Jonathan Alder at DeSales: Stallions, Pioneers to meet for first time since 1964

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
DeSales' Quintell Quinn avoids a tackle attempt by Granville's Ashton Housteau during the teams' Division III, Region 11 playoff game. The game began Oct. 23 and finished the next day because of bad weather. The Stallions won 56-35.

The two teams have a combined 43 playoff appearances, but DeSales and Jonathan Alder never have run into one another during the postseason and met for the only time more than 50 years ago.

The Stallions, who defeated the Pioneers 54-8 in 1964 — it was DeSales' third season — will play host to the Madison County program Friday, Oct. 30, in a Division III, Region 11 semifinal.

After beating eighth-seeded Granville 56-35 in a quarterfinal that started Oct. 23 and finished the next day because of bad weather, top-seeded DeSales takes a 6-1 record into its matchup against fourth-seeded Jonathan Alder. The Pioneers beat fifth-seeded London 14-0 on Oct. 24 to improve to 8-0.

The winner will face second-seeded Hartley or third-seeded Thornville Sheridan on Nov. 6 for the regional championship.

“Jonathan Alder is another team that was in the regional final last year versus Hartley and gave them all they wanted,” DeSales coach Ryan Wiggins said. “They return a lot of those kids and it’s going to be a challenge from a physical standpoint.”

The Stallions trailed Granville 7-0 late in the first quarter when storms forced play to be suspended.

When the teams reconvened the next day, DeSales scored a pair of touchdowns during the final minute of the opening period and led 21-20 at halftime.

A pair of defensive touchdowns — one on a 15-yard fumble return by Matthew Stewart and the other on a 15-yard interception return by Jonathan Thompson — gave DeSales a 35-21 lead.

“We knew we had to make a big statement coming out after being (behind when play was suspended),” said senior Jordan Johnson, who converted a two-point conversion pass and had an interception. “It was a big advantage getting a second chance at it, so we had to take full advantage of it.”

Quintell Quinn finished with 181 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 26 carries to lead the offense.

Jonathan Alder quarterback J.T. Keith completed 20 of 26 passes for 166 yards with one touchdown and Will Heisler rushed 24 times for 65 yards and the other score against London.

Keith, who also was at quarterback last season when Jonathan Alder lost 27-14 to Hartley in the regional final as his team finished 12-1, is 145-for-211 passing for 1,604 yards with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions on the season.

Wide receiver Jackson Izzard has 62 receptions for 741 yards and 11 touchdowns, and he also punts and returns kickoffs and punts. Wide receiver Tyson Mast has 45 catches for 346 yards.

It will mark the Stallions’ second game in six days after they had been off for back-to-back weeks before the Granville game.

They had a bye in the first week of the postseason and their second-round game was not played because of a positive COVID-19 test in the Wilmington program. 

“I was able to see Jonathan Alder and their quarterback-receiver combination is really, really good,” Wiggins said. “They’re good up front. They’re good on defense. They have good balance.

“We came out with good energy and good urgency (against Granville). The thing with having a long layoff like that is you get a little rusty and practice isn’t the same. Then everyone is battling everything with the way they practice with the virus, but you have to be happy with winning in the playoffs. In this case we fought through a couple tough situations and built a big lead in the second half, so it’s a win-win.”

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

JONATHAN ALDER at DeSALES

•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30

•Last meeting: 1964, DeSales 54-8

•Jonathan Alder (8-0) to date: Defeated North Union 16-7; def. Springfield Kenton Ridge 35-7; def. Bellefontaine 38-8; def. New Carlisle Tecumseh 31-10; def. Springfield Shawnee 38-31; def. London 30-13; def. Zanesville 35-0; def. London 14-0

•DeSales (6-1) to date: Def. Watterson 28-22 (OT); def. Mansfield Senior 35-12; def. Hartley 24-21; lost to Watterson 35-34 (2OT); def. St. Charles 48-7; def. Hartley 16-14; def. Granville 56-35

•Top Pioneers: Jackson Bennett (DB), Hunter Hardesty (DL), Will Heisler (RB/LB), Jackson Izzard (WR/DB), Jonathan Keith (DB), J.T. Keith (QB), Tyson Mast (WR/DB) and Chase Maynard (LB)

•Top Stallions: Nathan Barber (WR/DB), Billy Cain IV (OL/DL), Jordan Johnson (WR/DB), Jackson Hartman (OL/DL), Whit Hobgood (QB), Quintell Quinn (RB/LB), Matthew Stewart (TE/DL/LS), Jonathan Thompson (RB/LB) and Jason Velazquez II (WR/LB)