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. 13-15.

J.T. Barrett, QB, Wichita Falls (Texas) Rider – A 26-17 win for Rider was closer than it appeared in the Raiders' home opener vs. Amarillo.

Rider (2-1) was trailing 17-14 with 4:24 remaining before Barrett engineered a game-winning drive. He led the Raiders on an 85-yard scoring drive, one he capped with a 1-yard touchdown with nine seconds left on the clock. Rider's defense set the final score by returning a fumble for a touchdown on the final play of the game.

"J.T. is as good as advertised, maybe even a little better," Amarillo head coach Mel Maxfield told the Wichita Falls Times Record. "And he had a great game last year in Amarillo. It's not a surprise. I was impressed with his patience and his ability to find his secondary receivers."

Barrett completed 15 of 27 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown. He added 119 yards on 22 carries – and avenged a 27-24 loss to the Sandies a year earlier.

Marcus Baugh, TE, Riverside (Calif.) North – The Huskies fell to 1-2 with a 38-7 loss to visiting Perris Citrus Hill. Denzel Foster scored North's lone touchdown on a 9-yard run that was set up with a fake punt in the third quarter. Citrus Hill (4-0) was in command throughout, however, and led 28-0 before the North TD.

Joey Bosa, DE, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas – Special teams doomed St. Thomas Aquinas in a 20-10 loss in a matchup with fellow national power Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep.

The Raiders (2-1) muffed a punt inside their 5-yard line, allowing the Ironmen (1-1) to score a tie-breaking touchdown. Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks found the end zone on a 1-yard run to give his team a 17-10 lead. Another botched punt attempt later allowed Bosco to extend the lead and set the final score with a 30-yard field goal by Cameron Baels.

Cameron Burrows, CB, Trotwood (Ohio) Madison – The Rams had little trouble in a 52-6 beat-down of visiting Kettering Fairmont. No statistics were available. Trotwood improved to 2-2, while Fairmont fell to 1-3.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, St. Louis (Mo.) John Burroughs – Elliott led the way in a 56-14 rout of visiting St. Louis Lutheran North. He scored five first-half touchdowns, sparking Burroughs (4-0) to a 49-7 halftime lead.

Elliott scored on runs of 62, 29, 7 and 56 yards, and he added a second-quarter punt return of 56 yards with 23 seconds left before halftime. He finished with 224 yards on 11 carries.

Tim Gardner, OT, Indianapolis Lawrence Central – The Bears improved to 5-0 with a 42-0 win vs. Columbus North (1-4).

Lawrence Central took command by scoring a trio of third-quarter touchdowns. Isaiah Townsend rushed for touchdown runs of 76 and 52 yards, respectively, and Trey White caught a 59-yard TD pass from Drake Christen. Townsend rushed for 225 yards on 11 carries, and Alex Rodriguez added 10 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown.

Michael Hill, DT, Pendleton, S.C. – Hill tipped a pass that was intercepted, but Pendleton dropped a key early-season Region 1-AA game against visiting Chesnee, falling 35-28 in double overtime.

The Bulldogs, playing without running backs Cam Blackburn (injured early in the first quarter) and Jalen Dixon (suspended for a violation of team rules), had chances to win the game late in regulation and if they could have made a defensive stop in the first overtime. Instead, Chesnee (3-1, 1-0) won the game thanks to an Alex Painter TD run in the second overtime and a defensive stop by the Eagles.

"We had the screen covered well," Hill told the Anderson (S.C.) Independent Mail of the game-winning touchdown. "I almost got there. We just missed a tackle. That happens."

Taivon Jacobs, WR, Forestville (Md.) Suitland – Jacobs caught a touchdown pass in a 41-0 win at Riverdale Parkdale. Suitland (3-0) led 28-0 at halftime, thanks in large part to three rushing touchdowns by Anthony Squire on runs of 18, 22 and 5 yards. Jacobs nabbed a 25-yard TD pass from Wesley Wolfolk in the third quarter, extending the lead to 35-0 over Parkdale (0-3). Jacobs finished with three rushes for 47 yards and caught a trio of passes for 75 more.

Darron Lee, S/QB, New Albany, Ohio – Lee recorded six touchdowns in New Albany's 53-33 win at Lewis Center Olentangy Orange.

The quarterback completed 3 of 6 passes for 93 yards, with two of the connections going for touchdowns. Lee added 136 rushing yards on nine carries with four rushes reaching the end zone.

The Eagles (2-2, 1-0 Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division) led 7-3 after the first quarter and put the game out of reach with 33 second-quarter points. The game was the second straight in which New Albany scored more than 50 points.

"It's the offensive line," Lee told This Week newspapers. "All of the credit goes to them. I think after our first two losses we knew that we needed to finish, and that starts up front with our offensive line."

Lee scored on runs of 10, 5, 58 and 29 yards. He added a 10-yard TD pass to Carson Tunney and a 69-yard scoring connection with Joe Siegenthaler.

Evan Lisle, OT, Centerville, Ohio – The Elks rode their powerful rushing attack and bruised their way to a 28-19 win at Lebanon.

Behind Lisle and the rest of the Centerville offensive line, the Elks (2-2) rushed for 345 yards. Two players, Kyle Wenning (192) and Nick Bozzo (106), topped the century mark in yardage. Each scored first-quarter touchdowns to spark Centerville.

Pass-happy Lebanon (3-1) was led by quarterback Luke Morgan, who completed 18 of 35 passes for 242 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also rushed for 119 yards and another TD.

Jalin Marshall, QB, Middletown, Ohio – Marshall and the Middies evened their record to 2-2 with a 41-26 win against visiting Fairfield.

Middletown scored 34 first-half points in its home opener. Marshall rushed for 96 yards on 10 carries for the game.

The Middies dominated the first two quarters, recording 17 first downs and 232 rushing yards. Conversely, Fairfield (1-3) was held to three first downs and 57 yards of offense.

The second half was a different story, as Marshall was held to 2 yards rushing. Fairfield, led by former Middletown coach Jason Krause, failed to make a significant rally, however.

"A victory is a victory," Marshall told the Middletown Journal. "We like to win."

Billy Price, DT, Austintown (Ohio) Fitch – Price recorded a sack as the Falcons remained unbeaten with a 45-0 win at Barberton.

Fitch dominated from the opening kickoff, building a 28-0 lead before halftime. Billy Aaron, Darrin Hall and Tyler Hewlett each rushed for touchdowns, and the Falcons (4-0) outrushed the 1-3 Magics by a 362-120 margin.

Tracy Sprinkle, DE, Elyria, Ohio – The Pioneers bounced back from a loss the previous week at Grafton Midview by throttling visiting Strongsville, 41-14.

Elyria tailback Jordan Connell rushed for 179 yards and scored four touchdowns. Sprinkle and the defense fared well. The Pioneers (3-1) intercepted four passes, three by linebacker Shawn Masterson.

Strongsville fell to 1-3.

Jayme Thompson, S, Toledo Central Catholic – The Irish improved to 4-0 with a 56-19 rout of host Oregon Clay.

Central Catholic (1-0 Three Rivers Athletic Conference) scored three first-quarter touchdowns to take a commanding lead. DeShone Kizer threw a pair of touchdown passes in building the lead, a 5-yard connection to Derich Weiland and a 60-yard strike to Paul Moses. Kizer threw five TD passes in all and had 267 passing yards.

Clay (2-2, 0-1) was led by Damon Dominique, who rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown.

Johnny Townsend, P, Orlando (Fla.) Boone – Boone recovered from a two-touchdown deficit to earn a 44-26 win vs. Winter Park.

The Braves (2-0) erased first-half deficits of 14-0 and 20-7 en route to the win. Wide receiver Josh Green caught four passes for 85 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Blake Williams threw for 211 yards on 9-of-15 passing.

Winter Park fell to 1-2.

Eli Woodard, CB, Voorhees (N.J.) EasternBryce Shade scored four touchdowns in leading Erial Timber Creek (1-1) past visiting Eastern, 39-13. Shade, a wingback and cornerback, scored in four different ways – on a 36-yard run, 40-yard fumble recovery, 75 yard kickoff return and 59-yard reception. Eastern (1-1) scored its points on a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs by quarterback Tom Flacco.

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