Friday Night Lights

Playoff action is getting intense across high school football, and it's no different for those players committed to joining the Ohio State program, many of whom are on teams advancing deep into their brackets. All results are from the weekend of Nov. 15 unless noted, and players are seniors unless otherwise indicated.

Kyle Berger, OLB, Cleveland St. Ignatius – No. 11 St. Ignatius kept its season alive with a 28-17 win over No. 3 Hudson in an Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I Region 1 second-round game. The Wildcats (8-4) advanced to face second-seeded Mentor (11-1) on Nov. 23.

Berger is out for the season because of a knee injury suffered Aug. 24 in a scrimmage at Canton McKinley.

Dante Booker, OLB, and Parris Campbell, RB, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary – The Irish improved to 12-0 by claiming a 35-7 win over Poland Seminary in the second round of OHSAA Division III play.

Top-seeded St. Vincent-St. Mary never trailed, taking a 14-0 halftime lead and cruising from there. Campbell rushed for a 17-yard touchdown in the victory and led the ground attack with 117 yards on 17 carries. Hooker added four tackles to aid the defensive effort.

The Irish, defending Division III champs, advance to the Region 7 final vs. No. 2 Hubbard (12-0) on Nov. 22. Fifth-seeded Poland Seminary ended its season 10-2.

Noah Brown, WR, Sparta (N.J.) Pope John XXIII – Second-seeded Pope John opened the postseason with a 53-0 blanking of Edison Bishop Ahr in the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Non Public Group 3 playoffs.

Brown caught only one pass for 5 yards, but his efforts weren't needed to advance. The Lions (9-1) led 26-0 after the first quarter and scored all of their points by halftime. Quarterback Sonny Abramson completed 10 of 11 passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns.

Next for Pope John is a second-round game vs. third-seeded Morristown Delbarton on Nov. 22.

Stephen Collier, QB, Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County – In a Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA first-round game, Collier led the Trojans past visiting Springfield Effingham County, 28-6.

Collier rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns on runs of 10 and 5 yards, respectively, to spark Lee County (10-1). He completed 14 of 34 passes for 201 yards with two interceptions. Despite the turnovers, Collier helped give Lee County a victory in its first home playoff game in eight years.

"We made the playoffs last year, and there wasn't nearly as much excitement as there has been this year," Collier told The Albany (Ga.) Herald. "It's a phenomenal feeling knowing that the whole city and whole county has our backs."

Next up for the Trojans is a second-round game at home vs. Jonesboro Mundy's Mill (7-4).

Jalyn Holmes, DE, Norfolk (Va.) Lake Taylor – Holmes recorded 10 tackles and five sacks as the Titans earned a 35-7 win over visiting Suffolk Nansemond River in the first round of the Virginia High School League Group 4A playoffs.

Holmes and the Lake Taylor defense limited Nansemond River's rushing attack to 17 yards and held the Warriors to 98 yards of total offense. Meanwhile, Lake Taylor (9-2) recorded 287 yards offensively, including 215 on the ground.

The Titans face Mechanicsville Hanover (6-5) in the second round.

Sam Hubbard, OLB, Cincinnati Moeller – No. 2 Moeller advanced to the OHSAA Division I Region 2 semifinal round with a 24-0 win over Cincinnati Elder.

Hubbard made a game-high 10 tackles and recorded an interception in the victory. Moeller (11-1) outgained the Panthers (9-3) only 303-297 but was aided by six Elder turnovers. Quarterback Gus Ragland rushed for two touchdowns for the Crusaders.

Next up for Moeller is a regional semifinal showdown with sixth-seeded Cincinnati Colerain (12-0) on Nov. 23.

Marcelys Jones, OG, Cleveland Glenville – The top-seeded Tarblooders beat visiting No. 5 Bedford, 26-12, in the second round of the OHSAA Division II playoffs in Region 3 action.

Glenville (11-1) fell behind 6-0 after the first quarter and was tied 6-6 through three quarters before taking command. Quarterback Quan Robinson Jr. led the Tarblooders with 231 yards passing and two touchdowns. Glenville outgained Bedford, 326-168.

The Tarblooders will face sixth-seeded Madison (10-2) for a regional title on Nov. 22.

Terry McLaurin, WR, Indianapolis Cathedral – Behind 35 unanswered first-half points, the Irish earned a 56-28 win over host Whiteland in an Indiana High School Athletic Association Class 5A quarterfinal/regional final.

Colin Barthel led Cathedral (8-5) by throwing for 239 yards and three touchdowns. The Irish will face Terre Haute North (10-2) in a state semifinal game on Nov. 22.

Curtis Samuel, WR, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Erasmus Hall – Second-seeded Erasmus Hall took another step closer to a state championship with a 34-6 win over No. 7 Bronx JFK in a Public School Athletic League City Division quarterfinal.

No box score was available. The Dutchmen (10-1) will next host No. 3 Staten Island Tottenville in the semifinal round Nov. 23.

Dylan Thompson, DE, Lombard (Ill.) Montini Catholic – It wasn't easy, but Montini remained alive in its drive for a fifth straight state championship with a 22-21 win over Joliet Catholic in an Illinois High School Association Class 5A quarterfinal.

Top-seeded Montini (12-0) trailed 21-14 with just over five minutes left before quarterback Alex Wills rallied the Broncos by tossing a 29-yard touchdown pass to Stephen Dennis. After the score, Montini opted to attempt a two-point conversion.

That's where Thompson came in. The Broncos used their "Bazooka" formation, which brings Thompson on the field to line up at right tackle.

"Coach, put this behind me," Thompson recalled to the Chicago Tribune. "I will get him in the end zone."

Thompson did just that, opening a hole that Nile Sykes rushed through for the winning points. The win advanced Montini to a state semifinal showdown with No. 3 Sycamore (12-0).

Damon Webb, CB, Detroit Cass Tech – Webb intercepted a pass as Cass Tech earned a 32-17 win over Macomb Dakota in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division I Region 4 championship game in the Motor City.

Webb's pick occurred in the end zone and halted a Dakota fourth-quarter drive. Cass Tech (12-0) was led offensively by quarterback Jayru Campbell, who rushed for 148 yards and three touchdowns. Dakota (11-1) led 10-0 after the first quarter and 17-7 at halftime before the Technicians took command thanks to 19 third-quarter points.

Cass Tech will face Detroit Catholic Central (10-2) in the state semifinal round Nov. 23.

The following players had previously ended their seasons – Eric Glover-Williams (junior), RB, Canton McKinley; Malik Hooker, WR, New Castle, Pa.; Jamarco Jones, OT, Chicago De La Salle; Demetrius Knox, OG, Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints' Episcopal; Sean Nuernberger, K, Buckner (Ky.) Oldham County and Kyle Trout, OT, Lancaster, Ohio.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories