Heart of Ohio Sports Observer Vol 2.6

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Published on
September 28, 2023

Here we go. 

The regular season is coming down the stretch and it will be over before you know it. 

Thanks to some back and forth, we are glad to add Hopewell-Loudon to the recap each week. The Chieftains have had massive success so far and I’ll get into how they’ve done it in a minute. 

This week, we’re adding in where each team stands in their respective regions. Remember, 16 teams from each region qualify for the playoffs. The top-4 teams in each region would host two playoff games while the top-8 will host one game. Not having to go to a neutral site until Week 13 would be nice. 

We might get into a bit more next week, but with all of the playoff football games on Fridays, what does Calvert and Columbian do? I think it’s a pretty good lock at this point that both will have a home playoff game in Week 11 and decent chance it could be the same in Week 12. Check back next week for a little insight into that. 

Speaking of Calvert and Columbian, this week is the doubleheader at Frost-Kalnow. Is it the first of more to come later this season?! 

Follow me on X (Twitter): @joshuamorgret 

Tiffin Columbian (5-1): The Tornadoes picked up yet another tough win last week, topping Sandusky, 42-35. Columbian was the beneficiary of a couple major miscues by the Blue Streaks, but going to Sandusky and winning is never an easy thing. Quarterback Brayden Roggow completed 13-of-21 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns while Damien Brockington ran 30 times for 179 yards and four scores. I know I sound like a broken record, but that kind of balance is huge for any team and Columbian is using it to get big wins. For the season, Roggow has completed 114-of-171 passes for 1,458 yards and 12 TDs while Brockington has amassed 149 carries for 966 yards and 16 scores. It is still a three-headed monster at receiver for Columbian as Bryce Roggow (32 catches, 381 yards, four touchdowns), Jack Koerper (21-395-2), and Brady Gooding (22-416-6) are as tough a trio to defend as any in the area. Columbian faces a really good Clyde team this week at 4:30 p.m. at Frost-Kalnow. How both teams adjust to the early start will be evident early on. Eventually, no one will even realize the game kicked off 2 ½ hours early. Clyde is coming in off a 31-7 loss and has lost two out of its last three games since starting 3-0. Drake Guhn has taken over as quarterback after the injury to Brennan Wilson. Guhn threw three interceptions last week against Perkins. Chauncy Miracle leads the running game with 62 rushes for 358 yards while Clark Norman has 42 carries for 318 yards and seven TDs. 

Current playoff position: 6th in Division III, Region 10 

Tiffin Calvert (5-0): The Senecas were ready to rock and roll against Fremont St. Joseph only for the game to be cancelled early in the afternoon last Friday due to illness at SJCC. Calvert would have likely named the score against the Crimson Streaks, who have been outscored 299-18 this season. Instead, the Senecas had a bye and perhaps a surprise welcome to get some kids healthy. Since I typically include a lot of offensive numbers and those haven’t changed since last week’s edition, let’s give some love to the defense and offensive linemen. Caden Cook paces the defense with 40 tackles while Billy Clouse (38 tackles) and Jacob Rombach (36) are close behind. Clouse and Xaxier Kimmet each have two interceptions while Rombach has grabbed one. The offensive line – players like Cook, Jacob Recker, Cameron Moyer, and Connor Moyer – have done a tremendous job blocking for running backs Rombach and Cal Warnement and quarterback Harry Shultz. Calvert gets back on the field against Margaretta in the back half of the doubleheader at Frost-Kalnow with kick scheduled for 8 p.m. Margaretta also has a second-string quarterback after an injury to Judah Keller. Jake Bouy has completed 23-of-30 passes for 270 yards since taking over. Kaine Smetzer is the leading rusher at 60 carries for 285 yards for the Polar Bears. Margaretta has two main receivers – Gage Bodey (28 receptions, 328 yards, three TDs) and Julian Washington (25-415-5). Washington is a treat to watch play basketball if you ever get the chance too. Just a sophomore. 

Current playoff position: 4th in Division VII, Region 26 

Hopewell-Loudon (6-0): The Chieftains have faced little to no resistance this season, winning every game by double digits so far. The closest game for H-L so far was last week’s 26-14 win over Margaretta – but the Chieftains led 26-0 at halftime of that one. H-L’s premier win so far has been Week 1 over Carey, 36-19. More on the Blue Devils in a little bit. The Chieftains are averaging 34.3 points per game while holding three of their opponents to single digits. Evan Kreais is the catalyst to the offense, completing 102-of-141 passes for 1,376 yards and 16 touchdowns so far. He has a pretty darn good running back too in Braylon Martinez, who has totaled 135 rushes for 631 yards and 13 TDs so far. Blake Berrier has been Kreais’ top target, hauling in 40 passes for 573 yards and six touchdowns this season. The Chieftains will have to be on point defensively against Willard this week, a team that likes to score, but was kept to just seven points last week against Lakota. Isaac Robinson leads Willard with 122-of-185 passing for 23 touchdowns. His top target is Cam Robinson, who has reeled in 59 passes for 892 yards and 10 touchdowns. 

Current playoff position: 2nd in Division VII, Region 26 

Mohawk (1-5): Man, hard times have fallen on the Warriors and close losses certainly don’t help. Look, Mohawk was beaten up pretty good by Hopewell-Loudon and Wynford. But the other three losses (Calvert, Margaretta, and Upper Sandusky) are by a combined 12 points. Mohawk could easily be a 3-3 kind of team with hopes of the playoffs very much alive, but it’s going to take some massive wins and turn around for the Warriors to get in. Last week’s 39-34 loss to Upper Sandusky is still stinging as they get ready for Carey, Seneca East, and Colonel Crawford. Mohawk is still relying heavily on Ben Bogner to handle the offense. He has completed 89-of-162 passes for 1,206 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions while running 97 times for 509 yards and six touchdowns. Kaleb Bish (26 catches, 287 yards) and Kahne Hayman (20 receptions, 337 yards) are both good receivers with both catching three touchdowns each this season. Carey will be no easy task, but if Mohawk wants a crack at the playoffs, it almost certainly has to beat the Blue Devils. 

Current playoff position: 25th in Division VII, Region 26 

Seneca East (3-3): The Tigers got back on track with a 42-14 thumping of Buckeye Central last week. Seneca East has yet to win back-to-back games this season, but will certainly be favored to do that this week when it hosts Bucyrus. Like I said last week, this is the time of the year where the Tigers can get things rolling with BC, Bucyrus, and Mohawk in consecutive weeks. If they can and beat Wynford in Week 9, Seneca East would host Carey in Week 10 with at least a share of the league title on the line. Blake Foos paces the Tigers’ offense with 88-of-158 passing for 1,020 yards and nine touchdowns with 117 carries for 758 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. The rest of Seneca East has combined for 69 carries for 435 yards and four TDs with Jackson Gayheart (44-283-4) possessing most of that. Taylor Young has been Foos’ top target with 37 catches for 344 yards and two scores. Bucyrus has given up at least 36 points in every game it has played this year including at least 53 points five times. Seneca East should have no issues with the Redmen this week. 

Current playoff position: 10th in Division VI, Region 22 

Carey (4-2): I don’t think there is any doubt that Carey has figured out whatever the issue was in the first couple weeks of the season. The Blue Devils topped Colonel Crawford, 27-7, last week to seize control atop the Northern 10 Athletic Conference standings. Carey will be a massive favorite this week against Mohawk and again next week against Bucyrus. The Blue Devils’ schedule was interesting in that their first two games were on the road and the last two games of the season are on the road. All five of their home games in the regular season came in a six-week stretch. Carey’s rushing attack is gaining steam, having amassed 245 carries for 1,265 yards and 21 touchdowns through six games. Eli Steen leads the way with 78 rushes for 501 yards, and seven TDs, but don’t count out Austin Niederkohr (32-265-5), Carter Smiley (35-167-3), Alex Putnam (33-150-2), and Conner Norden (39-137-0). Carey’s defense has really stepped up too, allowing just seven total points over the last three weeks. The Blue Devils will certainly have to focus in on Mohawk’s Ben Bogner this week. 

Current playoff position: 3rd in Division VI, Region 22 

Lakota (3-3): Perhaps the biggest surprise in the area – and I may not have believed it had I not saw it with my own two eyes – was the whopping the Raiders laid on Willard last week. Willard entered at 4-1, averaging 37 points per game offensively, but Lakota kept the Crimson Flashes to just seven points in a 36-7 lopsided win. I was thoroughly impressed with the Raiders offensively. It has been woeful at times this season, but quarterback Jalen Wagner completed 9-of-11 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns. Of that, he was 8-of-10 for 215 yards in the first half. In the second half with a desire to keep Willard’s offense off the field, Micah Williams stepped up and finished the night with a career-high 186 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown. The defense for Lakota intercepted Isaac Robinson three times. Robinson entered the game with two interceptions over the first five games of the season. Now Lakota wants to make it two wins in a row and they’ll host Gibsonburg in a backyard rivalry. The Raiders went from defending a team that wants to pass 50 times a game (Willard) to a team that wants to run 50 times a game (Gibsonburg). After tough games with Gibsonburg and Margaretta, the Raiders finish the season against Fremont SJCC and Woodmore. 

Current playoff position: 11th in Division VI, Region 22 

Gibsonburg (2-4): After three straight losses, the Golden Bears picked up a much-needed win against Woodmore, 30-10. Gibsonburg is adjusting to life after Grant Smith. He was by far the top rusher this season for the Golden Bears (76 rushes, 308 yards, three touchdowns), but went down hurt against Calvert two weeks ago. But with a rushing offense like it does, it’s not like Gibsonburg doesn’t have four or five more backs behind him. Antonio Salazar ran 17 times for 168 yards and a score against Woodmore while Reece Walby added 10 rushes for 114 yards and three TDs against the Wildcats. Spencer Waugaman had nine carries for 29 yards and Aiden Morant tallied seven attempts for 51 yards against Woodmore. The Golden Bears have a tough test this week at Lakota before hosting Willard in its last home game of the season. Gibsonburg needs some wins if it wants to be in the playoffs again. 

Current playoff position: 20th in Division VII, Region 26

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About the Author

Owner of Mullins Entertainment Productions, and head of sales at Heart of Ohio Sports, Nate has an associates degree in Music Business and over a decade of experience in media. Along with his duties at HOOS, he is a devoted husband, a father of three boys, Bailey, Gabe, and Issac, and he also volunteers his time as a board member for local non-profit Tiffin Youth Football. Follow him on twitter at @N8_Mullins, or email nmullins@heartofohiosports.com.

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