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Best of the best shined, continued to dominate during Week 6 action

LEAPING EFFORT — Indian Creek’s Brock Lucas catches a first-down pass on third-and-28 against Brooke on Friday. Also shown are Creek’s Sam Baska and Brooke’s Cyrus Harris, left, and John George. -Joe Catullo

STEUBENVILLE — There’s a new leader atop the Division VII, Region 25 computer standings, and that squad just happens to hail from the Herald Star/Daily Times coverage area.

Toronto’s Red Knights, winners of five straight, jumped to the head of the regional class following its 38-7 thumping of Leetonia. Cuyahoga Heights is second, according to Joe Eitel, Warren JFK third, Lucas fourth and Wellsville, which clipped Toronto in the season opener, fifth.

Brendan Matyas got Toronto started when he returned the game’s opening kick 85 yards for a touchdown. The Red Knight defense picked off three Leetonia passes and recovered a fumble. Zach Stackhouse, Jack Rawson and Jesse Fulton delivered interceptions, while Chris Parker was credited with the fumble recovery.

Caleb Leasure threw for 131 yards and four scores. Stackhouse and Shane Keenan both hauled in two touchdown passes. Garrett Dozier had his usual big game for the Red Knights, rushing for 83 yards and a score.

Josh Franke’s club can give its playoff hopes a huge shot in the arm this week by recording a road victory at unbeaten Oak Glen, which would be a Division V school by Ohio standards.

The Golden Bears, who are ranked fourth in the West Virginia Class AA standings, moved to 6-0 with their 50-3 beat down of Edison. Oak Glen’s defense held the Wildcats to just 91 yards of total offense — 40 of which came in the second half with most of the reserves in on both sides and intercepted four passes, returning one for a touchdown.

Nick Chaney threw for 139 yards and three scores. He now has 13 touchdown passes for the season. Zack Taylor snared four Chaney aerials for 106 yards and a six-pointer.

Something definitely will have to give when the two squads collide on Friday. Oak Glen’s defense, tops in the coverage area, yields 137 yards per game and 9.5 points. Toronto, on the other hand allows 184 yards and also 9.5 points. The Red Knights unit is second best among area schools.

Oak Glen has the second most potent offense in the area, averaging 435 yards and 42 points, while Toronto is third (342 points and 30 points per game).

“It’s one week at a time,” Oak Glen coach Ted Arneault said after the Edison game. “It’s been the same goal since Week 1 to go 1-0 every week. Every week is a different week with a different story line.

“We’re looking forward to playing Toronto on senior night. It’ll be a special night.”

Following the Oak Glen trip, Toronto returns home to host 5-1 Madonna and 3-3 Barnesville, before finishing at 3-3 Catholic Central.

HALL OF FAMER

Bob Radakovich had an outstanding career as an assistant coach for Reno Saccoccia at Big Red. In 2015, he was enshrined into the Ohio Valley Football Coaches Association Assistant Coaches Hall of Fame.

On Sept. 28, Radakovich was honored again, joining five other graduates as members of Bethany College’s 41st annual Athletic Hall of Fame class.

Following his graduation from Big Red, Radakovich moved on to Bethany where he was a four-year letterman at offensive tackle in football and as a shot putter in track and field. In addition, he was a member of the Bison basketball team until his senior year.

He twice earned all-PAC honors. In 1973, he earned the PAC championship in the shot put. He still holds the Bethany shot put record with a toss of 49’5. Radakovich taught and coached at Big Red for 30 years.

QUICK HITTERS

¯ Friday’s 42-20 victory at Dover, lifted Big Red to the fourth spot in the Div. III, Region 9 computer rankings. Tayveon Crawford had another monster game for Saccoccia’s club, running for 325 yards and three touchdowns. Senior quarterback Randy Mitchell had a solid night, completing 8 of his 11 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown. The 5-1 Big Red trails New Philadelphia, Streetsboro and Chagrin Falls Kenston in the standings. Big Red will celebrate homecoming Friday when 4-1 National Christian Academy, based in Fort Washington, Md., comes to town. After starting the season with four wins, the Eagles fell to St. Thomas Moore of Connecticut, 42-41, when they went for two at the end of the game but failed to convert. NCA is in its sixth season of playing football and represent a new opponent for Big Red. The Eagles will return to Ohio on Nov. 1 to face Lakewood St. Edward.

¯ Indian Creek remained in the Division IV, Region 13 playoff hunt with its 48-3 whipping of Brooke. Creek rushed for 347 yards in the victory — Trevor Fante getting 106 on 11 totes and three touchdowns, and Jonathan Giusto adding 91 on 12 trips. He also found the end zone. The 5-1 Redskins occupy the fifth spot in the region behind Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, Perry, Poland and Hubbard. Youngstown Cardinal Mooney is sixth. Creek has Martins Ferry, Beaver Local, Harrison Central and Edison left on its schedule. Of those four schools, just two (Ferry and Beaver) have .500 records.

¯ Harrison Central, of course, put itself back into the Div. V, Region 17 discussion with its 42-35 last-minute victory over St. Clairsville. The win allowed the Huskies to take home the coveted Coal Bucket for the first time since 2009. Clayton Nunez hauled in a 30-yard strike from Kobe Mitchell with 30.7 seconds left for what proved to be the game-winner. He leaped between two defenders near the back of the end zone to cap a 59-yard scoring drive that took just 69 seconds. Mitchell had a spectacular night, finishing with a career-high 365 passing yards and four touchdowns. He hit Nunez for two scores during the fourth quarter. He also rushed for 77 yards and two more scores. Thus, the junior signal-caller had a hand in 442 of Harrison Central’s 477 yards of total offense. Cale McAfee caught four Mitchell passes for 156 yards and a pair of scores. The Huskies will visit Catholic Central Saturday, before squaring off against unbeaten Oak Glen and Indian Creek. They currently are 20th in Region 17.

¯ Madonna’s Santino Arlia became the top passer in the HS/DT coverage area thanks to his performance in Friday’s 32-6 triumph at Morgantown Trinity Christian. The sophomore quarterback completed 25 of 40 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for a 3-yard score. For the season, he has 1,286 passing yards and 14 touchdowns, both area bests. All of his scoring tosses Friday went to Lucky Pulice, who finished with eight catches for 91 yards. Pulice, a junior, was a late addition to the Madonna squad and saw his first action against Mathews a few weeks ago. “He’s a kid with tremendous upside and is very athletic,” Madonna coach Darrin Hicks said about Pulice. “We were fortunate to have him come out for football.” The Blue Dons travel to Beallsville this week, then finish with home games against Toronto, Catholic Central and Conotton Valley. According to wv.tailgatecentral.com, Madonna should rise to ninth in the Class A standings.

¯ Weir High will need to rebound quickly from its 30-27 road loss at Plum Senior in order to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Red Riders, now 3-3, host Fairmont Senior, West Virginia’s top ranked Class AA club, Friday. In rolling to a 5-0 record, the Polar Bears have scored 239 points, while allowing just 41. Fairmont is coming off a bye week. In its last outing, the Bears whipped Class AAA University, 52-6. The Red Riders close with games against Edison, East Liverpool and Brooke.

¯ Speaking of Brooke, the Bruins made a little school history in Friday’s loss at Indian Creek. They kicked a field goal with 38 seconds left to put the final points on the board. Freshman Bailey Serevicz’s boot went through the uprights from 25 yards out, making her the first girl in Brooke history to kick a field goal. The 1-5 Bruins are idle this week and will visit John Marshall on Oct. 18.

¯ Massillon’s unbeaten Tigers topped the 300-point mark during Week 6, as they routed Austintown Fitch, 55-7. That’s a season’s worth of points for many a good team. Massillon has scored at least 42 points in every game and 55 or more in three of the games.

Top stats:

Running wild

325, Tayveon Crawford, Big Red, 3 touchdowns

106, Trevor Fante, Indian Creek, 3 touchdowns

95, Roman Baird, Madonna, touchdown

91, Jonathan Guisto, Indian Creek, touchdown

Gunslingers

365, Kobe Mitchell, Harrison Central, 18 of 31, 4 scores

326, Santino Arlia, Madonna, 25 of 40, 3 scores

139, Nick Chaney, Oak Glen, 6 of 10, 3 scores

131, Caleb Leasure, Toronto, 7 of 13, 4 scores

121, Anthony DiMatteis, Weir High, 9 of 15

98, Randy Mitchell, Big Red, 8 of 11, score

92, Sam Mazar, Indian Creek, 6 of 8

Hands team

8, Lucky Pulice, Madonna, 91, 3 touchdowns

6, Thomas Sessi, Madonna, 60

4, Cale McAfee, Harrison Central, 156, 2 touchdowns

4, Zach Taylor, Oak Glen, 106, touchdown

4, Elijah Gillette, Weir High, 95, touchdown

4, Trevor Carman, Harrison Central, 88, touchdown

4, Jonathon Vermillion, Harrison Central, 58

4, Clayton Nunez, Harrison Central, 43, 2 touchdowns

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