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Big offensive numbers, playoff destinies dominate Week 8

BUSTING THROUGH — Catholic Central’s Anthony LeFever returns an interception against Morgantown Trinity on Saturday. -Joe Catullo

STEUBENVILLE — There was a common denominator among Week 8 winners in The Herald Star/Daily Times coverage area — big offensive numbers.

Consider the following:

Toronto’s now 6-2 Red Knights compiled 458 total yards (250 on the ground and 208 via the air) in their 55-14 whipping of Madonna. Caleb Leasure completed 8 of his 14 passing attempts, three going for touchdowns. After missing the season opener, Leasure now has thrown for 1,142 yards, the third-best total in the area. Brendan Matyas hauled in three Leasure passes for 130 yards and a pair of scores. Garrett Dozier ran for 113 and two TDs, while JoJo Savage added 91 and a six-pointer.

Indian Creek celebrated senior night by rolling to 447 yards of offense and blasting Buckeye 8 North rival Beaver Local 37-7. The Redskins (7-1) finished with 383 rushing yards. Trevor Fante finished with 175 on 24 carries and scored three touchdowns. Sam Mazar ran for 115 and passed for 64.

“I thought the win was very fitting for our seniors because they are great leaders,” Creek coach Andrew Connor said. “The seniors have been so instrumental in the success we’ve had to date this season. They are a very special group.”

In its 26-21 nail-biting victory over Harrison Central, Oak Glen finished with 389 offensive yards (281 coming through the Golden Bear ground attack). The biggest number, however, for the unbeaten Bears was 1 — as in the 1-yard plunge by quarterback Nick Chaney that proved to be the game-winner. Paxton Shuman totaled 102 yards, Gage Patterson 96 and Hunter Patterson 91. Chaney threw for 108.

Catholic Central evened its record at 4-4 by thumping Morgantown Trinity Christian, 37-7. The Crusaders collected 343 yards on the ground and 37 through the air. Jeffrey Dawson ran for 130 and three touchdowns. In fact, his first three carries all went for scores. Anthony LeFever, starting at quarterback in place of the injured Ryan Gorman, added 110 on just three trips. He scooted 68 yards for a touchdown.

Weir also got back to .500 with its 53-7 road triumph at Edison. The Red Riders totaled 339 yards of offense, and Sebastian Spencer had a hand in 221 of those yards. He also was involved in six of Weir’s touchdowns. On Weir’s first snap of the game, he hit Zak Wypasek for a 51-yard score. On the second, he raced 25 yards to the end zone. He also ran for touchdowns of 36 and 12 yards. He delivered a 30-yard scoring strike, then caught a 22-yard touchdown pass. In total, Spencer finished 4 of 5 passing for 124 yards and two scores. He carried the ball seven times for 75 yards and three touchdowns. He also had the receiving TD.

JOE SAYS

According to Joe Eitel, three local teams now control their own destiny when it comes to the Ohio football playoffs.

Indian Creek has taken over the second spot in the Division IV, Region 13 standings. The Redskins trail unbeaten Perry. Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy is third and Poland fourth. The rest of the top eight includes Hubbard, Struthers, Girard and Salem. Creek closes with road games at Harrison Central and Edison.

Toronto’s win over Madonna has the Red Knights sitting second in Division VII, Region 25. Lucas leads the region. The Red Knights are followed by Cuyahoga Heights, Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas, Warren JFK, Independence, McDonald and Lowellville. Toronto could collect some valuable points this week when it entertains Division V Barnesville, currently 4-4. The Red Knights then finish with a road game at Catholic Central, which is 13th in the regional standings.

Big Red is fourth in Div. III, Region 9 behind New Philadelphia, Streetsboro and Aurora. Chagrin Falls Kenston, the defending Division III champ, is fifth followed by Chardon, Ravenna Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary. After taking a week off, Big Red is back at it Friday, traveling to Columbus for a date with DeSales. The Stallions currently are 7-1 and ranked seventh in Division II, Region 8.

Other OVAC schools in the playoff hunt include St. Clairsville (Div. IV, Region 15), Bellaire (Div. V, Region 17), Fort Frye and Southern Local (Div. VI, Region 21) and Shenandoah, Shadyside and Frontier (Div. VII, Region 27.

Oak Glen, according to wvtailgatecentral.com, should be seventh this week in the West Virginia Class AA standings. The top 16 teams make the playoffs, and the first eight earn the right to host first-round games.

The Bears finish with road games at Lincoln County, currently 0-8, and 1-6 Grafton. Weir High, which closes with home contests against East Liverpool and Brooke, should be 23rd when the official WVSSAC rankings are released this week.

Despite its loss to Toronto, Madonna remains in the hunt for a home game. The Blue Dons are ninth in the Class A standings. The Blue Dons will welcome Catholic Central to Jimmy Carey Stadium this week (fans should remember the kick is set for noon), then finish the regular season at home against Conotton Valley.

QUICK HITTERS

¯ Friday’s game between Columbus Marion-Franklin and Columbus Walnut Ridge was called in the third quarter due to on field altercations. Walnut Ridge was ahead 33-6 at the time. A referee “trying to de-escalate the situation” sustained some major injuries during the melee and had to be rushed to a Columbus hospital.

¯ Brandon Hiles showed off his strong kicking leg in Indian Creek’s win over Beaver Local. The senior nailed a 25-yard field goal in the fourth quarter and also boomed two kickoffs into the end zone. Hiles, of course, was the hero in Creek’s 13-10 victory at St. Clairsville earlier in the season. He won it for the Redskins on another 25-yard boot.

¯ DeSales tuned up for its game with Big Red by clipping Columbus St. Charles, 26-14. Quintell Quinn had a huge game for the Stallions, running for 247 yards on 26 carries. His 69-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter put DeSales ahead to stay. The two schools have collided six times in the past, but only once in the regular season. That contest came in 1967, Big Red earning a 14-0 victory. The last meeting took place in the 2005 Div. III title game, with Steubenville collecting a 28-7 win.

¯ Jack Rook, a junior playing football for the first time, made his debut as Central’s place kicker Saturday. Rook had a strong outing, nailing four conversion kicks and also hitting a 25-yard field goal. His 40-yard attempt came up just short.

¯ Kirtland, Ohio’s defending Div. VI champ and currently ranked No. 1 in the Division V AP poll, saw its streak of shutouts snapped in Friday’s 49-14 win against Beachwood. The Hornets had not allowed a point since Week 2. In eight games, Kirtland’s defense has surrendered just 21 points.

¯ In its weekly power rankings released Sunday, West Virginia Metro News has Oak Glen ranked seventh in Class AA. Madonna is ninth in the Class A rankings and Wheeling Central, despite its 4-3 record, is second.

¯ Speaking of West Virginia high school football, Martinsburg extended its state-record winning streak to 50 games Friday with a 49-14 win at previously unbeaten Salem, Va. Salem entered the contest with a 6-0 record.

¯ Fans interested in attending the 2019 OHSAA football state championship games in Canton can now purchase all-session general admission tickets. They sell for $85 each. Single game tickets will go on sale later this month. The all-session ticket packages are available at profootballhof.com/tickets.

Top stats:

Running wild

175, Trevor Fante, Indian Creek, 3 touchdowns

130, Jeffrey Dawson, Catholic Central, 3 touchdowns

115, Sam Mazar, Indian Creek, touchdown

113, Garrett Dozier. Toronto, 2 touchdowns

110, Anthony LeFever, Catholic Central, touchdown

102, Paxton Shuman, Oak Glen

96, Gage Patterson, Oak Glen, touchdown

91, JoJo Savage, Toronto, touchdown

91, Hunter Patterson, Oak Glen, touchdown

Gunslingers

208, Caleb Leasure, Toronto, 8 of 14, 3 scores

124, Sebastian Spencer, Weir High, 4 of 5, 2 scores

108, Nick Chaney, Oak Glen, 8 of 21, score

106, Seth Richardson, Buckeye Local, 8 of 18, score

102, Santino Arlia, Madonna, 9 of 26, 2 scores

Hands team

5, Brennan Secrist, Madonna, 77, 2 touchdowns

5, Logan Hanchin, Edison, 42, touchdown

4, Hunter Patterson, Oak Glen, 21

3, Brendan Matyas, Toronto, 130, 2 touchdowns

3, Hayden Taylor, Buckeye Local, 59, touchdown

3, Brian Palmer Jr., Buckeye Local, 27

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