The OHSAA Regional round is finished, and now comes States. But before Mogadore and the rest of the teams across the state step on the field on Friday and Saturday night, we want to take a look back at the Regionals.
Five teams in the PTC made the playoffs this year, and slowly but surely, four of the five teams fell. Chagrin Falls knocked two teams out of the playoffs, Roosevelt didn't know where their first round game would end up being played, and Mogadore showed what they could do early on and haven't stopped winning since. Below you can find all the first round action, every game, with a couple previews thrown in for good measure.
The playoffs are here! The playoffs are here! Incase you missed any of the first round coverage, we have it all right here for you. All the previews, all the games, and next week's pairings.
The Cats are undefeated, but looking at this as a new season
- Kent Roosevelt
The Rough Riders are trying to ride momentum from the regular season into a big post-season, at a different "home" field.
The Ravens are playing in an unfamiliar role: Spoiler.
- Kent Roosevelt-Akron Ellet
The Rough Riders defeat the Orangemen at KSU's Dix Stadium
- Mogadore-Steubenville Catholic Central
The top-seeded Wildcats Dominate in their post-season opener
- Streetsboro Rockets-Youngstown Liberty
The Rockets D can't contain Liberty's Walls and Streetsboro Falls
- Woodridge-Chagrin Falls
The Tigers put a 60-spot on the Bulldogs defense to advance
- Ravenna-John Hay
The Ravens barely escape on the road, advance to the next round
- On To The Next One
Next week's pairings, locations, and game times
|Youngstown Liberty Leopards
Walls runs for 321 yards, six scores as Youngstown Liberty beats Streetsboro 48-35
By Jim Piascik
The Youngstown Liberty Leopards outran the Streetsboro Rockets Friday night at Glinatsis Stadium, winning 48-35 to advance to the second round of the state playoffs.
Both teams turned to the ground game to gain most of their yards, as the rains earlier this week left the field soggy and the snow/rain combination throughout the night kept the turf slick.
Liberty senior running back Sherron Walls had the game of his life, gaining 321 yards on 32 carries, including six or the Leopards seven touchdowns.
"I just kept it short and choppy," Walls said of how he was able to gain so many yards in such bad conditions. "In this type of weather conditions, you don't want to take huge, big steps because you can easily slip."
Liberty did not win a single game last year and Walls mentioned how that served as motivation now that the Leopards are in the state playoffs.
"We had a big talk before we came in about how we were 0-10 [last year]," Walls said. "And now we have the chance to make it to states. So we wanted to make the best of this opportunity and we came out and made the most of it."
For the Rockets, Friday night was a bitter end to a great season. Streetsboro made the state playoffs for the first time in 20 years - and hosted a playoff game for the first time ever - but ultimately could not stop Walls' from getting into the end zone.
Senior running back Dorian Williams did his best to keep the Rockets in the game, but it was not enough. Williams gained 237 yards on 26 carries - putting him over 2200 yards on the season - and scored four touchdowns.
Streetsboro head coach John Arlesic had nothing but glowing comments for Williams after the tough loss.
"He's one of the best backs in the state of Ohio," Arlesic said. "He's one of the best football players in the state of Ohio. There aren't too many guys who do what he does.
"He's a warrior and I wish I could coach him every year."
Despite the sting of losing, Arlesic knows that just making the state playoffs could have a huge effect on the Rockets going forward.
When asked about just making it this far, Arlesic said it meant "the next generation of Rocket football players understand and believe that we're supposed to be in the playoffs and we deserve to be in the playoffs because we're good enough."
The Liberty Leopards now move on to face the Norwayne Bobcats next Friday. As for the Rockets, they will remember this special season and the seniors - led by Williams and quarterback Brandon Gency - who made it possible.
"These eight seniors led us through everything ... and they all played a big role," Arlesic said. "It's something that's special. Their legacy 20 years from now will be [that] we started a huge playoff run for Streetsboro schools."
Things are a bit different this Sunday morning. Usually, we bring you the top plays, the top players, and a little recap of what happened on Friday night, but this Friday was special. This was the last week of the regular season, there was a lot on the line, and so with that we want to bring you a playoff preview. Today, we give you which teams are going where, whose playing who, what seed they are, and where they are playing. And if you specifically come here for the top play of the week, and the gif, no worries, we have our top plays of the PTC season alongside some of the best GIF's of the past week. There were a lot.
First of all, the first part of the video is our panel of PortageTrailCentral.com reporters picking their top players in the PTC including their overall conference MVP. That's for those that are interested. Here it is.
For those of you that are interested, the second part of that clip is great. In 2-minutes, it describes everything that this show was about. There was some great moments, there were some really funny moments, and there were some moments that looked absolutely terrible. That's ok with me. We tried things, we made mistakes, and most importantly we learned. We started this site just a year ago, and now we have incredible content (that is not always the best, I won't lie) and a brand new football show on some wonderful athletes, teams and communities. Sometimes at TV2 and PortageTrailCentral.com we forget that we are just students, and the most important thing as that we grow, because no matter what, we have to continually get better at what we're doing before we step into the professional world.
The scary thing about this site, about this show, and about the station is that we are officially professionals the second we start working here, because we go live to Portage County and elsewhere. Yes, this entire thing is on the internet. Have we recieved negative complaints about things we've done on the show? Yes, have we gotten better this entire semester? I would say so. I hope that anyone that's reading this realizes that this show, that has officially ended on-air for the season, is the start of something big and I'm glad I got to be apart of this and help start it.
It's great to thank people behind the scenes, in private, but sometimes people need to know who does the work. So, to all my reporters, to the tech crew, to anyone that helped on Triple F Life, to anyone that watched and liked the show (or hated it, whatever), and to those of you that are reading this because you simply care about the PTC and wanted score updates, I want to say thank you. I hope that you've enjoyed these seven shows as much as I have, and don't worry, there's more great things to come.
One last thing: Be about that life.
Special Thanks To:
Doug Rogers, Jon Jankowski, Jasen Sokol, Cory York, Spiro Tempellis, Michelle Hennon, Courtney Citro, Sean Barie, Sean Eiler, Sawyer White, John Huntsman, Kyle Vertoch, Ashley Crosby, Halie Baker, Krandall Brantley, Jon Reisdorf, Ryan Hale, Robert Bond, Jeremy McCumbers, Jeremy George, Jim Piascik Heather Miller, Jed Thorn, Jake Corcoran, Ty Sugick, Casey Braun, Kyle Hentzleman, Rich Pierce, Brenna Frattaroli, Raven Brinson, Katy Coduto, Audrey Young, Brian Presley, Bill Hughes, Zach Harley, Danielle Slack, Nick Shook, Sawyer White, Lauren O'Kane, Gabe Kramer, Adam Brokaw, Nick Shook, and of course Glenn Bolich and Jason Kostura.
This year, Dorian Williams has been a monster on the ground, racking up yards by the ton every carry. Dorian has 1,871 yards rushing, putting him just one decent game away from 2,000 yards. But the numbers are even more astonishing when you break them down past the basic numbers. Dorian has racked up those 1,871 yards on 220 carries, meaning he averages 8.71 yards a carry.
Along with the yards, Dorian has racked up 22 touchdowns. That means that 10% of the time he touches the ball, he's getting into the endzone. He also has runs of 83, 71, 70, 66, and 62 yards. Not bad for a guy that claims he's most effective "inside the tackles."
William's lineman describe him with such adjectives as "humble, and soft spoken" but the word leader also gets tossed around quite a bit, and it shows in his season statistics. When Williams has had his "off games" like he did against Field and Roosevelt, the rockets tend to come up a bit short.
So, it seems, as Dorian goes, so do the Rockets. Is that a lot of pressure on the young runningback, who is getting looks from colleges across the country?
"I try not to think about that," says Williams. "I just go out and do my best, and as if the team succeeds, that's what's important."
But sometimes the numbers don't lie, and even if Dorian surpasses that 2,000 yards pinnacle on Friday, that doesn't mean that his success stops there.
Williams said, "breaking 2,000 yards would be nice, but I think that playoffs are a lot more important."
And that's the kind of mentality, and leadership, that the Rockets will need from their star on the ground if they want to make a run deep into the Division IV Playoffs this year. Is it possible? Just ask Williams.
"I think this team has a lot of heart, and a lot of fight. And sometimes, like they always say, it's not about the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog."
Dorian's yards per Game:
Week 1, Champion: 26 car, 206 yds, 3 tds
Week 2, Garfield: 18 car, 215 yds, 3 tds
Week 3, West Branch: 26 car, 289 yds, 4 tds
Week 4, Field: 26 car, 140 yds, 0 tds
Week 5, Springfield: 21 car, 154 yds, 2 tds
Week 6, Roosevelt: 20 car, 119 yds, 1 tds
Week 7, Norton: 30 car, 253 yds, 2 tds
Week 8, Coventry: 20 car, 225 yds, 4 tds
Week 9, Ravenna: 33 car, 270 yds, 3 tds
Total: 1,871 yards, 22 tds, 8.5 ypc, 22 tds
Yards til 2,000: 129 yards
This is it. It's week 10. It's the final week in the Portage Trail Conference regular season, and there so much in store. Obviously, there's the games, with one in particular standing out. Before we get to that game, here's a preview of all the things that we're going to cover on the site this week. I hope you guys are ready, because I know we certainly are.
Mogadore's Magical Run
The Mogadore Wildcats have a history of great football teams, including a state title just a decade ago. This year, the Wildcats have been the most dominating team in the conference, in either division and they have earned the #1 ranking in Division VI, and already clinched the County Division conference crown. We're heading out to Mogadore this week to talk to Gary "Bubba" Strain, Coach Matt Adorini and the rest of the Wildcats to see what this season has been like, what it means to go perfect, and what they're expecting to do in the playoffs. Stay tuned for that.
Dorian's Chance For 2,000 Yards
This season some wonderful individuals have really stood out across the conference, but no one stood out more than Dorian Williams. Just last week, he piled up over 250 yards against Ravenna, and that put his season total at 1,871. That means with even a mediocre game by Dorian's standards, he will eclipse the 2,000 yard mark. Only 3, maybe 4, other backs in the state can claim that right, and it's been a pleasure to watch Dorian run all year long.
The Playoff Race
As of this week, 5 teams in the conference have a spot in the state playoffs. For those teams, it's simple, win and your in (unless you're Mogadore, then it really doesn't matter.) But there are those that are still sitting on the outside looking in, and some even have a chance to make the playoffs. We'll give you one last look at each teams best case scenario, even for those that can't qualify for a spot in the playoffs.
Dorian isn't the only one chasing down greatness this season, Tra Chapman is about to break his own passing records at Roosevelt, Dillon Headrick at Coventry is making his way into the school record books on both sides of the ball, Bubba Strain is piling up stats at Mogadore and deserves some recognition, Joey Simpson, Sean McCoy, and plenty of other studs across the conference have all been doing great in their own right. We'll have a complete statistical break down heading into Week 10.
All week long we will have everything you need to know on Kent and Ravenna. The history. The Captains lunch. The burning of the mascot. TV2 Coverage. Plus Intimate Moments with Jermaine Justice and Trei Thomas. All this and so much more, right here on PortageTrailCentral.com.
Starting Saturday, we'll have all your playoff coverage, who plays who, and our predictions for each team in the playoffs.
It's a huge week for the PTC, stay tuned for everything.
All week long, we've been covering Streetsboro and Ravenna, including an Intimate Moment with Brandon Gency and Kyle Spellman, the dueling quarterbacks.
Check out our coverage, and the highlights below!
Dorian Williams carries Streetsboro to 19-7 win over Ravenna
By Jim Piascik
STREETSBORO - Down 7-6 with eight minutes left in the game. Facing a fourth-and-1 with the game on the line. The Streetsboro Rockets' season hung in the balance and everyone in Glinatsis Stadium knew who was going to get the ball.
Streetsboro senior running back Dorian Williams finished the night with 261 yards on 32 carries, but no yard was bigger than the one he picked up on that play. The Ravenna Ravens' defensive front pushed hard, but the Rockets' line pushed back harder, giving Williams the space he needed to get the first down.
"[My] line did a great job tonight," Williams said about the crucial fourth down play. "I love them to death."
Williams kicked into high-gear after halftime, carrying the ball 22 times for 142 yards in the second half. Passing was difficult for both teams on a rainy night and Williams was the catalyst for the Streetsboro offense in its 19-7 win over Ravenna.
Things could have started better for the Rockets and Williams, as he lost a fumble on the first play from scrimmage. Streetsboro's defense subsequently stopped the Ravens on a fourth-and-1, though, and gave Williams a chance for redemption.
"I'm not going to lie, I was down on myself at first," Williams said. "My team picked me up. My team said 'D, it's the whole game. You've got 48 minutes to go.'"
On the Rockets' next play, their second of the game, Williams took a run up the middle 71 yards for a touchdown, breaking free from arm tackles to give Streetsboro a 6-0 lead. Williams ended the game with all three Streetsboro touchdowns, the game-clinching interception with two minutes left, and was a human eraser for the Rockets' mistakes.
Streetsboro racked up 13 penalties for 87 yards and botched two snaps on punts in the third quarter, nearly giving Ravenna the win. Rockets head coach John Arlesic said before the game his team would have to avoid penalties and turnovers in order to defeat Ravenna, but they were able to win anyway thanks to Williams.
"I've coached a lot of great football players," Arlesic said of his senior running back. "And he's up there with the best I've coached."
Ravenna seemed to be in control of the game in the third quarter, up 7-6 and on the Streetsboro 6-yard line following the second botched punt. The Ravens failed to score after an illegal forward pass on a fake field goal, however, and Streetsboro scored 13 unanswered points to take control.
Ravenna head coach Jim Lunardi was dejected after the game and felt like his team simply did not want the game enough. "You've got to play with emotion," he said. "This is an emotional game. I didn't feel like had very much emotion tonight.
"Are you looking past Streetsboro to Kent? I don't know. But I don't have that answer other than the fact that Streetsboro deserved to win tonight."
The Ravens (6-3, 5-1) can still win the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division with a win against Kent Roosevelt next week and Lunardi plans to use that as motivation. Still, a loss like this can be hard to come back from, even with a week to recover and a division crown on the line.
As for Streetsboro (7-2, 4-2), Williams said that tonight will be something he remembers for the rest of his life. The Rockets will need him to have another memory-making game next week, as they face their rival, the Crestwood Red Devils, on the road with a trip to the state playoffs on the line.
Catch the game in its entirety right here as well!