Football | Week 1 Preview

Ready vs. Newark Catholic


The Ready High School football team might not face a better quarterback this season than the one it is matched up against in its opener Friday, Aug. 30.

Led by a defensive back in senior Kelly Culbertson who had nine interceptions a year ago, the Silver Knights hope to control the overall threat presented by Newark Catholic's Chayce Crouch, an Illinois recruit.

The 6-foot-4, 221-pound Crouch is coming off a season in which he passed for 2,077 yards and 18 touchdowns while also running for 11 scores. He also was first-team all-district and all-state in Division VI as a punter.

Ready used the computer points gained from a 34-20 win over Newark Catholic in its opener a season ago to help it make the Division IV playoffs, while the Green Wave earned a state runner-up finish.

The game will be played at Hilliard Bradley.

"(Crouch) is a Big Ten-caliber athlete, and any time you can get a scholarship, that speaks volumes," Ready coach Joel Cutler said. "He's got a very quick release and understands coverages. He's also a running quarterback.

"We played a lot of Division II and III teams in our scrimmages, and that's what gets us ready for our schedule."

The Knights again feature an offense built around senior lineman Brady Taylor (6-5, 275), senior running back Akili Taylor (1,125 yards and 10 touchdowns last season), senior quarterback Matt Yoho (69-for-133 passing for 1,085 yards, 13 touchdowns) and Culbertson (14 catches for 215 yards).

Brady Taylor, who has verbally committed to Virginia Tech, also starts on the defensive line.

Ready returns all but four key players from a year ago.

In addition to Crouch, Newark Catholic has a returning third-team all-state selection at safety in senior Mike Lohr and a third-team all-state choice on the offensive line in senior Brenden Jurden (6-2, 260).