Heart of Ohio Sports Observer Vol 2.9

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Published on
October 20, 2023

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd just like that we’re at Week 10. I hate to sound like a broken record, but the 10 weeks of the regular-season high school football season fly by. It feels like five minutes ago when Mohawk and Tiffin Calvert opened the season Aug. 17. Yet, that was more than two months ago and the postseason starts next week. 

We have reached a final decision on where Columbian and Calvert will play next Friday. Columbian will stay at Frost-Kalnow Stadium for its first game while Calvert will open at Heidelberg. Kudos to both administrations for coming together and keeping both games in town. I think that is a very important piece to the puzzle here. What will happen if both win their first playoff game? We shall see! 

For now, one final look at the teams in the regular season. Don’t worry, we will be back next week with the teams that make the playoffs and give you a look at their first playoff opponents! 

Remember, the top 16 in each region make the playoffs, the top 8 host next week, and the top 4 get the chance to host two playoff games! 

Follow me on X (Twitter): @joshuamorgret 

Tiffin Columbian (8-1): A theme for these first few teams will be taking care of business to set up bigger games this week. The Tornadoes did that with a 44-7 whacking of Norwalk. Is the Columbian defense coming along? That’s three straight games where TC has allowed 14 or fewer points. It seems like a far cry from the defense that allowed at least 33 points in four out of five games earlier this season. Columbian’s offense has been a constant this year – at least 35 points in eight out of nine games – but the defense will need to continue to play well this week against Perkins and into the playoffs. Brayden Roggow completed 17-of-23 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns while Damien Brockington ran 15 times for 183 yards and three scores against Norwalk. That brings Roggow to 157-of-230 for 2,094 yards and 20 TDs this year while Brockington has totaled 195 attempts for 1,543 yards and 24 touchdowns. Bryce Roggow has caught 48 passes for 563 yards and six scores while Jack Koerper (44-610-5), Brady Gooding (28-562-9) and Brockington (21-266-1) are viable threats as well. Not much has slowed Perkins down this season as it averages 51.8 points per game. Logan Lesch has completed 107-of-157 passes for 1,806 yards and 22 touchdowns while Isaac Bunts has rushed 146 times for 1,050 yards and 19 scores. Braylon Collier (43 catches, 660 yards, 10 TDs) and Weston Sturzinger (30-643-7) are big-time playmakers on the outside. This should be an absolute dandy Friday night at Frost-Kalnow Stadium. 

Current playoff position: 3rd in Division III, Region 10 

Tiffin Calvert (8-0): Another team that took care of business last week to set up a colossal showdown was Calvert, who trounced Willard, 41-0. The Senecas did what they needed to do against a tough offense and shut it down. That’s probably more impressive than the 41 points Calvert scored. Quarterback Harry Shultz completed six passes for 106 yards with two touchdowns against the Crimson Flashes while Cal Warnement ran eight times for 125 yards and two TDs. Jacob Rombach added a rushing and receiving touchdown for Calvert. Shultz has now completed 78-of-132 passes for 1,254 yards and 15 touchdowns while Warnement tops the rushing attack with 85 attempts for 678 yards and 11 touchdowns. Rombach has tallied 71 attempts for 615 yards and eight scores. Billy Clouse leads a balanced receiving group with 26 catches for 476 yards and five TDs while John Schumacher (16-274-3), Rombach (14-245-3), and Carter Wolph (14-146-3) are other solid options. The Senecas make the short drive to Bascom to take on a fellow undefeated squad in Hopewell-Loudon. More about them in 5…4…3…2… 

Current playoff position: 1st in Division VII, Region 26 

Hopewell-Loudon (9-0): 1… The Chieftains completed the other part of the puzzle when they blasted Woodmore, 50-6. I think there was a solid debate between who would win the Sandusky Bay Conference River Division before the season, but the consensus was it would be either Tiffin Calvert or Hopewell-Loudon. The two will meet in front of a max capacity crowd in Bascom to find out. Evan Kreais completed 13-of-22 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns against Woodmore while Braylon Martinez ran 18 times for 128 yards and three scores. For the season, Kreais is 148-of-204 for 2,053 yards and 25 touchdowns while Martinez has 171 rushes for 1,024 yards and 20 TDs. Blake Berrier is the clear No. 1 receiver with 56 catches for 894 yards and 13 touchdowns. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities that this is the first of two meetings between the two squads. Both are in the top-4 of Division VII, Region 26, so a Week 13 or 14 match-up could be a thing. As for this meeting, who wins? I’m not sure. But if you get first pick on who you think wins and I get the other, I’ll be happy. It’s that close, I think. 

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

Mohawk (1-8): The Warriors will get one more chance at picking up a win when they travel to winless Bucyrus this week. It’s a chance to get something positive going into a long offseason for Mohawk. The Warriors couldn’t get much going in last week’s 41-12 loss to Colonel Crawford. It has just been a tough year for Mohawk. I will say it until someone tells me to stop saying it: I fully believe the Warriors are better than their 1-8 record. Injuries have hurt Mohawk this season and I know that happens everywhere. But when you take some of the top players off of a Division VII school, it’s going to have an effect. For the season, Ben Bogner has completed 132-of-243 passes for 1,682 yards with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. On the ground, he’s tallied 133 rushes for 669 yards and five touchdowns. 

Current playoff position: ELIMINATED FROM PLAYOFF CONTENTION 

Seneca East (5-4): I think one of the more surprising results around the area last week was the Tigers getting beat by Wynford, 66-34. That is a lot of points. Seneca East had won three straight games entering the game against the Royals and could have played for at least a share of the league title this week against Carey. Now, the Tigers play for pride and playoff seeding. Seneca East has clinched a spot in the playoffs, but a win over the Blue Devils would shoot the Tigers up a couple spots, I’d think. For the season, Blake Foos has completed 127-of-224 passes for 1,546 yards and 16 touchdowns while running 158 times for 980 yards and 11 touchdowns. Foos sure looks like he’s on his way to 1,000 yards rushing and could get to 2,000 yards passing before the season is done. Impressive. Taylor Young paces the receivers with 54 catches for 538 yards and four touchdowns. It won’t be easy against Carey, who blasted Seneca East last year, 56-12. 

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

Carey (7-2): Speaking of the Blue Devils, Carey has won seven straight games since opening the season 0-2. Despite the hot streak, the Blue Devils still only sit fifth in Division VI, Region 22 and would be in line to go on the road in the second round of the playoffs if nothing changes. However, I don’t think it’s crazy to think Carey is a favorite over Seneca East while Columbus Grove – fourth in the region – will be an underdog against Bluffton – who is in first in the region. Carey is still about 1.25 points behind Grove, so that’s a bit to make up yet. All the Blue Devils care about though is winning and whatever shakes out shakes out. Carey is up to 377 rushes for 2,178 yards and 33 touchdowns as a team on the ground. That is awfully similar to how the Blue Devils won the state championship in 2021. Eli Steen paces the way with 110 attempts for 771 yards and 11 touchdowns. Carey will definitely need to focus in on Seneca East quarterback Blake Foos this week and need to stop him from creating. 

Current playoff position: 5th in Division VI, Region 22 

Lakota (4-5): The Raiders blasted Fremont SJCC, 62-0, last week. It was a game Lakota knew it was the favorite in and was a nice way to get the offense back to rolling after consecutive weeks with three points in losses to Gibsonburg and Margaretta. The Raiders host Woodmore this week for Senior Night. A win by Lakota most likely gets the Raiders in the playoffs for the third time in four seasons. Through eight weeks, quarterback Jalen Wagner was 61-of-111 passing for 892 yards eight touchdowns while Micah Williams ran 100 times for 579 yards. 

Current playoff position: 14th in Division VI, Region 22 

Gibsonburg (4-5): The Golden Bears are clinging to the 16th and final playoff spot in Division VII, Region 26, but it will be a tough spot to keep. Gibsonburg doesn’t play Fremont SJCC until Saturday and will likely know its fate before the game starts. The biggest issue for the Golden Bears is Montpelier – in 17th place – faces an 1-8 Hilltop team on Friday. With a win, Montpelier probably gets enough points to jump Gibsonburg, who it trails by just .0396 before the week starts. I don’t think Gibsonburg gets enough points to jump back Saturday. The Golden Bears had a prime chance to lock in a spot against Margaretta last week, but was trounced, 28-0. The Polar Bears completely shut the Gibsonburg rushing attack down. The Golden Bears tallied just 144 yards on 37 carries with two fumbles. Margaretta also intercepted a pass by Camden Mooney. Like I mentioned, a win would have sent Gibsonburg likely into the playoffs on a five-game winning streak, but the loss likely keeps the Golden Bears home in Week 11. 

Current playoff position: 16th in Division VII, Region 26

Here's a look at the week 9 Associated Press Poll:

Here's where the HoOS crew will be this week:
Adrenaline Stream - Tiffin Columbian vs Sandusky Perkins

X-Stream - Tiffin Calvert AT Hopewell-Loudon

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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