Blanchard River Buzz

A blog for rabid sports fans in the Findlay Area. Maintained by Findlay Courier sports writer Jamie Baker. The opinions expressed are my own crazed ramblings and not those of my employer the Findlay Publishing Company and its subsidiaries.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Picking an MVP

Who’s your MVP?

Ok the regular season is over for prep football teams. Lets talk about the MVP which player made the biggest impact this season.

Let me throw out a few names and you make the call…

Hardin Northern’s Nathan Bame -- led the BVC in rushing and scoring. Had a couple of games with unbelievable numbers. Was one part of an awesome Polar Bears offensive attack this season.

Columbus Grove’s Jeremy Harnishfeger -- His rushing efforts helped CG win four of its last 5 games and secure a playoff birth after the Dogs started the season 0-4.

Elmwood’s Dusty Brown -- Rushed for well over 1,000 yards and passed for another 500 as Elmwood’s quarterback this season. Made the switch from running back to quarterback after Elmwood’s starter went down with an injury in the Royals’ final preseason scrimmage.

Ottawa-Glandorf’s Brian Recker -- Rushed for 1,081 yards in the Titans last 5 games to put O-G into the playoffs.

Liberty-Benton’s Michael Busch -- One of the BVC’s top receivers and the state record holder for points by a kicker. All done while playing with a broken foot.

Ada’s Zac Dysert -- Threw for over 3,000 yards at quarterback and led Ada to their first playoff appearance since 1994.

It’s a tough call. Each had an excellent season. I might sway toward Brown because he was thrown in at the last minute. I would have added Hopewell-Loudon’s Shawn Brickner to the list if he wouldn’t have been suspended for the season finale against Mohawk.

Did I miss anyone and who would you select as the area’s MVP.

Findlay Courier Tuesday sports
Willard lets Upper slip away

Monday, October 30, 2006

Foul weather

If you are a prep athlete or coach and are still competing this week, you’ve earned it.

That weather Friday night and Saturday was simply brutal. I’ve never seen weather conditions quite like I saw Saturday covering the regional cross country meet in Tiffin.

Rain, sleet, hail, sunshine, gusty and I mean really gusty winds. And of course mud throughout Hedges Boyer Park. It should have been renamed Hedges Boyer Swamp after it was all over. It was a real friggin’ mess out there.

Let’s see, I have been doing this sports writing thing for a dozen or so years now and Saturday’s weather ranks right up there will the all-time memorable weather weekends I can remember as far as covering events in.

I think today I’ll share some other memorable sporting events I’ve been to where I remember the weather.

-- I didn’t cover the game but I remember sitting and watching it. It was the 1983 football season and my cousin was playing for Fostoria and I went to Lorain’s George Daniel Stadium to watch the Redmen play Elyria Catholic in the first weekend of the playoffs. It was a brutally cold game and played in near blizzard conditions that I remember.

-- Don’t recall what year it was but I covered a Hardin Northern-St. Henry game at St. Marys sometime in the 1990s I think. It was a monsoon the entire contest. I don’t remember the cold but I remember that it poured, poured and poured some more the entire game.

-- One of the years the state track meet in Dayton, it was windy and bone-chilling cold. I’m thinking maybe the wind chills were in the 40s in June. In fact Mark Heiman and I packed summer clothes and were ill prepared for the chilly temperatures. I can remember having to go to a department store after the first day because he and I needed more layers of clothing to cover the meet on Saturday. OK chalk that one up to my own stupidity.

-- Went to an Indians game once in April. The temperature was about 45 probably and our seats were right on the front corner of the upper deck in left center. There were 30 mph winds that day and the gusts had to be in the 40s up where we were at. It was like sitting in a wind tunnel, I had a $5 bill blow outta my hand and I think it ended up in Connecticut.

Any other memorable weather stories out there from time spent as a player, fan or coach? I’d love to hear a few.

SPORTSWRITER SUSPENSION: I almost got kicked out of the regional cross country meet believe it or not. I and some other media were off to the side of the tent near the finish line, in no one’s way and were harassed while we were interviewing Bockbrader by a meet worker. A woman named Lauren (she wouldn’t give me her last name so I could complain about her actions to the tournament manager) rudely interrupted the interview telling us we couldn’t be here, she was going to have us thrown out of the premesis yadda, yadda, yadda. That’s while we were asking Bockbrader questions.

They other guys finished their interview while I dealt with Lauren. I told her we are just doing our jobs, getting kids who normally don’t get much coverage some well-earned publicity. She wasn’t impressed or didn’t care. Give a person a title, and it goes straight to their heads. I just wonder what would have happened had I gotten kicked out. Would I have to serve a 10 percent suspension and be banned from the OHSAA state meet next week? All I know is the OHSAA does a great job most of the time with media access, they need to do a better job policing these people at the regional meet.

AMAZING EAGLES: Liberty-Benton’s girls cross country team won their fourth straight Division III regional title Saturday. L-B’s Kesha Brooks dominated the race beating returning regional champion Kaye Bockbrader of Elmwood by 39 seconds. It was a great effort by Boclbrader who has struggled with injuries all season long. L-B is the only team from our coverage area to make it to state although there will be several individuals participating.

GREAT WEEK TO BE A TITAN: Hey if you’re from Ottawa and enjoy watching your Titans you’re in luck. The football team will play in the regional quarterfinals at Milton Union Friday night and the boys and girls soccer teams will play in the regional semifinals Tuesday and Wednesday. Add Abbie Selhorst running at the state tournament Saturday and it will be a busy week.

It’s a big week of sports at the Courier.
Tuesday -- I’m covering O-G boys soccer against Kidron Christian
Wednesday -- I’ll be covering O-G girls soccer against Akron Hoban; Dave will be at the Findlay girls soccer match in Westlake; Mark will cover the Division IV regional volleyball match between Hardin Northern and Kalida.
Thursday -- Playoff capsules and a cross country feature on L-B’s girls team the runners you don’t read about.
Friday -- Dave will be covering the McComb-Stritch game; Mark will be at Dola to report on the HN-Ada game; I’ll be heading to Marsh Field for Grove’s game at Monroeville; Greg Flores will be at Hopewell-Loudon for their playoff game.
Saturday -- I will be at state cross country; Dave will be covering L-B against Tinora; Mark will go to the Fairview-PH game.
Plus we have to get cracking on the basketball tab too.

Coverage of the Browns win over the Jets
Ohio State to re-sod the shoe

Findlay Courier Monday sports

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Playoff field 98 percent set

The field is nearly set.

It looks like 8 teams from our coverage area managed to play their way into the postseason last night.

I have to leave for Tiffin in the next hour and a half for the regional cross country meet but here is a quick look at next week’s area football play scenario region by region.

Division VI Region 24
Looks like a rematch. It will be Ada at Hardin Northern. Get ready Hardin Northern co-Ads Bob Dysert and Don Castle because your Bears will be hosting the Bulldogs. It should be a very entertaining game. The two longtime Hardin County rivals met in Week 1 you can read about the game here.

It was a night where Hardin Northern couldn’t stop Ada’s passing game and the Bulldogs couldn’t stop HN’s rushing attack. The Bears ended up winning 67-38. It will be Ada’s first playoff appearance I believe since 1994. Someone will correct me if I am wrong no doubt. It’ll be interesting to see which team has improved the most from Week I up until now.

Division VI Region 22
The match ups in this region are set. It will be Norwalk St. Paul (8) at Mohawk (1), Liberty Center (7) at Hopewell-Loudon (2), Columbus Grove (6) at Monroeville (3) and McComb (5) at Cardinal Stritch (4).

On a muddy, mucky field the Warriors took the measure of a Sean Brickner-less Hopewell-Loudon team 21-0. From all accounts it was a very lackluster performance by the Chieftains. Then again they did turn the ball over 7 times Friday night which is as many turnover that they’ve had in their prior 9 games COMBINED. I’m fairly certain coach Brian Colatruglio’s crew will get it back together next Friday night.

Columbus Grove easily dispatched rival Bluffton to earn a playoff trip to Monroeville’s Marsh Field Friday night. What a turnaround. Kudos to the Dogs’ and coach Scott Palte for not giving up on the season after an 0-4 start. Get there early Grove fans, there won’t be much room for you on the visitor’s sideline and parking isn’t very good either. I watched a junior high game there once.

According to the playoff rules, McComb should be traveling to Cardinal Stritch for round one. Trouble is, the Cardinals don’t have their own field. They usually play their games at Northwood but from what I understand the Rangers field has reverted to the Great Black Swamp and is essentially unplayable. The Cardinals will have to make other arrangements, who knows they could play the game at Clay, Toledo Waite or maybe Lake. We’ll find out Sunday when the playoff pairings are set by the OHSAA.

Division V Region 18
Two area teams, Liberty-Benton and defending Division V state champion Patrick Henry have earned their playoff stripes in this region. But the Fremont St. Joseph-Fostoria St. Wendelin game tonight will determine the final pairings.

Right now the order is Bedford Chanel (1), Fairview (2), Wynford (3), Liberty-Benton (4), Tinora (5), Patrick Henry (6), Delta (7) and Ayersville (8).

If the Crimson Streaks beat the Mohawks (and although I would like to see my alma mater (SWHS) win I don’t see it happening) it’s so close that Ayersville would vault past PH and Delta bumping both of them down a spot in the rankings.

So hopefully, Liberty-Benton has enough Porta-Johns for it’s home playoff game against Tinora which will take place Friday night. Patrick Henry, meanwhile would have to travel to Sherwood to take on Fairview in round 1. The Apaches dropped a 19-18 decision to Tinora Friday night which allowed the Rams to get into the playoffs and threw the final Green Meadows Conference standings into a final 3-way tie between Tinora, Ayersville and Fairview.

At least the Eagles and Patriots won’t have to travel to Cleveland to take on Bedford Chanel like Delta will likely have to do.

On a side note, for you Elmwood fans out there. Had you beaten Eastwood, unfortunately you still wouldn’t have gotten enough points to get in. But a great season for the Royals nonetheless who win another SLL crown. It’s on to wrestling and basketball (the Royals were the top pick in the preseason SLL coaches’ balloting this year).

Division IV Region 14
The Ottawa-Glandorf Titans’ five game win streak to end the season paid dividends. They mauled Defiance Friday night 28-8 behind another 200-yard performance by running back Brian Recker. Recker has rushed for an amazing 1,081 yards in OG’s last 5 games.

Congrats to Coach Shriner and company on their second straight playoff appearance. They will be traveling to Southwest Ohio next week to take on top-seeded West Milton Milton Union.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Volleyblog and other thoughts

Get out the Cinderella slipper.

It’s looking like it fits Patrick Henry’s volleyball team quite nicely.

I was shocked when I saw that PH (5-15) knocked off New Riegel (15-8) in the first round of the sectional volleyball tournament and even mentioned it on this blog as one of the biggest upsets last weekend. Since then all the Patriots have done is beat Blanchard Valley Conference co-champion Leipsic (17-7) and another pretty good team in McComb (17-7) to reach the district finals for the second straight year. The Patriots are currently 7-15.

Not sure what to make of this. PH qualified for regionals last season but didn’t play well all season long. There was a time this season when PH I believe lost like nine straight matches.

Sometimes it’s satisfying for a coach to see everything come together at just the right time and it appears that everything is coming together nicely for PH coach Kristen Cheslock’s team. That said, I’ll take Hardin Northern to beat the Patriots in Saturday’s 2 p.m. district final match at Liberty-Benton.

Kalida (17-6) will also be looking to make it back to regionals when they play Ada in a district semifinal match at Lima Perry. Kalida’s Jeremy Stober is a terrific coach and I expect the Wildcats to be well-prepared for their match with the Bulldogs. Either way, the volleyball season will extend into the weekend for the Courier sports staff as the Kalida-Ada winner takes on the PH-HN winner in the semifinals of next week’s Division IV regional at Elida.

It was a tough night for area volleyball teams. Bluffton lost for the just the second time in 24 matches when they were ousted in the Division III district semifinals at Liberty-Benton by Lima Central Catholic. Ottawa-Glandorf, the Western Buckeye League champs, were bounced from the Division II tournament by Bowling Green. Both of those outcomes kind of surprised me. I think Bluffton and O-G were the best teams in the area this season.

SOCCER THOUGHTS: Continental or Riverdale’s girls: one team is headed to the Division II regional tournament for the first time in school history when they play Saturday afternoon at Toledo St. John’s. Continental is unbeaten and both teams are playing very well right now. Ottawa-Glandorf should be the favorite when they take on St. Marys Memorial at Elida Saturday.

Findlay hosts Ashland in a Division I girls district semifinal. There’s something just wrong about a school getting to play a regional match on its home field. Nothing against the girls on the FHS team but I hope the Trojans lose. Some day, some time I’ll tell you why.

In boys action, Bluffton takes on unbeaten Ottawa Hills in a Division III district final at Van Buren’s Rocky Ford Field (no that’s not the field’s actual name but I like it). That should be a close low-scoring battle with the winner headed to regionals. I think the big game though will be at Lima Shawnee between tiny Fort Jennings and Ottawa-Glandorf. The Musketeers lost to O-G 2-1 but that was way back on Aug. 28. Fort Jennings had to negotiate it’s way through a tough sectional involving the rest of the PCL, it will be interesting how much they have left after a couple of tough tournament matches already.

I’ll be covering Saturday’s regional cross country meet in Tiffin. Thoughts on that Sunday.

WEEKEND BLOGGING: I’ll try and put something together Saturday morning looking at who’s in and who’s out of the playoffs before I head to Tiffin.

DEER DECOY: ESPN will air a segment on the Kenton Deer Decoy case on it’s Outside the Lines program today at 3:30 p.m.

Findlay Courier local sports (Volleyball coverage and a feature on Ashland’s Blaine Maag)
Mohawk crashed Lakota’s party
Change in charges against defendant in deer decoy case
Cub scouts truck in parade catches fire
Lima News prep roundup
Mansfield News Journal prep roundup
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Friday sports

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Week 10 Football Notes

Napoleon WILDCATS at Findlay TROJANS
CONFERENCE: Greater Buckeye Conference
RECORDS: Napoleon 7-2 overall, 2-2 GBC; Findlay 3-6, 2-2
LAST WEEK: Napoleon 49, Lima Senior 7; Findlay 50, Sandusky 14
LAST YEAR: Findlay 37, Napoleon 7
NOTABLE: Napoleon still has a shot at the playoffs with a win over Findlay. The Wildcats are ranked No.6 in the latest Division III Region 10 computer rankings ... Dave will be covering the game ...

Cory-Rawson HORNETS at Arcadia REDSKINS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Cory-Rawson 4-5 overall 4-4 BVC; Arcadia 2-7, 1-7
LAST WEEK: Cory-Rawson 28, Pandora-Gilboa 13; McComb 42, Arcadia 34
LAST YEAR: Cory-Rawson 42, Pandora-Gilboa 7
NOTABLE: Cory-Rawson has won 17 straight against Arcadia and lead the all-time series 46-7-1 … Cory-Rawson’s Andy Wagner has rushed for 823 yards on 153 carries ...Arcadia’s A.J. Holman has 29 catches for 539 yards while Kirk Ridenour has caught 32 passes for 466 yards ...

Hardin Northern POLAR BEARS at Arlington RED DEVILS
DATELINE: Arlington
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Hardin Northern 8-1 overall, 7-1 BVC; Arlington 6-3, 5-3
LAST WEEK: Liberty-Benton 38, Hardin Northern 14; Arlington 38, Van Buren 14
LAST YEAR: Hardin Northern 21, Arlington 0
NOTABLE: Hardin Northern is ranked fifth in the Division VI Region 24 computer rankings and has already clinched the school’s sixth straight playoff appearance … A Hardin Northern win coupled with an Ada loss to Lima C.C. would put the Polar Bears at home in Week 11 … Arlington is ranked 10th in the Division VI Region 22 computer rankings and an upset over HN would give the school their first playoff appearance in school history … Hardin Northern is rated fourth in the latest Division VI Associated Press poll … Game is at Arlington’s Doc Castor Field … Arlington leads the BVC series between the two schools 22-19 … Milestone at stake. HN’s Nathan Bame leads the BVC in rushing with 1321 yards on 167 carries with 23 touchdowns. Teammate Travis Bolen has 959 yards on 107 carries with 11 scores ... Arlington’s Travis Rettig is second in the BVC with 1162 yards rushing on 169 carries and 16 touchdowns ... Arlington quarterback Jacob Drerup is 66-121 passing for 871 yards with 10 TDs and 6 INts ... HN quarterback Clay Brunow is 17-42 passing for 522 yards and 11 scores ...

CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: McComb 7-2 overall, 6-2 BVC; Leipsic 1-8, 1-7
LAST WEEK: McComb 42, Arcadia 34; Vanlue 27, Leipsic 21
LAST YEAR: McComb 12, Leipsic 7
NOTABLE: McComb has already clinched its sixth playoff appearance in 8 years and can gain a home game in Week 11 with a win and a Cardinal Stitch loss to Northwood … McComb is ranked fourth in the latest Division VI Region 22 computer rankings … McComb leads the all-time series 35-11 … McComb quarterback Kevan Westenbarger leads the BVC in passing completing 150-266 for 1754 yards 15 TDs and 10 Ints ...Leipsic did not report BVC stats this week ... McComb’s Derrick Hill has rushed for 802 yards on 133 carries with 13 touchdowns ...

Pandora-Gilboa ROCKETS at Liberty-Benton EAGLES
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Pandora-Gilboa 5-4, 4-4; Liberty-Benton 8-1, 8-0
LAST WEEK: Cory-Rawson 28, Pandora-Gilboa 13; Liberty-Benton 38, Hardin Northern 14
LAST YEAR: Liberty-Benton 45, Pandora-Gilboa 0
NOTABLE: Liberty-Benton can win the BVC outright with a victory for their second conference crown in three seasons … L-B has already assured itself of a fourth straight playoff appearance and can possibly earn a home playoff game by beating the Rockets … The Eagles are ranked sixth in the Division V Region 18 computer rankings … Liberty-Benton is ranked 18th in the latest Associated Press Division V poll … The BVC series between the two teams is knotted at 20-20 … Pandora-Gilboa’s Cory Forney has 940 yards rushing on 180 carries with 4 touchdowns ... L-B’s Wyatt Elbin has 1013 yards rushing with 15 touchdowns ...

CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Vanlue 1-8 overall, 1-7 BVC; Van Buren 4-5, 3-5
LAST WEEK: Vanlue 27, Leipsic 21; Van Buren 38, Van Buren 14
LAST YEAR: Van Buren 41, Vanlue 0
NOTABLE: Vanlue snapped a 12-game losing streak with last week’s victory … Van Buren leads the all-time series 47-25-8 ... Vanlue’s Josh Kloepfer leads the BVC in receiving with 53 catches foir 762 yards and 9 scores ... Vanlue quarterback Nick Lee 126-234 passing for 1508 yards with 11 touchdowns and 21 interceptions ... Van Buren’s Adam Greer is 102-177 passing for 1301 yards with 14 Ints and 11 TDS ...

Hopewell-Loudon CHIEFTAINS at Mohawk WARRIORS
DATELINE: Sycamore
CONFERENCE: Midland Athletic League
RECORDS: Hopewell-Loudon 9-0 overall, 6-0 MAL; Mohawk 8-1, 6-0 LAST WEEK: Hopewell-Loudon 68, Fostoria St. Wendelin 13; Mohawk 73, North Baltimore 0 LAST YEAR: Hopewell-Loudon 14, Mohawk 7
NOTABLE: Hopewell-Loudon is ranked No.1 in the Division VI Associated Press poll while Mohawk is rated 9th … Hopewell-Loudon and Mohawk are also 1-2 in the Region 22 computer rankings … Mark is covering the game at Warrior Field … Hopewell-Loudon has won a league record 26 straight MAL games and 35 consecutive regular season contests … Hopewell-Loudon’s last loss came to Carey on Sept. 12, 2003 (24-14) … The Chieftains have made five straight playoff appearances and were a state semifinalist last season … Mohawk has made the playoffs each of the past six seasons …

Seneca East TIGERS at North Baltimore TIGERS
DATELINE: North Baltimore
CONFERENCE: Midland Athletic League
RECORDS: Seneca East 6-3 overall, 3-3 MAL; North Baltimore 1-8, 1-5
LAST WEEK: Tiffin Calvert 27, Seneca East 6; Mohawk 73, North Baltimore 0
LAST YEAR: Seneca East 41, North Baltimore 14
NOTABLE: Seneca East’s Matt Featheringill leads the MAL in receiving with 39 catches for 582 yards ...

Tiffin Calvert SENECAS at Carey BLUE DEVILS
CONFERENCE: Midland Athletic League
RECORDS: Tiffin Calvert 3-6, overall, 3-3 MAL; Carey 4-5, 3-3
LAST WEEK: Tiffin Calvert 27, Seneca East 6; Carey 54, Fremont St. Joseph 41
LAST YEAR: Tiffin Calvert 36, Carey 0
NOTABLE: Carey’s Derek Stock was named the MAL offensive player of the week after rushing for 205 yards on 19 carries and scoring 4 touchdowns in last week’s win ...

Bellevue REDMEN at Fostoria Senior REDMEN
DATELINE: Fostoria
CONFERENCE: Northern Ohio League
RECORDS: Bellevue 6-3, 4-2; Fostoria Senior 4-5, 3-3 LAST WEEK: Tiffin Columbian 28, Bellevue 7; Fostoria Senior 43, Upper Sandusky 7 LAST YEAR: Fostoria Senior 33, Bellevue 21
NOTABLE: Bellevue’s Derrick Berberick leads the NOL in rushing with 1867 yards on 257 carries … Fostoria’s Chase Hampton has 614 yards on 112 carries while Micah Hyde has rushed for 569 yards on 129 carries … Fostoria’s Chase Munoz leads the NOL in receiving with 62 catches for 946 yards … Hyde is also 115-223 passing for 1577 yards to lead the NOL while Bellevue quarterback Jeff DeBlase is 87-151 passing for 1127 yards … Fostoria leads the series 7-6-1 … Hyde had runs of 47 and 80 yards for TDs last week against the Rams.

Willard CRIMSON FLASHES at Upper Sandusky RAMS
DATELINE: Upper Sandusky
CONFERENCE: Northern Ohio League
RECORDS: Willard 3-6 overall, 2-4 NOL; Upper Sandusky 3-6, 1-5 LAST WEEK: Willard 30, Norwalk 7; Fostoria Senior 43, Upper Sandusky 7 LAST YEAR: Willard 21, Upper Sandusky 14
NOTABLE: Upper Sandusky enters the game losers of 2 straight and 6 of their last 7 games … Willard has dropped 3 of 4 and snapped a 3 game losing skid by beating Norwalk last week … Upper Sandusky sophomore quarterback Alex Falk has rushed for 634 yards on 131 carries which ranks him third in the NOL. He has connected on 85-of-194 passes for 1,153 yards this season … Upper Sandusky’s Ryan Burka ranks third in the league with 28 catches for 455 yards … Mathias leads the NOL with 118 tackles teammate Lawrence Cavello has 85 tackles.

Columbus Grove BULLDOGS at Bluffton PIRATES
DATELINE: Bluffton
CONFERENCE: Northwest Conference
RECORDS: Columbus Grove 5-4 overall, 4-3 NWC; Bluffton 5-4, 3-4 LAST WEEK: Columbus Grove 41, Convoy Crestview 32; Bluffton 40, Paulding 26 LAST YEAR: Bluffton 15, Columbus Grove 7
NOTABLE: Columbus Grove needs a win over their rivals to cement a playoff bid for the team. The Bulldogs are currently seventh in the Division VI Region 22 computer rankings … Grove has won 4 straight games and 5 of its last 6 contests … Bluffton snapped a 3-game losing streak with a win over winless Paulding last week … Game is at Harmon Field … CG‘s Jeremy Harnishfeger has 1,558 yards and 20 TDs on 203 carries this season and 3,884 rushing yards for his career … Bluffton’s Josh Falk leads the Pirates with 991 yards rushing on 153 carries … CG quarterback Eric Maag is 55-112 passing for 834 yards and 9 Tds … Logan Rieman is CG’s leading receiver with 27 catches for 452 yards and 3 scores …

Lima Central Catholic THUNDERBIRDS at Ada BULLDOGS
CONFERENCE: Northwest Conference
RECORDS: Lima Central Catholic 8-1 overall, 6-1 NWC; Ada 7-2, 6-1 LAST WEEK: Lima Central Catholic 35, Allen East 13; Ada 35, Delphos Jefferson 33 LAST YEAR: Lima Central Catholic 44, Ada 13
NOTABLE: Winner of this game takes the NWC football crown outright … Both teams also have playoff berths on the line. Ada is ranked fourth in the Division VI Region 24 computer rankings and will clinch a home game in Week 11 with a victory. Lima Central Catholic is third in the Division V Region 20 computer rankings … Ada is ranked 15th in the latest Associated Press Division VI rankings … Ada’s Zac Dysert is 256-375 passing for 3391 yards 29 Tds and 10 Ints … Ada freshman Heath Jackson has 107 catches for 1302 yards and 7 Tds and needs just 2 catches to set the state record for receptions in a season set by Don Lagoni of Ashtabula Sts. John & Paul (108) in 2000 … Ada’s Kyle Baker has 61 catches for 1020 yards and 10 touchdowns. Teammate Jef Wolber has rushed for 457 yards on 77 carries and 13 touchdowns … The Thunderbirds have won 5 straight while Ada has 4 straight wins … It will be a match up of 2 high-powered offenses as LCC averages 30.7 points per game while Ada is scoring 41.8 points per game … The Bulldogs are also allowing 29.0 points per game on defense … LCC’s Chris O’Brien leads the team with 950 yards rushing on 172 carries with 18 Tds … Ada is seeking to win its first NWC football crown since 1994 … LCC QB Geoff Bowers has 326 yards rushing and three TDs, while Matt Huffman has 264 yards rushing

Patrick Henry PATRIOTS at Wauseon INDIANS
CONFERENCE: Northwest Ohio Athletic League
RECORDS: Patrick Henry 7-2 overall, 6-1 NWOAL; Wauseon 5-4, 5-2 LAST WEEK: Sidney Lehman 20, Patrick Henry 17 OT; Archbold 51, Wauseon 13 LAST YEAR: Patrick Henry 54, Wauseon 20
NOTABLE: Patrick Henry is currently No.9 in the Division V Region 18 computer rankings and needs a win to have a chance at making the playoffs to defend the Division V state title they won last season … Patrick Henry is averaging 39.9 points per game on offense … A win would give Patrick Henry at least a share of their fifth straight NWOAL football championship … The Patriots are tied with Delta atop the NWOAL standings. Delta plays Montpelier this week … Wauseon had won four straight before last week’s loss to Archbold … Patrick Henry slipped to 13th in the Associated Press Division V poll …

Elmwood ROYALS at Eastwood EAGLES
DATELINE: Pemberville
CONFERENCE: Suburban Lakes League
RECORDS: Elmwood 8-1 overall, 6-0 SLL; Eastwood 6-3, 5-1 LAST WEEK: Elmwood 41, Woodmore 0; Eastwood 62, Lake 12 LAST YEAR: Eastwood 10, Elmwood 0
NOTABLE: Elmwood needs a win to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Royals have won 8 straight games and are currently sitting 10th in the Division V Region 18 computer rankings … A win would give the Royals the outright SLL championship a loss would knock them out of the hunt for a playoff spot and force them to share the league crown with the Eagles … Elmwood’s offense is churning out 39.2 points per game … Eastwood is on a 3 game winning streak and is scoring 50.0 points per game during that span … The Royals are also doing the job defensively allowing just 7.3 points per game … Elmwood quarterback Dusty Brown had 1,302 yards rushing on 208 carries with 23 touchdowns. He has also completed 48-83 passes for 806 yaSheline leads Elmwood’s receivers with 17 catches for 200 yards … Elmwood has outscored their opponents in the first quarter this season 110-6.rds and 9 Tds with 5 Ints … Elmwood’s C.J. Allums is nearing the 1,000-yard rushing mark with 883 yards on 99 carries with 7 Tds … Adam Sheline leads Elmwood’s receivers with 17 catches for 200 yards … Eastwood leads series 30-16-1. Eagles have posted 11 shutouts while Elmwood has held Eastwood scoreless twice. Royals won 7 out of 10 games in the 1990’s, while Eastwood has won 5 in a row since 2001. Biggest wins included Elmwood’s 40-7 victory in 1984 and Eastwood’s 54-7 win in 1988. A total of 13 games have been decided by 6 points or less. Elmwood has won 5 SLL titles (all shared) while Eastwood has won 8 championships (4 shared) … The two teams play for a trophy each year…the Bronze Log.

Riverdale FALCONS at Ontario WARRIORS
CONFERENCE: North Central Conference
RECORDS: Riverdale 2-7 overall, 1-5 NCC: Ontario 2-7, 2-4 LAST WEEK: Wynford 42, Riverdale 7; Crestline 22, Ontario 20 LAST YEAR: Ontario 33, Riverdale 6
NOTABLE: Ontario’s defense is allowing 31.1 points per game … Riverdale has dropped 5 straight games while Ontario has lost 4 straight …

Ottawa-Glandorf TITANS at Defiance BULLDOGS
DATELINE: Defiance
CONFERENCE: Western Buckeye League
RECORDS: Ottawa-Glandorf 6-3, 5-3; Defiance 6-3, 6-2 LAST WEEK: Ottawa-Glandorf 28, Lima Shawnee 24; Defiance 42, Celina 6 LAST YEAR: Ottawa-Glandorf 28, Defiance 7
NOTABLE: Ottawa-Glandorf is ranked ninth in the Division IV Region 14computer rankings and will likely earn a playoff spot with a victory over Defiance. It would be the second straight season the Titans have made the playoffs … The Titans are on a roll as they have won four straight games and five of their last six … Defiance is still in the hunt for the WBL title. They are in a three-way tie for second place behind Wapakoneta who plays Celina Friday night … Last week against Shawnee, Ottawa-Glandorf RB Brian Recker rushed for 180 yards and a TD on 29 carries. The previous three weeks, Recker rushed for 200 yards in each game … The Bulldogs average over 25 points per game and RB Jacquice King sparks the offense. King has 1,205 yards and 12 TDs. QB Adam Wagner adds some punch with 1,162 passing yards.

Picks Week 10

OK it’s week 10 end of the picks and end of the Weekly football notes. Thank goodness. Man it takes me a couple of hours to do the notes each week. As for doing weekly basketball notes….Forgettttttaaaaa aboutttt ittt! They play 20 games and the season lasts forever. Plus, while I’ll still be blogging about basketball this year, my first love in the winter is wrestling.

Anyway I didn’t put my picks on the blog last week because they were in the newspaper. I beat my buddy Buster by a scant game because I lucked out and took L-B over Hardin Northern. Last week I was a paltry 12-5 bringing the season mark to 115-38.

Notes will be posted before I leave work. In the meantime here are the picks and I’m off to cover the Hardin Northern-Arlington district volleyball match tonight.

Findlay TROJANS over Napoleon WILDCATS -- Hopefully a couple of wins to end the season will shut some of the critics up.

Cory-Rawson HORNETS over Arcadia REDSKINS -- Arcadia is much better, but still might not be able to beat the Hornets.

Hardin Northern POLAR BEARS over Arlington RED DEVILS -- Da Bears might have a chip on their shoulder after last week’s beating.

McComb PANTHERS over Leipsic VIKINGS -- The Panthers better pick up the defense if they want to last in the postseason.

Liberty-Benton EAGLES over Pandora-Gilboa ROCKETS -- No let down for the Eagles with a home playoff game at stake.

Van Buren BLACK KNIGHTS over Vanlue WILDCATS -- The Cats got a ride on the fire trucks last week, but the Knights have .500 in their sights.

Hopewell-Loudon CHIEFTAINS over Mohawk WARRIORS -- Even with the loss of Brickner, I think the Chieftains win.

Seneca East TIGERS over North Baltimore TIGERS -- Time to get ready for basketball at NB.

Carey BLUE DEVILS over Tiffin Calvert SENECAS -- Carey scored 54 points last week? Pinch me I must be dreaming.

Fremont St. Joseph CRIMSON STREAKS over Fostoria St. Wendelin MOHAWKS -- Laugh if you must but 2 wins is step in the right direction for the Mohawks.

Bellevue REDMEN over Fostoria Senior REDMEN -- It’s been a disappointing year at Memorial Stadium.

Willard CRIMSON FLASHES over Upper Sandusky RAMS -- Can Coach Will survive another offseason like last year?

Columbus Grove BULLDOGS over Bluffton PIRATES -- Dogs need this game much more than the Pirates do.

Lima Central Catholic THUNDERBIRDS over Ada BULLDOGS -- LCC in a thriller. Score: 151-149.

Patrick Henry PATRIOTS over Wauseon INDIANS -- The league is on the line, not to mention a playoff shot.

Elmwood ROYALS over Eastwood EAGLES -- I think Elmwood finally gets over the hump in the Battle of the Woods.

Ontario WARRIORS over Riverdale FALCONS -- A winnable game for the Falcons but I’m still taking the big school.

Ottawa-Glandorf TITANS at Defiance BULLDOGS -- Giving the nod to O-G.

Findlay Courier Thursday Local Sports
Fostoria eyes winning finish
Ross_Sandusky renew rivalry
Wynford’s playoff chances are murky
OSU turf not holding up well
Hudson team apologizes for racial acts
A fresh start for Browns offense
Kalida-Ottoville set up volleyball showdown
Fremont area football capsules
Findlay ends Elida’s season
Stechschulte has an interest in Series
Lima area football capsules
Ada, LCC battle for NWC title
Good story on H-L’s offensive line
Tiffin area football capsules

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Trick or Treat

Got to watch a soccer match yesterday.

It was a doosy. Bluffton got a goal with just a little over 3 minutes left in double overtime to end Riverdale’s season 2-1 in a Division III district semifinal match. Whether your are a soccer fan or not it’s all that was good about prep sports.

What I got to see was two very good teams going toe-to-toe giving everything that they’ve got . When Jaden August headed in the game-winner for the Pirates all of the Falcons surrounding the goal collapsed to the cold turf at Steinmetz Field in disappointment. Anyone who has ever lost a big game at some point in their lives can sympathize with what the Falcons were going through after being so close to victory only to have their hopes come crashing down with August’s goal.

The same can be said for understanding the way Bluffton’s kids felt after watching their jubilant celebration after a hard-fought victory over a tough Riverdale team.

That’s what’s great about sports. They teach lessons. The help kids understand how to deal with both victories and defeat. Life if full of victories and defeats, they happen on small and large scale in life for all of us every week.

I also saw excellent displays of sportsmanship on both sides with the exception of one father from Riverdale upset that his boy got hit a little too hard on one play. He stomped and swore and when one of the tournament officials asked him to tone it down he swore some more and even offered to step outside with a few of the others standing around.

I can’t say that I am a good example because I did drop an F-bomb on a particularly obnoxious female Broncos fan in my frustration at the end of the Browns game Sunday. But if we as adults don’t set a good example why should students be expected to clean up their acts on the field?

Foul language (on both sides I am told) in the Riverdale vs. Lima Senior girls soccer match, what Hopewell-Loudon’s Sean Brickner said or didn’t say to get ejected after the melee between St. Wendelin and Hopewell-Loudon disturb me. But those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones and until I can look myself in the mirror and be confident that I set a good example…I’m not gonna pick up that rock.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN: Remember going door to door when you were a kid and trying to trick or treat your way to a bulging bag of candy? I’ve got a couple of halloween questions for everyone who might be interested. My favorite candy was Dots, Tootsie Rolls and Sweet Tarts and I always hated you people out there that gave me a toothbrush or apple for halloween.

So my question is what was the first piece of candy you just had to have when you opened your bag of goodies? What was the worst thing you got? Also how old is too old? Have you ever turned away a 6-4 220-pound trick or treater?

MOHAWK VS. HOPEWELL-LOUDON: Will the streak end this week? I;m not sure. Losing Sean Brickner hurts but I think H-L will rally the troops and get a win. It should be a real dandy. Anyone else want to weigh in on this one.

TOMORROW: Picks, comments on some games and maybe even a look at some volleyball.

Findlay Courier local sports
Old Fort, Calvert win sectional volleyball titles
Lakota knocks off Riverdale
Marion Harding ousts Fremont Ross
Nicklaus to dot the “I” Saturday
Davidson takes over offensive play calling for Browns (No it’s not a play on words)
Tressel content at OSU
Fort Jennings holds off Miller City in boys soccer
Lima News prep sports roundup
Harding is still in playoff hunt
Harding seniors prepare for finale
Comets blank Calvert in district soccer
NOL Football stats
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Local Sports

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Big week of preps...what's sticking in your craw?

OK I feel better this morning knowing that at least something is being done in Berea.

I got home from work about 1 a.m. last night and got on the Internet and found out that Channel 3 WKYC in Cleveland reported that Maurice Carthon had been fired as the Browns’ offensive coordinator. While I almost believe my 7-year old niece could be a little more creative in play calling than Carthon was during his tenure as offensive coordinator, nothing much I think will change.

As I’ve heard many times from many coaches in my lifetime you can’t make chicken salad outta chicken shit. Right now the Browns offensive line probably isn’t going to be able to get the job done.

Anyone else out there have something that YOU want to rant about. What’s sticking in your craw right now it can be sports related but doesn’t have to be. Let me know.

BUSY TOURNAMENT WEEK: This might be the toughest week of the year regarding competition for prep sports in the area. Volleyball teams plays sectional finals tonight, district semifinals Thursday and district finals Saturday. Unfortunately with the volume of matches, 14 of them today to be exact, we can’t possibly get to them all.

Here’s what we will be covering this week (or trying to anyway) prep sports wise.

TONIGHT: Riverdale vs. Bluffton boys soccer (me), Findlay High School volleyball (Dave),

WEDNESDAY: Dave will be covering Findlay High School’s boys and girls district semifinal soccer matches at Elmer Graham Stadium.

THURSDAY: I will be covering district semifinal volleyball at Arlington, Mark Heiman will be covering district semifinal volleyball at either McComb or Findlay High School.

FRIDAY: Mark will be covering the Hopewell-Loudon vs. Mohawk game and Dave will be at Findlay High School’s season finale against Napoleon.

SATURDAY: I will be at the regional cross country meet in Tiffin and hopefully covering a soccer match later that night. Mark will probably be covering some of the district final volleyball matches at Liberty-Benton.

Browns fire Carthon
ESPN blocks OSU rebroadcast on ONN
Findlay Courier Local Sports
Carey outguns St. Joseph 54-41
St. Wendelin, Calvert get volleyball wins
O-G overpowers L-B 9-0 in girls soccer

Monday, October 23, 2006

Brown out

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a rant and I do very much so need to vent this morning.

I went to the Cleveland Browns game against the Denver Broncos Sunday afternoon. I am friggin’ fed up. I pay $450 dollars a year for my season tickets which for an average Joe like me is a chunk of change. Then I take a vacation day from work, drive 2 hours from Findlay to Cleveland, pay $20 to park, maybe buy a beer or two for $6.50 a pop and then when I get there I have to sit through as bad of football that you are going to see at any level week after week after week after week.

I can’t take it anymore. I was crushed when Art Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore and I was ecstatic when the NFL announced the Browns got a team back and would be back in 1999. My brother talked me into getting season tickets. In spite of the $950 we had to pay for our personal seat license. Here’s what we’ve got for our money: bad football. I don’t just mean bad football, I mean BAAAAADDD football.

Terrible coaching, injured players, an offense line year in and year out that’s even too porous to strain spaghetti and most importantly empty promises from Browns staff that things are getting better and the team is becoming more competitive. They are liars. It’s the same old, same old and this is one horrible football team, especially on offense. And I mean horrible with a capital HORR.

Sure the Broncos defense had been good, very good. But the Browns offense had 2 weeks to prepare for them and this was the result season lows in points (seven), first downs (10), third-down efficiency (1 of 11), total yards (165) and rushing yards (34).

I rarely leave a Browns game early. One exception was last year’s Christmas Eve debacle when the Steelers came to Cleveland and pummeled the Browns. I was at the game dressed as Santa Claus but believe me I was no jolly old elf, I left at the end of the third quarter. Yesterday we left with about 4 minutes left as I wanted to make sure I got my brother home in time to watch his beloved Detroit Tigers win Game 2 of the World Series last night.

After listening to Coach Crennel’s postgame comments, I’m not very confident. He offered no criticisms of his team’s play and no solutions either. I would have rather seen a repeat of Dennis Green’s meltdown after the Cardinals lost to the Bears last Monday night. Damn, Romeo give me something, anything to hang on to as a life preserver as the Browns ship keeps sinking. Instead he tossed the fans bobbing in the cold water with the Browns an anchor and said hold on tight.

Well, I will go to the Steelers-Browns game I have tickets for. But seriously, if anyone wants to buy my 3 tickets for the Browns-Bengals game they are for sale. Perfect for a Bengals fan, they are in Row 4, Section 149 right on the visitors tunnel.; Last year I caught Jon Kitna’s ball cap he tossed into the stands. If interested shoot me an email at and we’ll arrange a transfer.

Some other random thoughts on the game:

-- Ralph Brown has to be one of the worst corners in the NFL. He dropped two possible interceptions yesterday and I watched as he trashed talked a Denver receiver after he was able to keep the receiver from catching a touchdown pass in the corner of the endzone right in front of us. The very next play the receiver was wide open for a touchdown and Brown was on the coverage. SPEND MORE TIME COVERING THE RECIEVER AND LESS TIME JAWING RALPH!!! I was livid.

-- When Gary Baxter, who signed a $30 million contract with the club last year and has since played in just 8 of 22 games, went down with what appeared to be a serious knee injury I have to tell you I saw something that was the epitome of class. Baxter got tangled up with Broncos receiver Javon Walker on a play and when he came down in front of us near the goalline you could tell he was hurt pretty bad. Walker got up and immediately signaled for medical personnel to come to Baxter’s aid. No trash talking, you could tell by the way Walker was acting that he was very upset that Baxter was hurt on the play. He is a class act.

-- Romeo, Romero why didn’t you use that time out Romeo. The Broncos failed to convert a 3rd down with 40 seconds left before halftime, the Browns had one time out. Instead of using it to force Denver to punt the ball away, they let the clock run down to 4 seconds before Denver called a time out of their own. Uggghhhh! Then when they found out Denver was going to run a play to run the final ticks off the clock, the Browns used their last time out to get their defense on the field. If they called time out when they should have with 40 seconds left, the Browns would have at least had a chance to block the punt or set up a return, who knows what could have happened. I bitched about it the entire halftime.

SHOCKING UPSETS: There were two notable prep upsets over the weekend and both involved the Patrick Henry Patriots.
The first happened Saturday afternoon when Patrick Henry knocked off New Riegel in a Division IV sectional volleyball match at McComb. The Patriots were like 4-14 and New Riegel had a terrific season beating state-ranked Hopewell-Loudon among the many matches they won during the season. I was shocked when we got that score.
The second shocking upset was the Patriots losing their Saturday Night Special football game at Sidney Lehman in overtime. Knowing that Lehman lost to Carey earlier in the season, I would have bet the house that Patrick Henry would win that game. Thank goodness, I’m not handicapping games.

WHAT”S AHEAD: Girls volleyball teams resume their paths on the tournament trail this week. Sectional finals are slated for Tuesday, district semifinals are Thursday and district title games are slated for Saturday. Sectional and district soccer matches also take place this week with regional cross country slated for Saturday at Tiffin’s Hedges Boyer Park.

TOMORROW: A look at the playoff chances for area teams.

Findlay Courier Monday Local Sports

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Buster is bloggin' on the game

Finally, I got my buddy Mark Heiman to contribute to The Buzz. Buster and I were waiting for Thursday's NLCS game to wrap up and I said, "Hey, Buster. Bang me out a few paragraphs on your thoughts on tomorrow's game"

No one knows the BVC like my man Buster...So here ya go.

Buster's Blog
It didn’t just rain Tuesday in the Dola and Dunkirk area.

It was a gully washer, according to Hardin Northern co-Athletics Director Bob Dysert.

That three inches of rain, plus the extra precipitation that fell Thursday, may not have much effect on tonight’s huge Blanchard Valley Conference encounter between the Polar Bears and Liberty-Benton, but it will affect the fans and their abilities to find parking.

As for the game, hopefully it’s another barn burner between the two schools, much like last year’s contest, which HN won 21-13. (Although, I’m guessing that L-B and its fans would prefer the 35-0 pasting the Eagles put on the Bears in 2004.)

The two programs have a very short, but rich history, with their games deciding the BVC the last three seasons. There is a lot of mutual respect between the two good programs.

Pete Brunow has built Hardin Northern, the ninth smallest Ohio school to play football, into a Division VI state power in compiling a 208-49 record in 23 years. That mark includes the 2004 Division VI state championship and a runner-up finish in 2002.

Scott Garlock has turned around the fortunes of Liberty-Benton in his five years at the school. He has compiled a 42-11 record and took the Eagles, who have played very well since McComb put a scare in them, to the playoffs the last three seasons.

The game is going to come down to how well the Eagles can contain Hardin Northern’s speed on offense and special teams. Brunow likes to play close to the vest, but always seems to come up with a trick play when needed.

The Polar Bears have to stop a lot of L-B weapons. Freshman quarterback Aaron Craft doesn’t play like a freshman considering he’s completed about 75 percent of his passes and been intercepted just twice.

HN saw Ada’s Zac Dysert throw for 500 yards in the first week, but the Bears stopped McComb’s passing in week three.

It’s a cliche, but whoever makes the least mistakes is gonna win.

It took a coin toss for me to pick a winner for The Courier’s Pigskin Picks. That’s how unsure I am of picking a winner in this contest.

Week 9 Football Notes

CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Arcadia 2-6, 1-6; McComb 6-2, 5-2
LAST YEAR: McComb 35, Arcadia 14
LAST WEEK: Arcadia 34, Vanlue 6; McComb 35, Cory-Rawson 7
NOTABLE: McComb is ranked fourth in the latest Division VI Region 22 computer rankings and should make the playoffs with wins in its last two games … McComb is averaging 30.,3 points per game on offense and has a 3-game winnings streak … Arcadia snapped a modest 6-game losing streak with last week’s win over Vanlue … Arcadia ranks eighth in the BVC on defense allowing 28.4 points per game …McComb quarterback Kevan Westenbarger is a BVC best 131-233 passing for 1,426 yards 8 Ints and 12 Tds … Arcadia quarterback Kirian is 73-150 passing for 947 yards with 10 Tds and 9 Ints … Derrick Hill leads McComb’s rushing effort with 673 yards n 103 carries with 13 Tds … Arcadia‘s Kirk Ridenout has 28 catches for 383 yards and 3 Tds while teammate A.J. Holman has snagged 25 passes for 367 yards and 5 scores … Inbody leads a strong group of McComb receivers with 35 catches for 402 yards and 4 scores. Noah Shoop has 38 catches for 363 yards and 3 Tds and Rader had 28 receptions for 256 yards and 3 Tds … Game is at McComb’s Doc Miller Field … McComb leads the all-time series 56-22-2 … Arcadia beat McComb 124-0 during the 1924 season.

CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Arlington 5-3, 4-3; Van Buren 4-4, 3-4
LAST YEAR: Arlington 63, Van Buren 42
LAST WEEK: Arlington 44, Leipsic 0; Liberty-Benton 56, Arlington 0
NOTABLE: Arlington is ranked third in the BVC in both offense and defense behind only Hardin Northern and Liberty-Benton. The Red Devils are averaging 32.6 points and 390.4 yards per game on offense. On defense, Arlington is yielding is 18.5 points and 231.8 yards per game … This is the battle between the defenses with the most interceptions this season in the BVC. Arlington has 17 picks while Van Buren’s defense has intercepted the ball 14 times … Arlington’s Travis Rettig, Richard and Paden Morehart and Van Buren’s Colin Stoffel all have 5 interceptions to lead the BVC … Arlington quarterback Jacob Drerup is 57-112 passing for 780 yards with 6 Ints and 9 TDS … Van Buren quarterback Adam Greer is 85-152 passing for 1106 yards with 10 Tds and 14 Ints … Arlington’s Travis Rettig is second in the BVC in scoring (125 points) and rushing with 1,038 yards on 151 carries with 15 touchdowns … Greer leads Van Buren’s rushing effort with 537 yards on 124 carries with 8 Tds while teammate Matt Pate has 405 yards on 88 carries with 5 scores … Arlington’s Heavrin (74 carries, 497 yards) and Treg Wells (58, 451) are both inching toward the 500-yard mark in rushing … Van Buren’s Colin Stoffel had 25 catches for 422 yards and 2 Tds while Logan Grant has added 19 catches for 240 yards to lead Van Buren’s receivers … Arlington leads the all-time series between the schools 61-18-2.

Leipsic VIKINGS at Vanlue WILDCATS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Leipsic 1-7, 1-6; Vanlue 0-8, 0-7
LAST YEAR: Leipsic 47, Vanlue 0
LAST WEEK: Arlington 44, Leipsic 6; Arcadia 34, Vanlue 6
NOTABLE: Leipsic did not report stats this week … The Vikings have scored just 47 points this season for an average of less than 6 points per game … Vanlue, meanwhile, is averaging 15.6 points per game but their defense is allowing a whopping 51.8 points per contest … Vanlue is the second most penalized team in the conference with 52 penalties for 428 yards … Vanlue’s Nick Lee is 99-196 passing for 1171 yards 18 interceptions and 9 Tds … The Wildcats’ Josh Kloepfer lead the BVC in receiving with 44 catches for 595 yards and 7 Tds. Arnold has 27 catches for 320 yards for the Wildcats … Lee leads Vanlue’s rushing effort with 509 yards rushing on 125carries with 7 Tds ,.. Game is at Vanlue’s Ercil Hinkle Field … Leipsic leads the BVC series with Vanlue 36-5

Liberty-Benton EAGLES at Hardin Northern POLAR BEARS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Liberty-Benton 7-1, 7-0; Hardin Northern 8-0, 7-0
LAST YEAR: Hardin Northern 21, Liberty-Benton 13
LAST WEEK: Hardin Northern 56, Pandora-Gilboa 14; Liberty-Benton 56, Vanlue 0
NOTABLE: Mark Heiman is covering the game for all the marbles in the BVC … Hardin Northern ranks first in the BVC offense averaging 450.5 yards and 49.8 points per game and they rank second in the conference in defense at 12.1 points and 230.2 yards per game … Liberty-Benton is ranked No.1 on defense at 7.5 points and 170.2 yards per game the Eagles are ranked second on offense at 442.4yards and 42.5 points per game … Liberty-Benton is the most penalized team in the conference with 61 penalties for 560 yards … Junior Nathan Bame leads the Polar Bears with 151 carries for 1242 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also leads the conference with 164 points … Hardin Northern’s Travis Bolen has rushed for 931 yards on 95 carries with 10 touchdowns. Clay Brunow has added 422 yards rushing on 45 carries and 5 scores … Wyatt Elbin leads L-B’s rushers with 906 yards on 118 carries and 15 touchdowns … L-B’s Michael Busch set a state record for career points by a kicker this week. Busch also leads the Eagles with 25 catches for 548 yards and 7 touchdowns … The Eagles’ Brandon Craft has 20 catches for 298 yards and 2 scores … L-B freshman quarterback Aaron Craft is 91-124 passing for 1358 yards 15 touchdowns and 2 Ints … Brunow is 15-32 passing for 444 yards 10 Tds and 1 Int … Hardin Northern is ranked fourth in the Division VI Region 24 computer rankings while Liberty-Benton is ranked ninth in Division V Region 18 … Hardin Northern leads the BVC series between the schools 32-8-1

Pandora-Gilboa ROCKETS at Cory-Rawson HORNETS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Pandora-Gilboa 5-3, 4-3; Cory-Rawson 3-5, 3-4
LAST YEAR: Cory-Rawson 42, Pandora-Gilboa 7
LAST WEEK: Hardin Northern 56, Pandora-Gilboa 14; McComb 35, Cory-Rawson 7
NOTABLE: Pandora-Gilboa still has playoff hopes as they are sitting 10th in the Division VI Region 22 computer rankings … Cory-Rawson’s defense is allowing 28.4 points per game … The Hornets and Rockets lead the BVC by fumbling the ball away 11 and 14 times respectively … Pandora-Gilboa’s Cory Forney has 813 yards rushing on 145 carries with 13 touchdowns … Cory-Rawson’s Andy Wagner has 703 yards rushing on 128 carries with 5 scores while Jeremiah Boss-Hummel has 490 yards on 112 carries with 7 touchdowns … Michael Howell leads the Rockets receivers with 23 catches and 225 yards and 3 Tds while Mike Shuey has 25 catches for 219 yards and a score … Boss-Hummel has 20 catches for 285 yards and 2 Tds for the Hornets … Pandora-Gilboa’s Ethan Luginbill is 68-102 passing for 641 yards with 9 Tds and 6 Ints … Cory-Rawson’s Joe Marshall is 37-107 passing for 470 yards with 5 Ints and 4 Tds … Cory-Rawson leads the all-time series between the schools 27-13-1.

Findlay TROJANS at Sandusky BLUE STREAKS
DATELINE: Sandusky
CONFERENCE: Greater Buckeye Conference
RECORDS: Findlay 2-6, 1-2; Sandusky 3-5, 1-2
LAST YEAR: Findlay 24, Sandusky 21
LAST WEEK: Fremont Ross 28, Findlay 21; Lima Senior 32, Sandusky 27
NOTABLE: Findlay was in last week’s game with unbeaten Fremont Ross before giving up a late touchdown in a 28-21 loss to the Little Giants … It’s gridlock in the GBC race. Findlay (1-2), Sandusky (1-2), Lima Senior (1-2) and Napoleon (1-2) are in a 4-way tie for third place in the 6-team league with 2 games to play … Game is at Sandusky’s Stroebel Field … The Trojans return home for their final game of the season next week against Napoleon … Findlay is averaging 21.8 yards per game …

North Baltimore TIGERS at Mohawk WARRIORS
DATELINE: Sycamore
CONFERENCE: Midland Athletic League
RECORDS: North Baltimore 1-7, 1-4; Mohawk 7-1, 5-0
LAST YEAR: Mohawk 35, North Baltimore 6
LAST WEEK: Hopewell-Loudon 49, North Baltimore 7; Mohawk 42, Carey 8
NOTABLE: Mohawk is ranked second in the Division VI Region 22 computer rankings and are No.10 in the Associated Press Division VI poll …Mohawk is averaging 38.4 points per game on offense … North Baltimore is averaging just 6.4 points per game on offense … The Warriors take on state-ranked and computer rankings lead Hopewell-Loudon in what will be a winner-take-all game in the MAL next week …

Fostoria St. Wendelin MOHAWKS at Hopewell-Loudon CHIEFTAINS
CONFERENCE: Midland Athletic League
RECORDS: Fostoria St. Wendelin 2-6, 0-5; Hopewell-Loudon 8-0, 5-0
LAST YEAR: Hopewell-Loudon 35, Fostoria St. Wendelin 7
LAST WEEK: Tiffin Calvert 33, Fostoria St. Wendelin 7; Hopewell-Loudon 49, North Baltimore 7
NOTABLE: Hopewell-Loudon is ranked first in the Division VI Region 22 computer rankings and are rated second in the latest Associated Press Division VI poll … The neighborhood rivals in this battle have streaks going in different directions. Hopewell-Loudon has won 34 straight games and an MAL record 25 straight league contests while St. Wendelin has dropped 22 straight games in the MAL … Game is at Chieftains Stadium … The Chieftains have a big show down in Week 10 against state-ranked Mohawk, who is second behind Hopewell-Loudon in the computer rankings …

Wynford ROYALS at Riverdale FALCONS
DATELINE: Mount Blanchard
CONFERENCE: North Central Conference
RECORDS: Wynford 7-1, 5-0; Riverdale 2-6, 1-4
LAST YEAR: Wynford 54, Riverdale 7
LAST WEEK: Wynford 42, Crestline 8; Colonel Crawford 24, Riverdale 18, OT
NOTABLE: Wynford is ranked third in the Division V Region 18 computer rankings … Wynford can clinch at least a tie for the NCC crown with a win over the Falcons Friday night at D. Ray Baum Field … Wynford has won six straight games and has scored no less than 42 points in its last 5 games … Wynford is averaging 33.4 per game on offense … Riverdale’s Shane Rodabaugh leads the Falcons with 1013 yards on 253 carries with 10 touchdowns … Wynford’s Jordan Oliver is 58-92 passing for 924 yards with 6 Tds and 2 Ints … Wynford running back Seth Cooper is averaging 11.1 yard per carry with 840 yards on 76 carries with 11 Tds … Wynford’s Nate Etler has rushed for 661 yards on 142 carries with 11 Tds. He also has 21 catches for 270 yards and a score … The Royals’ Kyle Schroll is second in the NCC with 34 catches for 677 yards and 5 Tds … Wynford is second in the conference in both offense 366.6 yards per game and defense 250.6 yards per contest.

Fostoria Senior REDMEN at Upper Sandusky RAMS
DATELINE: Upper Sandusky
CONFERENCE: Northern Ohio League
RECORDS: Fostoria Senior 3-5, 2-3; Upper Sandusky 3-5, 1-4
LAST YEAR: Fostoria Senior 47, Upper Sandusky 10
LAST WEEK: Norwalk 28, Fostoria Senior 22; Shelby 49, Upper Sandusky 16
NOTABLE: Fostoria did not report stats this week … Upper Sandusky’s Alex Falk is third in the NOL in rushing with 627 yards on 125 carries with 4 Tds. He is 75-170 passing for 1051 yards with 7 Tds and 7 Ints … Upper Sandusky’s Ryan Burka has 25 catches for 425 yards and 3 scores … Fostoria leads the all-time series between the two schools 15-3. The series dates back to 1901 … Upper Sandusky has dropped 5 of its last 6 games … Fostoria has dropped 3 of its last 4 games …

Convoy Crestview KNIGHTS at Columbus Grove BULLDOGS
DATELINE: Columbus Grove
CONFERENCE: Northwest Conference
RECORDS: Convoy Crestview 2-6, 0-6; Columbus Grove 3-3, 4-4
LAST YEAR: Convoy Crestview 25, Columbus Grove 19
LAST WEEK: Spencerville 35, Convoy Crestview 26; Columbus Grove 35, Paulding 27
NOTABLE: Columbus Grove is in the playoff hunt. The Bulldogs are ranked eighth in the latest Division VI Region 22 computer rankings … CG quarterback Eric Maag is 52-108 passing for 755 yards with 9 Tds … Grove’s Jeremy Harnishfeger has become the school’s career rushing leader with 3532 yards on 527 carries with 43 Tds. This season he has 1242 yards on 172 carries with 15 scores … Logan Rieman leads the CG receivers with 2r catches for 392 yards with 3 Tds … Columbus Grove has a modest 3 game winning streak and has scored 110 points (36.7 points per game) during that span … Crestview has dropped 5 straight since losing their starting quarterback to a season-ending injury.

Delphos Jefferson WILDCATS at Ada BULLDOGS
CONFERENCE: Northwest Conference
RECORDS: Delphos Jefferson 5-3, 3-3; Ada 6-2, 5-1
LAST YEAR: Ada 42, Delphos Jefferson 14
LAST WEEK: Delphos Jefferson 61, Upper Scioto Valley 6; Ada 21, Allen East 6
NOTABLE: Ada heads into this game with a 3-game winning streak … Ada, Lima Central Catholic and Allen East lead the NWC standings as each team has one loss. Ada takes on LCC next week to wrap up the season … Ada is averaging 42.4 points per game on offense … Ada’s defense is allowing 28.3 points per game but they turned in their best performance of the season last week in a 21-6 win over previously unbeaten Allen East … Ada is ranked fifth in the Division VI Region 24 computer rankings … Ada quarterback Zac Dysert is 224-321 passing for 2988 yards with 27 Tds and 8 Int … Ada’s Heath Jackson has 91 catches for 1131 yards with 6 Tds while teammate Kyle Baker has 56 catches for 960 yards and 10 Tds … Jef Wolber leads the Bulldogs rushing the football with 70 carries for 440 yards and 12 touchdowns …

Paulding PANTHERS at Bluffton PIRATES
DATELINE: Bluffton
CONFERENCE: Northwest Conference
RECORDS: Paulding 0-8, 0-6; Bluffton 4-4, 2-4
LAST YEAR: Bluffton 37, Paulding 28
LAST WEEK: Columbus Grove 35, Paulding 27; Lima Central Catholic 28, Bluffton 21, OT
NOTABLE: Bluffton has dropped 3 straight games including a 28-21 overtime heartbreaker last week to Lima Central Catholic … Paulding, the largest school in the Northwest Conference is seeking their first win of the season and are allowing 42.7 points per game on defense … The Panthers have dropped 10 straight games …

Woodmore WILDCATS at Elmwood ROYALS
DATELINE: Bloomdale
CONFERENCE: Suburban Lakes League
RECORDS: Woodmore 5-3, 3-2; Elmwood 7-1, 5-0
LAST WEEK: Woodmore 27, Lake 6; Elmwood 34, Otsego 13
LAST YEAR: Elmwood 28, Woodmore 6
NOTABLE: Elmwood can clinch at least a share of the SLL title with a victory over Woodmore Friday night … Elmwood also needs a win to keep their playoff hopes alive as they are ranked 10th in the Division V Region 18 computer rankings … Elmwood has won 7 straight since a season-opening loss to Hopewell-Loudon … Elmwood has outscored their opponents 96-6 in the first quarter this season … Elmwood is averaging 39.0 points per game on offense … Elmwood quarterback Dusty Brown has 1097 yards rushing on 185 carries with 20 touchdowns. He is also 41-69 passing for 716 yards with 8 Tds and 5 Ints … Elmwood’s C.J. Allums has 764 yards rushing on 8 carries with 6 Tds … Adam Sheline is Elmwood’s top receiver with 14 catches for 175 yards … Elmwood leads the all-time series between the schools 16-13

Ottawa-Glandorf TITANS at Lima Shawnee INDIANS
CONFERENCE: Western Buckeye League
RECORDS: Ottawa-Glandorf 5-3, 4-3; Lima Shawnee 6-2, 6-1
LAST YEAR: Lima Shawnee 24, Ottawa-Glandorf 13
LAST WEEK: Ottawa-Glandorf 35, Celina 0; Lima Shawnee 40, Van Wert 6
NOTABLE: Ottawa-Glandorf’s Brian Recker rushed for 200-plus yards for the third straight game in last week’s 35-0 win over Celina …Lima Shawnee is tied for the WBL lead with Wapakoneta at 6-1 … The Titans are riding a 3-game win streak.

No comment

Sometimes I just don’t understand school administrators.

I’ve come to know a few while I’ve worked here. Some area superintendents and principals will come back with direct answers to your questions especially if you explain why you are asking the questions or tell them what you are looking for. Others will dance around the issue and either hide something or simply say no comment.

Anyone who read the blog or saw the letter to the editor in The Courier and Lima News knows about alleged bigoted language toward Lima Senior players in their girls soccer match with Riverdale. The letter writer compared Riverdale with all of the top hate mongers in the 20th and 21st century. Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden etc.

Well I went out to Riverdale yesterday. Was met by coach Jason Espinoza, Riverdale principal Deb Frey and AD Craig Taylor. I told them this was their chance to get their side of the story out. Just by looking at coach Espinoza I could see the hurt the allegations by a single letter-writer have caused him as coach and I had a feeling many of the things the letter writer said weren’t true.

But when I asked Frey whether any players were disciplined of any incidents in the game. She told me she couldn’t comment on it. I pressed her with a few other questions she wasn’t willing to comment on them either. After talking with several people off the record, I’ve found out some things that dispute the things the letterwriter said but because Frey decided to tell me “no comment” I can’t write about what I’ve learned and there will be a presumption on many readers that something actually happened or that Riverdale is hiding something.

Sometimes speaking out is the best option for administrators. It’s much better than to tell is like it is, whether it’s something unpleasant or not than to look like you are hiding something because people are suspicious and will likely jump to the worst possible conclusion.

So I’m still working on the story and from what I have learned, No Riverdale players used racial slurs against Lima Senior causing them to walk off the field and head home early.

Espinoza and his team want to put the whole episode behind them, rightfully so. They have had a terrific season and are concentrating on putting together the best tournament run they can.

Frey’s no comment, instead of coming clean with what happened and why and if players were or weren’t disciplined, have helped to keep things in the spotlight.

NEW FACE AT UPPER: Upper Sandusky will have a new wrestling coach this winter. Chuck May was hired by Upper Sandusky board of education this week. Previous coach Bill Thornton resigned the position and will be the new middle school wrestling coach.

SECTIONAL START: Sectional volleyball tournaments get underway at various sites across Northwest Ohio Saturday. Teams will come back and play their second round matches Tuesday. District cross country also begins Saturday at Terra Community College, Ottawa’s Memorial Park and Oregon’s Pearson Park.

Bucyrus area football capsules
Browns stadium mentioned as target
“Browncos” rip franchise
Florida boater stabbed in chest by stingray
CG pummels Lincolnview
Findlay Courier local sports
Redmen looking for first road win; St Wendelin travels to H-L
Ross levy vital to football future
Woodmore looking for strong finish
Fremont area football capsules
Lima News prep roundup
Lima Shawnee rips Upper Sandusky
NWC football race hits home stretch
Bath stops Ada In sectional girls soccer
Mansfield area prep roundup
Sandusky to take on Findlay, honor Orlando Pace
Tiffin area football capsules

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Decider in Dola

It’s the biggest football game in the area this weekend.

We’re talking Hardin Northern and Liberty-Benton here. It’s the battle for all of the goodies in the Blanchard Valley Conference’s trick or treat bag.

It’s gonna be a slobber-knocker. In ESPN-style, I’m billing the game as “The Decider in Dola.”

Because Dave Hanneman is on vacation this week, I has the misfortune of having to do pinch hit for him in the Courier Pigskin Picks this week. It was the only game my good buddy Mark Heiman and I disagreed on this week. Both of us made guesses, we have no clue who’s going to win Friday night and we’ve discussed every possible angle to the game all week.

You have Hardin Northern and their offensive machine. Bame, Bolen and Brunow and the boys up front opening the holes for them. Sure Ada passed all over the field against them in Week 1, but Zac Dysert may be the best Division VI quarterback in Ohio this season.

Then you have Liberty-Benton, with Aaron Craft at the helm. He’s a freshman quarterback that doesn’t play like a freshman and he’s one that could be as good as Dysert when all is said and done. Plus you have an array of outstanding athletes like Michael Busch and Wyatt Elbin at their disposal.

Then you have the coaches. A couple of old school guys in HN’s Pete Brunow and L-B’s Scott Garlock. How can you possibly not respect these guys for all they’ve accomplished.

Brunow has taken a sad program and turned it into one of the top small-school programs in the state every single year. I remember back before Pete got there, the Bears were one of the doormats of the BVC for awhile. Now his program is one of the most respected in all of Ohio and they do it with like 59 boys in the top three grades…AMAZING.

Then there’s Garlock. He takes over at Liberty-Benton and turns around their football fortunes overnight. L-B was a basketball school, where football was an afterthought. Before he got there the goal of the program was to win some games, now if they don’t make the playoffs and win the BVC fans, players and coaches won’t be satisfied. They are striving for bigger and better things.

This is what high school sports is all about.

I picked the Eagles. Why? Because someone is going to win. Heiman took the Polar Bears, he flipped a coin 9 times and HN was declared the winner.

No matter who wins the game, all the kids that walk off the field at HN Friday night will be winners in my book.

Now you tell me…Who is going to win and why?

School outlaws tag, touch football at recess
NFL: Tackling by hair is legal
Continental eliminates Ottoville in girls soccer
Findlay Courier Local Sports
Fostoria Review Times local sports
Unbeaten Ross hosts Harding
Presidents face crucial game in Fremont
Ada, Dysert posting amazing numbers
Allen East group asks school to add soccer
Lucas coaches enter not guilty pleas to DUIs
Mansfield area prep sports roundup

Harding success starts with film study

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Playoff prognosis

All right it’s a rainy Tuesday morning so what better time is there than to look at area teams’ football teams playoff chances the with just two weeks left in the season.

Many thanks to Joe Eitel’s website for making this early look at the playoff possibilities a reality.

Unlike most journalists, I have an eye for numbers. I won’t make my own little Excel spreadsheet until next week when things get a little clearer. Well here we go the doctor is in with your playoff prescription for pigskin predictions.

Division IV Region 14OTTAWA-GLANDORF -- The Titans weren’t even on the radar a couple of weeks ago the last time I took a look at things. But the Titans are on a bit of a roll now winning three straight with running back Brian Recker wreaking opposing WBL defenses for 200-yards rushing in each of his last three games. Two tough foes, Lima Shawnee (6-2) and Defiance (5-3) are up next for O-G. While they are sitting 13th in the region. A pair of wins would vault them quite a ways up and if a few of the teams above them drop games, the Titans could vie for that No.8 spot. BUT they have to take care of things on the field. Prognosis: A snowball’s chance, but a chance nonetheless.

Division V Region 18
PATRICK HENRY -- As long as the Patriots beat Sidney Lehman (5-3) Saturday and Wauseon (5-3) in Week 10, PH will be hosting a playoff game in Week 11. Coach Bill Inselmann’s crew WILL move into the top 4 with a pair of wins. They are currently fifth and as long as PH wins they will nudge past Wynford who has Riverdale (2-6) and Colonel Crawford (1-7) left and the loser of Friday’s titanic matchup between unbeaten Ayersville and Fairview. The offense is finally rolling and PH is scoring points faster than a combine harvesting soybeans. Prognosis: Print the playoff tickets.

LIBERTY-BENTON -- OK here’s where things get a little sticky. For the Eagles it’s this simple, beat Hardin Northern (8-0) and Pandora-Gilboa (5-3) in Weeks 9 and 10 and you’re in. If they lose to the Polar Bears, they could still sneak in but a lot has to happen. Elmwood would have to lose to both Woodmore (5-3) and Eastwood (5-3) and Tinora would have to lose to Fairview in Week 10. Not a likely scenario. So it’s a matter of just taking care of business Friday night for L-B, your future is in your own hands. Prognosis: Do or die.

ELMWOOD -- The Royals are in must win mode too. They have to knock off Woodmore (5-3) Friday night and then secure a hard to come by victory against Eastwood (5-3) the final week of the season. Even then, if Liberty-Benton and Tinora wins out, it won’t matter because the Royals wouldn’t get enough points to probably secure a playoff spot. They need both teams to lose at least one of their final two games to sneak in at No.8. Since both the Eagles and the Rams have an unbeaten team still on the slate the final 2 weeks it’s a real possibility. Prognosis: Just win and pray for unexpected Harbins from North Baltimore and Port Clinton on Sunday at church.

Division VI Region 22
HOPEWELL-LOUDON -- The Chieftains are in like Flynn and the most feared team in this region. Should make for an interesting Week 10 match up when they take on MAL rival and current No.2 team in the region Mohawk. Who ever wins that game will be the No.1 seed from the region with the loser taking the No.2 spot. Hopewell-Loudon plays St. Wendelin and Mohawk takes on North Baltimore, the starters will be pulled early this week to prevent injuries. Prognosis: Pre-regional preview in Week 10.

McCOMB -- The Panthers have just quietly gone about the business of winning football games all season long. Not many computer points out there with Arcadia (2-6) and Leipsic (1-7) the next two weeks. Their No.4 spot in tenous at best. They probably won’t hang on to the No.4 spot with their remaining schedule and could tumble all the way to No.7 even if they win out. That’s bad for McComb and good for me because that pressbox at Doc Miller Field scared the hell outta me. Anyway, McComb is in with 2 wins but probably won’t host their first round game. Prognosis: Lay in a good supply of charcoal McComb tailgaters.

COLUMBUS GROVE -- Three straight victories and a huge win over Lima Central Catholic have vaulted the Bulldogs into the picture in Region 22. The Dogs have a struggling Convoy Crestview (2-6) team this week before taking on rival Bluffton (4-4) in Week 10. If the Bulldogs win out, they are probably in at No.7 or No.8 if they lose either game, they could still sneak in of Pandora-Gilboa or Liberty Center picks up a loss in the final two weeks but things get a little dicey. But Liberty Center must lose to Delta (7-1) this week for Grove to cling to the No.8 position. Prognosis: Just win baby!

PANDORA-GILBOA -- If they Rockets can take care of Cory-Rawson and pull a stunning upset of Liberty-Benton in Week 10, they’ll have a chance of making it. Wouldn’t that be sweet for the Rockets and their fans to go from 1-9 to the playoffs! It’ll be tough though and a lot has to happen. Prognosis: Getting ready to pull the plug

Division VI Region 24
HARDIN NORTHERN -- The Polar Bears are in and with wins the final two weeks they could overtake Springfield Catholic Central and Mechanicsburg for the top spot in the region. Even if the unthinkable happens and they lost to L-B, they’ll still host an opening roun game with a win in Week 10. Prognosis: Top-seeded bound.

ADA -- The Bulldogs solidified their playoff chances by beating Allen East last week. One more win would assure things, two wins, would likely give them a home game in the opening round. I’m hoping it happens. Prognosis: Looking good.

A link to my column saluting linemen
Courier’s Monday Local Sports (Includes soccer, volleyball results and a story on Vanlue’s girls basketball coach)
BG Police Shoot Theft Suspect in hospital
Lucas High School coaches set to be arraigned
Bryan takes NWOAL cross country title
AP Prep Football Poll
Weekly prep soccer poll
Weekly prep volleyball poll
St. Joseph is 5th at state golf tourney
Lima News Monday prep roundup
Mansfield Area Prep Roundup
NOL Football Stats from the Shelby Globe
Mohawk beats OF in non-MAL volleyball match
Calvert stops Mohawks 2-0 in soccer action

Monday, October 16, 2006

Scrapes with the law

There’s a little colorful language in this edition of The Buzz. So for the easily offended I apologize in advance.

OK I never knew by starting a blog my own criminal past would finally catch up with me.

Yep, I’m originally from Fostoria but that doesn’t mean I have a rap sheet as lengthy as some in town do. No I’ve never had a window tint violation. A ticket for loud exhaust, one for a rolling stop and another for littering after a buddy and I didn’t pick up all of our beer bottles on a fishing trip. Those without sin may cast the first stone….but I’m more than likely gonna chuck it right back at you.

Oh and how can I forget that trip to the Old Fort sectional basketball game when I was a freshman in high school. There I was with two friends. Little did I know that they packed a case of beer in a cooler. As they reached into the cooler and handed me one of those 7-ounce green bottles of Little Kings Cream Ale. How could I possibly resist. Just as I gulped down the last of the bottle, we heard a rap on the window. It was a Seneca County Deputy Sheriff. BUSTED!

We got to spend the entire game with the deputy sitting in the stands waiting for our parents to come and get us. It wasn’t a pretty sight and my mom opened up a can of whup-ass on me when I got home. I don’t know which was worse, my mom’s disappointment in what I had done or having to spend my entire 3-day in-school suspension in the St. Wendelin High School chapel.

But that story brings me to another topic athletes in trouble. I’m not talking about prep athletes because most of their scrapes with the law are much like my own were. Maybe getting busted drinking or doing something else a little foolish that we all probably did when we were teenagers. The exception to the rule are the deer decoy boys from Kenton.

I’m talking about high profile athletes at the professional and college level. Sometimes I just don’t understand them. They have everything, fame, fortune, money, cars, women and many of them just seem to piss it all away with stupid actions like taking drugs, beating up their wives and girlfriends, carrying weapons or like the Pacers players getting in an altercation involving guns at a strip club.

I know it’s easy to sit here and judge. As I drink my morning generic Chef’s Blend coffee and drive around looking for a place that sells gasoline 2 cents cheaper than anyone else, it’s hard to relate to the rich and famous. I’d like to think if I was in their situation I would use my God given athletic talent to the best of my ability and not end up like Maurice Clarett or Steve Howe. But I guess until you walk a mile in their shoes you never know.

Tomorrow a look at the area prep playoff picture and more.

The Courier Monday Sports
Columbian breezes past uninspired Galion
Shelby hammers Upper on homecoming

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Staying focused with 2 weeks to play

Week 8 of the prep football season is nearly in the books.

There is one game on the schedule for tonight between Bluffton and Lima Central Catholic, but other than that most area teams have just 2 games left to play.

It’s a tough time of year to be a football player or a coach. You either have something to play for the final two weeks, a playoff spot a chance at a league championship, or you don’t. If you have something to play for it’s easier for coaches to keep their teams focused on the task at hand. I remember what it was like myself.

My junior and senior year we had decent teams but we weren’t in the hunt for a playoff spot or league championship during the final couple of weeks of the season. While we played the final games with everything we had it was natural for thoughts to begin going in other directions. For me I started thinking about and preparing for the upcoming wrestling season. After the last game of the season I even told one of my coaches, Mike Lee, that football for me was just something to do before wrestling started. I didn’t really mean it because I did love playing football but if there was nothing at stake, the games just didn’t mean as much to me. I was thinking about the next big thing coming up.

Here’s a little tip for any seniors out there playing in your final two games with nothing on the line. Enjoy it, savor it and play every down like it’s your last one. Don’t take anything for granted and don’t look ahead. You only get one chance to play high school football so enjoy every single second of it while you can.

SLURRING WORDS: Take this for what it’s worth. There was a letter to the editor in Friday’s Lima News explaining why Lima Senior’s girls soccer team walked off the field n a recent match against Riverdale. The letter writer said the Lima Senior team was the object of racial slurs by Riverdale players and fans. So instead of finishing the game, which they were trailing in badly, they decided to leave the field before the match was over. Not sure what to think about this, especially since I wasn’t there. I’ve met a lot of people at R-dale over the years and they are all genuinely nice people. Lima Senior walked off in a game they were trailing Findlay last year when the Trojans were crushing them at halftime.
Is something we should be looking into or is it best to let sleeping dogs lie? I’d definitely get both sides perspectives. What should I do?

HOCKEY NOTES: There’s been a Ken Zirkle sighting. You remember Mr. Zirkle, he was the head of the University of Findlay. He did a lot of good things like boost the UF’s enrollment. But he was also essentially forced out by the board of trustees after ringing up a sizable budget shortfall in his final few years.

Well he’s back as president of Becker College in Massachusetts. One of the things in retrospect that was a complete failure during Zirkle’s tenure was starting men’s and women’s hockey programs a UF. The programs ended up just being a money-sucking waste for the Oilers and upon Zirkle’s departure the programs were discontinued. It was interesting because when UF started hockey who did they name as head coach? Zirkle’s son-in-law Craig Barnett.

Well Zirkle is at it again. Becker has started a men’s hockey program from scratch. Guess who the coach is? You guessed it --- Barnett. He is also the school’s athletic director. Glad to see nepotism is still alive and well in college athletics.

TROJAN TIME: Good to see the Trojans put together a pretty good game last night at Donnell Stadium against Fremont Ross. They probably aren’t as bad as their 2-6 record would indicate. Here’s hoping the team gets wins against Sandusky and Napoleon the next two weeks to give Coach Mark Ritzler and his players something to build on next season.

Findlay Courier Saturday’s Local Sports
Eagles stop Riverdale in overtime
Fostoria Review Times Saturday Morning Sports
Little Giants get past Trojans
Ada mutes Mustangs
Mansfield Area prep football boxscores
Napoleon hands Harding a GBC loss
Port Clinton area football boxes
Elmwood locks up Otsego, Donald

Friday, October 13, 2006

Going multimedia

Went out to Riverdale last night to cover the North Central Ohio Soccer Association showdown between the Falcons and Cory-Rawson.

Man, was it brutal out there last night. Temperatures in the mid 30s and wind gusting in excess of 30 miles an hour. I would rather be sitting in the sweltering heat of summer than sitting there shivering bracing myself against the wind like I had to last night. Wow.

I didn’t mind though it was a chance to get out of the office on a Thursday night and see something so I should never complain about that.

I want to change gears a little bit on this sunny Friday morning.

Did anyone out there ever watch the weekly television show we did a couple of years ago on UF TV? It was called Sports Scene and we had a half hour each week to talk about local sports. They only way you got to see it is if you a had Time Warner Cable in Hancock County or Fostoria. Some people out there used to watch it and I think it had kind of a cult-like following.

I have to tell you we had a lot of fun doing it. It was great. At least for me, I’d roll in there, turn the cameras on and start talking. Unfortunately the UF TV is on a shoestring budget and they decided the cut back on local programming the next year.

There’s talk of a possible radio show. Would anyone listen? Or call in with questions or comments on local sports. Is there enough interest in the Findlay area for a weekly radio sports call in show. Would you listen to it once a week instead of some kind of canned programming the radio station carries like ESPN radio.

Just throwing that possibility out there.

Findlay Courier’s Friday local sports
Redmen eye .500 mark, Mohawks put loss behind them
St. Joe looks ahead to state golf
Fremont area football capsules
Mansfield area prep roundup
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune prep sports (lots of stories today)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Week 8 Football Notes

CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Arcadia 1-6 overall, 0-6 Blanchard Valley Conference; Vanlue 0-7, 0-6
LAST WEEK: Arlington 27, Arcadia 20; McComb 62, Vanlue 20
LAST YEAR: Arcadia 14, Vanlue 7
NOTABLE: Arcadia leads the all-time series between the two schools 56-21-4 … Vanlues defense is ranked last in the BVC allowing 54.3 and 380.3 yards per game … The Wildcats also rank eighth in offense gaining 257.1 yards and scoring 17.0 points per game … Arcadia ranks eighth in the conference in defense 339.0 yards and 28.7 points per game. They also rate ninth in offense at 14.4 points and 245.7 yards per game … Vanlue’s Nick Lee has rushed for 482 yards on 105 carries with 7 touchdowns and is 89-173 passing for 1,113 yards 15 Tds and 9 Ints … Vanlue’s Josh Kloepfer leads the BVC in receiving with 42 catches for 577 yards and 7 Tds … Arcadia’s Kirk Ridenour has 28 catches for 383 yards and 3 Tds, teammate A.J. Holman has 25 catches for 367 yards and 5 Tds … Arcadia quarterback Kirian is 66-137 passing for 902 yards 9 Tds and 8 Ints … Game is at Hinkle Field … Arcadia’s Austin Riggs has 4 interceptions … The Redskins have fumbled the ball away 11 times this season

Cory-Rawson HORNETS at McComb PANTHERS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Cory-Rawson 3-4 overall, 3-3 Blanchard Valley Conference; McComb 5-2, 4-2
LAST WEEK: Hardin Northern 48, Cory-Rawson 6; McComb 62, Vanlue 20
LAST YEAR: McComb 40, Cory-Rawson 14
NOTABLE: McComb is ranked sixth in the latest Division VI Region 22 computer rankings …McComb is averaging 29.6 points per game on offense and the Panthers are second in the conference allowing just 11.0 points per game on defense … McComb quarterback Kevan Westenbarger is second in the conference in passing hitting on 114-206 passes for 1,234 yards 11 Tds and 7 Ints … Cory-Rawson quarterback Joe Marshall is 34-100 passing for 424 yards with 5 Ints and 4 Tds … McComb’s Derrick Hill has 577 yards rushing on 87 carries with 11 touchdowns … Cory-Rawson has two solid running backs in Andy Wagner (653 yards, 114 carries, 4 Tds) and Jeremiah Boss-Hummel (455 yards, 102 carries, 7 Tds) … Boss-Hummel also has 19 catches for 260 yards and 2 Tds ,… Noah Shoop leads the Panther receiving corps with 33 catches for 321 yards while Rader has 26 receptions for 241 yards and Inbody has 27 catches for 291 yards and 4 Tds … McComb leads the all time series 26-25-3

Hardin Northern POLAR BEARS at Pandora-Gilboa ROCKETS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Hardin Northern 7-0 overall, 6-0 Blanchard Valley Conference; Pandora-Gilboa 5-2, 4-2
LAST WEEK: Hardin Northern 48, Cory-Rawson 6; Pandora-Gilboa 28, Van Buren 18
LAST YEAR: Hardin Northern 63, Pandora-Gilboa 6
NOTABLE: Hardin Northern is the No.1 ranked team in the latest Associated Press Division VI poll and is ranked third in the Division VI Region 24 computer rankings … Pandora-Gilboa is ranked No.8 in the Region 22 computer rankings … Hardin Northern is tied for first place atop the BVC with Liberty-Benton and the Eagles and Polar Bears tangle next week … Hardin Northern leads the BVC in offense averaging 48.9 points and 471.7 yards per game. They also rank second in defense yielding 11.9 points and 229.9 yards a game … Pandora-Gilboa has fumbled the ball away a league-high 4 times … HN junior Nathan Bame leads the BVC in scoring (146 points) and rushing with 1155 yards on 140 carries with 22 touchdowns … HN’s Travis Bolen is third in the conference with 834 yards on 86 carries and 8 touchdowns … HN quarterback Cory Brunow has 409 yards rushing on 41 carries and 5 Tds and is 13-29 passing for 414 yards 9 Tds and 1 INT… P-G quarterback Ethan Luginbill is 68-102 passing for 641 yards with 9 Tds and 3 Ints … P-G’s Cory Forney is fourth in the BVC in rushing with 813 yards on 145 carries with 13 Tds … Michael Howell has 23 catches for 225 yards and Mike Shuey has 25 catches for 219 yards to lead the Rocket receivers … Lee has 4 interceptions to lead Pandora-Gilboa’s defense … Pandora-Gilboa leads the BVC series between the two schools 21-19 …

Leipsic VIKINGS at Arlington RED DEVILS
DATELINE: Arlington
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Leipsic 1-6 overall, 1-5 Blanchard Valley Conference; Arlington 4-3, 3-3
LAST WEEK: Liberty-Benton 52, Leipsic 0; Arlington 27, Arcadia 20
LAST YEAR: Arlington 47, Leipsic 14
NOTABLE: The Red Devils are the top team in the conference with 16 interceptions on defense. Travis Rettig and Richard each have 5 picks for Arlington … Leipsic has lost a league low 2 fumbles this season … Arlington ranks third in the BVC in offense and defense. The Red Devils are averaging 31.0 points and 380.1 yards per game on offense and are allowing 20.3 points and 245.1 yards per game on defense …Leipsic ranks last in the conference on offense at 5.9 points and 117.4 yards per game and are also ninth in defense 29.4 points and 358.6 yards per game … Rettig is having a terrific season on offense for the Devils. He is second in the BVC in scoring (108 points) and rushing with 887 yards on 131 carries and 13 Tds … Arlington’s Heavrin has 366 yards rushing on 61 carries …Arlington’s Jacob Drerup is 55-107 passing for 771 yards with 8 Tds and 6 Ints … Leipsic’s Arty Lomeli is 24-79 passing for 222 yards with 9 Ints and 1 TD … Morin leads Leipsic’s rushing effort with 377 yards on 79 carries …

Van Buren BLACK KNIGHTS at Liberty-Benton EAGLES
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Van Buren 4-3 overall, 3-3 Blanchard Valley Conference; Liberty-Benton 6-1, 6-0
LAST WEEK: Pandora-Gilboa 28, Van Buren 18; Liberty-Benton 52, Leipsic 0
LAST YEAR: Liberty-Benton 34, Van Buren 0
NOTABLE: Liberty-Benton is ranked ninth in the latest Division V Region 18 computer rankings … Liberty-Benton has won six straight since a season opening overtime loss to Mohawk … Liberty-Benton ranks second in offense at 40.6 points and 450.6 yards in the BVC and are No.1 in defense at 8.6 points and 180.1 yards per game … Van Buren is scoring 26.7 but allowing 24.1 points per game … Van Buren is second in the BVC with 13 interceptions on defense … Liberty-Benton’s Michael Busch is third in scoring at 104 points … L-B freshman quarterback Aaron Craft is 85-112 passing for 1254 yards with 13 Tds and 1 INT … Van Buren’s Adam Greer is 80-136 passing for 1082 yards with 10 Tds and 12 Ints … L-B’s Wyatt Elbin has 810 yards rushing on 103 carries with 13 Tds … Greer leads Van Buren with 508 yards rushing on 110 carries and * Tds while teammate Matt Pate has 381 yards on 76 carries and 5 Tds … Busch is second in the BVC with 24 receptions for 514 yards and 6 Tds and Brandon Craft has 292 yards on 19 carries with 2 scores … Van Buren’s Colin Stoffel has 23 catches for 418 yards and 2 TDS while teammates Logan Grant (18, 226) and Mason Watkins (17, 225) have also had solid seasons … Stoffel also has 4 interceptions … Van Buren leads the series between the schools 28-19-1

Fremont Ross LITTLE GIANTS at Findlay TROJANS
CONFERENCE: Greater Buckeye Conference
RECORDS: Fremont Ross 7-0 overall, 2-0 Greater Bukeye Conference; Findlay 2-5, 1-1
LAST WEEK: Fremont Ross 55, Lima Senior 20; Marion Harding 24, Findlay 21
LAST YEAR: Findlay 34, Fremont Ross 27
NOTABLE: Fremont Ross is ranked seventh in the latest Associated Press Division I poll and is rated No.2 in the Division I Region 2 computer rankings … A loss would likely drop the two-time defending GBC champion Trojans out of contention for the league title … The game at Donnell Stadium is Findlay’s homecoming game … The Little Giants enter the game averaging 36.4 points per game ,,, Marion Harding turned four first half turnovers by the Trojans into 17 points in last week’s win over Findlay …

CONFERENCE: Midland Athletic League
RECORDS: Mohawk 6-1 overall, 4-0 Midland Athletic League; Carey 3-4, 2-2
LAST WEEK: Mohawk 48, Fremont St. Joseph 7; Seneca East 26, Carey 14
LAST YEAR: Mohawk 41, Carey 0
NOTABLE: Mohawk is ranked No.11 in the latest Associated Press Division VI poll and is No.2 in the Region 22 computer rankings … Mohawk is tied for the MAL lead with Hopewell-Loudon and play the Chieftains in Week 10 … Game is at Wentling Field between the longtime bitter neighborhood rivals … Mohawk is allowing just 12 points per game while scoring an average of 37.7 points per game on offense … After taking a third quarter lead Carey couldn’t hold on as Seneca East came away with a 26-14 Midland Athletic League victory over the Blue Devils Friday night … Mike Giesey and Derek Stock, who rushed for 99 yards on 22 carries, both scored touchdowns in last year’s loss for Carey …

North Baltimore TIGERS at Hopewell-Loudon CHIEFTAINS
CONFERENCE: Midland Athletic League
RECORDS: North Baltimore 1-6 overall, 1-3 Midland Athletic League; Hopewell-Loudon 7-0, 4-0
LAST WEEK: North Baltimore 18, Fostoria St. Wendelin 0; Hopewell-Loudon 57, Tiffin Calvert 7
LAST YEAR: Hopewell-Loudon 31, North Baltimore 6
NOTABLE: Hopewell-Loudon is ranked No.1 in the Region 22 computer rankings and is No. 2 in the Associated Press Division VI poll … Hopewell-Loudon is tied for the MAL lead with Mohawk and they play the Warriors in Week 10 … North Baltimore won their first game of the season last week beating St. Wendelin 18-0 on homecoming night it was new head coach Ryan Hite’s first career coaching victory … Hopewell-Loudon has won 33 straight games and an MAL record 24 straight league contests … Hopewell-Loudon’s Sean Brickner finished with 157 yards on 13 carries, while Brose netted 206 yards passing to surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Hopewell-Loudon rushed for 245 yards and passed for 251 in last week’s win … Matt Woodruff finished with 62 yards rushing on 11 carries while Herr added 63 yards on 16 attempts for the Tigers in last week’s win.

Tiffin Calvert SENECAS at Fostoria St. Wendelin MOHAWKS
DATELINE: Fostoria
CONFERENCE: Midland Athletic League
RECORDS: Tiffin Calvert 1-6 overall, 1-3 Midland Athletic League; Fostoria St. Wendelin 2-5, 0-4
LAST WEEK: Hopewell-Loudon 57, Tiffin Calvert 7; North Baltimore 18, Fostoria St. Wendelin 0
LAST YEAR: Tiffin Calvert 67, Fostoria St. Wendelin 13
NOTABLE: Game is St. Wendelin’s homecoming game … Tony Peiffer toted the ball 16 times for 82 yards for St. Wendelin in last week’s loss to North Batimore … Hopewell-Loudon gained 496 yards on offense against Calvert last week … Calvert is allowing an average of 37.0 points per game …

Riverdale FALCONS at Colonel Crawford EAGLES
DATELINE: North Robinson
CONFERENCE: North Central Conference
RECORDS: Riverdale 2-5 overall, 1-3 North Central Conference; Colonel Crawford 0-7, 0-4
LAST WEEK: Bucyrus 49, Riverdale 6; Crestline 38, Colonel Crawford 6
LAST YEAR: Colonel Crawford 37, Riverdale 7
NOTABLE: Riverdale could not find a way to stop Bucyrus’ offense as the Redmen walked away with a 49-6 North Central Conference win last week … Riverdale’s Shane Rodabaugh had a stellar night for the Falcons (2-5, 1-3), rushing for 157 yards on 34 carries while scoring on a 15-yard run … Bucyrus finished with 521 yards of total offense while Riverdale had 238 yards with 235 coming via the running game … Colonel Crawford has an 8 game losing streak … Brandon Tackett leads Colonel Crawford and is second in the NCC with 764 yards on 139 carries and 3 Tds … Derek Sherman leads the Eagles’ receivers with 13 catches for 307 yards … Colonel Crawford’s D.J. Hammock is 25-53 passing for 417 yards with 4 Tds and 7 ints … Tackett also leads the Colonel Crawford defense with 76 tackles … Colonel Crawford is allowing an average of 41.8 points per game and 410.3 yards per game on defense

Fostoria Senior REDMEN at Norwalk TRUCKERS
CONFERENCE: Northern Ohio League
RECORDS: Fostoria Senior 3-4 overall, 2-2 Northern Ohio League; Norwalk 1-6, 1-3
LAST WEEK: Fostoria 21, Willard 0; Tiffin Columbian 48, Norwalk 3
LAST YEAR: Fostoria 51, Norwalk 6
NOTABLE: Fostoria is second in the NOL in offense at 338.1 yards per game … Norwalk is allowing an average of 35.0 points per game on defense … Fostoria’s Micah Hyde is the top passer in the NOL connecting on 95-181 for 1380 yards 14 Tds and 7 Ints … Norwalk’s Kyle Kurtz is second in the conference in passing hitting 91-180 for 1058 yards and 8 Ints and 4 Tds … Hyde has also rushed for 402 yards on 102 carries with 2 Tds while Chase Hampton has added 447 yards on 82 carries with 5 Tds … Trey Ringle has rushed for 312 yards on 55 carries for the Truckers … Fostoria’s Chase Munoz leads the NOL in receiving with 848 yards on 48 catches … Norwalk’s Clay Duncan has 18 catches for 444 yards while S. Krebs had 30 receptions for 328 yards … Norwalk’s A. Enderle has an NOL best 4 interceptions … Game is at Norwalk’s Whitney Field … Fostoria leads the series between the two schools 5-2 … The first game between the schools was back in 1901 …

Upper Sandusky RAMS at Shelby WHIPPETS
CONFERENCE: Northern Ohio League
RECORDS: Upper Sandusky 3-4 overall, 1-3 Northern Ohio League; Shelby 5-2, 4-0
LAST WEEK: Upper Sandusky 21, Galion 14; Shelby 31, Bellevue 21
LAST YEAR: Shelby 42, Upper Sandusky 27
NOTABLE: Shelby is ranked 10th in the latest Division III Region 11 computer rankings and is currently tied with Tiffin Columbian for the NOL lead … After blowing a 14-0 lead Upper Sandusky edged its way past Galion in Northern Ohio League action Friday night posting a 21-14 victory over the Tigers. Kirk Miller, Aaron Webster and Kris Young scored Upper Sandusky’s touchdowns in last week’s win … Upper Sandusky quarterback Alex Falk ended last week’s game with 127 yards on 20 carries for the Rams (3-4, 1-3). Webster went over 100 yards rushing (104) for Upper Sandusky carrying the ball 20 times … Falk is third in the NOL in passing connecting in 62-143 880 yards with 6 Tds and 7 Ints. He is also third in the NOL in rushing with 605 yards on 110 carries … Webster has 375 yards on 61 carries for the Rams … Shelby’s B.J. Taylor is second in the NOL in rushing with 799 yards on 122 carries with 14 touchdowns … Upper Sandusky’s Ryan Burka has hauled in 21 passes for 355 yards …

DATELINE: Lafayette
CONFERENCE: Northwest Conference
RECORDS: Ada 5-2 overall, 4-1 Northwest Conference; Allen East 7-0, 6-0
LAST WEEK: Ada 54, Convoy Crestview 20; Allen East 46, Paulding 13
LAST YEAR: Ada 23, Allen East 20
NOTABLE: Allen East is in first place in the NWC and can clinch at least a share of the NWC crown with a victory … The Mustangs are ranked No.2 in the Division V Region 20 computer rankings and are 19th in the latest Division V AP poll … Ada ranks seventh in the Division VI Region 24 computer rankings … Zac Dysert converted 26 of 33 passes for 400 yards and four touchdowns in last week’s win over Paulding … Freshman Heath Jackson hauled in 14 of Dysert’s aerials for 228 yards and a pair of Tds … Ada amassed 579 yards of total offense, Crestview (2-5, 0-5) had 307 yards in last week’s game … Dysert is 207-287 passing for 2,789 yards, 26 Tds and 8 Ints … Jackson has 82 catches for 1066 yards and 5 Tds while Kyle Baker has 52 catches for 868 yards and 10 Tds … Jef Wolber leads Ada’s rushing effort with 356 yards on 55 carries with 11 touchdowns …

Columbus Grove BULLDOGS at Paulding PANTHERS
DATELINE: Paulding
CONFERENCE: Northwest Conference
RECORDS: Columbus Grove 3-4 overall, 2-3 Northwest Conference; Paulding 0-7, 0-5
LAST WEEK: Columbus Grove 34, Delphos Jefferson 28; Allen East 46, Paulding 13
LAST YEAR: Columbus Grove 39, Paulding 29
NOTABLE: Columbus Grove is ranked seventh in the latest Division V Region 22 computer rankings … Paulding has lost 9 straight games …

Archbold BLUE STREAKS at Patrick Henry PATRIOTS
CONFERENCE: Northwest Ohio Athletic League
RECORDS: Archbold 3-4 overall, 3-2 Northwest Ohio Athletic League; Patrick Henry 6-1, 5-1
LAST WEEK: Delta 28, Archbold 27; Patrick Henry 62, Bryan 33
LAST YEAR: Patrick Henry 49, Archbold 24
NOTABLE: Patrick Henry is ranked sixth in the latest Division V Region 18 computer rankings … Patrick Henry scored on seven of its first nine possessions and Drew Kuesel tied a school record with 3 interceptions as Patrick Henry mauled winless Bryan 62-33 last week … It was the most points scored ever by 2 teams in an NWOAL game … Kuesel scored four times, returning a pass 27 yards for a TD in the first quarter and recording scoring runs of 9, 20 and 46 yards … PH recorded 339 total yards and had 133 yards passing, saw Tom Busch throw a pair of 27-yard TD passes to Zach Bonner and Kyle Brubaker and a 5-yard aerial to Mitch Leonard.

Otsego KNIGHTS at Elmwood ROYALS
DATELINE: Bloomdale
CONFERENCE: Suburban Lakes League
RECORDS: Otsego 6-1 overall, 4-0 Suburban Lakes League; Elmwood 6-1, 4-0
LAST WEEK: Otsego 26, Lake 20; Elmwood 63, Gibsonburg 0
LAST YEAR: Elmwood 28, Otsego 21, OT
NOTABLE: Otsego and Elmwood are tied for first place in the SLL standings … Otsego is ranked 4th in the Division IV Region 14 computer rankings … Elmwood senior Dusty Brown rushed for 3 touchdowns and passed for another for the Royals. On the night, Brown was 7-of-10 passing with a 65-yard TD pass to Trey Farabee and he scored on runs of 11, 5 and 1 yards. Brown now has 969 rushing yards after last week’s game … Elmwood defense gave up 74 total yards. Gibsonburg had a mere 30 yards rushing last week … Otsego’s Cody Donald leads the SLL in rushing … Elmwood has won 6 straight since losing to Hopewell-Loudon in the season opener … Brown is also 39-66 passing for 689 yards with 4 Tds and 7 Int … Elmwood is averaging 39.8 points per game on offense.

Celina BULLDOGS at Ottawa-Glandorf TITANS
CONFERENCE: Western Buckeye League
RECORDS: Celina 2-5 overall, 2-4 Western Buckeye League; Ottawa-Glandorf 4-3, 3-3
LAST WEEK: Lima Bath 21, Celina 8; Ottawa-Glandorf 40, Celina 10
LAST YEAR: Ottawa-Glandorf 40, Celina 20
NOTABLE: Brian Recker recorded his second straight 200-plus yardage game and Ottawa-Glandorf exploded for 27 first-half points in steamrolling Van Wert 40-10 last week … Recker, though, followed up a 228-yard performance from a week earlier against Lima Bath with 235 yards on 19 carries against the Cougars … He scored on 89-yard run in the first quarter and went 7 yards for a score in the second as the Titans blew out to a 27-3 halftime lead … O-G rolled up 320 yards rushing and the Titans held the Cougars to 19 yards on the ground last week …