Day 1 Championship Notebook: 12 Who Shined

The three OHSAA state championship games might not have been closely contested on the field, but each game featured several of the top high school players in Ohio. Bill Greene was on hand and profiled the top performers in each game, and also named the player of the day.

Friday's opening day action of the Ohio High School Athletics Association state football championship weekend featured three games that all ended up being blowouts, as the closest margin of victory was 28 points.

Youngstown Cardinal Mooney defeated Columbus DeSales 35-7, while Youngstown Ursuline beat up on Coldwater 55-25, and in the nightcap Cincinnati Winton Woods pounded Maple Heights 42-12.

There were several outstanding performances throughout the day, and twelve players were singled out for their play, including one player who stood head and shoulders above the rest.

Braylon Heard: Youngstown Cardinal Mooney senior. Heard was outstanding in leading the Cardinals to an easy victory, rushing for 183 yards and scoring two touchdowns. Heard also threw a touchdown pass and had an interception. Heard just might be the best football player in Ohio and it's hard to understand how he did not receive stronger consideration for Mr. Football. Heard has committed to play college football at West Virginia.

Ray Vinopal: Youngstown Cardinal Mooney senior. Vinopal committed to Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines on Wednesday night, then went out and played like a Big Ten football player should on Friday. Vinopal was dynamite from his safety spot and added a 56-yard touchdown run in leading the Cardinals to victory.

Eric Franklin: Youngstown Cardinal Mooney senior. Franklin was the most dominant offensive lineman in action Friday. He was an earth-moving monster in leading the Cardinal rushing onslaught against Columbus DeSales. More impressive was the fact that Franklin lined up across super junior defensive end Chris Rock for most of the day, and there was no doubt Franklin was the clear winner in this head to head battle. Franklin is undecided about his college choice.

Chi Chi Ariguzo: Columbus DeSales senior. Ariguzo was a stellar performer for the Stallions, leading the team in tackles and covering most of the field with his great speed. Although his team came out on the losing end of the scoreboard, Ariguzo delivered a winning individual performance from his linebacker spot. Ariguzo will play college football at Northwestern.

Akise Teague: Youngstown Ursuline junior. Teague, an All-Ohio selection, might have been the best player on the field in his team's win over Coldwater. Teague rushed for 119 yards and scored three touchdowns, while also starring at his defensive back position.

Allen Jones: Youngstown Ursuline senior. Jones, the all-time leading rusher at Ursuline, finished his career in fine fashion, leading his team to a blowout win. Jones rushed for 155 yards and scored one touchdown, showing why he was the player of the year in Division-V. Jones is undecided about his college choice.

Keith Wenning: Coldwater senior. Wenning delivered one of the top passing performances in state final's history, throwing for over four hundred yards in the loss to Ursuline. Wenning never quit throwing the football despite being harassed all day by the Ursuline defense, and single-handedly tried to keep Coldwater in the game. Wenning has an offer from Ball State but is undecided about his college choice.

Shaq Washington: Maple Heights junior. Washington delivered a great performance although his team was out-manned against Cincinnati Winton Woods. Washington accounted for over 200 yards of total offense, and showed lightning quickness from his quarterback spot. Washington, who projects as a slot receiver at the next level, picked up his first scholarship offer from Bowling Green recently.

Jeremiah Goins: Cincinnati Winton Woods senior. Goins rushed for over 130 yards and also blocked impressively in his team's easy win. Goins was a powerful, strong inside runner, who also showed good speed in breaking a 40-yard run. Goins' hard inside running helped open things up outside for the Warriors. Goins is undecided about his college choice.

James Richardson: Cincinnati Winton Woods senior. Richardson was a dominant run-blocking machine from his tackle position. He helped the Warriors totally dominate the Maple Heights defensive front, and led them to nearly 400 yards rushing in the game. Richardson is undecided about his college choice.

Antonio Poole: Cincinnati Winton Woods junior. Poole was one of the top linebackers in action Friday and recorded ten tackles in the romp over Maple Heights. Poole caused a fumble and helped the Warriors keep the high-scoring Mustang offense under control. Poole featured an impressive combination of strength and size.

Dominique Brown: Cincinnati Winton Woods senior. PLAYER OF THE DAY. On a day filled with star performers, none shone brighter than Dominique Brown. Brown ran the Warrior option offense to perfection, scoring four touchdowns on the ground, and added another one through the air. Brown rushed for nearly 200 yards and was equally adept at running away from people as he was running over them. Brown is going to make Cincinnati fans quite happy as he has committed to play college football for the Bearcats.

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