Friday Night Live: CCL championship battle headlines Week 6 slate

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Treyvhon Saunders of Hartley races to the end zone for a touchdown ahead of Watterson’s Sam Intihar (25) and Nick Youell (50) during a 42-32 victory over the host Eagles on Sept. 25. The Hawks will play host to DeSales with the CCL title at stake Friday, Oct. 2, in one of the area’s top Week 6 matchups.

The CCL matchups between DeSales, Hartley and Watterson have been among the biggest treats this season for the limited number of fans who have been allowed to attend football games.

Once it was determined that there would be a six-game regular season leading into the playoffs, programs in the four-member CCL put together a home-and-home series against one another, with St. Charles ultimately starting its season late and playing each of the other teams only once apiece.

The 28-22 overtime win by DeSales over Watterson in their opener Aug. 28 was a sign of things to come, as all of the meetings between those two and Hartley have been decided by 10 points or fewer.

On Friday, Oct. 2, the last of the matchups between the trio will take place when Hartley plays host to DeSales with the league title on the line.

“It’s brutal because we’re beating the heck out of one another,” DeSales coach Ryan Wiggins said. “I’ve talked with all the guys in the CCL and the (athletics directors) like (the home-and-home series) a lot more than the coaches. There’s something to be said for rivalries and there’s bragging rights for a year and sometimes you have a rematch in the playoffs, but it’s really tough to play those games and it’s tough to do it twice in a few weeks. The fans are enjoying it and I think we’ll all be playoff-ready.”

DeSales is 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the league, and Hartley is 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the CCL. The Stallions beat the Hawks 24-21 on Sept. 11.

St. Charles is in the Division II, Region 7 playoffs but the other three CCL teams are in Division III, Region 11.

Regional brackets will be announced Thursday, Oct. 1.

Watterson is 2-3 overall and 1-3 in the CCL as it prepares to play host to St. Charles on Friday, Oct. 2.

In the earlier matchup between DeSales and Hartley, Stallions running back Jonathan Thompson ran for a 55-yard touchdown with 8 minutes, 51 seconds left for the game-winning points as the Hawks’ final two drives stalled.

“Obviously they beat us the last time, so part of me says we’re going to be inspired and ready to go, but I promise you the last time we tried our very best and it just wasn’t good enough,” Hartley coach Brad Burchfield said. “Now we’ve got to make sure we’ve gotten better. It’s exciting.”

Here are other Week 6 matchups of note:

•The OCC-Cardinal Division championship will be decided when Olentangy plays at Marysville on Friday, Oct. 2.

The Monarchs are 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the league and are coming off back-to-back shutouts, including 28-0 over Olentangy Berlin on Sept. 25 after the Bears came in averaging 35 points.

Olentangy also is 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the league. Although one of its wins was a 45-33 decision Sept. 4 over Berlin, it held its other three opponents to a combined 16 points before falling to Dublin Jerome 27-16 on Sept. 25.

Marysville gets it done by controlling the clock. Against Berlin, Ryan Kern rushed for 197 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries and Griffin Johnson rushed 13 times for 153 yards and one score as the Monarchs finished with 484 yards of offense while attempting only four passes. Gabe Powers, an Ohio State commit at linebacker, had an interception.

The Braves have a plethora of offensive weapons, including Kaden Doup at quarterback, Landon Johnson at running back and Caleb Gossett at wide receiver.

•Coming off its first MSL-Cardinal championship last season, Worthington Christian plays Friday, Oct. 2, at Berne Union looking for its second in a row.

The Warriors improved to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the league with a 31-0 win Sept. 25 over Fairfield Christian as freshman quarterback Hobie Raikes threw four touchdowns, all to different receivers.

Berne Union, which lost to Worthington Christian 41-0 last season, fell to Caldwell 18-13 on Sept. 25 to drop to 4-1 overall but it also is 4-0 in the MSL-Cardinal. The Rockets have a dual-threat quarterback leading the way in sophomore Nate Nemeth.

•Another game with league-title implications will be held Friday, Oct. 2, when Gahanna travels to Pickerington North in OCC-Ohio action.

The Panthers have won four in a row, including beating New Albany 56-21 on Sept. 25 to clinch at least a share of the title as they are 4-1 overall and 4-0 in the league.

It was a huge game for senior quarterback Jaylen Gilbert, who transferred from Centennial and joined the program after its 35-9 opening loss Aug. 30 at Pickerington Central. He passed for two touchdowns while rushing for 116 yards and two scores against New Albany.

Gahanna can earn a share of the league championship after bouncing back from a 43-0 loss Sept. 18 at Westerville Central by blowing out Grove City 41-0 on Sept. 25. The Lions are 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the league.

Against the Dawgs, Ronald Blackman rushed for three touchdowns and added a receiving touchdown from Trey Burger, who also ran for one touchdown run and threw for another score to Jordan Lowery.

With Dublin Coffman leading the OCC-Central by one game, Olentangy Liberty’s matchup at Olentangy Orange on Friday, Oct. 2, likely is for second place.

The Patriots lead the series 7-3, but the Pioneers have won the last two meetings.

Liberty lost 24-17 on Sept. 4 to Coffman, which is 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the league while the Patriots are 4-1 and 3-1.

Orange scored on a hook-and-lateral on its final play to beat Hilliard Bradley 37-34 on Sept. 25 and improve to 3-2 and 3-1.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

WEEK 6

Thursday, Oct. 1

City League

Briggs at Columbus West; Beechcroft at Northland

OCC

Pickerington Central at Reynoldsburg

Friday, Oct. 2

CCL

DeSales at Hartley; St. Charles at Watterson

OCC

Big Walnut at Dublin Scioto; Central Crossing at Groveport; Delaware at Canal Winchester; Gahanna at Pickerington North; Hilliard Bradley at Dublin Coffman; Hilliard Darby at Dublin Jerome; New Albany at Westerville Central; Olentangy at Marysville; Olentangy Berlin at Thomas Worthington; Olentangy Liberty at Olentangy Orange; Upper Arlington at Hilliard Davidson; Westerville North at Worthington Kilbourne; Westerville South at Franklin Heights; Westland at Grove City

City League

Walnut Ridge at Independence; Whetstone at Centennial

MSL

Columbus Academy at Grandview; Harvest Prep at Whitehall; Worthington Christian at Berne Union

Area non-league

Grove City Christian at Troy Christian; KIPP Columbus at Mifflin; Ready at Bexley

Saturday, Oct. 3

City League

Columbus East at Linden-McKinley; Eastmoor Academy at Africentric; Columbus South at Marion-Franklin