Barnesville’s Smith shines in first Muskies’ start

Dalton Smith stands 6-foot-3, weighs 175 pounds and can make up ground quickly.

That allowed the then Barnesville senior to earn All-Ohio honors as a defensive back in 2009 after securing 40-plus tackles and seven interceptions.

He was also a pretty talented quarterback.

Smith displayed a fiery disposition under center and it was that fire and his determination to win that caused the Muskingum coaches to give the ‘Rocks QB a second look.

Saturday afternoon, Smith proved it was the right decision as the sophomore led the Muskies to a 24-7 season opening victory against DeFiance.

In his first collegiate start, Smith showed command of the offense in passing for 207 yards and a touchdown. He completed 16 of his 27 passes and also led the Muskies in rushing with 91 yards and a score on nine carries.

His rushing and receiving totals bettered his season totals from a season ago.

Smith’s favorite target was OVAC counterpart Brad Polaski of Toronto. Polaski caught six passes for 70 yards, including a 38-yard hookup.

They weren’t the only local products making an impact for Muskingum.

An OVAC duo at defensive tackle, Bridgeport’s Sean West and St. Clairsville Jake Antolak, helped provide a push that accounted for 10 sacks.

West had 2 sacks and four tackles while Antolak had a half sack and three stops.

Division I

West of Muskignum, another former OVAC signalcaller was having quite the banner day himself.

Big Red’s Zach Collaros, the starting quarterback for Cincinnati, figured prominently in the Bearcats 72-10 whitewashing of Austin Peay.

Collaros tossed for 134 yards and four scores on 12 of 19 passing while adding 26 yards on the ground.

Defensively, Beaver Local’s Derek Wolfe totaled three stops, one sack and a forced fumble for Cincy.

Another former Big Red QB got into the score act last Thursday when sophomore Dwight Macon scampered into the end zone from 4 yards out as part of Toledo’s 58-22 pasting of New Hampshire. Macon had 32 yards on the ground and was 2 of 2 in the air for 21 yards in mop-up duty for the Rockets.

River High product Dylan Potts has shifted positions this season. The former Akron quarterback is now a backup wide receiver and also one of the primary kick and punt returners. He also played a lot for the Zips on their punt coverage team against Ohio State last Saturday.

Few OVAC players in recent years have been able to say they’ve played a starting role on a Division I football team. Now there’s one who can say he’s done so for two D-I teams.

Edison’s Cory Johnson was formally the longsnapper for the Houston Cougars before transferring to Bowling Green. After sitting out a year because of transfer rules, Johnson suited up for the Falcons and handled the snapping dueties in a 32-15 win against Idaho.

Football Championship Subdivision team Youngstown State held its own on the road against Michigan State in a 28-6 loss.

Big Red standout lineman Andrew Radakovich continued his strong play starting along the line, helping the Penguins compiled 254 yards of total offense against the Spartans.

Division II

The Post Zach Amedro era started at West Liberty last Saturday with the Hilltoppers falling on the road to Edinboro, 30-14.

Several local products had strong showings defensively, including Martins Ferry’s Marco Richetti, who finished second on the unit in tackles with 10, including one for a loss. Wheeling Park’s Alec Wood had six stops while Buckeye Local’s Isaac Omaits charted two stops, including a sack.

John Marshall’s Mark Sampson made the most of his one catch, turning it into a 6-yard TD reception as Fairmont State won its season opener.

Big Red’s Mark Markakis had four tackles, including one for a loss as Ohio Dominican took down St. Joseph’s (Ind.) in the Panthers’ opener.

Division III

East Liverpool’s Ethan Ludwig, now a junior, totaled 11 tackles as Thiel kicked off the season with a win against Marietta.

The Pioneers received five tackles defensively by senior Dan Starr, a former Buckeye Trail stalwart.

Hughes may be reached at