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 Oct. 2-3. All are seniors unless noted.

DE Darryl Baldwin, Solon, Ohio – Baldwin and the Solon defense held off a Mayfield rally to help the Comets win 27-20 in a battle of unbeatens in a Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division opener.

Solon (6-0, 1-0) led 13-0 thanks to a Jake Voigt 31-yard touchdown pass to Tres Barksdale and a pair of Kevin Hicks field goals. However, the Wildcats (5-1, 0-1) attempted to rally in the second half. Mayfield got on the scoreboard less than two minutes into the second half when Lee Longo connected with Anthony Flowers for an 81-yard touchdown strike. After Kyle Hammonds scored on a 6-yard run to answer for Solon, Mayfield again responded. Longo tossed a TD pass on a screen to Tim Wetzel. That made the score 20-13 after a missed extra point.

The Comets iced the game on another touchdown on a screen pass. Hammonds found the end zone after a 74-yard gain exactly one minute after Wetzel's touchdown.

Mayfield did score late, but Solon held on for the victory.

K Drew Basil, Chillicothe, Ohio – Basil booted a field goal and two extra points, but the Cavaliers lost 56-17 to host Ironton.

The Tigers (4-2, 2-0 Southeastern Ohio Conference South Division) scored two touchdowns in the first quarter and cruised to victory. Ironton led 28-10 at halftime. The Cavs attempted to rally, scoring a touchdown early in the third quarter to cut the lead to 11, but Ironton scored four unanswered touchdowns to seal the victory.

WR Corey Brown, Springfield (Pa.) Cardinal O'Hara – Brown rushed for 134 yards on nine carries as the Lions blanked host Chester, 37-0.

Included in Brown's efforts was an 88-yard touchdown run. O'Hara quarterback Ryan Laughlin added a pair of touchdown passes.

O'Hara (5-0) led 9-0 after one quarter and 23-0 at halftime. The Clippers added a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter to cap the scoring.

LB David Durham, Charlotte (N.C.) Christian – The Knights and Hawks combined for 38 fourth-quarter points, but a boot by Charlotte Christian's Wes Medeiros with 8.4 seconds left gave his team a 38-35 road victory against Charlotte Latin.

The 5-4 freshman kicker made a 34-yard field goal to cap a wild game. The Knights (5-1, 1-0 CISAA) rallied from 14 points down twice to tie the game. The final field goal was set up by a Kelby Brown interception. He picked off a Sam Spence pass and returned it 15 yards to the Latin 20.

"It's only the second game-winner I've ever kicked in my life," Medeiros told the Charlotte Observer.

Knights quarterback John Kincaid threw for 248 yards and three touchdowns. Matthias Farley caught three of those passes and two of those scores. Farley also intercepted a Latin pass and set up the game-winning field goal with a 26-yard catch that put the ball at the Latin 6-yard line.

QB Taylor Graham, Wheaton (Ill.) North – Graham returned after missing two games with an injured knee, but it did not help the Falcons in a 45-0 loss at Wheaton-Warrenville South.

Wheaton North (3-2, 3-1 DuPage Valley) ran 28 of the first 34 offensive plays in through the first two quarters, but the Tigers held the Falcons off the scoreboard. Two of Wheaton North's first-half drives ended in Tiger territory. WW South (5-1, 4-0) found its following in the second quarter, building a 24-0 by halftime.

Graham completed 8 of 15 passes for 61 yards and tweaked his injured knee on a run late in the third quarter. He left the game and did not return.

S/RB Chad Hagan, Canonsburg (Pa.) Canon-McMillan – A close game early turned into a rout as the host Upper St. Clair scored three second-quarter touchdowns in a 41-20 victory.

An Alex Park touchdown pass to Tim Kitka, Gordon Matthews fumble recovery for a score and a short-yardage TD plunge by Jacob Siwicki extended what was just a 13-12 lead for the Panthers (4-1, 1-0 Great Southern Conference).

Siwicki led USC with 181 yards and two touchdowns.

The Big Macs fell to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the Great Southern.

DE Kenny Hayes (junior), Toledo Whitmer – Visiting Toledo St. Francis de Sales held off a late Whitmer rally for a 21-17 victory in a battle of unbeaten Toledo City League teams.

Whitmer (5-1, 2-1) looked like they would earn a come-from-behind win in the final minutes when the Panthers drove to the Knights' 13-yard line with 4:00 remaining. That is where the drive died, however, as cornerback/receiver Scott Loy dove broke up a fourth-and-12 pass and ended the rally with 1:56 to play. The Panthers had no timeouts remaining, so St. Francis de Sales (6-0, 3-0) was able to run out the clock.

"We hung in there on defense and made a couple big plays there at the end," Knights coach Dick Cromwell told the Toledo Blade. "(Loy) is a great athlete on both sides of the ball and on punt returns and covering punts. He's just a big-play type of person, and he made them again."

WR James Louis, Delray Beach (Fla.) Atlantic – Palm Beach Dwyer scored three touchdowns on its first five offensive plays, and Atlantic could not keep up in a 49-7 road loss.

Louis also had to leave the game late in the first half. After catching a screen pass and advancing 8 yards, Louis was drilled by Dwyer's Matt Elam. The collision knocked the ball loose and left Louis face down on the turf. He eventually staggered off the field and did not return.

He told the Palm Beach Post he could not remember the hit, but Elam could.

"They kept running slants and I had already missed two of them," Elam said. "I saw that one coming and I caught him off-balanced. My head was hurting, too."

Things did not go well for Atlantic (2-2) from the start. Dwyer (3-1) had the first offensive possession and scored a touchdown on its first play. Gerald Christian caught a pass and ran 18 yards to near midfield. He then fumbled the ball, but teammate Robert Clark scooped up the loose ball and sprinted 51 yards for a touchdown.

Mark Leal, Atlantic's talented quarterback and a Virginia Tech verbal, was sacked four times in the first quarter.

LB Scott McVey, Cleveland St. Ignatius – The Wildcats overcame a mistake-filled effort and rallied for a 26-21 victory against Massillon Washington in a battle of unbeaten Ohio powers.

Robert Grebenc rushed for a 10-yard touchdown on a draw play with two minutes remaining to put an exclamation point on a career night. The junior finished with a career-high 210 yards rushing, and he scored all four St. Ignatius touchdowns.

The finish scoring drive created controversy. The final touchdown came one play after Massillon (5-1) was penalitzed for defensive holding. That penalty negated what would have been a game-clinching interception at the Tigers' 5-yard line.

St. Ignatius coach Chuck Kyle and Massillon coach Jason Hall did not comment on the play after the game.

"We will not use that as an excuse," Hall told the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer. "That is not the Massillon way."

The Wildcats improved to 6-0 with the victory.

DE J.T. Moore, Youngstown (Ohio) Boardman – Moore and the Boardman defense held reigning Ohio Mr. Football Erick Howard to just 78 yards on 20 carries in a big 16-7 Federal League victory.

The Spartans (4-2, 2-1) aided their playoff chances by knocking off of the Federal League's top teams in Hoover (4-2, 2-1). Boardman running back Nick Buonavolonta outshined Howard, rushing for 167 yards and a touchdown. He then added a game-ending 60-yard interception return for a score to help seal the victory.

Boardman's defense forced five turnovers, including four interceptions. Defensive end Kevin Johnson had two of those picks and added a fumble recovery.

"It was just a great overall effort by everyone tonight," Johnson told the Youngstown Vindicator. "All week long the coaches preached to us play hard with all 11 guys going to the football on every single play. That's exactly what we did.

"They run five different screens and all week long we worked on those routes. We went over them and over them and with the balanced passing attack that they have, were more than prepared to make the plays tonight when we needed to."

Howard did reach the end zone on a 24-yard run with 4:04 remaining to cut the deficit to 10-7, but Buonavolonta's pick on the play from scrimmage erased any chance at a miracle finish for Hoover.

The Spartans were winless in eight previous games against Hoover.

OT Andrew Norwell, Cincinnati Anderson – Anderson continued life without Norwell with a 52-38 victory over Cincinnati Winton Woods.

Redskins running back Kyle Slater ran for 236 yards and five touchdowns. He also scored on a 96-yard kick return, keeping his team unbeaten at 6-0 after their Fort Ancient Valley Buckeye Division opener.

Both offenses played well, combining for 864 yards of total offense. Even without Norwell, Anderson's rushing attack didn't miss a beat. The Redskins finished with 315 yards on the ground.

"We've been able to off-set the loss of Norwell," Anderson coach Jeff Giesting told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The Warriors fell to 4-2 and 0-1 in the FAV Buckeye.

RB/FS Roderick Smith, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Paul Harding – Smith rushed for 102 yards for the Hawks, but Fort Wayne Snider still cruised to a 34-16 road victory.

Jason McGraw led Snider (6-1, 6-1 Summit Conference) led all rushers with 104 yards and three touchdown runs. Tyler Bobilya and Zach Barnes also ran for scores for the Panthers.

Smith was held out of the end zone as the Hawks (4-3, 4-3 Summit) were outgained 413-204. The Panthers scored the game's first 27 points.

LB/TE Jamel Turner, Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy – Prep League foe Woodberry Forest handed Fort Union its first loss of the season, 28-7.

Turner made 16 tackles in a losing effort, including 13 solo stops.

The Tigers (3-0, 1-0) used a suffocating defense to knock off the Blue Devils (4-1, 0-1). Woodberry Forest forced a fumble on Fort Union's opening drive, and linebacker Rue Hockensmith returned the ball 46 yards for a touchdown. That was the first touchdown Turner and the Blue Devils have allowed this season, and it set the tone for the Tigers.

Fork Union managed only three first-half first downs and all of those came on Woodberry Forest penalties.

WR Tyrone Williams, East Cleveland (Ohio) Shaw – Williams caught three touchdown passes as the Cardinals won their Lake Erie Conference Erie Division opener, 44-14, over host Lorain Admiral King.

Williams got the scoring started by catching a 27-yard touchdown pass from Robert Small. Williams added a 33-yard TD catch in the second quarter, and later capped the Shaw scoring in the third quarter by hauling in a 39-yard TD.

Shaw (3-1-1, 1-0) led 16-0 after the first quarter and 24-0 by halftime. Rayshawn Morgan and Luis Mendez scored touchdowns for King (1-5, 0-1).

Williams finished with six receptions for 130 yards.

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