September 23, 2014
Got a chance to look at the newest state football poll today, and here are a few thoughts.
1) There was a lot of writing on the wall that Dublin Coffman would be good this year: Lots of players back at skill positions, maturing and talented junior QB in Gunnar Hoak, great coaching and tradition. When I saw that Coffman had Davidson at home this year, it didn't take a genius to start hailing them as the area's team to beat, and so far they've not disappointed.
2) Pickerington Central and Westerville Central are also very good in Division I, Region 2 and 1, respectively, and Olentangy is looking like something special in Division II Region 5.
3) Who have been surprises? How about Watkins Memorial, which is 4-0 in DII-5. In all honesty, Watkins has been very impressive but its schedule is about to get a lot tougher. The Warriors' test Friday against Newark Catholic will tell us a lot.
4) How about DeSales? The Stallions have their mojo back: They're an option team again, and they are thriving. They're a late lapse against a very good Westerville Central team away from being 4-0, and there are plenty of winnable games still on DeSales' schedule.
5) With Marion-Franklin and Beechcroft now competing in Division IV, Region 13, DIII-9 should belong to DeSales this year.
6) Speaking of DIV-13, Beechcroft and Marion-Franklin being in the same region as Johnstown has all kinds of intrigue. This might be one of Johnstown's best teams. If the Johnnies can get by Licking Valley this Friday, and the game is at home, I think we might see them go 10-0.
7) Harvest Prep, which is 3-1, and Millersport, which is 4-0, are feel-good stories in DVII-25. Millersport had lost 48 games in a row heading into this season. HP was 4-6 a year ago, so it has almost reached that mark under first-year coach Milan Smith.
Individually speaking ...
1) Tough not to notice what Bexley quarterback Andre Stewart has been doing. He has rushed for 648 yards and scored 14 touchdowns in four games.
2) Big shock here: A Coffman quarterback is among the area's best players. Hoak has thrown for 793 yards through four games. More evidence of how good he is is that Coffman also has a talented quarterback, Ben Beckett, who is a senior on its roster that Hoak wrestled the job away from.
3) Another shock: Whetstone is racking up tons of yardage by passing the ball. With Hank Patterson as the Braves' offensive coordinator, QB Jack Staggs and WR Aidan Dulin have been hooking up regularly, although the Braves have scored just 36 points through four games. Some might call it a gimmicky offense, but if Whetstone can finish a little better in the red zone, it can be successful in the City-North.
4) Grove City Christian's Tre Roberts is impressive. The kid had six TDs in week 3 and four in week 4. If the Eagles can win enough games to make the playoffs, they can make a difference in Division VII-25. Can you imagine if GCC still had Jordan Haywood, who has rushed for 630 yards & 7 TDs already for Bradley?