The Northland High School football team finally might have answered a question that has been lurking since the beginning of the 2012 season.

Neither junior Glenn Smith III nor classmate Nick Fischer seized the quarterback job full time a year ago, and the Vikings went 5-5.

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Smith, who saw most of the snaps Aug. 29 as Northland beat Independence 20-18 in its opener, is one of the team's top athletes.

The belief coach Kevin Tooson had that Smith could become a go-to player at wide receiver, combined with the improved play of the slightly bigger Fischer (5-10, 200) at quarterback, appears to have solidified the situation.

During a 36-30 win over Cincinnati Taft on Sept. 14, Fischer passed for 235 yards, connecting with Smith four times for 119 yards and three touchdowns.

"Nick Fischer's emergence has been a little bit of a surprise," Tooson said. "The last two years there's been a battle for the quarterback position. (Fischer) is very steady, coachable and a leader. He's a strong weight-room kid and he's emerged as a force at quarterback. Glenn is a phenomenal athlete, and there's not too many places he can't play."

The Vikings lost to Brookhaven 29-28 in overtime in their City League-North Division opener Sept. 20 to drop to 2-1 overall.

Northland will try to bounce back when it travels Friday, Sept. 27, to Columbus East.

Also contributing on offense have been senior running back Nateshawn Hardgrove and senior wide receivers Sherman Watson and Jhustus Cornley.

"We really improved on the deep ball and reading our keys," Fischer said. "(Smith is) an all-around player who works hard. We just all try to stick together."



•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27

•Last meeting: 2012, Beechcroft 43-6

•Linden (1-3 overall, 0-1 City-North) to date: Defeated Africentric 28-0; lost to Columbus West 33-22; lost to Columbus South 48-6; lost to Centennial 28-18

•Beechcroft (2-2 overall, 1-0 City-North) to date: Def. Dayton Dunbar 14-0; lost to Dublin Jerome 26-14; lost to Walnut Ridge 24-0; def. Whetstone 15-8

•Top Panthers: Nick Battle (RB/LB), Davounte Cox (WR/DB), Marquise Mann (WR/DB), Jeff Schwalbauch (OL/DL), Josh Spelhaug (OL/DL), Hasan Vance (TE/DL) and James Williams (WR/DB)

•Top Cougars: Adonis Davis (RB/LB), Darius Ford (WR/DB), Khalor Franklin (RB/LB), Rayshawn Norah (WR/DB) and Mike Powers (WR/DB)


•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27

•Last meeting: 2012, Northland 20-14

•Northland (2-1 overall, 0-1 City-North) to date: Def. Independence 20-18; def. Cincinnati Taft 36-30; lost to Brookhaven 29-28 (OT)

•East (1-3 overall, 0-1 City-North) to date: Lost to Hamilton Township 48-6; def. Briggs 52-32; lost to Westland 28-12; lost to Mifflin 48-12

•Top Vikings: Jhustus Cornley (WR/DB), Nateshawn Hargrove (RB/LB), Malcolm Marshall (WR/DB), Glenn Smith III (QB/WR) and Abu Turay (RB/DB)

•Top Tigers: Asa Burke (RB/DB), Nick Burke (TE/LB), James Curry (QB), Abul Dialo (RBN/DB) and Zay'on Mock (WR/DB)


•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27

•Last meeting: 2012, Brookhaven 40-14

•Whetstone (2-2 overall, 0-1 City-North) to date: Def. Columbus South 42-32; def. Africentric 40-0; lost to Whitehall 32-18; lost to Beechcroft 15-8

•Brookhaven (2-2 overall, 1-0 City-North) to date: Def. Columbus West 49-20; lost to Marion-Franklin 27-2; lost to Central Crossing 10-7; def. Northland 29-28 (OT)

•Top Braves: Justus Barnett (LB), Darius Bester (DB), Ramroth Finnegan (QB), Trent Harper (WR/DB) and Jeremy Polk (OL)

•Top Bearcats: Bruce Foster (QB/LB), Paul Hughes (TE/LB), Davonte Lewis (RB/LB), David Peoples (RB) and Takeyvion Simmons (RB/LB)