PDT Sports Report
Fresh off the first playoff win in school history, No. 5 Piketon (9-2) looks to advance to its first-ever regional championship when the Redstreaks travel Friday to Logan and face No. 1 St. Clairsville (11-0) in a Division IV, Region 15 semifinal.
Piketon, which went 15 years between its first and second playoff appearances, defeated No. 4 Minford (8-3) 49-27 in last week’s quarterfinal. The Redstreaks exacted revenge on the Falcons, who won a 19-14 contest Week 3 at Piketon.
The Red Devils knocked off No. 8 Cadiz Harrison Central (7-4) 41-6 in another quarterfinal. St. Clairsville will lean on junior middle linebacker and Michigan commit Michael Ferns.
Offensively, Jaylon Brown leads the team in rushing with 1,379 yards and 27 touchdowns. He will line up behind quarterback Matt Kinnick, who is 96-for-152 passing for 2,071 yards, 28 touchdowns and two interceptions. His favorite target, Dan Monteroso, has 45 catches for 960 yards and 14 touchdowns.
“You don’t know what is coming, so you have to know where they (Monteroso and Brown) are at all times,” Piketon coach Tyler Gullion said in an interview this week with the Pike County News Watchman. “We also have to limit the big plays, they get yards in chunks. A lot of their scoring drives are five plays or less.”
The winner of this contest will get the winner of the No. 3 Johnstown-Monroe-No. 2 Ironton contest. In the win over Minford, quarterback Isaac Brabson was 18-of-28 passing for 263 yards and three touchdowns.
No. 3 Johnstown-Monroe (9-2) vs. No. 2 Ironton (7-3) at Athens High School
Fresh off a record-setting night in which he gained 310 of his team’s 414 yards on the ground, 249 coming in the second half of last Friday’s 41-16 win over No. 7 Bloom-Carroll (5-6), Patrick Lewis and the Ironton Fighting Tigers will try to atone for last year’s 34-7 loss to Johnstown-Monroe when the two teams meet Friday at Athens High School in a Division IV, Region 15 Semifinal.
The loss not only ended Ironton’s season, but it also sent legendary coach Bob Lutz into retirement for a second time. First-year coach Mark Vass, who was an assistant last year, understands the Johnnies and what they may bring.
“They have five or six guys back on both sides of the ball to give them a solid base, and they new starters are all pretty good,” Vass said in an interview with the Ironton Tribune. “It’ll be a tough game for us.”
Returning for Johnstown-Monroe will be quarterback Tyler Thompson, who moves under center after playing wide receiver in last year. Cody Farley will try to fill the shoes of Ross Franklin at running back. Franklin, who is the state’s single-season leading rusher with 2,407 yards in 2011, is playing for the University of Findlay.
The Johnnies defeated No.6 Gnadenhutten Indian Valley (6-5) 24-21 in last week’s quarterfinal match-up. The winner of this contest will take on the winner of No. 5 Piketon-No. 1 St. Clairsville in next weekend’s regional championship.
Division V, Region 19 Semifinals at Nelsonville-York High School
No. 6 Baltimore Liberty Union (9-2) vs. No. 2 Oak Hill (9-2)
In a match-up that might have been a week too late, Oak Hill and Liberty Union will battle in Saturday’s Region 19 Semifinal.
When the sun rose Oct. 27, the two teams were projected to play in the regional quarterfinals. But with the East-Notre Dame game to take place later that night, the Oaks were in line, and ultimately received, enough secondary points from the Titans to take the No. 2 seed away from Wheelersburg (8-3).
The Pirates instead hosted the Lions last Saturday and were eliminated 24-13 at Ed Miller Stadium. Oak Hill needed a last-minute defensive stand to defeat No. 7 Jeromesville Hillsdale (7-4) 26-21 at Davis Stadium last week.
Quarterback Drew Haislop is nine yards shy of 1,100 for the season after last week’s win over the Falcons. He had four touchdown passes in the contest.
In his weekly interview with the Jackson County Times-Journal, Oaks coach Nathan Dugan said Liberty Union is a different team from the start of the season to now.
“They made a big change in their offense about midseason and that seemed to spark them,” Dugan said. “They started out as an ‘I’ (formation) team, then they switched over and ran a lot of ‘wildcat’ after that. When they run the ‘wildcat’, that’s when they’ve had a lot of success offensively.”
Jacob Basso is the Lions’ leading rusher with 1,340 yards on the ground and 13 touchdowns. The winner of this contest gets the winner of the No. 4 Bucyrus Wynford-No. 1 Valley game in next weekend’s Region 19 Championship.