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 Aug. 28-29. All are seniors unless noted.

DE Darryl Baldwin, Solon, Ohio – The Comets opened their season Saturday with an impressive 19-0 victory over host Shaker Heights.

Baldwin was part of a Solon defense that held the Raiders to only 51 yards of offense and three first downs. Two of those first downs came on Comet penalties.

The Comets scored first on a 2-yard touchdown run by Christian Jackson in the second quarter. The extra point failed, but Solon extended its lead after halftime with a Jake Voigt 26-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to David Gibson. Jackson capped the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 4-yard scoring run.

Jackson finished with 75 yards on 18 rushes. Voigt completed 15 of 29 passes for 216 yards with a touchdown and interception.

K Drew Basil, Chillicothe, Ohio – Chillicothe opened its season with a 17-9 home victory against Columbus Hamilton Township.

Basil made a 40-yard field goal and converted both of his extra point attempts. Two other field goal attempts failed, however, one coming on a bad snap.

Shay Netter threw two touchdowns of 62 and 68 yards to Casey Oates and Donta Thompson, respectively.

LB David Durham, Charlotte (N.C.) Christian – Durham and the Knights blanked Augusta (Ga.) Christian 38-0 for their second straight shutout win.

Charlotte Christian scored all of its points in the first half. Parker Blazevich and Matthias Farley scored two touchdowns apiece. Blazevich scored on runs of 13 and 17 yards. Farley caught a 76-yard touchdown pass and returned an interception 45 yards for another score.

QB Taylor Graham, Wheaton (Ill.) North – Eleven months after a broken ankle ended his junior season after four-plus games, Graham returned to the field and led the Falcons to a 23-7 win against visiting Addison Trail.

Graham completed 14 of 26 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns. He not only hurt Addison Trail with his arm but with his legs. Graham set up one Wheaton North score by scrambling on a broken play. He ran for 11 yards on a third-down play that set up a 1-yard Mekael Wesley touchdown run.

"I hope they're not nervous because I like scrambling a little bit," Graham told the Daily Herald of Chicago. "I don't get a chance to do it a whole lot."

Ben Murrow caught both of Graham's touchdown strikes. They connected on scores of 17 and 20 yards.

S/RB Chad Hagan, Canonsburg (Pa.) Canon-McMillan – Canon-McMillan scrimmaged against Leechburg Kiski on Friday, but Hagan did not participate.

Hagan was not cleared to play by doctors during a Thursday checkup. He is being treated for Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a heart disorder in which an extra electrical connection between the atria and ventricles causes the heart to beat irregularly, sometimes resulting in cardiac arrest. Earlier this month, Hagan had a catheterization procedure performed that would allow him to continue his football career. He has been limited to non-contact drills in practice.

Hagan is not guaranteed to be cleared for Canon-McMillan's season opener Sept. 4 at Trinity, but he is expected to play before the end of the season.

"For sure," Hagan told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Reivew. "(The doctor) didn't tell me (when), but he said I will be able to play at some point."

Canon-McMillan coach Guy Montecalvo said Ohio State vowed to honor Hagan's scholarship even if he is unable to play.

"It appears he is progressing in the right direction," Montecalvo told the Tribune-Reivew. "I am extremely happy. It appears he is getting healthier."

WR James Louis, Delray Beach (Fla.) Atlantic – Louis participated in a Green-White scrimmage with the rest of his teammates after Atlantic's season opener had to be cancelled.

The Eagles were to face Coconut Creek but the plans for the game fell through recently. Atlantic looked for a new opponent but were unable to find one in time. The Eagles will travel to Pahokee next week.

LB Scott McVey, Cleveland St. Ignatius – McVey caught a touchdown pass on offense and the defending OHSAA Division I champs defeated Cleveland Glenville 14-13 Saturday at a crowded Byers Field.

A special teams miscue cost the Tarblooders, who feature Ohio State recruiting targets Latwan Anderson, Christian Bryant and Shane Wynn. Glenville held a 13-7 lead in the fourth quarter, but a shanked punt set the Wildcats up for the game-winning touchdown. Bryant is Glenville's kicker, but a shoulder injury suffered on third down forced quarterback Cardale Jones to punt on fourth down. The kick went only four yards, from the Glenville 13 to the 17-yard line, and St. Ignatius turned the bad punt into points.

Following a 1-yard gain on first down, St. Ignatius quarterback Mark Myers threw two incomplete passes to force a fourth-and-9 situation at the Glenville 12 with 2:13 remaining. With the game on the line, Myers connected with Kory Gillissie in the middle of the end zone for a touchdown. Jesse Franklin's extra point kick split the uprights and give the Wildcats the lead and eventually the win.

McVey started the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown reception. Glenville scored the next 13 points, six coming on a pair of field goals made by Bryant.

Both McVey and Bryant suffered shoulder injuries in the game and had to be removed. McVey left early in the fourth quarter with a right shoulder injury. McVey told BSB's Jeff Svoboda his shoulder popped out then back in and that he will be fine. Glenville coach Ted Ginn Sr. said Bryant should be fine as well.

DE J.T. Moore, Youngstown (Ohio) Boardman – The first meeting since 2003 between Boardman and Youngstown Cardinal Mooney ended with a 23-17 loss for Moore and the Spartans at Boardman Stadium.

Neither team executed well, but Mooney's defense led the Cardinals to victory. Mooney intercepted five Boardman passes, and John Stoops and West Virginia recruit Braylon Heard each nabbed two of those picks. Heard's second came on the game's final play.

"I wish we had done better, but beating Boardman 23-17 is good for our program," Stoops told the Youngstown Vindicator. "This sets the tone for our season. There was, what, like 12,000 fans? The intensity was great on both sides of the ball. Both teams going back and forth. Just a great game."

Heard and Stoops made big second-half plays to lead Mooney. Trailing 9-7 in the third quarter, Heard intercepted a Rob Boyd pass and returned it 94 yards for a touchdown. On the ensuing possession, Boardman again drove deep into Mooney territory. This time it was Stoops stopping the threat, intercepting a tipped pass in the end zone. The Cardinals turned that into a touchdown following a six-play, 80-yard drive capped with a Karrington Griffin 7-yard touchdown run.

Despite the miscues, Moore and Boardman's defense kept Mooney's offense at bay for the most part. The Spartans had chances to rally late but never seriously threatened.

"Imagine that — five turnovers and we still had a chance to win at the end," Boardman coach D.J. Ogilvie told the Vindicator. "That's a tribute to our defense and how hard the kids played."

OT Andrew Norwell, Cincinnati Anderson – In its first game after moving from Division II to Division I, Anderson rolled to a 41-6 victory over an undersized Cincinnati Taft squad.

Led by 6-7, 275-pound Norwell and 6-5, 275-pound Greg Mancz, the Redskins wore down the Senators. Even without running back Kyle Slater, who did not play because of disciplinary reasons, Anderson succeeded on the ground. Backup rusher Jake Nelson ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns. More than 100 of those yards came in the first half.

"The holes tonight were awesome," Nelson told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I just had to run with my eyes open. The line did a great job."

The Anderson offense did not need help, but the Redskins' defense did its job by intercepting five Taft passes. Two were grabbed by senior Kevin Cripe.

RB/FS Roderick Smith, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Paul Harding – A week after rushing for 271 yards and four touchdowns in his team's season opener, Smith made another big impact in a 15-14 win over Fort Wayne North Side.

Smith blocked a field goal with 10 seconds left to lead the Hawks to victory. He was held to only 72 yards rushing, but he added a touchdown, interception, extra point kick and ran for the game-winning two-point conversion. Smith even had a 45-yard touchdown run and a 95-yard interception return for a touchdown negated by penalties.

"What he proved tonight was it is not about running the ball, but about being a good football player," Harding coach Sherwood Haydock told the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. "That is what makes him a prime candidate for Mr. Football.

"That stuff is so important because he is not just a prima donna running back. He is a football player who leads his team and wants to win."

Smith's blocked field goal was a moment of redemption. He set up North Side's final drive when he and quarterback Zac Haydock misfired on a handoff at midfield. North Side recovered the ball and drove to the Hawks' 10-yard line before having a 26-yard field goal blocked. Smith burst through the middle of the line and blocked Alex McKinstry's attempt.

"I can't explain it," Smith said. "The coach told me to go in the middle, and the ref was telling me not to hit the center. So I just split between, and I went right in and did it."

WR Tyrone Williams, East Cleveland (Ohio) Shaw – Williams caught five passes for 112 yards and a touchdown, but Shaw could only manage a tie against Warren Harding.

There is overtime in Ohio high school football, but both coaches decided to end the game as a tie when lightning returned to the area after regulation.

"We were getting ready to go to overtime," Shaw coach Rodney Brown told the Plain Dealer. "We wanted to play, but the lightning kept persisting, and a lot of players were beat up. It was a very hard-played game."

Harding tied the game with a field goal with 21 seconds remaining. Lightning flashed as the team captains and officials met after regulation. Shortly after 11 p.m., the game was called.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories