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. 17-19. All are seniors unless noted.

DE Darryl Baldwin, Solon, Ohio – Baldwin and the Comets defense held visiting Parma at bay in a 42-6 rout to remain unbeaten.

Running back Kyle Hammonds scored three touchdowns in the blowout, including Solon's first two scores. The Comets (4-0) built a 14-0 lead after the first quarter and a 35-6 lead by halftime. Hammons got his team on the scoreboard with a 66-yard touchdown reception from Jake Voigt. He later added a 1-yard run before the end of the opening quarter.

Parma (2-2) answered Hammonds' second score with a 41-yard touchdown pass from Nico Funari to Joe Pullman, but Solon responded with three more trips to the end zone before halftime. Tres Barksdale caught two of those scores on passes of 57 and 29 yards from Voigt.

Hammonds capped the scoring in the third quarter with a 19-yard run.

K Drew Basil, Chillicothe, Ohio – Basil helped the Cavaliers with impressive punts and a field goal, but a late touchdown gave visiting Zanesville a 14-7 victory.

A long fourth-quarter drive saved the Blue Devils (4-0). A 39-yard counter by Kyle Gladden that set up a 35-yard touchdown run by Richard Gibson proved to be the difference.

"Really, we couldn't ask for any more out of our defense," Cavaliers coach Bill Davidson told the Chillicothe Gazette. "We've just got to find a way for the offense to put up some points. We had our share of big plays, but we couldn't put the ball in the end zone when we had the opportunity."

Zanesville opened the scoring with a first-quarter touchdown, but Basil answered with a 45-yard field goal. Basil had a chance to add more points halfway through the third quarter, but Basil missed a 49-yard field goal.

The Cavaliers (1-3) were aided by a pair of safeties on botched punts. Both times the snap sailed over the head of punter Michael Lynn, forcing him to boot the ball out of the back of the end zone.

"The bottom line is that we played with a great deal of heart and intensity," Davidson said. "And if we continue to play at this level, we have an excellent chance to be a very good team. We did a lot of work on these kids' psyche and getting them to buy into what we're doing, and they did everything we ask. I feel real bad that they didn't get a win because they deserved it."

TB/WR Corey Brown, Springfield (Pa.) Cardinal O'Hara – Brown piled up 222 all-purpose yards as the Lions cruised to a 23-6 victory over host Philadelphia Northeast Catholic.

Brown was held to only 31 yards rushing, and O'Hara (3-0) only led 10-0 against the Falcons (1-2). But Brown busted out in the second half, finishing with 109 rushing yards.

"Corey's just an electrifying player," O'Hara quarterback Ryan Laughlin told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It's awesome having him on the team. He's a threat in the backfield, out wide. We just have to take advantage of having him."

Laughlin had a solid performance. He completed 7 of 13 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a rushing score.

Brown scored only once, coming in the final quarter on a 25-yard pass from Laughlin. O'Hara built a commanding 17-0 lead through three quarters before the Falcons (1-2) got on the scoreboard.

"We didn't play a perfect game," Brown told the Inquirer. "but that was a good football team, and we came prepared."

LB David Durham, Charlotte (N.C.) Christian – The size and depth of Indian Trail Jireh Prep was too much for the Knights in a 7-0 loss in a battle of independent North Carolina schools.

Charlotte Christian's talented linebackers – Durham, Ty Linton (a North Carolina verbal) and a Kelby Brown (a Duke verbal) – led the charge against Jireh (4-1). Nineteen Jireh penalties for 171 yards also helped the cause. Unfortunately it was not enough because the Knights managed very little on offense. Charlotte Christian had 5 yards rushing, 74 yards passing and four turnovers. Wes Medeiros was forced to punt eight times.

The Knights had the ball near midfield late in the fourth quarter but could not manage to score, falling for the first time this season.

"We tried to make some adjustments, but they were just bigger than we are," Charlotte Christian coach Jason Estep told the Charlotte Observer. "This doesn't change anything for us. We won't play a team better than that."

QB Taylor Graham, Wheaton (Ill.) North – Graham did not play as the Falcons became the latest victims of Carol Stream Glenbard North's talented defense in a 32-0 DuPage Valley Conference shellacking.

Wheaton North's defense did its job, holding the Panthers (4-0, 2-0 DuPage Valley) to only six first-half points. However, the Glenbard North defense continued its impressive scoreless streak. The Panthers have gone 13 straight quarters without giving up a point.

"They are as good as anyone in this league," Wheaton North coach Joe Wardynski told the Chicago Daily Herald. "They have a great group of guys on the defensive side of the ball. I expect them to win many more football games. They just flat out outplayed us tonight. I tip my cap to them."

Graham missed the game because of a posterior cruciate knee ligament injury suffered against Lake Zurich in the second week of the season. Wheaton North fell to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the DuPage Valley.

S/RB Chad Hagan, Canonsburg (Pa.) Canon-McMillan – Hagan made his season debut, but it did not help the Big Macs in a 37-7 loss at Pittsburgh Woodland Hills.

The Wolverines (2-1) literally dominated from the opening kickoff. Lafayette Pitts took the opening boot and ran it 90 yards for a touchdown. Dom Timbers ran for 147 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns for Woodland Hills, and quarterback John Yezovich completed all nine of his passes for 140 yards and a touchdown.

Canon-McMillan (1-2) was outgained 368-74.

Even with the loss, it was still a win for Hagan. The running back and safety prospect has had a long road back to the field after being diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome in April.

"I feel extremely blessed," Hagan told the Observer-Reporter of suburban Pittsburgh prior to the game. "To go through the journey I've been through and be able to play, like I said, I feel extremely blessed."

DE Kenny Hayes (junior), Toledo Whitmer – The Panthers used their bruising ground attack to win a battle of unbeatens, 43-20, against Toledo Rogers.

Host Whitmer allowed the game's first touchdown when Rogers' quarterback E.J. Tucker connected with Damond Powell for an 85-yard touchdown on a slant pattern. The Panthers (3-0, 1-0 Toledo City League) then took over with its rushing offense. Whitmer senior quarterback Joe Missler ran for 172 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. Running back Micah Merritt added 95 yards on 16 rushes, and Teryl Mershon netted 90 more.

"We love our balance on the ground," Whitmer coach Joe Palka told the Toledo Blade. "Our offensive line continues to improve. They're playing pretty physical, and the development of our running backs has been big. Once we can run the ball between the tackles, everything opens up. That inside ground game really helps us out."

After falling behind 6-0, Whitmer scored three touchdowns in a span of 5:37. Rogers (3-1, 0-1) answered with a 43-yard touchdown pass from Tucker to Powell, but Missler added two 1-yard touchdown drives to ice the game in the third quarter.

WR James Louis, Delray Beach (Fla.) Atlantic – Louis caught a pair of touchdown passes from Virginia Tech verbal commit Mark Leal in a 33-0 victory against visiting Boynton Beach, but the game was marred by fights in the stands and in the parking lot at Atlantic High School.

Leal threw five touchdowns, but the game came to an end soon after his final throw with seven minutes remaining in the game. Both teams were rushed to the locker room and fans were hurried out of the stadium because of the brawls. Minutes later, Atlantic athletic director Kevin Logan announced the game would not continue. At least four people were arrested according to Delray Beach Police Capt. Jabaro Sims. Delray Beach police also had to use a Taser on one person.

"It's rotten kids being real rotten," Atlantic coach Andre Thaddies told the Palm Beach Post. "There were girls yelling, kids running all over the place, and it has nothing to do with football. It's sad."

The Eagles (2-1) started the scoring with Louis' first touchdown, a 28-yard grab on Atlantic's first possession. The lead was 19-0 at halftime, and Leal finished the first half with 188 yards passing. He only threw four passes in the second half, but two of those went for touchdowns.

Louis caught five passes for 105 yards.

Josh Kelley led Boynton Beach (1-1) with 84 yards rushing.

LB Scott McVey, Cleveland St. Ignatius – The Wildcats welcomed back McVey with a 47-7 rout of host 2-2 Mentor.

McVey missed the last two games with a shoulder injury suffered in St. Ignatius' season opener against Cleveland Glenville. McVey and the defense played well, but the unit did not need to do much thanks to a big performance by quarterback Mark Myers. The senior threw five touchdown passes and completed 12 of 18 passes for 273 yards and an interception.

"That's the best quarterback I've seen out of (St. Ignatius)," Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno, who began coaching at Mentor 21 years ago, told the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.""Did you see that arm? That's the best arm I've ever seen, the best I've seen anybody throw the ball at this level."

St. Ignatius (4-0) fell behind 7-0 after Myers' interception was turned into a touchdown on the ensuing drive. The Wildcats answered the score and then pulled ahead on a pair of touchdowns that both stemmed from fumbled punts.

DE J.T. Moore, Youngstown (Ohio) Boardman – The Spartans got within seven points after trailing at one point by 21, but it was not enough in a 34-27 loss to visiting Uniontown Lake in both teams' Federal League opener.

Lake (2-2, 1-0) built leads of 27-7 in the third quarter and 34-13 with 10 minutes remaining, but Boardman (2-2, 0-1) attempted to rally. Back-to-back touchdowns pulled the Spartans to within seven with 1:01 remaining, but Boardman was unable to recover the ensuing onside kick.

Christiansen completed 12 of 17 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns, both caught by Corey Paulino in the first quarter.

"(Christiansen) was just on fire," Boardman coach D.J. Ogilvie told the Youngstown Vindicator. "He was 9 for 11 in the first half. Our defense played horribly. We did a bad job of tackling, and we practice more tackling than any team around."

Boardman's late rally stemmed from a 10-yard touchdown run by Nick Buonavolonta and a 1-yard TD plunge by quarterback Rob Boyd.

OT Andrew Norwell, Cincinnati Anderson – The Redskins remained unbeaten, but they lost Norwell for the rest of the season in a 28-25 win at Columbus DeSales.

Norwell was on the sidelines for most of the night, leaving the game early in the first quarter with an injury. Norwell's mother confirmed to BSB's Adam Jardy that her son will miss the rest of the season with what is reported to be a broken tibia.

Anderson (4-0) stormed out to a 28-10 lead before DeSales (2-2) scored two touchdowns to cut the lead to three in the fourth quarter. The Stallions even had an opportunity to either tie or take the lead when they went on offense at their own 34-yard line with 3:57 remaining. The Redskins iced the victory, however, by forcing a turnover on downs after DeSales was able to drive into Anderson territory.

Redskins running back Kyle Slater rushed for 98 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Brandon Bornhauser added 122 rushing yards.

RB/FS Roderick Smith, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Paul Harding – Smith was held to 75 yards on 23 carries as the Hawks fell 40-12 to visiting Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger.

Smith was held under 100 yards for only the second time this season and was outshined by Bishop Dwenger running back Remound Wright, who ran for 190 yards on 20 carries with a 10-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion run.

"It felt great," Wright told the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. "I came out here trying to prove that I could run just as good as Rod Smith. I can be a back just as good. I think I came out and did that.

"I could not have done it without the blocking of the offensive line and wide receivers. The offensive line (had) big, gaping holes and I'm just running through it, bouncing to the outside and using my speed on the outside."

Harding (3-2, 3-2 Summit Conference) scored first, taking a 12-0 lead midway through the first quarter. That marked the first time Bishop Dwenger (5-0, 5-0) had trailed all season, and it didn't take long for the Saints to erase the lead. Thirty-three of the Saints' points came in the second quarter.

LB/TE Jamel Turner, Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy – Turner reached the end zone as the Blue Devils blanked Hargrave Military Academy, 40-0.

Turner returned a Hargrave fumble 32 yards for a touchdown, the third scored by Fork Union (3-0) in the first quarter. The Blue Devils added two 3-yard touchdown runs by Louis Litkett in the second quarter to build a 33-0 lead by halftime.

Quarterback Richard Quittenton threw two touchdown passes. He completed 6 of 7 passes for 85 yards. Litkett finished with 90 yards rushing.

Hargrave fell to 0-3.

WR Tyrone Williams, East Cleveland (Ohio) Shaw – Shaw led 16-8 at halftime but could not hold on, losing 28-22 to visiting Maple Heights in a battle of Division II powers.

Quarterback Shaq Washington and running back DeVonte Ransom powered the offense for Maple Heights (4-0). Washington compiled 194 yards of total offense with two touchdowns, and Ranson ran for 155 yards and another score.

Shaw (2-1-1) played well in the first half, only to see its lead evaporate in the third quarter. Even after falling behind 22-16, however, the Cardinals responded with a 51-yard touchdown pass from Robert Small to Micah White. Unfortunately for Shaw, Maple Heights took control in the fourth quarter. The Mustangs turned a fumble into the game-winning touchdown on a 24-yard pass from Washington to Ernest Trammell.

Several Shaw errors also proved to be costly. The Cardinals committed 14 penalties, fumbled the kickoff following the game-winning touchdown and later threw an interception that sealed the victory for Maple Heights.

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