Friday Night Live roundup: Postseason Week 1 scores and recaps
New Albany 34, Westerville North 3
New Albany coach Bubba Kidwell did a slight double take upon hearing his defense recorded 15 negative-yardage plays in a 34-3 rout of host and seventh-seeded Westerville North in the first round of the Division I, Region 3 playoffs Oct. 9.
The 10th-seeded Eagles set the tone on the game’s second play, recovering a fumble before Jayden Fudge’s 21-yard touchdown run on the team’s first offensive snap, and never let the Warriors get any rhythm in their first playoff game since 1999 and first at home since 1988.
“Our coaches did an excellent job with the game plan to get a couple more guys up in the box, and once we had them starting to run parallel to the line of scrimmage, we got out there on them,” Kidwell said. “Our linebackers did a great job and so did our front.”
Eagles quarterback Brock Tibbitts threw three touchdown passes, two to Owen Wilcox and another to Braedon Elwer, and ran for a score as New Albany improved to 4-3 and will face second-seeded Pickerington North for the second time in four weeks in a regional quarterfinal Oct. 16.
The Panthers defeated the Eagles 56-21 in OCC-Ohio Division play Sept. 25.
The win was New Albany’s first Division I playoff victory and its first postseason game since 2017.
The Eagles outgained North 221-127 and forced two turnovers, both fumbles.
“We had to shut down their blocking lanes,” Eagles defensive back Kole Clay said. “Our ends played amazing and linebackers filled the holes.”
Hunter Weigand’s 30-yard field goal as the first half expired provided the only points for North, which fell to 5-2.
“(New Albany) controlled the line of scrimmage in the beginning and we played very uncharacteristic. We had turnovers and penalties and you can’t win with those things,” Warriors coach Bryan Johnson said. “They were all over the place on us.”
NEW ALBANY: 20-7-0-7--34
WESTERVILLE NORTH: 0-3-0-0--3
NA—Fudge 21 run (kick failed)
NA—Wilcox 26 pass from Tibbitts (Hoff kick)
NA—Tibbitts 3 run (Hoff kick)
NA—Elwer 17 pass from Tibbitts (Hoff kick)
WN—Weigand 30 FG
NA—Wilcox 17 pass from Tibbitts (Hoff kick)
Hilliard Darby 21, Gahanna Lincoln 7
Hilliard Darby's ball-control option offense kept eighth-seeded and host Gahanna Lincoln out of sync during their Division I, Region 3 playoff opener Oct. 9.
It was a long pass by the Panthers over the middle that was perhaps the most important play in their 21-7 win, however.
Ninth-seeded Darby — which improved to 4-3 and will play at top-seeded Pickerington Central in a second-round game Oct. 16 — moved to the Lions’ 10 with 7 minutes, 22 seconds left on a 48-yard completion from quarterback Blake Horvath to Beau Bridges.
That set up a 1-yard scoring run three plays later by Horvath, who rushed 23 times for 114 yards and three scores, and extended Darby’s lead to 21-7.
"It was a wide-open beautiful throw by Blake and all I had to do was catch it," Bridges said.
Darby held the ball for the first 8 minutes, 30 seconds of the second half, capping a 13-play, 73-yard drive with an 8-yard run by Horvath to make it 14-0.
But Gahanna, which dropped to 3-4, then cut it to 14-7 on a 2-yard run by Ronald Blackman with 10:56 remaining in the fourth quarter. During the drive, quarterback Trey Burger completed all five of his pass attempts.
After Horvath’s third touchdown made it a two-score game again, a Gahanna fumble was recovered by Bradley Weaver with 3:45 remaining and the Panthers ran out the clock.
"It's great to move on," Horvath said. "Every week the offensive line does their job and doesn't get the credit, but they've saved my butt a couple times."
The Panthers took a 7-0 lead with 1 minute, 4 seconds left in the first quarter when Horvath ran for a 32-yard touchdown on fourth-and-1. The drive was extended by an offsides call against the Lions on fourth-and-4 from the Darby 41.
Gahanna moved deep inside Darby territory late in the second quarter, but Burger was sacked for a 13-yard loss by Jakob Williams on second-and-goal from the 7. Burger then threw incomplete on the next two plays as Gahanna turned it over on downs.
Burger finished with 107 yards passing and Blackman rushed for 52 on 11 carries to lead Gahanna.
"(The Panthers) do what they do very well, but a lot of it is on us with missed assignments," Lions coach Bruce Ward said. "We've just got to do a better job."
HILLIARD DARBY: 7-0-7-7--21
HD—Horvath 32 run (Digioia kick)
HD—Horvath 8 run (Digioia kick)
G—Blackman 2 run (Gerhart kick)
HD—Horvath 1 run (Digioia kick)
Marysville 35, Dublin Jerome 14
Marysville relied on its patented ground game and pulled away in the second half for a 35-14 win over visiting Dublin Jerome on Oct. 9 in a Division I, Region 2 first-round playoff.
The seventh-seeded Monarchs improved to 6-1 and will visit second-seeded Clayton Northmont on Oct. 16.
The 10th-seeded Celtics fell to 2-5.
The Monarchs rushed for 430 yards on 55 carries.
Marysville struck quickly on its first possession as Griffin Johnson broke free for a 42-yard touchdown run with 8 minutes, 43 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Monarchs added to their lead on Gabe Powers’ 17-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter. Powers, a junior, is an Ohio State commit as a linebacker.
After the Celtics pulled within 14-7 on Preston Everhart’s 50-yard touchdown run, the game appeared to be headed to halftime at that score before Ryan Kern swept right for a 69-yard touchdown run as time expired and a 21-7 Marysville advantage.
“We want to run the football,” Monarchs coach Brent Johnson said. “Ryan’s touchdown right at the end of the half was huge for us. That was a huge momentum swing. We weren’t expecting it. We were trying to run out the clock and he popped one. Good players go hard.”
Jerome closed to within 21-14 on Ryan Miller’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Nate Kirk in the third quarter, but Miller was later lost for the game when he suffered a leg injury while returning a fumble.
Marysville had three players rush for more than 100 yards. Kern ran for 142 yards, Johnson rushed for 113 and Powers added 109.
Miller completed nine of 17 passes for 119 yards with two interceptions. Everhart rushed for 71 yards and a score on 12 carries.
“We didn’t coach well enough this year to win football games,” Jerome coach Bob Gecewich said.
DUBLIN JEROME: 0-7-7-0--14
M—Johnson 42 run (Hall kick)
M—G. Powers 17 run (Hall kick)
DJ—Everhart 50 run (Havenstein kick)
M—Kern 69 run (Hall kick)
DJ—Kirk 10 pass from Miller (Havenstein kick)
M—Johnson 25 run (Hall kick)
M—G. Powers 28 run (Hall kick)
Upper Arlington 17, Olentangy Orange 10
Upper Arlington coach Justin Buttermore tinkered with his defensive scheme to help the 11th-seeded Golden Bears build a lead and hold off host Olentangy Orange 17-10 on Oct. 9 in the opening round of the Division I, Region 3 playoffs.
The sixth-seeded Pioneers won the first meeting 31-14 on Sept. 18 in OCC-Central Division play, but UA turned the tables to advance and will play at third-seeded Westerville Central on Oct. 16.
The Bears lost 28-23 to the Warhawks on Aug. 28 in the season opener.
“We came out with a lot better energy tonight, which we didn’t the first time,” said Buttermore, whose team improved to 3-4. “We made some changes to take away some of the things we did the first time.”
Orange was limited to 86 yards rushing on 32 attempts.
“They switched to a three-man front on defense and took away our run,” said Pioneers coach Zebb Schroeder, whose team dropped to 3-4. “We couldn’t get the balance on offense that we needed.”
UA’s Carson Gresock rushed for 89 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries. He scored on a 1-yard run with 1 minute, 7 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Bears scored 10 in the second quarter to build a 17-0 halftime lead. Quarterback James Hayek connected with Dominic Chiavaroli for a 19-yard score and Zac Yoakam kicked a 38-yard field goal.
Orange quarterback Josh Laisure had a big game, but it wasn’t enough. The senior completed 19 of 28 passes for 244 yards and one touchdown, a 20-yarder to Julian DiSabato with 8:27 to play.
Jack Behre added a 26-yard field goal with 12 seconds left, but UA recovered the onside kick that followed.
“We were physical from the start, and that’s what you have to do in the playoffs,” Buttermore said. “We were able to control the line on both sides of the ball, and we played all four quarters.”
Hayek was 11-for-20 passing for 127 yards, and his top target was Sam Cannon with six receptions for 52 yards.
Caden Konczak had eight catches for 87 yards for Orange, and DiSabato added four receptions for 67 yards.
UPPER ARLINGTON: 7-10-0-0--17
OLENTANGY ORANGE: 0-0-0-10--10
UA—Gresock 1 run (Yoakam kick)
UA—Yoakam 38 FG
UA—Chiavaroli 19 pass from Hayek (Yoakam kick)
OO—DiSabato 20 pass from Laisure (Behre kick)
OO—Behre 26 FG
Reynoldsburg 53, Lancaster 19
Fifth-seeded Reynoldsburg used big plays and more than 400 yards of total offense in dismantling visiting Lancaster 53-19 in a first-round Division I, Region 3 playoff game Oct. 9.
Dijon Jennings threw two touchdown passes and rushed for another score, and Daniel Broomfield had 160 of his 186 yards rushing in the first half against the 12th-seeded Golden Gales, who dropped to 2-5.
“Our kids were locked in, and it was probably the best week of practice we had this year,” said Reynoldsburg coach Buddy White, whose team avenged a 41-40 loss to Lancaster on Sept. 18.
The Raiders improved to 4-3 and will play host to 13th-seeded Hilliard Bradley in a second-round playoff game Oct. 16. The Jaguars upset fourth-seeded Groveport 28-7.
Jennings’ two touchdown passes — 50 yards to Markez Gilliam and 29 yards to Savian Torrence — and Gilliam’s 62-yard punt return for a touchdown gave Reynoldsburg a 19-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Raiders, who had nearly 300 yards of total offense in the first half, extended their advantage to 39-7 at halftime.
Jennings completed six of 11 passes for 133 yards, and Broomfield averaged 15.5 yards per carry.
James Williams, who finished with 71 yards on five carries, also added two rushing touchdowns for the Raiders.
“Practice was a lot more serious this week, and we just handled business,” Jennings said.
R—Gilliam 50 pass from Jennings (kick failed)
R—Torrence 29 pass from Jennings (pass failed)
R—Gilliam 62 punt return (Miars kick)
R—Williams 2 run (kick failed)
L—Kirkpatrick 2 run (Pallinni kick)
R—Broomfield 70 run (Miars kick)
R—Jennings 5 run (Miars kick)
L—Sherrick 38 run (run failed)
R—Broomfield 18 run (kick failed)
R—Williams 2 run (Sampson run)
L—Robinson 54 run (kick failed)
Worthington Kilbourne 42, Marion Harding 21
Worthington Kilbourne rode strong running and passing games to a 42-21 victory over visiting Marion Harding in the first round of the Division II, Region 7 playoffs Oct. 9.
Harding opened the scoring in the first quarter as Malaki Robinson ran for a 1-yard touchdown.
But Kilbourne responded with a 36-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mitchell Tomasek to Cayden Dougherty and went on to score 42 unanswered points.
“I’m very proud of our kids,” said Kilbourne coach Mike Edwards, whose 12th-seeded team improved to 4-3 and will play at fifth-seeded Uniontown Green on Oct. 16.
“For us this week, it was all about worrying about us. We’ve been preaching the fundamentals all year. Establishing a great run game, playing great defense and being solid on special teams. And our kids did that tonight. We took care of business, and that’s what we needed to do.”
Terrique Gray had touchdown runs of 2 and 24 yards and Tomasek threw a 12-yard touchdown to Noah Wiley to put Kilbourne ahead 28-7 at halftime.
The Wolves scored twice in the third quarter on a 1-yard run from Gray and a 42-yard pass from Tomasek to Dougherty.
Harding quarterback Brady Wink completed a 56-yard touchdown to Kaeden Faggs late in the third quarter, and Kyrie Scott added a 5-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter for the Presidents, who fell to 1-6.
Tomasek completed 10 of 17 passes for 185 yards and three scores with an interception and also rushed twice for 41 yards. Gray carried 19 times for 125 yards and Dougherty caught six passes for 125 yards.
For Harding, Wink completed 11 of 24 passes for 155 yards with one score and two interceptions, Caden Morris carried 10 times for 54 yards and Robinson rushed 16 times for 28 yards.
MARION HARDING: 7-0-7-7--21
WORTHINGTON KILBOURNE: 7-21-14-0--42
MH—Robinson 1 run (Craig kick)
WK—Dougherty 36 pass from Tomasek (Erciyas kick)
WK—Gray 2 run (Erciyas kick)
WK—Gray 24 run (Erciyas kick)
WK—Wiley 12 pass from Tomasek (Erciyas kick)
WK—Gray 1 run (Erciyas kick)
WK—Dougherty 42 pass from Tomasek (Erciyas kick)
MH—Faggs 56 pass from Wink (Craig kick)
MH—Scott 5 run (Craig kick)
Watkins Memorial 44, Northland 6
Watkins Memorial scored on its first six possessions and rolled to a 44-6 victory over visiting Northland in a Division II, Region 7 first-round playoff game Oct. 9.
The 14th-seeded Warriors improved to 4-3 and will travel to face third-seeded Westerville South on Oct. 16.
"We executed the way we should have been executing the whole year,” said Watkins coach Jake Kuhner, whose team finished with 276 yards on the ground. “Our offensive line played really well tonight, and if our offensive line plays well, our offense plays well."
Gage Lowery ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries, and quarterback Liston Shroyer was 12-for-15 passing for 197 yards with three scores to lead the Watkins offense.
"We’re never going to make excuses,” said Northland coach Ryan Sayers, whose team fell to 1-3. “We should have played a more competitive game. That's on us coaches. Coaches lose games, and players win games."
For the 19th-seeded Vikings, Rayvon Ivery had a 1-yard scoring run, and Isaiah Jackson finished 7-for-12 passing for 108 yards, with completions of 51 yards to Shemar Watson and 35 to Japhrone Chapman.
"We have a whole new coaching staff," Sayers said. "We’re going to go through growing pains this year, but our kids are starting to fight through adversity. I’m still proud of our guys. At the end of the day, they weren't fighting with each other, and they were picking each other up."
—Kurt Snyder, Newark Advocate
Licking Heights 28, Whetstone 9
With a 28-9 victory against visiting Whetstone on Oct. 9 in the Region 7 playoffs, Licking Heights earned its first Division II playoff win since 2015 and first under coach Kele Waaland. Despite missing senior tailback Zach Lammers, the Hornets racked up 348 yards on the ground.
Sophomore quarterback Deuce Caldwell scored three touchdowns and rushed for 112 yards on 17 carries. Juniors C.J. Pace, Sir Ford, and Kamron Sowers had 116, 86, and 34 yards, respectively.
“Our offensive line set the tone,” Waaland said. “Pace, Ford, and Sowers have worked hard all season. They stepped up and made the most of their opportunity tonight. I’m super proud of them.”
The No. 13 Hornets (3-4) visit No. 4 Olentangy on Oct. 16.
After a 28-yard Joren Clem field goal put the Braves (2-2) up 3-0, Ford capped a six-play 75-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown run.
Caldwell scored the next three TDs on designed quarterback runs spanning 16, 8 and 22 yards. He also added a two-point conversion after his fourth-quarter score.
While the Hornets offensive run game thrived, the defense was equally impressive, harassing Whetstone quarterbacks Alex Hurd and James Ferrell all night long. Senior defensive ends Andre Dewberry and Jeveon Anderson applied a lot of the pressure, combining on six tackles with four of those being behind the line of scrimmage.
“We had the mindset that we were going to go out tonight and win,” Dewberry said. “It was straight ahead full force. Nothing was going to stop me tonight.”
Hurd was 7-for-15 for 101 yards before leaving the game in the third with an apparent leg injury. Ferrell was 5-for-11 for 40 yards and 28 yards rushing in relief.
Ferrell threw an 18-yard TD to Abdourahman Sallah Sallah late in the fourth quarter for the Braves' only touchdown of the night. Khris Watkins-Sellers had five catches for 73 yards, and Darric McClinton chipped in with 39 yards rushing on 11 carries.
“We moved the ball well until Hurd went down, but we could not capitalize in the red zone,” Whetstone coach Tom Jones said. “I did see a lot of good effort out there, especially from the young guys. We had five sophomores out there on the field towards the end of the game.”
—Mike Kopachy, Newark Advocate
Looking for more?
Listen to the playoff version of the AM 820 Scoreboard Show with hosts Ryan Baker, coach Larry Wolf and ThisWeek managing editor Lee Cochran. Area high school football coaches interviewed were Hilliard Darby's John Santagata, New Albany's Bubby Kidwell, Pickerington North's Nate Hillerich, Upper Arlington's Justin Buttermore, Marysville's Brent Johnson, Dublin Coffman's Mark Crabtree, Hilliard Bradley's Mike LoParo, Reynoldsburg's Buddy White, Canal Winchester's Josh Stratton, Worthington Kilbourne's Mike Edwards, Hamilton Township's Tennyson Varney and Olentangy Liberty's Steve Hale.