Friday Night Live: Division II second-round playoff previews

ThisWeek Sports Staff
ThisWeekSPORTS.com
Ed Worthen and Dublin Scioto play Big Walnut in a Division II, Region 7 playoff game Friday, Oct. 16. Scioto defeated Big Walnut 15-14 on Oct. 2 on the final play when quarterback Amare Jenkins connected with Xavier Lopes for a 36-yard touchdown pass.

Big Walnut at Dublin Scioto

Two weeks after a dramatic finish to close the regular season, Big Walnut and Dublin Scioto will meet again with much more on the line.

The eighth-seeded Irish will play host to the ninth-seeded Golden Eagles in a Division II, Region 7 second-round game Friday, Oct. 16.

Scioto defeated Big Walnut 15-14 on Oct. 2 on the final play when quarterback Amare Jenkins connected with Xavier Lopes for a 36-yard touchdown pass.

The winning score was set up when the Irish got an untimed down following a facemask penalty against the Golden Eagles.

“We’re fairly familiar with each other just because we played a couple of weeks ago,” Big Walnut coach Rob Page said. “It comes down to we need to finish ball games. It’s more about us than it is about them. We need to play more penalty-free football, and if we play penalty-free football the outcome is much different.”

The Golden Eagles had 10 penalties for 115 yards in the first game.

Scioto, which is 6-1, advanced with a 48-14 win over 25th-seeded Mifflin in the opening round Oct. 9 for its sixth consecutive win.

Jenkins passed for 103 yards and three touchdowns, and Ed Worthen (91 yards) and Elliott Bennett (87 yards) combined for 178 yards rushing to lead the Irish.

“What you see on film is who Scioto is and they’re going to stick to it,” Page said. “They’re really solid athletes and they play fast.”

Big Walnut defeated 24th-seeded Logan 62-0 in the opening round Oct. 9 to improve to 4-3.

Caden Williams rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries, while quarterback Jagger Barnett completed 11 of 18 passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns.

Williams rushed for 183 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting against Scioto.

“They’re a really good team,” Scioto coach Karl Johnson said. “We have to play great defense and find a way to score points. Their running back (Williams) is very good. They’re tough and physical. (Barnett) can do a lot of things. I really like how physical their defense is.”

The winner plays top-seeded Massillon Perry or 17th-seeded Canal Winchester in a regional quarterfinal Oct. 23 at the home field of the higher seed.

—Frank DiRenna

BIG WALNUT at DUBLIN SCIOTO

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16

•Last meeting: 2020, Scioto 15-14

•Big Walnut (4-3) to date: Defeated Delaware 14-6; lost to Westerville South 50-41; def. Franklin Heights 35-6; def. Worthington Kilbourne 31-0; lost to Westerville North 20-17; lost to Scioto 15-14; def. Logan 62-0

•Scioto (6-1) to date: Lost to South 42-28; def. Kilbourne 21-13; def. Canal Winchester 28-21; def. Franklin Heights 41-0; def. Delaware 28-0; def. Big Walnut 15-14; def. Mifflin 48-14

•Top Golden Eagles: Jagger Barnett (QB), Cam Gladden (WR/K), Brady Hershberger (WR/DB), A.J. Leasure (TE/LB), Lane Pritchard (WR/DB), Gordon Rond (RB/LB), Mark Ruffing (OL/DL), Mahlon Spangler (OL/DL), Cole Wecker (OL/DL) and Caden Williams (RB/DE)

•Top Irish: Lesley Andoh (RB/DB), Tysen Boze (WR/DB), Amare Jenkins (QB), Xavier Lopes (WR/DB), Maxwell Martin-Lee (OL/DL), Mason Salvator (RB/LB/K/P), Koel Shaw (OL/DL), Joe Trent (TE/DL), Vernon Williams (TE/DL) and Ed Worthen (RB)

Big Walnut quarterback Jagger Barnett throws a pass against Westerville South on Sept. 4.

Canal Winchester at Massillon Perry

Coming off its first playoff win since 2012, 17th-seeded Canal Winchester faces a formidable test Friday, Oct. 16, when it travels to top-seeded and fourth-ranked Massillon Perry for a Division II, Region 7 second-round game.

The Indians — who are 3-4 after a 45-7 first-round win at 16th-seeded Mount Vernon on Oct. 9 — will face a 6-0 Panthers team that has amassed 2,088 rushing yards running the wing-T and just 216 through the air.

“They’re very, very disciplined. They play hard. They don’t have really giant guys on the offensive line or any skill players who will necessarily wow you, but they play hard,” Canal Winchester coach Josh Stratton said. “They remind me of the classic Hilliard Davidson teams (under longtime coach Brian White). They’re just blue collar. They’ll hit you for 4 yards, 3 here, then 4, then they can break off a big play. … It’s a great challenge, but I do think we match up well with them.”

Running back Josh Lemon leads Perry with 1,140 yards and 14 touchdowns on 142 carries, while the Panthers defense has eight interceptions.

Indians running back Stephan Byrd had 18 carries for 122 yards and four scores against Mount Vernon, which was held to 162 total yards. Sixty-five of those yards came on the Yellow Jackets’ only score, a passing touchdown 58 seconds into the game.

“It took us a minute to settle in but we were able to shut them down offensively,” Stratton said. “We did a nice job of maintaining drives and limiting negative plays.”

The winner will play eighth-seeded Dublin Scioto or ninth-seeded Big Walnut in a regional quarterfinal Oct. 23 at the home field of the higher seed.

—Dave Purpura

CANAL WINCHESTER at MASSILLON PERRY

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16

•Last meeting: First meeting

•Canal Winchester (3-4) to date: Lost to Worthington Kilbourne 33-14; defeated Franklin Heights 64-14; lost to Dublin Scioto 28-21; lost to Westerville North 21-7; lost to Westerville South 42-24; def. Delaware 49-21; def. Mount Vernon 45-7

•Perry (6-0) to date: Def. Uniontown Lake 21-3; def. Canton Central Catholic 28-0; def. North Canton Hoover 20-14; def. Canton McKinley 35-23; def. Massillon Jackson 14-13; def. Canton GlenOak 42-0

•Top Indians: Stephan Byrd (RB), Jonathon Chandler (DL), Andre Heglar (WR), Korbin Martino (DB), Joey Moreno (OL), Reese Musick (QB), Blaine Riley (LB/P) and Luke Twiss (LB)

•Top Panthers: Davonte Armstrong (DB), Jovoni Lapanja (DB), Luke Laubacher (DB), Josh Lemon (RB), Samuel Thompson (DB), Dom Vinas (LB), Hayden Vinas (QB) and Cayman Williams (LB)

Olentangy Berlin at Wooster

After earning its first playoff win, 11th-seeded Olentangy Berlin will try for its first postseason road victory when it travels to sixth-seeded Wooster on Friday, Oct. 16, for a Division II, Region 7 second-round game.

The Bears improved to 4-3 in their third season by defeating 22nd-seeded Whitehall 47-7 on Oct. 9 in the first round behind four touchdown passes from quarterback Jacob Moeller. 

Wooster had a first-round bye and is 6-0, but it did not play any Division I teams and faced only one other Division II squad, defeating Mount Vernon 33-23 on Sept. 18. The Yellow Jackets lost 45-7 to Canal Winchester in the opening week of the postseason.

Only one of Wooster’s opponents — Division III Millersburg West Holmes (5-2) — had a winning record.

The Generals are led by dual-threat quarterback Owen Roach. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound senior has completed 102 of 175 passes for 1,265 yards with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions. 

He also leads Wooster in rushing with 526 yards and seven touchdowns on 71 carries, running behind a line anchored by tackle Josh Henderson (6-3, 300).

Roach’s primary target is 6-5, 190-pound wide receiver Michael McKee, who has 21 receptions for 344 yards and four scores. Wide receiver Dajon Brown has 17 catches for 193 yards and four touchdowns.

“They have a really talented quarterback and a big, physical offensive line,” Berlin coach Mark Nori said. “They used to be an all-out air attack when I coached up north (at Stow-Munroe Falls), but they’re more balanced now.”

Defensively, lineman Koty Henry has 53 tackles and 8.5 sacks, and linebacker Joey Lyons has a team-leading 65 tackles along with three interceptions. McKee has a team-high four interceptions.

The winner plays in a regional quarterfinal Oct. 23 against third-seeded Westerville South or 14th-seeded Watkins Memorial at the home field of the higher seed.

Moeller is 130-for-212 passing for 2,105 yards with 19 touchdowns and six interceptions. 

His top targets are Bennett Lawrence (41 catches, 892 yards, 6 TDs), Justin Rader (26 catches, 377 yards, 6 TDs), Ryan Horstman (22 catches, 345 yards, 3 TDs) and Aidan Loeffler (16 catches, 190 yards, 2 TDs).

Running back Nick Tiberio has 136 carries for 630 yards and five scores.

—Scott Hennen

OLENTANGY BERLIN at WOOSTER

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16

•Last meeting: First meeting

•Berlin (4-3) to date: Lost to Olentangy Liberty 35-21; lost to Olentangy 45-33; defeated Hilliard Darby 48-41; def. Dublin Jerome 38-27; lost to Marysville 28-0; def. Thomas Worthington 28-21; def. Whitehall 47-7

•Wooster (6-0) to date: Def. Mansfield Madison 48-6; def. Lexington 43-0; def. Millersburg West Holmes 38-14; def. Mount Vernon 33-23; def. Mansfield Senior 40-6; def. Louisville 12-7

•Top Bears: Antonio Alonso (OL/DL), Jon Harder (OL/DL), Bennett Lawrence (WR/LB), Ethan Lee (RB/LB), Aiden Loeffler (WR/DB), Jacob Moeller (QB), Colin Pethtel (WR/DB), Justin Radar (WR/DB), Nick Tiberio (RB/LB) and Cole Troyer (OL/DL)

•Top Generals: Ted Amstutz (OL/DL), Dajon Brown (WR), Josh Henderson (OL/DL), Koty Henry (OL/DL), Jimmy Lyons (OL/SL), Joey Lyons (RB/LB), Micah McKee (WR/DB), Owen Roach (QB), Luke Stokes (WR/LB) and Jack Williams (WR/DB)

Watkins Memorial at Westerville South

Westerville South will seek its first postseason victory since 2010 when it plays host to 14th-seeded Watkins Memorial in the second round of the Division II, Region 7 playoffs Friday, Oct. 16.

The third-seeded Wildcats are 5-0 after an opening-round bye, while Watkins Memorial beat 19th-seeded Northland 44-6 in the opening round Oct. 9 to improve to 4-3.

In 2010, South defeated Dublin Coffman 28-14 in a Division I, Region 3 quarterfinal before losing 30-0 to Pickerington Central in a semifinal to finish 9-3.

“It's the next rung on the ladder for our long-term goal of restoring the proud tradition of Westerville South football,” said coach Matthew Christ, whose team captured its first outright OCC title since 2010 by winning the OCC-Capital Division at 5-0.

The Wildcats have not played since Sept. 25 when they defeated Canal Winchester 42-24, as their Oct. 2 game against Franklin Heights was ruled a no contest when the Falcons backed out.

South quarterback Peter Pedrozo has completed 99 of 131 passes for 1,666 yards with 20 touchdowns and two interceptions, and Kaden Saunders has 29 receptions for 546 yards and eight touchdowns. Brandon Armstrong has 429 yards rushing and five touchdowns on 50 carries.

In Watkins Memorial’s victory over Northland, quarterback Liston Shroyer passed for 189 yards and three touchdowns and Gage Lowery rushed for 104 yards and two scores.

For the season, Shroyer has passed for 1,132 yards with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions, and Lowery has 654 yards rushing and nine touchdowns on 118 carries.

“They seem pretty big and physical on film,” Christ said. “They’re multi-formation from spread to double tight and pretty balanced. They run several different defensive fronts. They run well to the football.”

The winner will face sixth-seeded Wooster or 11th-seeded Olentangy Berlin in a regional quarterfinal Oct. 23 at the home field of the higher seed.

—Frank DiRenna

WATKINS MEMORIAL at WESTERVILLE SOUTH

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16

•Last meeting: First meeting

•Watkins Memorial (4-3) to date: Lost to Licking Valley 35-3; defeated Licking Heights 40-13; lost to Zanesville 46-13; lost to Granville 28-9; def. Utica 49-13; def. Logan 32-21; def. Northland 44-6

•South (5-0) to date: Def. Dublin Scioto 42-28; def. Big Walnut 50-41; def. Westerville North 32-28; def. Delaware 59-20; def. Canal Winchester 42-24

•Top Warriors: Zach Christensen (WR/DB), Gage Lowery (RB/DB), Joseph Romshe (DB), Liston Shroyer (QB), Mason Swearingen (LB), Caleb Wheeler (WR/DB) and Nate Younker (WR/DB)

•Top Wildcats: Brandon Armstrong (RB/DB), Matthew Bame (WR/K), Jack Bates (LB), Nadir Carpenter (OL/DL), Jesse DeVore (WR/DB), Khali Horton-Campbell (LB), Tyler O'Reilly (OL/DL), Peter Pedrozo (QB), Kaden Saunders (WR/DB) and Javi’er Wills (WR/DB)

Worthington Kilbourne at Uniontown Green

Worthington Kilbourne will look to keep advancing in the postseason when it travels to fifth-seeded Uniontown Green in the second round of the Division II, Region 7 playoffs Friday, Oct. 16. 

The 12th-seeded Wolves improved to 4-3 as they doubled up the score on 21st-seeded Marion Harding in a 42-21 victory Oct. 9. 

“We’re going to focus on fundamentals (heading into Friday’s game),” Kilbourne coach Mike Edwards said. “We’re going to do what we do and we’re going to get our kids mentally prepared with film study and continue to get better. We have a great opportunity ahead of us.”

The Wolves relied on a balanced attack against Harding led by quarterback Mitchell Tomasek, who completed 10 of 17 passes for 185 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Tomasek also ran twice for 41 yards, while running back Terrique Gray carried 19 times for 125 yards and three scores. 

The Wolves will face a Green team that is 4-1 after a 32-21 setback against Uniontown Lake to close the regular season Oct. 2. The Bulldogs had a first-round bye in the postseason.

Against Lake, Green quarterback Trevor Van Horn, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound junior, completed 10 of 17 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns and carried eight times for 34 yards.

Trey Martin caught four passes for 75 yards and a touchdown, and Michael Mullin caught four passes for 41 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score. 

“I’m really proud of our kids and they get to experience the feeling of a playoff atmosphere,” Edwards said. It’s a special thing. None of the kids in our huddle ever got to experience this (before), and we’re just looking forward to the opportunity.” 

The winner will face 13th-seeded Licking Heights or fourth-seeded Olentangy on Oct. 23 at the home field of the higher-seeded team.

—Stephen Borgna

WORTHINGTON KILBOURNE at UNIONTOWN GREEN 

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16 

•Kilbourne (4-3) to date: Defeated Canal Winchester 33-14; lost to Dublin Scioto 21-13; def. Delaware 31-17; lost to Big Walnut 31-0; def. Franklin Heights 46-26; lost to Westerville North 22-21; def. Marion Harding 42-21

•Green (4-1) to date: Def. Tallmadge 27-20; def. Westlake 40-20; def. Zanesville 28-0; def. Brush 40-7; lost to Uniontown Lake 32-21 

•Top Wolves: Luke Brown (OL/DL), Cayden Dougherty (WR/DB), Mitchell Tomasek (QB/P), Terrique Gray (RB/LB), Spencer Parker-Gordon (WR/DB), Skylar Scott (WR/DB), Bryce Taylor (TE/LB) and Brian Wilson (RB/LB)

•Top Bulldogs: Trey Martin (WR/CB), Mike Mullin (WR), Justin McCoy (RB/CB), Ben Stauffer (LB), Jack Schaal (LB) and Trevor Van Horn (QB)

Licking Heights at Olentangy

Coming off an unprecedented bye week in which it was able to focus on itself and heal from various injuries, fourth-seeded Olentangy will play host to 13th-seeded Licking Heights in a Division II, Region 7 second-round game Friday, Oct. 16.

“We got a chance to work a lot with our younger guys (and) conduct a lot of individual drills. The whole program practiced from Monday to Thursday and we gave them Friday off,” Braves coach Mark Solis said. “It was good for us. We needed a chance to heal some bumps and bruises and focus on ourselves.”

Solis said the status of senior Landon Johnson, who plays running back and linebacker,  remained “up in the air” for this week after a shoulder injury late in the Braves’ 28-7 loss at Marysville on Oct. 2 in a game that decided the OCC-Cardinal Division title. 

Olentangy will try to snap a two-game losing streak after a 4-0 start against a Hornets team that ran for 348 yards Oct. 9 in a 28-9 first-round home win over 20th-seeded Whetstone. 

Running backs Sir Ford, C.J. Pace and Kamron Sowers combined for 236 yards rushing, and sophomore quarterback Deuce Caldwell added 112 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries as Licking Heights improved to 3-4.

“(Caldwell) is a nice athlete. They run some spread sets but they’re physical up front. It will be a challenge and we have to make sure we tackle well,” Solis said. “They go 4-4 defensively, similar to what we do, and they’re stout up front. We have our work cut out for us.”

Licking Heights is in the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and fifth time in nine seasons.

The winner will play fifth-seeded Uniontown Green or 12th-seeded Worthington Kilbourne in a regional quarterfinal Oct. 23 at the home field of the higher seed.

—Dave Purpura

LICKING HEIGHTS at OLENTANGY

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16

•Last meeting: First meeting

•Licking Heights (3-4) to date: Defeated Zanesville 31-27; lost to Watkins Memorial 40-13; lost to Canton Central Catholic 28-21; lost to Licking Valley 28-14; def. Newark Catholic 23-13; lost to Granville 49-20; def. Whetstone 28-9

•Olentangy (4-2) to date: Def. Orange 7-3; def. Berlin 45-33; def. Thomas Worthington 43-7; def. Hilliard Darby 37-6; lost to Dublin Jerome 27-16; lost to Marysville 28-7

•Top Hornets: Jeveon Anderson (DE), Deuce Caldwell (QB), Jacob Climer (WR), Noah Coultas (LB), Andre Dewberry (DE) and Zach Lammers (RB) 

•Top Braves: Kaden Doup (QB), Jason Feasel (OL/DL), T.J. Gadd (OL/DL), Caleb Gossett (WR/DB), Ethan Hand (TE/DL), Landon Johnson (RB/LB), Jace Middleton (WR/LB) and Toby Wilson (OL)

Playoffs — Week 2

Friday, Oct. 16

Division I, Region 2

Springboro (8) at Dublin Coffman (1); Kettering Fairmont (12) at Olentangy Liberty (4)

Division I, Region 3

Hilliard Darby (9) at Pickerington Central (1); New Albany (10) at Pickerington North (2); Upper Arlington (11) at Westerville Central (3); Hilliard Bradley (13) at Reynoldsburg (5)

Division II, Region 7

Watkins Memorial (14) at Westerville South (3); Licking Heights (13) at Olentangy (4); Big Walnut (9) at Dublin Scioto (8); Olentangy Berlin (11) at Wooster (6); Worthington Kilbourne (12) at Uniontown Green (5); Walnut Ridge (15) at Massillon Washington (2); Canal Winchester (17) at Massillon Perry (2)

Division III, Region 11

Wilmington (16) at DeSales (1); Mount Orab Western Brown (15) at Hartley (2); Eastmoor Academy (9) at Granville (8); Columbus South (14) at Thornville Sheridan (3); Hamilton Township (11) at Watterson (6)

Division VII, Region 28

Grove City Christian (11) at St. Henry (6)

Saturday, Oct. 17

Division IV, Region 15

Carrollton (11) at Marion-Franklin (6)

Division V, Region 19

Coshocton (13) at Columbus Academy (4); Piketon (21) at Harvest Prep (5); McDermott Northwest (11) at Ready (6)

Division VI, Region 23

Lucasville Valley (13) at Worthington Christian (4); Lore City Buckeye Trail (9) at Africentric (8)