Midwest: Scout on the Town, Recap

We were at a handful of games in the Midwest this past weekend, including games in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.


Allen Trieu, National Recruiting Analyst
Friday: Grand Rapids (Mich.) South Christian vs Battle Creek (Mich.) Pennfield

South Christian junior quarterback Jon Wassink had an outstanding game. He is accurate, throws a great deep ball and has excellent touch on his passes. He's also smart, throws with great timing and is an above average athlete. He doesn't have a big gun for an arm and that's the only thing right now that may be a question. He does everything else well. His favorite target was junior Sam Heyboer, a big, 6-foot-5, 210-pound kid who will likely grow into a college tight end. He has good hands and route running ability. For Pennfield, the top prospect is junior offensive tackle Ryan Lowe, a massive 6-foot-9, 280-pound offensive tackle who can move for a kid of that size, but needs technical work. That frame alone should draw him college looks though.

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Dave Berk, Ohio Recruiting Analyst
Dayton (Ohio) Thurgood Marshall vs. Tipp City (Ohio) Tippecanoe High School

Michigan State pledge Vayante Copeland finished his prep career on Friday night as Thurgood Marshall fell 30-13 to undefeated Tipp City in the second round of the playoffs. Both teams kept it close with the first quarter ending with Tipp City up 3-0. However, Thurgood Marshall helped the Red Devils throughout the game fumbling four times and throwing three interceptions. Senior running back Jacob Hall would score on a 64-yard run in the second quarter giving the Red Devils a 17-0 lead before Copeland who break free for a 45-yard run on his own to keep the Cougars close. But continued mistakes plagued the Cougars and the Red Devils went into the locker room holding a 20-6 lead. The Cougars would see Copeland score the final touchdown of his prep career in the third quarter pulling them within a score before the Red Devils capitalize on another mistake pulling away with a 30-13 win.

Cincinnati (Ohio) Elder vs. Cincinnati (Ohio) Moeller
Elder sophomore quarterback Peyton Ramsey experienced some more growing pains against defending state champion Moeller in front of a large crowd at Nippert Stadium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Ramsey would pass for 233 yards on the night but failed to get his team in the end zone throwing a couple of interceptions at the goal line or in the end zone to Moeller. Ohio State pledge Sam Hubbard powered the Moeller defense with ten tackles while also taking part in the Crusaders interception party. Sealing the win was Moeller senior linebacker Will Mercurio who took a Ramsey interception 58 yards for a score giving the Crusaders a 24-0 win. Senior quarterback Gus Ragland threw for only 62 yards, however, he rushed for 126 yards and two score as the Crusaders continue to strive for another trip to the state championship game.

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Bill Greene, Ohio Recruiting Analyst
Cleveland Benedictine vs. Chagrin Falls (Ohio)

Benedictine defeated number-one seed Chagrin Falls 52-35 in Ohio playoff action. The story of the game was the play of Benedictine four-star junior tailback/linebacker Jerome Baker. With over 250 yards rushing yards and five touchdowns, coupled with 12 tackles and an interception on defense, Baker produced the top individual effort witnessed this year in the state. Baker is making a case to be elevated to the top overall prospect in the class of 2015 in Ohio.

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Beth Long, Midwest Field Reporter
East St. Louis (Ill.) vs Providence Catholic (Ill.)

East St. Louis advanced in last second style to the Illinois State semifinals. The 6A match-up between talent heavy East St. Louis and rising star Providence Catholic turned out to be everything that we were expecting. Providence led the game until 4 minutes remaining when the Flyers took the lead and converted the 2-point play.

East St. Louis was led by senior Missouri defensive back/wide receiver commit Greg Taylor and senior linebacker Kyron Watson, who is committed to Kansas. Another top player on the day was freshman wide receiver Jeff Thomas who was the teams top receiver and caught the two point conversion to put the Flyers on top. There was plenty more division one guys on the field like defensive back Treevon Prater who will attend Western Michigan, four-star 2015 lineman Terry Beckner Jr, and explosive junior running back Nate Strong who has made a big impression this season.

Providence Catholic featured one of the best juniors in in the state, four-star wide receiver Myles Boykin who has offers from Illinois, Michigan State, Ole Miss and others and showed why by making some of the biggest plays on the day in the passing game.

East St. Louis will play Oak Lawn Richards for a berth in the State championship game.

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Derek Young, Midwest Recruiting Analyst
Trotwood-Madison (Ohio) vs Springfield Shawnee (Ohio) at Piqua

Trotwood-Madison entered the game favored to win and they did not disappoint. The Rams defeated Shawnee 44-7 behind a great defensive effort lead by junior Kei Beckham. In the third quarter Beckham picked off a Shawnee pass thrown by Alec Bennett and returned it 102 yards for a score. In addition to that highlight, Beckham also defended several passes well and recovered two fumbles. He's a junior prospect in Ohio that keeps improving. Sophomore quarterback Messiah deWeaver threw two interceptions for Trotwood but showed better mechanics and increased arm strength in his performance. He may be Ohio's best quarterback in the 2016 class. Trotwood-Madison advances to the regional final next weekend to take on Tippecanoe.

Austintown-Fitch (Ohio) vs Westerville Central (Ohio) at Mansfield Senior
Westerville Central started out the game strong, taking a lead on Austintown-Fitch 24-14 midway through the second quarter. Senior Jared Drake was largely responsible, throwing for a couple touchdowns and adding one on the ground. It was all Fitch from that point as they reeled off 26 unanswered points to defeat Westerville Central 40-24. Junior running back Darrin Hall picked it up in the second half after only rushing for 19 yards in the first half. He had over 100 yards and a touchdown alone in the second half. Antwan Harris also did damage rushing the ball from the quarterback positoin. The Fitch defense put in a strong performance, recording four interceptions and forcing one other turnover during the game. Fitch now takes on Lakewood St. Edward next weekend in the third round of the playoffs.

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MIDLANDS RECAP: Scout on the Town
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