Worthington Kilbourne: Seniors got Wolves back on winning track

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Kilbourne senior running back Terrique Gray was named second-team all-district in Division II after rushing for 665 yards and seven touchdowns. The Wolves won two postseason games and finished 6-4.

The Worthington Kilbourne football team made significant strides in coach Mike Edwards' second season, going from a 1-9 finish to 6-4 overall with a pair of playoff victories.

The Wolves were seeded 12th for the Division II, Region 7 playoffs and defeated 21st-seeded Marion Harding 42-21 on Oct. 9 and fifth-seeded Uniontown Green 30-27 on Oct. 16 before losing to fourth-seeded Olentangy 35-13 in a quarterfinal that started Oct. 23 and finished the next day because of bad weather.

The Wolves tied Big Walnut for fourth (3-3) in the OCC-Capital Division behind champion Westerville South (5-0). 

Edwards said Kilbourne’s 15-player senior class set the tone as the Wolves had their first winning season since finishing 11-2 in 2015. 

“Our seniors really set the stage,” Edwards said. “I told them they’re a senior class we will talk about for a long time around here, because they got it right. They flipped this thing back around to where Worthington Kilbourne football is supposed to be: Winning, competing, winning playoff games, winning rivalry games and playing tough and physical.

“These kids now know how to win. They know the expectations. They understand the grind because this senior class this year showed them the way. It’s our job to keep going and keep improving.”

Quarterback Mitchell Tomasek led the way for the senior class in his second year starting. He completed 116 of 209 passes for 1,756 yards with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions and rushed 21 times for 85 yards.

“The biggest thing was his leadership abilities. Everybody looks up to him. Everybody knows we’re going to jump on this guy’s back and go win a football game,” Edwards said. “And for the most part this year Mitchell was always able to do that. He grew a lot as a quarterback from last year to this year. He saw the field a lot better, made a lot better pre-snap reads of where he wanted to deliver the football and never tried to do too much.

“He made all those wheels and gears turn together.” 

The Wolves also received significant contributions on offense from senior running back Terrique Gray and senior wide receiver Cayden Dougherty. 

Gray, who missed three games because of injury, rushed 127 times for 665 yards and seven touchdowns and caught 12 passes for 162 yards and a score. 

Playing in his first year on varsity, Dougherty caught 50 passes for 928 yards with 10 touchdowns. 

Tomasek, Dougherty and senior Brian Wilson (RB/LB) were first-team all-league. Senior Harrison Kline (RB/LB), junior Jason Miller (OL/DL) and sophomore Nana Amponsah (OL/DL) were second-team all-league, senior Joseph Borchers (RB/DB) was special mention and junior Reed Williamson (OL/DL) was honorable mention.

Dougherty and Wilson also were first-team all-district, and Tomasek was first-team all-district as a punter. Gray was second-team all-district, Miller was special mention and Amponsah, Kline and junior Bryce Taylor (TE/LB) were honorable mention.

Other key players expected to return are juniors Luke Brown (OL/DL), Joey Cottrill (OL/DL), Ashton Selph (QB/DL) and Xander Weinstein (OL/DL) and sophomore Marcus Gipson (RB/LB). 

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve

Record: 6-4 overall 

OCC-Capital standings: Westerville South (5-0), Dublin Scioto and Westerville North (both 5-1), Kilbourne and Big Walnut (both 3-3), Canal Winchester (2-4), Franklin Heights (0-5), Delaware (0-6)

Seniors lost: Ali Ad-Adhami, Joseph Borchers, Logan Darling, Cayden Dougherty, Terrique Gray, Harrison Kline, Ethan Loring, Kenny Nally, Spencer Parker-Gordon, Skylar Scott, Evan Sugar, Mitchell Tomasek, Christian Wesley, Noah Wiley and Brian Wilson 

Key returnees: Nana Amponsah, Luke Brown, Joey Cottrill, Marcus Gipson, Jason Miller, Ashton Selph, Bryce Taylor, Xander Weinstein and Reed Williamson 

Postseason: Defeated Marion Harding 42-21; def. Uniontown Green 30-27; lost to Olentangy 35-13 in Division II Region 7 quarterfinal