Jerome Baker, OLB, Cleveland Benedictine: The Bengals (13-1) are heading to Columbus after posting a 40-12 win against Steubenville (10-4) in an Ohio High School Athletics Association Division IV semifinal in Canton. Benedictine cruised from the start, scoring five first-half touchdowns in the rout. DeCavilon Reese rushed for four touchdowns had had more than 100 yards by halftime.
“When we play together, we’re just unstoppable. These are all my brothers and we play for each other and it shows on the field,” Baker told Cleveland.com.
The Bengals will face Kettering Alter (14-0) for the state championship Friday at 10 a.m.
Joey Burrow, QB, The Plains (Ohio) Athens: Burrow threw four touchdown passes, including one to Zacciah Saltzman with 1:51 remaining in the fourth quarter, to help Athens (14-0) rally for a 34-31 win vs. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (11-3) in an OHSAA Division III semifinal at New Philadelphia. Athens trailed 17-7 at halftime, but Burrow helped the Bulldogs rally by completing 32 of 44 passes for 322 yards.
“When we got that last stop there was no doubt in my mind we were going to go down and score,” Burrow told the Athens Messenger. “Our guys fought so hard. We fought hard all year. Now we’ve got one more to go.”
The Bulldogs will face Toledo Central Catholic (12-2) Thursday at 7:30 p.m. for a state title.
Jamel Dean, CB, Cocoa, Fla.: Dean’s prep career came to a close in a 14-12 Florida High School Athletic Association Class 4A semifinal loss to Miami Washington (13-0). The Tigers scored a touchdown as time expired in regulation, but their two-point attempt to tie the game was stopped. Dean caught two passes for 25 yards.
Torrance Gibson, QB, Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage: Gibson had a short night as the Patriots (10-3) routed Cape Coral Island Coast (10-3), 56-8, in a FHSAA Class 5A regional final. He threw a 72-yard touchdown pass on the second play from scrimmage to spark the rout. Gibson was removed from the game during the third quarter, saving him for the state semifinal showdown next week vs. Orlando Bishop Moore (13-0).
Denzel Ward, CB, Macedonia (Ohio) Nordonia: Ward hauled in a 91-yard touchdown pass on a flanker screen, and Nordonia (13-0) earned a 52-14 win vs. Mayfield (12-2) at Solon in an OHSAA Division II semifinal. Ward caught just two passes but they went for 135 yards. The Knights will face Cincinnati La Salle (13-1) Friday at 8 p.m.
The following players have concluded their seasons: Joshua Alabi, DE, Detroit Cass Tech; A.J. Alexander, WR, Burke (Va.) Lake Braddock; Rashod Berry, TE, Lorain, Ohio; Branden Bowen, OT, Draper (Utah) Corner Canyon; Matthew Burrell, OG, Woodbridge (Va.) Hylton; Danny Clark (sophomore), QB, Massillon (Ohio) Washington; Jonathon Cooper, OLB, Gahanna (Ohio) Lincoln; Nick Conner, OLB, Dublin (Ohio) Scioto; Jashon Cornell, DE, St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham Hall; Carlton Davis, S, Miami Norland; Kevin Feder, OT, Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep; Eric Glover-Williams, RB, Canton (Ohio) McKinley; Tyler Gerald (junior), OG, Portsmouth (Ohio) Sciotoville East; Tyler Green, WR, Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic; Kierre Hawkins (junior), TE, Maple Heights, Ohio; George Hill (junior), RB, Hubbard, Ohio; Justin Hilliard, MLB, Cincinnati St. Xavier; Dre'Mont Jones, DE, Cleveland St. Ignatius; Liam McCullough, LS, Worthington (Ohio) Kilbourne; Joshua Norwood, CB, Valdosta, Ga.; Grant Schmidt, OT, Sioux Falls (S.D.) Roosevelt; Alex Stump (INJURY), WR, Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward.