By Joshua Morgret
On Twitter: @joshuamorgret
On Instagram: @joshuamorgret
On the road again.
I just can’t wait to get on the road again.
Another week down and now it is cold temperatures. Man, I was not a fan – and will continue to not be a fan – of cold temperatures. I wore two jackets and ran to my car at halftime to warm up as much as I could. I’m just not a fan of it, no way, no how!
Anyways, six weeks of high school have come and gone and we’re almost ready for Week 7. For some, playoff positioning is as key as ever and for some, they’re firmly in and have eyes set on a league championship. As we said last week, business is about to pick up for some while some desperately need wins to have a shot at a playoff berth.
Volleyball tournament action starts in October, so it is getting down to the nitty gritty there.
Here we go…
High school football
Tiffin Columbian (5-1) – The Tornadoes took care of business against Sandusky, who started 2-0, but is 0-4 since. Sandusky has given up 42, 42, 42, and 41 points in its last four games and the 41 points Columbian scored was right on par. The Tornadoes got the exact start it needed in the rugged Sandusky Bay Conference Lake division with a murderer’s row of trips to Clyde (4-2), Bellevue (5-1), and Perkins (5-1) over the next three weeks. Damien Brockington continues to put up huge numbers out of the backfield for the Tornadoes. He’s up to 100 carries for 891 yards and 17 touchdowns. At quarterback, Brayden Roggow has completed 86-of-137 passes for 1,090 yards and 14 scores. The trip to Clyde this week won’t be an easy one for Columbian. The Fliers are coming in off of a loss to Perkins in which they didn’t score in the final three quarters of the game. Abe Morrison has completed 81-of-141 passes for 803 yards for Clyde while running 84 times for 302 yards and seven touchdowns. The Tornadoes are firmly in line for their fifth straight playoff appearance, but if it wants a league title, it will be won away from Frost-Kalnow Stadium.
Current playoff look: 1st in Division III, Region 10
Tiffin Calvert (3-3) – The Senecas took another one on the chin to the tune of a 30-0 loss at Margaretta last week. In Calvert’s three losses this year, they’ve been outscored 107-20, really not being competitive in any of the three. The Senecas alternate home and away games the rest of the way, coming back to Frost-Kalnow Stadium this week to take on a tough (5-1) Berne Union team. The Rockets lost their opener, but have won the last five, with four coming by at least 12 points. The Senecas have seemingly went to the air a little bit more in recent weeks, with Harry Shultz completing 69-of-148 passes for 1,002 yards. On the ground, Jacob Rombach has just 69 rushes for 366 yards in six games. Rombach went for 126 yards on 18 carries in Week 1, meaning just 51 attempts for 240 (that IS 10 carries for 80 yards per game) since. I really thought Rombach would be a 1,200 or 1,300 yard back this year for Calvert, but when you’re down multiple scores in a game, it’s hard to lean on the running game.
Current playoff look: 15th in Division VII, Region 26
Carey (6-0) – Carey looked at it’s biggest challenge of the season right in the eyes and came back from North Robinson with a win. Not a flashy win in which the Blue Devils scored 40 or more points. Not a flashy, running clock, comfortable win. A gritty, tough-nosed, defensive-minded 7-3 win over a very, very good Colonel Crawford team. Not every win is going to be spectacular. But these wins are the ones that will certainly propel the Blue Devils to perhaps another magical postseason run. Carey has won 21 games in a row with the first 20 all coming by at least 12 points. The Blue Devils’ defense has been tremendous again this season. Carey allowed 21 points in Week 2 to Galion, but just a combined 24 points in the other five games. It’s hard to not think Carey will be a heavy favorite in each of their last four regular-season games and at least a round or two of the playoffs. They do have a tough matchup Friday at Mohawk, who is also undefeated in Northern 10 Athletic Conference action. A Week 10 game at home against Seneca East will also be a good measuring stick before the playoffs start. Barring something wild, Carey has already likely locked up the top seed in its region.
Current playoff look: 1st in Division VI, Region 22
Seneca East (4-2) – Speaking of the Tigers, Seneca East was able to go to New Washington and come home with a good win over Buckeye Central. That was a bright spot to see for coach Ed Phillips after a 42-0 shellacking loss to Colonel Crawford the week before. The Tigers hit the road again this week with a trip to Bucyrus. Blake Foos continues to be a vast majority of Seneca East’s offense, completing 78-of-145 passes for 1,130 yards and 12 touchdowns while running 119 times for 636 yards and eight scores. Austin Perry paces the Tigers’ receivers with 18 catches for 269 yards and four TDs. Seneca East sure seems on pace for an eighth-straight playoff appearance under Phillips. The Tigers are still in the position that if they win the next three weeks, they will play Carey in Week 10 for at least a share of the league championship.
Current playoff look: 10th in Division VI, Region 22
Mohawk (3-3) – Well, well, well. Look what we have here. A team I was ready to write off after the first couple of the seasons has risen from the dead. Imagine the Undertaker from WWE sitting up in the coffin just at the right time. The Warriors went from averaging 10.3 points per game in three straight losses to start the season to putting up 27.3 points a contest in the last three wins. The offense is playing better and coming together while the defense has given up just 27 total points over the last three weeks. Coach Eric Daniel is a coach that a lot of kids would run through a wall for. He even makes me want to play football at my old ripe age. But, for all Mohawk has turned it around over the last three weeks, big tests await with Carey coming to Sycamore this week before trips to Seneca East and Colonel Crawford. The Warriors have made the playoffs the last five seasons including all three under Daniel. Mohawk almost certainly needs to go 5-5 to make it in. Losing to Carey, SE, and CC and maybe finishing 4-6 would be cutting it awful close.
Current playoff look: 11th in Division VII, Region 26
Lakota (1-5) – When it comes to teams that need wins to make the playoffs, Lakota is at the top of the list. After a Week 1 win over Monroeville, the Raiders have lost five in a row while the offense continues to flounder. Lakota scored 21 points in that win over Monroeville and 31 in a tough loss to Willard in Week 5, but have scored a combined 17 points in the other four games. The Raiders took a lopsided 44-7 loss at rival Gibsonburg last week and things don’t get an easier for Lakota as they welcome in (5-1) Margaretta this week. Cody Biddle has completed 37-of-79 passes for 462 yards, but has thrown four interceptions. On the ground, he paces the Raiders with 68 carries for 480 yards and four scores. The Raiders also have tough games against Edon and Tiffin Calvert left. Lakota almost has to win the rest of its games if it wants a shot at a third straight playoff appearance.
Current playoff look: 24th in Division VI, Region 22
For other high school football teams in the area:
Bellevue (5-1) pounded winless Norwalk, 40-3… Hopewell-Loudon (4-2) dropped a non-league game to Lima Central Catholic, 31-8… Fostoria (0-6) couldn’t get much going offensively in a 42-7 loss to Genoa… Upper Sandusky (2-4) lost to Mohawk, 28-6… Buckeye Central (3-3) lost to Seneca East, 33-15… and Clyde (4-2) lost to Perkins, 24-13.
Current playoff look for those other teams in the area:
Bellevue – 7th in Division IV, Region 14
Buckeye Central – 10th in Division VII, Region 25
Clyde – 3rd in Division III, Region 10
Fostoria – (tied) 21st in Division IV, Region 14
Hopewell-Loudon – 9th in Division VI, Region 22
Upper Sandusky – 16th in Division IV, Region 14
This week's schedule:
Tiffin Columbian at Clyde
Berne Union at Tiffin Calvert - LIVE on Heart of Ohio Sports X-Stream
Carey at Mohawk - LIVE on Heart of Ohio Sports Adrenaline Stream
Seneca East at Bucyrus
Margaretta at Lakota
Perkins at Bellevue
Wynford at Buckeye Central
Fostoria at Otsego
Hopewell-Loudon at Fremont St. Joseph (Saturday)
Upper Sandusky at Colonel Crawford
Heidelberg (3-1) – It was a rough week for both college teams and it started earlier in the afternoon for the Student Princes, who lost 24-7 at John Carroll. Heidelberg mustered just 105 yards of total offense and had possession of the ball for just 18:59 of the game. That is more than a 2-1 advantage in time of possession for John Carroll. That’s the least amount of points for Heidelberg since a 27-0 home loss to Mount Union on Oct. 26, 2019. Drew Sims was more accurate this week for the Student Princes, completing 12-of-19 passes, but for just 73 yards. On the ground, Montavious Yearby was held to 37 yards on 12 carries – one week after 183 yards on 31 carries in a lopsided win over Ohio Northern. In two home games, Yearby has 60 rushes for 297 yards and in two road games, he has 26 carries for just 87 yards. I guess that is good news for Heidelberg as the Student Princes return home for their first home afternoon game of the season Saturday when they host Muskingum (2-1), who has wins over Ferrum and Capital and a blowout loss to Mount Union. I’ll be at Hoernemann Stadium for that one.
Next up: vs. Muskingum, 1:30 p.m. Saturday LIVE on Heart of Ohio Sports
Tiffin (2-2) – Things went from bad to worse if you’re a fan of Tiffin college football teams later in the afternoon as the Dragons lost 18-17 in overtime at Truman State. Tiffin led 10-0 at one point, 10-7 at halftime, and 10-7 late in the fourth quarter when Truman State tied the game with a 39-yard field goal with 50 seconds left in regulation. The Dragons got the ball first in overtime and a Darius Pinnix touchdown run and extra point accomplished what Tiffin needed to do. Truman State responded with a touchdown and opted to go for a two-point conversion to finish the game there. The Dragons initially got the stop, but a pass interference call gave Truman State another chance. They didn’t waste it as the two-point conversion pass was good and Tiffin fell again in heartbreaking fashion. That’s two losses in as many weeks in which Tiffin had the lead with a minute to go in regulation. If you factor in Truman State getting the field goal late in regulation to tie it and two chances at a winning two-point conversion, Tiffin has lost a game late three times now. That’s tough to swallow for a team that could easily be 4-0 right now. The Dragons get back home this week and back into Great Midwest Athletic Conference action when they host Lake Erie. Tiffin is still in the driver’s seat for a league title, but it’s usually pretty hard to make the playoffs in Division II with two losses. The Dragons have to win out and hope for the best.
Next up: vs. Lake Erie, 4 p.m. Saturday
Another week has gone by and another week of knowing Tiffin Calvert (15-1) and Mohawk (14-0) are by far the two best teams in the area. They are ranked No. 3 and No. 4 respectively in the latest Division IV state poll and that sure seems fitting considering how close and similar they are. I would give at least $20 to see them face each other this year and it very well might happen in the tournament. Remember, unlike last year, they are in different districts and opposite halves of the Elida regional. They could be the odds-on favorites to meet in that regional final on Nov. 5 in Elida. The Wapakoneta district that sometimes feeds into the Elida regional goes elsewhere this year. That district has the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the state in Marion Local and New Bremen. Defending state champion New Knoxville is in that district, but they are down considerably this year.
Let’s lead with Mohawk again this week. I was in Sycamore on Tuesday night when the Warriors swept Buckeye Central for the second time this season. What I took away from that was how Mohawk responded in the third set. BC jumped out to leads of 8-1, 13-4, and 16-9, but the Warriors rallied and won the set, 25-23, to finish the sweep. After interviewing coach Eric Hoover, we chatted for a minute about the junior varsity team. Mohawk’s JV team is 14-0. The talent is here now and very bright for Hoover moving forward. We also talked about what Mohawk’s schedule is like after this week. It’s going to put the Warriors through the grind. They host Wynford, who Mohawk needed five sets to beat the first time. Then they host state-ranked teams Seneca East and Monroeville. Then, they play on Monday against a down New Riegel team, but have to turn around and host Colonel Crawford, another team the Warriors beat in five sets on Tuesday. After that, a trip to Carey to wrap up the regular season. Six matches in nine days against three state-ranked teams and two other teams that pushed Mohawk to the distance. Woof.
In the least shocking news ever, Calvert keeps on chugging away. The Senecas’ lone blemish is in a best two out of three sets match against Division II, No. 1 Bishop Hartley in their third match of the day that day in Norwalk. I’m not saying Calvert would beat Bishop Hartley in a best-of-five or on a day where neither team had already played, but it’s a really good loss for the Senecas. Besides that, Calvert has lost just one set the rest of the season and that came earlier in the day against a bigger Wooster squad. The Senecas will get challenged yet this year with non-league matches against Division I, No. 12 Toledo St. Ursula at Bowling Green State University and against Division II, No. 7 Liberty-Benton on the road. Those matches are six days apart and come right before the tournament starts.
In the N10, Seneca East might be the only one that’s able to catch Mohawk, but even then, sits two losses back. The Tigers need to win out, including trips to Colonel Crawford and Mohawk next week and get someone to knock off the Warriors to force a tie and perhaps split league title. Carey snapped a three-match losing streak when it defeated Wynford on Tuesday. The Blue Devils have matches against Colonel Crawford tonight and road trips to Arlington (Saturday) and Buckeye Central (Tuesday) on the horizon.
In the SBC River, Danbury has probably solidified itself as runner-up behind Calvert while SJCC is a bit behind them and Old Fort, Hopewell-Loudon, and Lakota sit right in row behind that. The three area teams and SJCC have really beat up on each other while Danbury has pulled away just a little bit. The Lakers’ only league losses are to Calvert twice and at Hopewell-Loudon. Again, Danbury is coached by former Fostoria and Upper Sandusky boys basketball coach Keith Diebler.
Team – conference record – overall record
Vermilion – 7-0 – 12-2
Perkins – 7-1 – 10-5
Bellevue – 5-3 – 8-7
Columbian – 3-5 – 7-10
Clyde – 3-5 – 8-7
Norwalk – 2-6 – 4-11
Sandusky – 0-7 – 4-14
Team – conference record – overall record
Calvert – 12-0 – 15-1
Danbury – 8-3 – 12-3
Fremont SJCC – 8-4 – 10-7
Old Fort – 7-5 – 9-7
Lakota – 6-5 – 8-6
Hopewell-Loudon – 6-5 – 8-8
Gibsonburg – 2-9 – 2-15
Sandusky SMCC – 2-10 – 3-13
New Riegel – 1-11 – 1-14
Northern 10 Athletic Conference
Mohawk – 9-0 – 14-0
Seneca East – 6-2 – 12-2
Colonel Crawford – 6-3 – 13-3
Carey – 6-3 – 10-4
Buckeye Central – 4-5 – 7-8
Wynford – 3-6 – 5-8
Upper Sandusky – 1-7 – 5-9
Bucyrus – 0-9 – 7-9