Union Local seeks 5-0 start; Shadyside back home

The high school football regular season has reached its midway point. Some teams are looking to improve upon their state playoff rankings, while some of playing for pride.

Half-a-dozen games highlight Friday night’s card, while a seventh will be played on Saturday afternoon.

Of Friday night’s six contests, four have teams ranked in the top 7 of their respective classification. They are Union Local, Shadyside, Fort Frye and Indian Valley.

All Friday night games kickoff at 7. A capsule of each game follows:

Union Local (4-0) vs. Edison (0-4)

AT RICHMOND, Bruce Stiles and his unbeaten Jets, who are fifth in the latest Division V, Region 19 computer rankings, make the trek to Cartwright Field to meet the winless Wildcats on their home turf.

Union Local has been led by a potent offense (37.8 pt. avg.) and stingy defense (allowing 15.8 pts.) in posting four consecutive victories to open the season for the second straight year. It manhandled Edison, 47-14, last season in Morristown, thus improving to 5-0.

The senior tandem of Braden Lucas and Ben Howell have combined for just over 650 yards rushing, with Lucas finding the end zone nine times and Howell five. Junior quarterback Cal Kildow has run for three scores.

Through the air, Kildow is 30 of 47 for 405 yards and a trio of six-pointers. He has thrown four picks.

Lucas has been Kildow’s favorite target with 14 receptions for 191 yards and all three of the touchdowns. Howell has five catches.

The Wildcats are coming off a 33-6 pasting by Beaver Local last week. They have also lost to East Liverpool (21-0), Wellsville (26-14) and Toronto (34-13).

Caldwell (1-3) vs. Shadyside (3-1)

AT SHADYSIDE, the Tigers, who are fifth in D-VI, Region 23, welcome the Redskins to Fleming Field for homecoming, with both teams entering having suffered a loss last week.

Shadyside was outscored 48-41 by host Meadowbrook in a game that resembled a track meet rather than a football game. The teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards of total offense.

The Tigers took to the airways to hang with the Colts as junior quarterback Anthony Coggins completed 16 of 23 attempts for 305 yards and four touchdowns. All of those numbers are career-highs.

His main receivers so far have been Austin Price, Cory Banco, Sam Merryman, Alex Krupa and Kelly Hendershot. Price caught six passes for 133 yards and a touchdown last week and is tied for the team lead with Banco with nine. Merryman and Krupa have eight apiece and Hendershot five.

On the ground, Krupa continues to punish defenses as he recorded his third 100-yard-plus game a week ago when he logged 120 stripes and a touchdown on 21 carries. He has 534 and five scores. Banco is next with 414 and a team-best eight touchdowns on 61 attempts.

Caldwell won its opener over Fairfield Christian Academy (54-14), but has only scored six points since, that coming in a 35-6 setback to Bellaire. The Redskins have been scalped 34-0 by Bishop Rosecrans and 32 by Monroe Central the last two Friday nights.

Fort Frye (3-1) vs. Monroe Central (1-3)

AT WOODSFIELD, the Seminoles will also celebrate homecoming as the Cadets visit Monroe Park for a Pioneer Valley Conference contest.

Monroe Central broke into the win column in grand fashion last week with a 32-0 rout of host Caldwell at the Noble County Fairgrounds.

Senior quarterback Ryan LaFollette enjoyed another fine outing with more than 300 yards of total offense. He ran for 216 and two touchdowns, while passing for 118 and another six-pointer. He now has 448 infantry yards and six TDs. He has also passed for 311 and two scores.

Robert Bigler has been the top threat with 10 catches and a touchdown. Cooper Rush has five for 122 and a TD.

Fort Frye, which is 7th in D-VI, Region 23, opened the campaign with a 42-21 doubling up of Belpre before dropping a 6-0 decision to still-undefeated Johnstown Northridge. The Cadets have bounced back with victories over Waterford (23-19) and Warren Local (50-6) last week.

Conotton Valley (1-3) vs. Bridgeport (1-3)

AT BROOKSIDE, both teams will enter the contest on Perkins Field inside Bill Jobko Stadium with some much-needed momentum after gaining their initial wins of the season last week.

The Rockets defeated Southington Chalker 20-7, while the Bulldogs dismantled host Paden City, 52-0, for head coach Gary Krol’s first victory as a head coach.

In the whitewashing, junior quarterback Tino Kusic joined an elite list of quarterbacks — both in the Buckeye State and the Ohio Valley — to throw seven touchdown passes in a game. He was 14-for-20 for 440 yards and divided his completions between junior Jeremiah Booker and senior Kane Kasprowski. Booker, who also ran for a score, totalled 264 yards receiving and caught four touchdowns, while Kasprowski had 1176 and three scores.

Kusic’s yardage and touchdowns are both school records. The touchdown passes rank third on the all-time Ohio High School Athletic Association listings and are tops on OV history with three others. Booker’s receiving yards also qualifies for the OHSAA listing and is a school record.

For the season, Kusic has completed 57 of 91 attempts for 1,137 yards and 12 touchdowns compared to a pair of interceptions. Booker has caught 28 passes for 551 yards and eight scores, while Kasprowski has landed 16 receptions for 313 yards and three TDs.

Conotton Valley has lost to Strasburg (49-0), Southern Local (59-0) and Atwater Waterloo (43-0).

River View (0-4) vs. Barnesville (1-3)

AT BARNESVILLE, something has to give at Shamrocks Stadium when the Shamrocks play host to the Black Bears.

Barnesville has lost three straight encounters after winning its season-opener over Newcomerstown (35-14). Their losses have come to Meadowbrook (50-7), Buckeye Trail (43-12) and Shenandoah (42-0) last week.

River View’s setbacks have handed out by Johnstown Northridge (6-0), Garaway (34-6), Claymont (45-7) and Mohawk (33-0).

The Shamrocks’ offense has sputtered the last three weeks after the week one explosion. They have been led by quarterback Cade Hannahs who has 335 yards and four touchdowns rushing. He also has 255 yards passing and three TDs. Gage Hannahs is the leading receiver with seven catches.

The Black Bears opponents have a combined record of 13-3.

Indian Valley (4-0) vs. Buckeye Trail (2-2)

AT OLD WASHINGTON, the Braves enter the contest at the Baker Activity Complex ranked fifth in D-IV, Region 15 despite their opponents having a combined 3-13 mark.

The Warriors are coming off a 35-7 shellacking at the hands of Claymont last week.

Senior tailback Austin Snodgrass surpassed the 100-yard mark rushing for the fourth straight week. He has 759 yards and nine touchdowns on 72 carries. Quarterback Zach Grafton has passed for 245 yards and a touchdown. Chase Stillion leads the team with 15 receptions for 182 yards. Geno Cizmadia is the defensive leader.

SATURDAY

Beallsville (1-3) vs. Linsly (3-1)

AT WHEELING, the Blue Devils and Cadets will square off at Lockhart Alumni Stadium in the Leatherwood section of the city with a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.

After opening the season with a loss to Mogadore (28-0), Linsly has reeled off impressive victories over Martins Ferry (7-3), Beaver Local 28-17) and Carrick, Pa., (42-18).

Quarterback Luke Mueller has completed 45 of 75 passes for 536 yards and three touchdowns. Backup Wyatt Hirt is 10-for-19 for 254 yards and two scores. Sophomores Trevin Tush and Joe Zaccirey each have 14 catches. Zaccirey has 308 yards and two TDs. Tush has one touchdown and 190 stripes.

Junior Eli Petho has run for a team-leading 218 yards and a touchdown on 32 totes. Senior Nick Falbo has 98 yards and four TDs.

Beallsville has been paced by sophomore quarterback Dakota Phillips and freshman running back Jason Beisel, who leads the team with 237 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Phillips has 205 and one TD.

The Blue Devils defeated Hundred (52-0) in week three. Their losses have come to Rosecrans (82-8), Clay-Battelle (49-12) and Madonna (42-0) last week.

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