Man, here we are with just two weeks to go in the regular season.
Remember back when we got this party started in Sycamore on Aug. 17? That was almost two months ago. We had a chance of bad weather that night, but we’ve been fortunate with solid weather so far this season, I’d say.
I wanted to hit on the possibility of Columbian and Calvert both playing at home in Week 11 again. Is Heidelberg an option? Calvert played some home games there around COVID time, but there are no visiting stands there. It’s a tight squeeze most Saturdays for the Student Princes, so I’m not sure that’s a great choice. My vote will continue to be for Fostoria if the Redmen and athletic director Thom Loomis are willing to host. Fostoria renovated its stadium and installed turf before last season, going on to host a Division I playoff game last season.
Regardless of how the situation unfolds, I think that’s a great choice. If the playoffs started now, Columbian would face Bowling Green and Calvert would face Gibsonburg. If the spots change one or two, you’re looking at Ashland or Maumee for Columbian and Arlington or Montpelier for Calvert. Not playing at your home field would stink, but playing 15 minutes down the road at a great facility is not a bad new location.
I think more on this will be finalized in the next day or two, so we should have a more definitive word next week. As always, follow me on Twitter for more information, news, scores, and updates.
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Tiffin Columbian (7-1): Ho-hum, ho-hum. Another comfortable win for Columbian. For the third time in four weeks since their loss to Bishop Watterson, the Tornadoes won big. This time it was a 43-12 thumping of Bellevue. Without going into it yet, you already know how Columbian did it. Balanced offense. Brayden Roggow completed 12-of-17 passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns while Damien Brockington ran 18 times for 190 yards and three scores. Brady Gooding caught four passes for 98 yards and two TDs while Jack Koerper added the other touchdown reception. It is four straight wins for Columbian since that loss to the Eagles – an undefeated team that has been consistently in the top-5 of the AP state poll. Roggow is up to 140-of-207 passing for 1,860 yards and 18 TDs while Brockington has gobbled up 1,360 yards on 180 carries with 21 scores. I think Columbian has gotten the defense under control. They gave up 35 points in the win over Sandusky, but just 14.3 points per game against Huron, Clyde, and Bellevue. This week is the final litmus test before a showdown with Perkins in Week 10. The Tornadoes travel to Norwalk (3-5), a team coached by Fostoria graduate Keith Mora. Norwalk has lost four of its last five games since a 2-1 start to the season.
Current playoff position: 3rd in Division III, Region 10
Tiffin Calvert (7-0): Calvert traveled to Woodmore and took care of business, 49-0. The Senecas were heavy favorites against Woodmore and did what they should have done. Harry Shultz tossed three touchdown passes, completing 10-of-17 passes for 226 yards. Billy Clouse caught four passes for 132 yards. He, Carter Wolph, and Jamison Godfrey each caught TD scores from Shultz. On the ground, Calvert ran 27 times for 157 tards. Cal Warnement (2), Shultz, and Max Griffin had touchdowns for the Senecas. Shultz is up to 72-of-120 passing for 1,148 yards and 13 TDs this season with Clouse being the top target with 25 catches for 461 yards and five scores. Warnement leads the ground game with 77 carries for 553 yards and nine touchdowns while Jacob Rombach adds 68 attempts for 528 yards and seven TDs. Calvert also has one more test – Willard at Frost-Kalnow Stadium this week – before a colossal showdown with Hopewell-Loudon in Bascom next week. Willard likes to sling the ball freely. Isaac Robinson has completed 155-of-253 passes for 2,255 yards and 28 touchdowns. The Crimson Flashes ran seven times for negative-7 yards last week in a 48-7 loss to Gibsonburg. Cam Robinson paces Willard with 73 catches for 1,078 yards and 11 TDs.
Current playoff position: 2nd in Division VII, Region 26
Hopewell-Loudon (8-0): Speaking of the Chieftains, they also took care of business in a 53-0 beatdown of Fremont St. Joseph last week. There was not much resistance for H-L, who got a passing, rushing, and kick return touchdown from Braylon Martinez. Also for the Chieftains, Evan Kreais completed 15-of-18 passes for 194 yards and three scores. Brody Brickman completed a touchdown pass for Hopewell-Loudon while Jaysin Cramer ran in a score. For the season, Kreais is 135-of-182 for 1,874 yards and 23 touchdowns while Martinez has tallied 153 carries for 896 yards and 17 scores. Blake Berrier caught two TDs against Woodmore to boost his numbers to 50 receptions for 789 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Chieftains will make the trip to Woodmore High School this week for their final tune-up before hosting Calvert next week in a defacto Sandusky Bay Conference River Division championship game.
Current playoff position: 4th in Division VII, Region 26
Mohawk (1-7): Things continue to go downhill over in Sycamore after the Warriors lost at home to Seneca East, 30-7. With the loss, Mohawk has been officially eliminated from playoff contention. The Warriors have one more home game – this week against Colonel Crawford – before finishing the season at Bucyrus next week. It will be interesting to see how much fight Mohawk has in these final two weeks. I think under coach Eric Daniel, the Warriors will continue to battle for – if nothing else – respect. Ben Bogner has completed 113-of-208 passes for 1,452 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He has carried the ball 122 times for 635 yards and six scores. Colonel Crawford has a tough ground game, racking up 2,289 yards on 279 carries with 24 touchdowns this season. The Eagles have yet to lose a fumble on the ground over the course of eight games.
Current playoff position: ELIMINATED FROM PLAYOFF CONTENTION
Seneca East (5-3): One team that continues to play well is Seneca East. The Tigers were 1-2 at one point this year, won a shootout against Upper Sandusky, lost a tough one to Colonel Crawford, and have now won their last three games. It was all games – Buckeye Central, Bucyrus, and Mohawk – Seneca East was favored to win. Now, they will go back into the deep end of the pool for the rest of the regular season with a trip to Wynford before hosting Carey in Week 10. A win over Wynford would allow the Tigers to play for at least a share of the Northern 10 Athletic Conference title against Carey. You can’t ask for much more than that in the last game of the season at home. Blake Foos has completed 105-of-186 passes for 1,215 yards and 12 touchdowns this season through the air. On the ground, he paces Seneca East with 147 carries for 958 yards and 11 scores. I think Jackson Gayheart has come on strong with 60 carries for 402 yards and six TDs for the Tigers. It will be no easy task against Wynford, who has registered 315 carries for 1,870 yards and 24 touchdowns this season. Kaiden Blair leads the way with 116 attempts for 854 yards and 11 scores.
Current playoff position: 10th in Division VI, Region 22
Carey (6-2): After a closer-than-expected win over Mohawk, the Blue Devils took care of business against Bucyrus last week, 63-0. Carey has now won six straight games after starting the season 0-2. I would not want to face the Blue Devils right now or be on the other side of the field come playoff time. Carey has racked up 338 carries for 1,918 yards and 29 touchdowns as a team this season on the ground. Eli Steen paces the Blue Devils with 102 rushes for 714 yards and nine scores, but Austin Niederkohr (46-390-7), Carter Smiley (54-315-4), Conner Norden (50-170-0), and Alex Putnam (35-163-2) are all tough options for Carey. Smiley has completed 38-of-74 passes for 605 yards and five touchdowns. The Blue Devils have a tricky one this week when they travel to Upper Sandusky, a Rams team that played Carey to a one-score game last year. Upper Sandusky likes to put up points behind quarterback Kaden Holman, who is 138-of-231 for 1,853 yards and 22 TDs. The Blue Devils clinch no worse than a share of the Northern 10 Athletic Conference title with a win.
Current playoff position: 5th in Division VI, Region 22
Lakota (3-5): The Raiders’ offense limped to just three points again in a 20-3 loss to Margaretta last week. Now, the three points were impressive as it came on a school-record 56-yard field goal by Brandon Leal, but Lakota has to get something figured out. After torching Willard for 36 points in a great offensive display, the Raiders have tallied just six total points in the last two weeks combined. Against Gibsonburg, it was Grant Bomer that took snaps at quarterback for the Raiders. Lakota will have time to get it figured out as they travel to Fremont SJCC and host Woodmore to wrap up the regular season. The Raiders will likely be favored in both of those games and two wins will get Lakota into the playoffs in all likelihood. SJCC has been outscored 393-18 this season, so it will be a good time for the Raiders to iron out some details on offense.
Current playoff position: 14th in Division VI, Region 22
Gibsonburg (4-4): Don’t look now, but the Golden Bears have won three games in a row. After the loss to Calvert and an injury to Grant Smith, I figured Gibsonburg was done. They’ve quietly regained steam and are in the playoff picture with two games to go. Of note, the four losses Gibsonburg has are to teams that are a combined 29-2 (would be 30-2 had SJCC not cancelled on Tiffin Calvert). That is a loaded schedule early in the season. Against Willard in a 48-7 win, Gibsonburg evenly balanced the rushing game and even got some passing scores in. Aiden Morant led the Golden Bears with five carries for 109 yards and a touchdown while Reece Walby (15-79-1), Antonio Salazar (10-59), Grant Smith (10-37-1), and Aiden Nims (9-39) all had big games. Quarterback Camden Mooney threw three touchdown passes on just four completions with Walby, Grant Dawson, and Luke Foster each catching a pass. Things get a bit tougher again this week as the Golden Bears travel to Margaretta – a team coming off a nice win over Lakota. If Gibsonburg can get by the Polar Bears, it could take a five-game winning streak into the playoffs as the Golden Bears travel to Fremont SJCC in Week 10.
Current playoff position: 15th in Division VII, Region 26
Here's a look at the OHSAA AP Poll Rankings following week 8: