High School Football: 7 things to know about Friday’s regional semifinals

Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 12:00 AM

Dunbar seniors Joseph Scates and Tavion Thomas address a D-III, Region 12 high school football semifinal at practice on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

This is the high school football season Dunbar thought it was going to have last year. Then everything went ka-boom.

“As a program, we’ve taken another step forward just getting over all that adversity that we’ve been through,” Wolverines coach Darran Powell said this week. “It shows our resiliency.”

There is no more unlikely area team remaining in the playoffs than Dunbar, although Chaminade Julienne might have something to say about that. Here’s seven things to know about Friday’s Week 12 games.

These are all 7:30 p.m. region semifinals that will be played at neutral sites. Brackets are set and the Ohio High School Athletic Association will announce Week 13 regional final sites on Sunday.

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»PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE: Area teams in regional semifinals

»YELLOW JACKETS’ STING: Unbeaten Belmont bows to Sidney

»WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: About “death threat” allegations

»MIDDLETOWN FOOTBALL: Former Middies coaches on “death threats” resignation

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Back together again: Dunbar and Trotwood-Madison have established their boys basketball programs as the best in the area. Those are must-see showdowns. And so too is this Division III, Region 12 matchup.

This is not the same Dunbar that was toasted 42-0 by Belmont in Week 1. Dunbar made its grandest statement by outlasting host Goshen 28-27 in last week’s playoff opener. Tavion Thomas’ two-point conversion run on the game’s final play was the difference.

That propelled Dunbar (8-3) into the semis against Trotwood (11-0) at Butler. A heavy favorite to win a state title, Trotwood whacked Elida 48-7 in its opener. Dunbar and Trotwood haven’t played in football since the 2012 season, a 62-0 Trotwood rout.

“This is the game we’ve been preparing for all season when we found out we were in the same division and region,” Dunbar standout receiver Joseph Scates said. “That’s what made us work harder so we could get a good record and go to the playoffs and play these boys.”

It’s a matchup of two great running backs, seniors Ra’veion Hargrove of Trotwood and Dunbar’s Tavion Thomas. Hargrove will end his career among the area’s all-time career rushing leaders. He needs 237 yards to hit 2,000 for the season. He recently decommitted from Bowling Green State University and is being wooed by Michigan State, among others.

Thomas need less than 100 yards to crack 2,000 this season. He’s verbally committed to Oklahoma.

“All I’m going to say is we’re ready,” Thomas said. “We’re going to prove that we can hang with anybody.”

Getting defensive: Centerville (10-1) has posted two straight shutouts, including last week’s 35-0 defeat of Hilliard Darby. That enabled Centerville to be the last Greater Western Ohio Conference still playing in D-I, Region 3, because, Fairmont, Northmont and Wayne all lost playoff openers.

Centerville’s senior combo of quarterback Alec Grandin and receiver Jake Spiewak have it going. Grandin has thrown for 2,351 yards, 23 touchdowns and just six interceptions. The GWOC’s leading receiver, the 6-foot-4 Spiewak has 66 catches for 1,011 yards and 10 TDs.

Those two will get the defensive attention of Pickerington North (9-2), which ousted Wayne 41-20. It’s also a rematch of their Week 3 game that host Centerville won, 27-26. The do-over will be played at Springfield’s Evans Stadium.

Can’t beat that: Sidney (10-1) is the third GWOC team still playing. The Yellow Jackets handed Belmont its first loss last week. Their reward is a matchup against Cincinnati La Salle (8-3), the D-II three-time defending state champion, at Miamisburg in a D-II, Region 8 semi.

Sidney has ridden senior running back Isaiah Bowser, the area’s leading rusher (2,617 yards, 32 TDs). Good thing, because the Sidney defense has allowed 32 or more points eight times.

Upset special: CJ landed the knockout that stunned the D-III, Region 12 field with a 49-28 blowout of rival Alter last week. Just the week before Alter hammered host CJ 34-6 to win a Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North title.

If CJ (8-3) can get past New Richmond (9-2) at Monroe, the Eagles will play the Trotwood/Dunbar winner in a regional final.

The beat goes on: Valley View (11-0) is among the state’s few remaining unbeaten teams and also has posted two straight shutouts. Paced by senior running back Collin Genslinger (863 yards, 11 TDs) and senior QB Collin Wood (1,426 yards passing, 16 TDs, 652 yards rushing) and a lock-down defense, the Spartans appear the have the right stuff to match up against Clinton-Massie (10-1) at Beavercreek.

Look for this winner to play for a state championship.

MAC attack: All that stands in the way of a Marion Local vs. Coldwater rematch is Spencerville and Lima Central Catholic. Marion Local (11-0) gets Spencerville (9-2) at Piqua and Coldwater (8-3) is matched against LCC (10-1) at Wapakoneta in D-VI, Region 24.

Two more MAC teams are making runs in D-VII, Region 28. Minster (7-4) is paired against Convoy Crestview (10-1) at Lima and Delphos St. John’s (7-4) will play Lehman Catholic (10-1) at Harrod Allen East. Both Minster and Delphos took their lumps in regular-season MAC play, but have recharged for the postseason.

By the numbers: There are 719 football teams in Ohio that belong to the OHSAA. Of those, 224, or 31.2 percent), qualified for the playoffs. There still remain 58 programs that have yet to qualify since the playoffs began in 1972.

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

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Dragons’ Marshall wins Midwest League All-Star Game with walk-off hit

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 11:26 PM

Dragons first baseman Montrell Marshall (right) greets manager Luis Bolivar. The Dragons defeated the visiting Lake County Captains 9-3 at Fifth Third Field in Dayton on Wed., April 11, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Dragons first baseman Montrell Marshall (right) greets manager Luis Bolivar. The Dragons defeated the visiting Lake County Captains 9-3 at Fifth Third Field in Dayton on Wed., April 11, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Montrell Marshall, of the Dayton Dragons, singled with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning to score another Dragon, Stuart Fairchild, with the winning run Tuesday in the Midwest League All-Star Game.

The East Division beat the West Division 3-2 in Lansing, Mich. Marshall was named the game’s MVP, joining Jay Bruce (2006) as the only Dayton players to win the honor.

» RELATED: Dragons well represented in all-star game

Marshall, the Reds’ 12th-round pick in 2014, went 1-for-2. Fairchild went 0-for-2. Hendrik Clementina, of the Dragons, also went 0-for-2.

Dragons pitcher John Ghyzel retired all four batters he faced with two strikeouts and pitched a perfect 10th inning. Cory Thompson struck out the only batter he faced in the top of the ninth.

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Dayton offers scholarships to two more 2019 recruits

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 6:26 PM

Dayton Flyers: A look at 2018-19 roster

Two more 2019 recruits earned scholarship offers from the Dayton Flyers on Tuesday.

• Moulaye Sissoko is a 6-foot-10 center originally from Mali in West Africa. He attends Lincoln Academy in Atlanta. The school reported his offer on Twitter. Sissoko is a three-star prospect who ranks 288th in the class, according to Mississippi State, Penn State and South Carolina are among the other schools to offer him scholarships.

» RELATED: Casey Cathrall reflects on year with Dayton

• Lester Quinones, a 6-5 shooting guard at St. Benedicts Prep in Newark, N.J., also received an offer, according to Pat Lawless, of Quinones is a four-star recruit who ranks 69th in the class of 2019, according to Connecticut, Illinois and Providence are among the other schools recruiting him.

List of reported offers

» 2019 OFFERS: Tre WilliamsDontaie AllenMaceo AustinAndre GordonTyler Bertram Tyson EtienneJovan Blacksher Jr.Diante Smith Toumani CamaraKira LewisPrince Gillam and Ismael Cruz | Joshua Pierre-Louis

» 2020 OFFERS: Zeb JacksonSymir Torrence | Andre Curbelo  | Posh Alexander | Max Amadasun | Luke Kasubke

» 2021 OFFERS: Wesley Cardet | Franck Kepnang

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How successful was the Dayton Dragons’ first half?

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 3:07 PM

Fans take over during a 7th inning stretch in Peoria????€??™s 5-2 defeat of the Dragons

The Dayton Dragons wrapped up the first half of the Midwest League season with an 8-0 loss to West Michigan on Sunday

Let’s take a closer look at what’s been an up-and-down season so far for the Cincinnati Reds’ Single-A affiliate. 

1. After losing their last four games, the Dragons finished with a record 31-37. 

Dayton finished the first half in sixth place in the Eastern division, 15.5 games behind leader Bowling Green. 

This marks a major departure from last season when the Dragons streaked through the first half and had clinched a wildcard berth when it was over. 

2. Speaking of streaks, those have marked 2018 for Dayton. 

The Dragons opened the season on a three-game losing streak. 

Then they won their next nine only to lose eight in a row. 

After that came a six-game winning streak. 

Things leveled off to a certain extent after that, but there were still losing streaks of seven and eight games along with a five-game winning streak. 

3. Home sweet home? 

The Dragons were a league-worst 9-23 on the road in the first half. 

They posted a 22-14 mark in front of the fans at Fifth Third Field, however, and that might not come as much of a surprise for a roster that is pretty young. 

Speaking of youth... 

4. Jeter has notable name and game. 

Many of the preseason headlines were devoted to Hunter Greene, the 18-year-old pitching phenom with the triple-digit fastball who was the No. 2 pick in last year’s MLB draft

However, the best teenager on the team so far has been Jeter Downs. 

The infielder leads the team in hits (68) and stolen bases (18) while sharing the team lead in doubles (15) with Montrell Marshall. notes Downs, who turns 20 on July 27, has already put up some impressive power numbers compared to previous teenage Dragons

5. What about Greene, anyway? 

Hunter Greene made 12 starts in the first half and finished with a 5.53 ERA. That is the best it has been since he gave up seven runs in less than an inning during his third start. 

Green has allowed six runs and seven walks over 23.3 innings in his last five starts. He has struck out 27 while walking seven and allowing 20 hits. 

RELATED: Greene loses pitchers’ duel

He has gradually worked up his pitch count, throwing 86 his last time out, and shown that while he is raw, Reds fans have a lot to be excited about. 

Reds top pick strikes out eight hitters in three innings in first appearance in Dayton

6. Catcher impresses.  

One of Greene’s batterymates, Hendrick Clementina has been the team’s best hitter so far. 

A catcher acquired in the Tony Cingrani trade, Clementina is has a team-best .971 OPS and also leads the club in batting (.316), homers (nine) and RBIs (35). 

He is one of five teams to make the all-star team, joining outfielder Marshall, outfield Stuart Fairchild and pitchers Cory Thompson and John Ghyzel. 

7. Final verdict. 

Was this a successful first half for the Dragons? 

In record, obviously not. 

The Dragons had the worst on-base percentage in the Midwest League and finished 12th in runs scored. They also had the worst team ERA in the league. 

Development is the name of the game at this level, though, and a handful of the guys in Green look like keepers. 

That includes Greene, who appears to be on the right track after a rocky run in late April and early May

Was last season’s postseason appearance a freak occurrence? That remains to be seen, but at least fans at Fifth Third Field were more likely to see a win than a loss. 

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Romano, Votto lead Reds past Tigers

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 10:44 PM

Reds starter Sal Romano pitches against the Tigers on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Reds starter Sal Romano pitches against the Tigers on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

Sal Romano delivered one of his best starts of the season as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Detroit Tigers 9-5 in the opener of a two-game series Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.

Romano pitched seven scoreless innings. He allowed four hits and walked four. He struck out six.

» RELATED: Suarez playing like an all-star

Romano pitched a season-high eight innings in his previous start against the Royals in Kansas City, allowing one run on four hits June 12. In his last two starts, he has lowered his ERA from 6.23 to 5.18.

Joey Votto got the Reds on the board with a grand slam in the third. He shooed a bird away from the plate two pitches before the home run and then flapped his arms as he crossed home plate.

Tucker Barnhart drove in the Reds’ fifth run with a double in the fourth. Billy Hamilton hit a solo home run in the sixth. Adam Duvall drove in two runs with a bases-loaded double in the sixth to make it 8-0.

The Tigers didn’t get on the board until the ninth when Wandy Peralta allowed five earned earned runs on four hits without recording an out.

The Reds (27-45), who have won five of their last seven games, lead the all-time series against Detroit 12-11.

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