Efficient Dru DeShields sets West Branch passing record
While this is only his second season as starting quarterback, West Branch senior Dru DeShields has set many school passing marks. After an efficient 17-of-22 (69 percent) in a 49-7 win at Revere, DeShields now ranks first in school history for career completions. Five of those completions during the decisive win went for touchdowns. Normally a dual threat as a runner, DeShields carried the football sparingly but did add a rushing score.
Ramhir Hawkins’ underneath’s execution helped Alliance offense overwhelm Bedford
Standing only 5-foot-7, Alliance junior wideout Ramhir Hawkins was his team’s go-to pass catcher against speedy Bedford, finishing with eight grabs for 131 yards (16.4 avg). Most of those catches came on underneath routes, including one for a 44-yard touchdown. Hawkins was one of three Aviators who had big offensive statistical performances during Alliance’s second straight decisive win, a 47-20 decision at Mount Union.
Linebacker Qwintin Hancox was in the middle of the action for Marlington
Playing middle linebacker in the 3-3 defensive alignment, Marlington junior Qwintin Hancox has averaged nearly 11 tackles in his first three contests and that total includes a breakout game in a defensive struggle against West Lafayette Ridgewood. Hancox was credited with a team-high 13 tackles along with three tackles for loss and one sack. While Marlington dropped a 7-0 decision, Hancox’ play helped the defense hold a high-scoring team to only one touchdown.
Wearing a protective cast, Kayden Davis once again had big offensive game for Alliance
Fitted for a cast on his left arm after suffering an injury at Niles McKinley, the senior running back overcame any potential discomfort by rushing for a team-high 170 yards and scoring three touchdowns in a 47-20 win over Bedford. With Davis averaging more than 200 rushing yards in its last two games, the Alliance offense has clicked, averaging 51 points in those contests.
Fueled by passing attack, Louisville offense comes to life
Quarterback Daveion Cruze completed 67 percent of his passes (12 of 18) for 154 yards, and his accuracy helped the Leopards win their first game of the season, handing the host Northwest Indians a 16-6 loss. Two of Cruze’s passes produced points. He connected with running back Tim Essik for a 40-yard touchdown pass, and also hooked up with Charlie Roberts for a 51-yard scoring strike. In its two previous games, both losses, the Leopards had scored a combined 10 points.
Wideout Joey Jackson recorded receiving touchdown hat trick against Revere
Sophomore Joey Jackson, who had an impressive offensive debut in his first start against Canfield (four receptions, including two for touchdowns), made life miserable for the Revere defensive backfield with five catches for 192 yards (38.4 avg.) and three scores, with two of the touchdowns covering 78 and 49 yards. Joining returning starter Christian Martig, Jackson has helped replenish the West Branch wide receiver position, along with Michael Kanagy, Cooper Anderson and Anthony Perry.
Alliance defensive lineman Aiden Mozden makes impact against Bedford
Junior Aiden Mozden, one of several Alliance two-way starters, was a difference-maker on the defensive front which picked up its level of play against Bedford as the game progressed. Mozden, who also starts at guard, recorded 14 tackles, five tackles for loss and two sacks as Alliance, which fell behind 14-13 early in the second quarter, slow down the Bedford offense with relentless pressure and the Aviators responded by outscoring the Bearcats 34-6 the rest of the game.
Jahvian Cundiff helps Sebring avoid shutout
Senior Jahvian Cundiff, who plays both running back and quarterback, made two big offensive plays for Sebring against Ashtabula St. John School that paved the way for a score. Cundiff connected with wideout Scott Boston on a pass play that moved the ball deep into St. John territory, then capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run. It was Sebring’s lone score in a 40-6 defeat.
Beau Himmelheber dual offensive threat for Marlington
Junior Beau Himmelheber, who primary was featured as a pass receiver as a sophomore last fall, has become a legitimate running back threat while continuing to make plays as a wideout. In a 7-0 shutout loss to West Lafayette Ridgewood, Himmelheber rushed for 68 yards in 12 carries and also added five receptions for 59 yards, both team highs.
Dylan Bell filling void at multiple positions for Alliance
With sophomore starting inside linebacker Carter Fast unavailable due to injury, the coaching staff inserted senior Dylan Bell, normally a defensive back at that position against speed-heavy Bedford. Playing alongside Adam Zumbar, the other starting inside linebacker, Bell more than held his own, finishing with seven tackles and an interception. One week earlier at Niles McKinley, Bell filled in for injured K’Vaughn Davis as a starting wideout, and meshed with Ramhir Hawkins, Tyion Miles and Carter Bugara, the other regulars in the four-wide formation.
Andrew Essik uplifting Louisville ground game
While the Louisville passing game provided a spark in a 16-6 win at Northwest, the run game also produced, with Andrew Essik doing his part. Essik led the Leopards with 112 rushing yards in 26 carries following a team-high 70-yard rushing effort against Poland Seminary. Essik also contributed as a pass receiver, scoring on a 40-yard pass from quarterback Deveion Cruze to help the Leopards snare their first win of the season.