West Side News

Football

Ready rides offensive depth

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The first round of the Division VI, Region 21 playoffs epitomized what the Ready High School football team's offense was about this season.

While senior running back Akili Taylor was the district's offensive Player of the Year and senior offensive lineman Brady Taylor was in the spotlight during the offseason when he verbally committed to Virginia Tech, the Silver Knights showed their depth when six players scored touchdowns in a 48-6 win over Oak Hill on Nov. 8 at Upper Arlington.

In addition, senior running back Bran-den Bailey returned to contribute after missing time at the end of the regular season with an injury.

"We have a lot of playmakers," said senior Nickolas Chapman (RB/DL), who rushed for a 3-yard touchdown in the first quarter and was a key player on defense against the seventh-seeded Oaks. "Anyone can score at any time."

The win sent second-seeded Ready into a regional semifinal against sixth-seeded Woodsfield Monroe Central on Nov. 15 at Zanesville. The winner plays top-seeded Lucasville Valley or fourth-seeded Newark Catholic for the regional title Friday, Nov. 22, at a site to be determined.

"I'm really proud of the boys for how they came out and handled their business (against Oak Hill)," coach Joel Cutler said.

Entering the regional semifinal, the Knights were 10-1 and the Seminoles were 8-3. Monroe Central upset second-seeded Centerburg 15-9 in a first-round game Nov. 8 to set up its first matchup against Ready.

Newark Catholic entered the other semifinal at 10-1, while Valley was 11-0.

The Green Wave, whose loss came Aug. 30 when it fell to Ready 26-14 in the season opener, was the Division VI state runner-up a year ago.

Newark Catholic is led by senior Chayce Crouch (QB/P), a 6-foot-4, 222-pound Illinois recruit who rushed for 15 touchdowns and passed for more than 1,400 yards during the regular season and was the district's defensive Player of the Year at punter.

Other key players for the Green Wave include seniors Spencer Chapman (DL), Joe Davis (LB), Cameron DeBevoise (DL), Evan Hartman (OL), Aaron Jurden (DB), Brenden Jurden (OL/DL), Mike Lohr (DB), Hunter Nance (WR) and Anthony Wing (RB/DB).

Brenden Jurden was first-team all-district on offense, and Wing, Lohr and Chapman joined Crouch on the defensive all-district first team.

While the Green Wave opened the playoffs by beating Bellaire 29-0 on Nov. 8, Valley entered its matchup with Newark Catholic after beating Beverly Fort Frye 52-14 the same night.

The Indians finished with 453 total yards, including 329 rushing, against Fort Frye. Senior running backs Nate Arnett and Brice Jordan and junior running back Alex Loop led the offense.

The Indians have a sophomore at quarterback in Bryan Rolfe, who completed seven of eight passes against Fort Frye.

Entering the Newark Catholic game, Valley was averaging 40.5 points and giving up an average of 14.

While six of Newark Cath-olic's first 11 opponents competed in Divisions II, III or IV, Valley played just one team larger than Division V.

The winner of the region plays in a state semifinal Nov. 29 at a site to be determined.

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