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City League Notes

Vikings, Red Devils to meet for first time since 2009

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Although the Northland and Marion-Franklin high school football teams haven't played the past four years, the programs met in non-league games in six consecutive seasons from 2004-09.

The renewal of their matchup comes at a time when each team has been experiencing unprecedented success.

Northland made the playoffs for the first time in 2010 and qualified again last year.

The Red Devils have made 10 consecutive playoff appearances, reaching state semifinals in 2011 and a year ago.

Marion-Franklin, which will travel to Northland on Friday, Sept. 5, has won the last seven meetings between the teams. The Vikings' last win in the series came in 2001 (38-6) when both were members of the City League-Red Division.

"I've never played them before, but I've seen them play and I've heard about them," Northland senior quarterback Nick Fischer said.

"I think we have some good competition this year."

It marks the second consecutive week that Northland will play a team from the City-South after the Vikings faced Independence on Aug. 29.

The Red Devils opened Aug. 29 against Westerville North.

Both teams in recent years have been among the biggest in the City in terms of overall participation and in size, and this year is no exception.

Northland is led on the offensive line by senior Michael Kyle (6-foot-5, 280 pounds). Marion-Franklin's biggest offensive lineman is senior Twain Davis (6-2, 285).

In addition, both teams have experienced players at the skill positions. Northland returned Fischer and senior running back Nateshawn Hargrove, and the Red Devils returned senior quarterback Justin Tyler.

"We've been working on having a fast tempo and working on getting our younger players ready," Fischer said.

"I think we're doing great."

Eastmoor out to snap skid against Cardinals

Each of the past two seasons, the Eastmoor Academy football team went 1-2 in its non-league schedule and lost to St. Charles.

The Warriors, who fell 48-8 to the Cardinals a year ago, will try to win for just the second time in six meetings when they play host to the CCL program Friday, Sept. 5.

Quarterback Tyler Simmons (6-3, 170), who missed most of last season with an injury, and running back Jaylen Belcher (5-9, 160), who missed most of this preseason with shin splints, were expected to be in uniform for Eastmoor's opener Aug. 29 at Westland.

Sophomore running back Tyion Akins (6-1, 181) is another player who should contribute, according to coach Jim Miranda.

"Tyler has taken some shots early on and he's getting more confident," Miranda said. "I think he's much improved. Jaylen just came back, so he's anxious to get back out there."

The Warriors won five of their last seven games a year ago and finished 6-4 overall but missed the Division III playoffs for the second consecutive season.

"We played a bunch of young kids last year and we took our lumps," Miranda said. "Even though we went 6-4, it was a challenging year. I think our skill kids are pretty good and we have a senior-laden offensive line that should do well. We've developed some backup kids."

St. Charles went 8-3 and made the Division II, Region 5 playoffs a year ago when it posted its best record since 1983, but it lost several key players on offense, including college recruits Nathan Puthoff (OL, Kent State) and Ben Hale (WR, Bowling Green).

Senior NiQuille Bell (WR/DB) scored 10 touchdowns last year. Senior Jacob Moehrman started at linebacker a year ago and is starting at quarterback.

St. Charles also has a rebuilt defensive line.

"They have one big boy up front, but last year everybody they had up front was big," Miranda said.

Vikings boys soccer team has high hopes

After his team went 2-9-3 overall a year ago, Northland boys soccer coach Richard Osei is optimistic it can have a better finish this fall.

The Vikings opened Aug. 18 with a 7-1 win over Madison Plains and beat Whitehall 3-0 on Aug. 26. They opened City-North play Sept. 2 at Beechcroft.

"It's been going pretty well," said Osei, who is in his second season. "We've got some really good players, so we should be able to do well in the City."

Northland, which placed sixth (1-8-3) in the City-North behind champion Columbus International (10-1-1) last season, has five senior returnees in Emmanuel Agye (defender), Diten Athijeren (goalkeeper), Akwasi Boadu (defender), Jesus Bustos (midfielder) and Mohamed Jalloh (midfielder). Jalloh scored two goals against Madison Plains.

Other key players include junior Jeff Agye (defender) and sophomores Obremars Gyimah (forward) and Jerry Tao (defender).

Last season, the Vikings beat Logan 2-1 in the first round of the Division I district tournament but lost to Gahanna 4-0 in a second-round game.

AFRICENTRIC at HOLGATE

•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

•Last meeting: First meeting

•Top Nubians: Savon Banks (OL/DL), D'yonmarte Bibens (OL/DL), Mike Hartway (RB/DB), Malik Leonard (RB/LB), James Martin (OL/LB) and Keanieyl Rice (RB/DB)

•Top Tigers: Garrett Blakeley (RB/LB), Devin Hohenberger (RB/DB), Tommy Kovar (WR/DL/K), Ryan Okuley (WR/DB), Gabriel Santos (QB/DB) and Brock Theisen (WR/LB)

BRIGGS at COLUMBUS EAST

•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

•Last meeting: 2013, East 52-32

•Top Bruins: James Bradley (RB/LB), Isaiah Caldwell (WR/DB), Mason Cullen (OL/LB), Maleik Gore (RB/DB), Tavin Jordan (OL/DL) and Tyson Miles (QB/DB)

•Top Tigers: Asa Burke (WR/DB), William Evans (WR/DB), Dwayne Fairley (TE/DL), Brandon Hurd (QB), Chuck Ingram (RB/LB) and Orpheus Twyman (OL/DL)

CENTRAL CROSSING at BEECHCROFT

•When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 5

•Last meeting: First meeting

•Top Comets: Robbie Fusner (LB), Shane Maxey (DL), Christian Miranda (WR), Ian Slater (RB), Noah Stephens (WR) and Ethan Swank (LB)

•Top Cougars: Steffen Banks (OL/DL), Tyree Dukes (OL), Chaquez Fair (OL/DL), Macyah Fleming (QB), David Peoples (RB/DB) and Takeyvion Simmons (LB)

GROVEPORT at COLUMBUS SOUTH

•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

•Last meeting: First meeting

•Top Cruisers: Markel Davis (WR/DB), Jordan Garrettson (LB), Thomas Matthews (RB), Daquan Mayle (LB), D'Lante Smith (RB) and Malcolm Solack (OL)

•Top Bulldogs: Nigel Brown (OL/DL), Deswaun Divens (DB), Dez Robinson (WR/DB), Tyrone Sheppard (RB/DB), Deaquan Taylor (RB/LB) and Devin Tyus (RB/LB)

LINDEN-McKINLEY at COLUMBUS WEST

•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

•Last meeting: 2012, West 33-22

•Top Panthers: Nick Battle (RB/LB/K/P), Wanya Glenn (QB), George Reid (RB/DB), Josh Spelhaug (OL/DL), Jeff Swalbauch (OL/DL) and James Williams (WR/DB)

•Top Cowboys: Shemer Brown (RB/DB), Wyatt Gabbert (OL/DL), Chris Horsely (OL/DL), Mose' Lattimore (RB/LB), Harris Rodgers (QB) and Byron White (RB)

MARION-FRANKLIN at NORTHLAND

•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

•Last meeting: 2009, Marion-Franklin 34-14

•Top Red Devils: Thomas James (WR/DB), Anthony Mckee Jr. (DB), Terric O'Neal (RB/DL), Alijahwon Tarvin (LB), Justin Tyler (QB/DB) and David Wellborn (RB/LB)

•Top Vikings: Nick Fischer (QB/LB/P), Nateshawn Hargrove (RB/DB), Mike Harris (OL/DL), Michael Kyle (OL/DL), Abu Turay (RB/DB) and Sherman Watson (WR/DB)

ST. CHARLES at EASTMOOR ACADEMY

•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

•Last meeting: 2013, St. Charles 48-8

•Top Cardinals: NiQuille Bell (WR/DB), Jack Billman (WR/LB), Cole Delaney (OL/LB), Jimmy Holtz (WR/DB), Jacob Moehrman (QB/LB) and Jacob Nowell (RB/LB)

•Top Warriors: Jaylen Belcher (RB/DB), Chauncey Coleman (DL), Lawrence Dailey Jr. (OL/DL), George Daniels IV (WR/DB), Tyler Simmons (QB) and Jaylen Smith (OL/DL)

WALNUT RIDGE at CHILLICOTHE

•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

•Last meeting: First meeting

•Top Scots: Michael Ayers (DB), Brian Edwards (OL/DL), Derrick Forest (DB), Malik Harrison (QB), Jaisean Johnson (RB/DB), Jacob Shuford (LB) and Jaylen Spotts (LB)

•Top Cavaliers: Daiquan Hall (RB/LB), Carl Harris (RB/DB), Clayton Ratcliff (OL/DL), Nate Rosenbauer (RB/DB), D.J. Vinson (WR/DB) and Trevor Wright (OL/DL)

WESTLAND at MIFFLIN

•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5

•Last meeting: 2013, Mifflin 24-0

•Top Cougars: Clay Carrel (QB), Reggie Gilliam (RB/LB), Jonathan Justice (OL/DL), Michael Llausas (RB/LB), Matt Mickens (RB) and Dominick Thomas (WR/DB)

•Top Punchers: Ty Allen (OL/DL), Montrese Frazier (RB/LB), Michael Gause (OL/DL), Stanley Jackson (WR/DB), Melik Scott (LB) and Makiyn Tate (RB/DB)

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