Friday Night Live: Division I first-round playoff previews

Andy Resnik
ThisWeek group
Westerville North's Mitchell Gillam leaps to help stop Big Walnut quarterback Jagger Barnett during the teams' game Sept. 25. The Warriors open the playoffs Oct. 9 at home against New Albany.

New Albany at Westerville North

The first home playoff game for Westerville North in 32 years could feature mirror images as far as both coaches are concerned.

With a 5-1 record — their most wins since going 5-5 in 2005 — the seventh-seeded Warriors will play host Friday, Oct. 9, to a 10th-seeded New Albany team hoping to find its footing in the Division I, Region 3 playoffs after consecutive losses.

North is in the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

“These are two programs that are very similar. They like to control the clock and pound the ball on the ground, but they can make you pay if you fall asleep defensively and just concentrate on the run,” Eagles coach Bubba Kidwell said. “They’re a very, very, very physical team.”

Brennan Albertini has helped pace the Warriors at both running back and linebacker and continued to make key plays in last week’s 22-21 win at Worthington Kilbourne, as he completed three of five passes for 41 yards, had 12 carries for 61 yards and blocked a 20-yard field-goal attempt as time expired.

New Albany started 3-1 but has been outscored 98-28 the past two weeks by Pickerington North and Westerville Central, the second and third seeds, respectively, in Region 3.

The Eagles, who are making their first playoff appearance since 2017 and 10th overall, allowed 28 second-quarter points in a 42-7 loss at Central on Oct. 2.

“We’ve been in quite a few games this year that could have gone either way. We’ve seen a lot,” North coach Bryan Johnson said. “We’ve made big plays we’ve had to make. I hope that experience helps us now.”

The winner will play second-seeded Pickerington North or 15th-seeded Hilliard Davidson in the second round Oct. 16 at the home field of the higher seed.

—Dave Purpura

NEW ALBANY at WESTERVILLE NORTH

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9

•Last meeting: 2017, New Albany 27-26 (OT)

•New Albany (3-3) to date: Defeated Lancaster 20-13; def. Grove City 23-7; lost to Gahanna 42-41 (OT); def. Westland 49-0; lost to Pickerington North 56-21; lost to Westerville Central 42-7

•North (5-1) to date: Def. Franklin Heights 17-0; def. Delaware 24-7; lost to South 32-28; def. Canal Winchester 21-7; def. Big Walnut 20-17; lost to Worthington Kilbourne 22-21

•Top Eagles: Braeden Elwer (TE/OL/LB), Jayden Fudge (RB), Jaydn Garnes (FB), Ian Hoff (LB/K), Collin Johnson (OL/LS), Brock Kidwell (RB/QB/DB), Brock Tibbitts (QB/P), Tyler Van Meter (RB/LB) and Owen Wilcox (WR/DB)

•Top Warriors: Brennan Albertini (RB/LB), Sylvester Bockarie (RB/LB), Wyatt Buxton (QB), Coby Darlington (WR/DB), Nathan Dunfee (OL/DL), Mitchell Gillam (OL/DL), Mohammed Nasser (OL/DL), Ty O’Hearn (WR/DB/LS) and Reuben Simiyu (OL/DL)

Hilliard Davidson at Pickerington North

Despite facing a team with a disappointing record, Pickerington North coach Nate Hillerich expects a test when the second-seeded Panthers play host to 15th-seeded Hilliard Davidson in a Division I, Region 3 first-round game Friday, Oct. 9.

The winner plays seventh-seeded Westerville North or 10th-seeded New Albany in the second round Oct. 16 at the home field of the higher seed.

Pickerington North won its fifth consecutive game Oct. 2, defeating Gahanna 31-6  to improve to 5-1 overall and clinch the outright OCC-Ohio Division title at 5-0.

After beating Hilliard Darby 17-13 in the opener Aug. 27, the Wildcats lost their fifth consecutive game, falling 35-0 at home to Upper Arlington on Oct. 2. Davidson is 1-5 overall and finished 0-5 in the OCC-Central.

“Davidson’s a physical football team with a ton of tradition,” Hillerich said. “They’ve played a really tough schedule and their record can be misleading.”

Against Gahanna, Jaylen Gilbert passed for 130 yards and two touchdowns and added 125 yards rushing to lead North. 

“They’re the (No.) 2 seed for a reason,” Davidson coach Jeremey Scally said. “They’re playing really well right now. They’re playing with a boatload of confidence. I know they haven’t been tested in a little while either. They present eight million challenges for us.”

Leo Nixon rushed for 61 yards on 12 carries for Davidson against UA, which had a 403-114 advantage in total yards.

Scally, who is in his first season at Davidson after succeeding Brian White, coached the Golden Bears last season. 

North and Davidson have split two previous meetings, with the Panthers winning 20-12 in a Division I, Region 2 playoff game in 2012 and the Wildcats avenging that loss 20-7 the following season in another postseason contest.

—Frank DiRenna

HILLIARD DAVIDSON at PICKERINGTON NORTH

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9

•Last meeting: 2013, Davidson 20-7

•Davidson (1-5) to date: Defeated Hilliard Darby 17-13; lost to Olentangy Orange 20-7; lost to Hilliard Bradley 22-17; lost to Dublin Coffman 49-0; lost to Olentangy Liberty 45-7; lost to Upper Arlington 35-0 

•North (5-1) to date: Lost to Pickerington Central 35-9; def. Westerville Central 34-20; def. Westland 59-6; def. Grove City 47-24; def. New Albany 56-21; def. Gahanna 31-6

•Top Wildcats: Jayden Humphrey (WR/DB), Jordan Lyles (WR/DB), Kaden Miller (OL/DL), Leo Nixon (RB), Kyle Pepera (QB/LB), Blake Pettit (QB), Kevin Roberts (TE/DL), Owen Savage (OL/DL) and Jonathan Weir (RB)

•Top Panthers: D.J. Davenport (OL), Dawaun Green (RB), Jaylen Gilbert (QB), Elijah Hawk (DL), Cole Johnson (LB), Hayden Kaltenecker (WR), Idris Lawrence Jr. (RB), Devin McShan (DB) and Tyce Neu (OL)

Upper Arlington at Olentangy Orange

Just as it did three weeks ago, Upper Arlington travels to Olentangy Orange. This time, however, the 11th-seeded Golden Bears will look for a different outcome when the teams meet Friday, Oct. 9, in the opening round of the Division I, Region 3 playoffs.

Sixth-seeded Orange won the first contest 31-14 on Sept. 18 in OCC-Central Division play, and the Pioneers enter the second meeting at 3-3 overall. They went 3-2 in the league.

UA is 2-4 overall and finished 2-3 in the OCC-Central after defeating Hilliard Davidson 35-0 on Oct. 2. The Golden Bears had 403 total yards, with 320 coming on the ground led by Carson Gresock’s 279 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries.

Quarterback James Hayek was 5-for-7 passing for 83 yards with one touchdown and one interception. All of his competitions were to Sam Cannon.

“Despite what the score was the first time, we’re two equally matched teams,” Orange coach Zebb Schroeder said. “The running back, Gresock, is a workhorse. He’s big and physical, and he always finds the right spot to run.”

Orange lost 42-21 to Olentangy Liberty on Oct. 2 in an OCC-Central matchup to close the regular season. 

Quarterback Josh Laisure was 12-for-20 passing for 185 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Caden Konczak had 11 receptions for 173 yards and two touchdowns, while Jordan Rudolph returned an interception 86 yards for the other Orange score.

“It’s the good and the bad of the playoffs,” UA coach Justin Buttermore said of the rematch. “At some point, you’re going to match up against someone that you know. We’re just doing it in the first round.

“They’re a physical team on both sides of the ball. They did an excellent job of scheming us the first time, so we’ll have to be ready this time.”

—Scott Hennen

UPPER ARLINGTON at OLENTANGY ORANGE

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9

•Last meeting: 2020, Orange 31-14

•UA (2-4 overall, 2-3 in OCC-Central) to date: Lost to Westerville Central 28-23; def. Hilliard Bradley 7-6; lost to Olentangy Liberty 21-14; lost to Orange 31-14; lost to Dublin Coffman 24-14; def. Hilliard Davidson 35-0

•Orange (3-3 overall, 3-2 in OCC-Central) to date: Lost to Olentangy 7-3; def. Davidson 20-7; lost to Coffman 28-7; def. UA 31-14; def. Bradley 37-34; lost to Liberty 42-21

•Top Golden Bears: Michael Ballenger (DL), Carter Brock (LB), Doak Buttermore (RB/DB), Sam Cannon (WR), Dominic Chiavaroli (DL), Jack Flowers (OL), Carson Gresock (RB), James Hayek (QB/DB), Shea Keethler (DB) and Marco Landolfi (LB)

•Top Pioneers: Jadon Ampadu (LB), Dylan Dempsey (DL), Rico Franklin (TE/DL), Joey Guagenti (WR/DB), Luke Houston (RB/LB), Caden Konczak (WR), Josh Laisure (QB), Tanner Lester (DL), Ryan Minott (OL) and Dom Sylvesteri (OL/DL)

Hilliard Darby at Gahanna Lincoln

Perhaps not surprisingly, considering where both teams stand heading into their Division I, Region 3 playoff matchup, Gahanna Lincoln and Hilliard Darby have spent extensive time this season looking to cut down on errors.

The Lions had only one turnover in a 31-6 loss to Pickerington North on Oct. 2, a lost fumble early in the second quarter, but its impact felt magnified to coach Bruce Ward because his team was trailing 17-6 at the time and had moved inside North territory.

In Darby’s 37-6 loss to Olentangy on Sept. 18, it committed four turnovers, including three lost fumbles.

Then in Darby’s 28-27 win over Dublin Jerome on Oct. 2, the Celtics recovered an onside kick with 34 seconds left before the Panthers held on for the victory.

Gahanna is seeded eighth and will play host to ninth-seeded Darby on Friday, Oct. 9, with the winner to face top-seeded Pickerington Central or 16th-seeded Grove City on Oct. 16 at the home of the higher-seeded team.

The Lions went 4-2 against Darby from 2002-07, but the teams have not met since then.

Both programs enter the postseason after going 3-3 during the regular season.

“This is such an odd year, when you miss out on all those things you do in preseason that unify yourselves as a team,” Darby coach John Santagata said. “We’re still making mistakes, but we’re making fewer mistakes than in previous weeks.”

Gahanna — which is in the postseason for the fifth in seven seasons under Ward, while Darby is in for the eighth time in 13 years under Santagata — has been led offensively by senior running back Ronald Blackman. He had 100 yards and one touchdown against North and has rushed for 880 yards and 12 touchdowns overall.

Senior quarterback Trey Burger has thrown for 790 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Darby junior quarterback Blake Horvath attempted just two passes against Jerome but completed both for touchdowns and also rushed for 106 yards and one score on 19 carries. 

Horvath has rushed 108 times for 866 yards and 15 touchdowns and thrown for 334 yards and three scores.

“We definitely wanted to play better (against Pickerington North), but as long as our kids compete, that’s really what it’s all about,” Ward said. “It’ll be a totally different offense (this) week, so we’ve got to get back to it and figure out how to stop Hilliard Darby.”

—Jarrod Ulrey

HILLIARD DARBY at GAHANNA LINCOLN

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9

•Last meeting: 2007, Darby 34-23

•Darby (3-3) to date: Lost to Hilliard Davidson 17-13; defeated Marysville 31-28; lost to Olentangy Berlin 48-41; lost to Olentangy 37-6; def. Thomas Worthington 35-14; def. Dublin Jerome 28-27

•Gahanna (3-3) to date: Lost to Reynoldsburg 48-14; def. Westland 49-7; def. New Albany 42-41 (OT); lost to Westerville Central 43-0; def. Grove City 41-0; lost to Pickerington North 31-6

•Top Panthers: Jake Baird (WR/DB), Sam Donnelly (OL/DL), James Hakes (RB/LB), Blake Horvath (QB/DB), Connor Jones (RB/LB), Kole Kendall (OL/DL), Luke Manche (RB/LB), Ben Marsh (RB/LB) and Eric Williams (WR/DB)

•Top Lions: Ricky Alli (RB/LB), Tommy Bailey (OL/DL), Kane Baker (WR/DB), Trey Burger (QB), Ronald Blackman (RB/DB), Jordan Lowery (WR), Mykohl Martin (OL/DL), Brendan Raymond (WR/DB) and Jaden Yates (RB/LB)

Grove City at Pickerington Central

The first assignment for Pickerington Central as it begins defense of its Division I state championship takes place Friday, Oct. 9, when it plays host to 16th-seeded Grove City in a Region 3 first-round game.

The top-seeded Tigers are coming off a regular season in which they went 6-0 overall and won the OCC-Buckeye Division at 5-0, while the Dawgs closed the regular season with a 48-12 victory over Westland to improve to 2-4 overall and finish 1-4 in the OCC-Ohio.

The teams are familiar with each other, however, as Central has beaten Grove City 12 consecutive seasons after the teams previously were league opponents.

The Tigers have 14 consecutive wins in the series overall, with the Dawgs’ last victory a 34-7 decision in 1999 when Grove City went 12-1 and the Tigers finished 12-2.

During the regular season, Central outscored its opponents by a combined 247-25, capped by a 38-13 win over Reynoldsburg on Oct. 1. 

In that contest, Nick Mosley rushed for four touchdowns, Alex Styles had two interceptions and Lorenzo Styles Jr. returned an interception 53 yards as the Tigers built a 38-0 halftime lead.

“I really like the way we tackled in the open field (against Reynoldsburg),” coach Jay Sharrett said. “We didn’t just play football but we kind of excelled at it at times and we had some playoff speed to us at certain parts of this game and that’s what we have to do to advance in the playoffs.”

The Central-Grove City winner will face eighth-seeded Gahanna or ninth-seeded Hilliard Darby in a regional quarterfinal Oct. 16 at the home field of the higher seeded team.

Grove City has a new coach in Matt Shaul and posted more wins this season than in any of the previous four.

The Dawgs led Westland 42-0 at halftime and were led by Trevor Mills, who ran 12 times for 87 yards and four touchdowns. Christian Isaacs had seven rushes for 129 yards and Xavier Rose added five carries for 46 yards and two scores.

“It’s a (No. 1 seed) versus a 16, so it’s tough, and Pickerington Central is a really good football team,” Shaul said. “But we’ll approach it one snap at a time and be true to who we are as a team, as a unit, offensively, defensively and on special teams and just compete, play our brand of football and just get better.

“We played our brand of football (against Westland). It was a real physical game and our defensive guys and special teams guys did a great job.” 

—Jarrod Ulrey

GROVE CITY at PICKERINGTON CENTRAL

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9

•Last meeting: 2019, Central 42-6

•Grove City (2-4) to date: Defeated Central Crossing 7-6; lost to New Albany 23-7; lost to Westerville Central 34-0; lost to Pickerington North 47-24; lost to Gahanna 41-0; def. Westland 48-12

•Central (6-0) to date: Def. Pickerington North 35-9; def. Newark 49-0; def. Central Crossing 47-0; def. Groveport 43-3; def. Lancaster 35-0; def. Reynoldsburg 38-13

•Top Dawgs: Cole Becker (LB/RB/LS), Tyler Biddle (LB), Zach Combs (TE/LB), Lukas Hamilton (WR), Christian Isaacs (RB/DB), Trevor Mills (RB), A.J. Stoll (DB/WR) and Zakk Tschirhart (QB)

•Top Tigers: C.J. Doggette (DL), William Dukes IV (LB), Tyler Gillison (LB/TE), Nick Mosley (RB), A.J. Sanders (DB), Keaton Snyder (OL), Alex Styles (DB), Lorenzo Styles Jr. (WR/DB) and Garner Wallace (QB)

Hilliard Bradley at Groveport Madison

Hilliard Bradley coach Mike LoParo was blunt in assessing his 13th-seeded team’s first-round visit to fourth-seeded Groveport Madison on Friday, Oct. 9 in the Division I, Region 3 playoffs.

“It’s a tough matchup,” said LoParo, whose team is making its fourth postseason appearance in the last five years. “They run the wing-T very well and they’re big up front. That’s not a great matchup because we aren’t big up front. We’re down some starters, but our young guys have stepped up the best they can.”

The Jaguars, who fell to 1-5 overall with a 28-14 OCC-Central Division loss at league champion Dublin Coffman on Oct. 2, will be without two important cogs for the rest of the season in wide receiver Tayshaun Mayfield and tight end/defensive lineman Jack Pugh. 

Mayfield has a torn ACL and Pugh, a Wisconsin commit, has a leg injury.

Bradley got 141 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries from quarterback A.J. Mirgon in the loss to Coffman, which was ranked second in the state behind Pickerington Central. The Jaguars finished 1-4 in league play, while the Shamrocks went 5-0. 

Playing shorthanded because of COVID-19 quarantines, Groveport outlasted visiting Central Crossing 28-24 on Oct. 2 to improve to 4-1 overall. Jayden Sawyer scored the winning touchdown from 7 yards with 37 seconds left.

The Cruisers are making their second consecutive postseason appearance after not having done so since 2007.

“(Mirgon) might be the most athletic quarterback we’ve seen so far, and we’ve seen some good ones. He can run the ball and he’s hard to take down,” Groveport coach Mitch Westcamp said. “As a team, they’re pretty young but they’re building.”

The winner will play fifth-seeded Reynoldsburg or 12th-seeded Lancaster in the second round Oct. 16 at the home field of the higher seed.

—Dave Purpura

HILLIARD BRADLEY at GROVEPORT MADISON

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9

•Last meeting: First meeting

•Bradley (1-5) to date: Lost to Marysville 17-0; lost to Upper Arlington 7-6; defeated Hilliard Davidson 22-17; lost to Olentangy Liberty 38-17; lost to Olentangy Orange 37-34; lost to Dublin Coffman 28-14

•Groveport (4-1) to date: Def. Westland 41-6; def. Reynoldsburg 24-17; def. Lancaster 28-7; lost to Pickerington Central 43-3; def. Central Crossing 28-24

•Top Jaguars: Matthew Cooper (OL), Jake Duffer (WR), A.J. Mirgon (QB), Peyton Murphy (LB), Kenyon Richardson (WR), Chance Roberts (OL/DL), Jordan Thompson (DB), Caden VanVorhis (RB/DB) and Walter Williams (DL)

•Top Cruisers: Elyjah Aekins (WR/DB), Clarence Gossett IV (LB), Jashaun McGraw (RB/DL), Makarius Mosley (OL/DL), John Motton (WR/DB), Isaiah Rogers (QB), Leland Slaven (OL) and Jalil Underdown (RB)

Lancaster at Reynoldsburg

On Sept. 18 in an OCC-Buckeye Division matchup at Lancaster, Reynoldsburg came back from a 19-point deficit to nearly take the lead midway through the fourth quarter.

The Raiders scored on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Dijon Jennings to Savian Torrence, but the two-point conversion pass attempt failed and the Golden Gales held on for a 41-40 victory.

It isn’t the only time in recent years that the teams have had exciting battles.

In 2015, the Raiders edged Lancaster 49-42 in three overtimes — then followed with back-to-back wins to close the regular season and qualify for the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.

The teams were involved in another high-scoring affair in 2017, with Reynoldsburg prevailing 42-34 to close a 7-3 season.

On Friday, Oct. 9, the fifth-seeded Raiders will play host to 12th-seeded Lancaster in the first round of the 16-team Division I, Region 3 playoffs. The winner plays fourth-seeded Groveport or 13th-seeded Hilliard Bradley on Oct. 16 in a regional quarterfinal.

“I always say the Lancaster games were made for television,” coach Buddy White said. “(The first meeting this year) was a crazy game and we usually have crazy games against Lancaster.”

Reynoldsburg lost to Pickerington Central 38-13 on Oct. 1 to drop to 3-3 overall and finished 2-3 in the OCC-Buckeye.

The Gales, who lost 35-0 to Pickerington Central on Sept. 25, were 2-4 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Buckeye after defeating Newark 46-15 on Oct. 2.

Lancaster outgained the Raiders 530-366 in total yards during the first meeting, and although  quarterback Titan Johnson was just 3-for-7 passing, those three completions went for 173 yards and three touchdowns. 

Johnson also rushed seven times for 74 yards and one score, while Parker Hill carried 21 times for 102 yards and George Sherrick ran 14 times for 77 yards and one score. Sherrick also added an 83-yard touchdown reception.

For the Raiders, Jennings went 15-for-27 passing for 275 yards and four touchdowns, Jeremiah Crawford-Smith rushed for 52 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries and Torrence had five catches for 102 yards and three scores.

Reynoldsburg running back Daniel Broomfield rushed for 165 yards in a 48-14 win over Newark on Sept. 11 but did not play in the earlier matchup with Lancaster because of an injury.

In the loss to Pickerington Central, Broomfield rushed 15 times for 88 yards and a pair of second-half touchdowns. Reynoldsburg trailed 38-0 at halftime.

“We just talked about it at halftime that we were going to kick off to them, we needed the defense to get a stop and get the ball back to the offense,” White said. “That’s when Broomfield (ran for a 63-yard touchdown). … We said, ‘Hey, we need a springboard into the playoffs next week and have a good, solid (second) half of football,’ and we did.”

—Jarrod Ulrey

LANCASTER at REYNOLDSBURG

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9

•Last meeting: Sept. 18, Lancaster 41-40

•Lancaster (2-4) to date: Lost to New Albany 20-13; lost to Central Crossing 21-18; lost to Groveport 16-13; defeated Reynoldsburg 41-40; lost to Pickerington Central 35-0; def. Newark 46-15

•Reynoldsburg (3-3) to date: Def. Gahanna 48-14; lost to Groveport 45-14; def. Newark 48-14; lost to Lancaster 41-40; def. Central Crossing 34-10; lost to Pickerington Central 38-13

•Top Golden Gales: Dashawn Garnes (WR/DB), Zindale Graf (OL/DL), Ty Hedges (OL/DL), Parker Hill (RB/LB), Titan Johnson (QB), Christian Riley (TE/DL), Nasir Robinson (RB), George Sherrick (RB/DB) and Tanner Taley (OL/DL)

•Top Raiders: Daniel Broomfield (RB), Markez Gillam (WR), Dalton Hall (OL/DL), Dijon Jennings (QB), Chris Karr (LB), N’Rique Love (WR/DB), Jabari Mitchell (WR/DB), Ajani Preston (DB/RB) and Mekhai Woodfork (DL/RB)

Miamisburg at Olentangy Liberty

During a 42-21 victory over Olentangy Orange that wrapped up a runner-up finish at 4-1 in the OCC-Central Division, Olentangy Liberty allowed just 23 yards rushing on 23 carries and 211 total yards.

The Patriots’ first assignment in the Division I, Region 2 playoffs is Miamisburg, which has run for just 308 yards on 115 attempts during a 1-4 start.

With a 5-1 overall record, fourth-seeded Liberty heads into its first-round home matchup Friday, Oct. 9, against the 13th-seeded Vikings seemingly peaking on both sides of the ball.

Over their current four-game winning streak, the Patriots have averaged 36.5 points.

Their only loss is 24-17 on Sept. 4 to OCC-Central champion Dublin Coffman, which earned the No. 1 seed in the region and was ranked second in the most recent Division I state poll behind Pickerington Central.

The Liberty-Miamisburg winner advances to play fifth-seeded Perrysburg or 12th-seeded Kettering Fairmont on Oct. 16 at the home field of the higher-seeded team.

The Vikings went 1-4 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference, beating Beavercreek 37-8 on Aug. 28 for their only win

Clayton Northmont, which finished 6-0 overall and in the GWOC and is seeded second in Region 2, edged Miamisburg 40-34 on Sept. 25.

“I don’t know much about (Miamisburg), but they play in a really good conference, the Greater Western Ohio Conference,” coach Steve Hale said. “Their conference is as good as our division of the OCC. They play good competition and they’ll be ready to play us.”

While the Vikings lost 42-0 to Centerville on Oct. 2 in their final game before the playoffs, Liberty got touchdown runs of 5 and 3 yards from Aidan Kenley in the second quarter to build a 21-7 lead over Orange.

Kenley, who finished with 31 rushes for 188 yards and five scores against Orange, has 787 yards on 126 carries with 12 touchdowns on the season.

Quarterback Mitch Fields threw for one touchdown against the Pioneers and is 80-for-123 passing for 892 yards with eight touchdowns and has added three scoring runs.

Wide receivers Cam Barcus (25 receptions for 240 yards, 3 TDs), Chase Brecht (18 receptions for 278 yards, 3 TDs) and Dom Magistrale (17 receptions for 173 yards, 2 TDs) all have been productive in the passing game.

The Miamisburg offense is led by quarterback Justin Barry, who is 71-for-117 passing for 848 yards with six touchdowns in five games.

Christian Davis has 300 yards on 75 carries with two touchdowns and also leads the Vikings in receptions with 18 for 136 yards and one score.

Kollin Ivy and Taiwan Howard both have 15 receptions.

Defensively for the Vikings, Corwyn Hurt (DB) has three interceptions and Austin Plowman (DB) and Henry Wasoski (LB) are the leading tacklers with 36 apiece.

—Jarrod Ulrey

MIAMISBURG at OLENTANGY LIBERTY

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9

•Last meeting: First meeting

•Miamisburg (1-4) to date: Defeated Beavercreek 37-8; lost to Huber Heights Wayne 35-24; lost to Kettering Fairmont 21-7; lost to Clayton Northmont 40-34; lost to Centerville 42-0

•Liberty (5-1) to date: Def. Olentangy Berlin 35-21; lost to Dublin Coffman 24-17; def. Upper Arlington 21-14; def. Hilliard Bradley 38-17; def. Hilliard Davidson 45-7; def. Olentangy Orange 42-21

•Top Vikings: Justin Barry (QB), Christian Davis (RB/WR), Taiwon Howard (WR), Corwyn Hurt (DB/WR), Kollin Ivy (WR), Jackson McGohan (WR), Luke Myers (LB), Austin Plowman (DB) and Henry Wasoski (LB)

•Top Patriots: Cam Barcus (WR), Jacob Bonacci (DL/TE), Mitch Fields (QB), Aidan Kenley (RB), Dom Magistrale (WR), Tyler Rosselli (WR/K), Drew Thornton (DB), Matthew Wrather (OL) and Brian Yamokoski (LB)

Beavercreek at Dublin Coffman

The numbers favor top-seeded Dublin Coffman when it plays host to 16th-seeded Beavercreek on Friday, Oct. 9, in the opening round of the Division I, Region 2 playoffs.

The Shamrocks are ranked second in the state behind Pickerington Central and are unbeaten at 6-0 overall. They also went 5-0 in the OCC-Central Division after defeating Hilliard Bradley 28-14 on Oct. 2 to win their second consecutive league title.

The Beavers are winless in six games, all in Greater Western Ohio Conference competition. They have scored only 50 points (8.3 points per game) and surrendered 351 (58.6 per game). In three games, their opponents topped 70 points.

Beavercreek has used two quarterbacks in senior Jack Barnett (47-for-111 passing, 426 yards, 1 touchdown, 11 interceptions) and sophomore Spencer Johnson (10-for-41 passing, 86 yards, 1 touchdown, 4 interceptions). 

Its top two running backs — junior Nick Etienne (32 carries, 129 yards) and sophomore Tyler Hicks (11 carries, 89 yards, 1 TD) — have not played for the last two weeks.

Coffman coach Mark Crabtree said the Beavers can’t be taken lightly, however.

“I don’t know a lot about them, but I guess they were recently on their second- or third-team quarterback because of some injuries,” said Crabtree, whose team has averaged 32.3 points per game and surrendered 9.7 per contest. 

“They play in a really good league (GWOC) and they’ve played good competition every week. That league is like the OCC. There might not be as many teams, but it’s a comparable league.”

The winner will face eighth-seeded Springboro or ninth-seeded Findlay on Oct. 16.

The Shamrocks cruised by Bradley as Bryon Threats ran for 143 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries. Quarterback Connor Mathews was 11-for-19 passing for 117 yards with one interception, and he also rushed for 61 yards on 13 carries.

Slotback/defensive back Sheron Phipps, who moved from Thomas Worthington to Coffman in the offseason, did not play and will not be eligible for the remainder of the season because of OHSAA transfer rules. 

The 5-foot-9, 165-pound senior had 21 receptions for 314 yards and two touchdowns, and he rushed for 91 yards and one score on 12 carries.

—Scott Hennen

BEAVERCREEK at DUBLIN COFFMAN

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9

•Last meeting: First meeting

•Beavercreek (0-6) to date: Lost to Miamisburg 37-8; lost to Springboro 77-16; lost to Clayton Northmont 42-8; lost to Huber Heights Wayne 70-8; lost to Centerville 49-10; lost to Springfield 76-0

•Coffman (6-0) to date: Defeated Dublin Jerome 41-6; def. Olentangy Liberty 24-17; def. Olentangy Orange 28-7; def. Hilliard Davidson 49-0; def. Upper Arlington 24-14; def. Hilliard Bradley 28-14

•Top Beavers: Dominic Adducchio (OL/DL), Eli Bartel (RB/LB), Joe Darrah (OL/LB), Troy Goffe (RB/LB), Alan Hopkins (WR/DB), Anthony Johnston (RB/LB), Brandon Mitchell (OL/DL), Bryce Solberg (RB/LB) and Travis Terrell (RB/DB)

•Top Shamrocks: Maguire Davis (LB), Hunter Hicks (WR), Connor Mathews (QB/P), O.J. Morris (LB), Hammond Russell (DL), Toby Simpson (OL), Bryon Threats (RB/LB), Daniel Warnsman (OL), Dorian Weaver (DB) and Devon Williams (RB/LB)

Dublin Jerome at Marysville

Dublin Jerome enters its Division I, Region 2 first-round game Friday, Oct. 9, at Marysville looking to avenge a 31-12 loss to the Monarchs on Sept. 11.

The 10th-seeded Celtics fell to 2-4 overall with a 28-27 loss to visiting Hilliard Darby on Oct. 2.

The seventh-seeded Monarchs clinched their first OCC title since 2007 with a 28-7 win over visiting Olentangy on Oct. 2. They finished 5-1 overall and 4-1 in the OCC-Cardinal Division to take first ahead of second-place Olentangy (3-2).

Marysville shared the OCC-Central title with Pickerington North at 4-1 in 2007, and it is the program’s first outright title since 2000.

The winner plays second-seeded Clayton Northmont or 15th-seeded Middletown in the second round Oct. 16 at the home field of the higher seed.

“They’re still huge, they’re still physical and they’ve gotten much better every week,” Jerome coach Bob Gecewich said of Marysville. “They’re extremely confident because they’re on a roll. … We get an opportunity to play another week. We know who they are. We know that they’re loaded, and so what? Line up and play football.”

Jerome pulled to within 28-27 of Darby on quarterback Ryan Miller’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Ian Dean with 32 seconds remaining, but the pass on the two-point attempt was incomplete.

Miller was 13-for-22 passing for 170 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He also added a pair of touchdown runs.

“Playing a team twice is always a difficult thing,” Marysville coach Brent Johnson said. “Bob’s a good coach and has them playing well. We have to get better this week as a team and be completely prepared as the second season begins.”

Against Olentangy, Marysville collected all of its 283 yards on the ground, including 170 yards and three touchdowns from Ryan Kern.

—Frank DiRenna

DUBLIN JEROME at MARYSVILLE

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9

•Last meeting: 2020, Marysville 31-12

•Jerome (2-4) to date: Lost to Dublin Coffman 41-6; defeated Thomas Worthington 56-21; lost to Marysville 31-12; lost to Olentangy Berlin 38-27; def. Olentangy 27-16; lost to Hilliard Darby 28-27

•Marysville (5-1) to date: Def. Hilliard Bradley 17-0; lost to Darby 31-28; def. Jerome 31-12; def. Thomas 31-0; def. Berlin 28-0; def. Olentangy 28-7

•Top Celtics: David Adolph (WR), Carter Barco (WR/DB), Addi Blair (LB), Preston Everhart (RB), John Garrity (OL/DL), Kyler LaRosa (OL/DL), Seth Martin (WR/DB) and Ryan Miller (QB/DB)

•Top Monarchs: Michael Cogossi (OL), Luke Harper (OL/LB), Griffin Johnson (RB/DB), Ryan Kern (RB/LB), Aiden Lambert (RB/LB), Zach McMinn (DL), Gabe Powers (RB/LB), Gavin Rohrs (OL/DL), Ashton Schmutz (QB/DB) and Erryl Will (FB/DL)