiving and 72 more rushing.

Southward was held out of the end zone, but several of his teammates were not. In all, six Dreadnaughts scored touchdowns in the rout. Senior running back Taylor Placides had 107 rushing yards and a score.

Lakeland led 14-0 after the first quarter and 21-7 at halftime.

Gaither (9-4) was in its first region championship game in 11 years. The Cowboys fumbled the ball nine times but lost only one. They finished with 111 yards of offense.

The Dreadnaughts will travel to Jacksonville First Coast for a Class 7A state semifinal next week.

The following OSU verbal commits have completed their seasons: Warren Ball, RB, Columbus DeSales; De'Van Bogard, S, Cleveland Glenville; Bri'onte Dunn, RB, Canton (Ohio) GlenOak; Patrick Elflein, OG, Pickerington (Ohio) North; Frank Epitropoulos, WR, Upper Arlington, Ohio; Cardale Jones, QB, Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy; Najee Murray, DB, Steubenville, Ohio; Joshua Perry, OLB, Lewis Center (Ohio) Olentangy; Tyvis Powell, S, Bedford, Ohio; Luke Roberts, MLB, Lancaster, Ohio; Mike Thomas, WR, Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy; Adolphus Washington, DE, Cincinnati Taft.

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