COLUMBUS — Three weeks remain in the 2023 Ohio high school football regular season.
The stakes get higher and so do the accomplishments.
Once again, the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association has compiled the top performances from around the state for this week’s high school football notebook following Week 7.
* Nelsonville-York’s Gavin Richards carried 17 times for 127 yards and three touchdowns, made three receptions for 42 yards, and recorded 14 tackles including two for loss in the Buckeyes’ 46-12 Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division victory over Wellston on Friday night. Landen Inman added 82 yards and one touchdown on four receptions, and had a 38-yard interception return for one score.
* Trimble’s Xavier Cunningham carried 11 times for 110 yards and three touchdowns in the Tomcats’ 40-0 Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division victory over Belpre on Friday night.
* South Gallia’s Hunter Wright accounted for 260 yards of total offense in the Rebels’ 46-8 Southern Ohio Conference Division I victory over Sciotoville East on Friday night. Wright racked up 133 yards rushing, 127 yards passing and three touchdowns on 19 combined touches between rushes and throws. He rushed for over 12 yards per carry and notched 16 yards per completion. The win also marked South Gallia’s first in the SOC I, as the Rebels are indeed first-year members of the SOC. The school was established in 1996 with the 2010 campaign being its first for football in a conference —the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division.
* Portsmouth junior running back Chase Heiland amassed 236 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries in the Trojans’ 28-6 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Chesapeake on Friday night. Heiland also had the run-oriented Trojans’ lone pass reception on only three attempts —for 15 yards.
*For the second time this season, the Portsmouth Notre Dame Titans tallied at least 72 points —and won by at least 72 points. In the season opener, the Titans defeated non-league Manchester 78-6. On Friday night, in a Southern Ohio Conference Division I tilt at Franklin Furnace Green, Notre Dame defeated the host Bobcats 72-0. Sophomore quarterback Ethan Kingrey completed 9-of-15 passes for 260 yards and four touchdowns to lead the way. This week, 5-2 and 2-0 in the SOC I Notre Dame will play host to 7-0 and 2-0 in the SOC I Beaver Eastern.
* Waverly senior running back Jase Hurd rushed for 330 yards and four touchdowns on 37 carries in his team’s 33-7 Homecoming victory over Minford on Friday night. With seven games complete, Hurd has rushed for 1,244 yards and 14 touchdowns.
* Beaver Eastern senior Jace White had a big game in his Eagles’ 49-0 triumph over Symmes Valley on Friday night. On offense, he hauled in five receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown. On defense, he had five tackles, two tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and a 55-yard pick-6 interception.
* The McClain Tigers ended a five-year Frontier Athletic Conference losing streak with an exciting 20-17 victory over Chillicothe on Friday night. McClain’s last FAC victory was a Homecoming win over Miami Trace during the 2018 season. This is also the Tigers’ first win over Chillicothe since the Frontier Athletic Conference was formed in 2017. The game included a 19-yard touchdown throw by Drake Stapleton to Max Eikenberry on 4th-and-10 to score their final TD in the fourth.
* The Hillsboro Indians used a powerful offensive line and a stingy defense with four interceptions to defeat the Washington Court House Blue Lions 36-6 on Homecoming night at Richards Memorial Field. The Indians had 303 yards rushing from Austin Barrett and a defensive display that featured four interceptions with Jeven Hochstuhl collecting two, Logan Elliott with one and Nic Burns taking the ball on a 40-plus-yard journey as his interception was a pick-six.
* Brothers Hayden Jones and Colton Jones led the Waterford Wildcats to a 49-7 Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division victory at Racine Southern. Hayden completed seven of 12 passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for a score. Colton carried 11 times for 129 yards and two scores. He led the defense with eight tackles. Max Roberts had 138 receiving yards on three catches, including an 80-yard touchdown reception.
* In an already dominant season that saw Liberty Center outscore opponents 287-48 through six weeks, the No. 3 in Division V Tigers were even more dominant against Division VII No. 2 Patrick Henry. LC outgained the rival Patriots 493-81, including 395-28 on the ground. Brothers Colton and Trenton Kruse each carried the ball eight times, Colton gaining 139 yards with five TDs and Trenton 149 yards and two TDs, while third brother Landen started defensively with two tackles.