COLUMBUS (AP) — With thousands of games being played throughout the high school football season, there will be players, teams and moments that stand above the rest.
From every corner of the state, big school or small, athletes will be competing for individual and team glory with the goal of reaching the state championships Dec. 1-3 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.
After three weekends of the play there is an early frontrunner for the performance of the year as Mount Gilead senior running back Jonah Barnett not only had 492 yards on 38 carries, but tied the state record with nine rushing touchdowns in a 64-49 win at Crooksville on Sept. 2. His yardage is the seventh-best in Ohio history, 40 yards from the record.
He ran through and around the Ceramics’ defense for scores of 56, 1, 78, 3, 5, 62, 4, 2 and 77 yards. Barnett has 913 yards and 14 touchdowns in three games. He was an Associated Press special mention All-Ohio last season after running for 1,160 yards and 14 touchdowns.
His touchdowns vs. Crooksville were needed. After the Ceramics pulled to within 50-42, Barnett carried the ball on 10 of 12 plays on Mount Gilead’s next drive and scored on a 2-yard run to make it 57-42. Crooksville then cut the deficit to 57-49 before he went 77 yards for the score on a fourth-and-2 with 25 seconds left in the game.
Barnett’s nine rushing TDs tied the state record held by Tiffin Columbia’s Cliff Miller in 2014 and Kimu Kim of Canfield in 2013. The record for most overall touchdowns in a game is 12 by Erastus “Tunk” Simmons of Medina on Oct. 5, 1923.
TAKE A BOW
Not far behind Barnett’s exploits was Andrew Koerper from Kansas Lakota, who rushed for 385 yards on 19 carries and scored eight TDs (64, 47, 4, 9, 10, 31, 46 and 75 yards) in the Raiders’ 66-41 win over Oregon Cardinal Stritch. . Bellevue’s Alec Foos ran 31 times for 229 yards and six touchdowns in a 66-22 victory over Clyde last week. His fifth score came with 7:05 left in the first half. He also completed 10 of 20 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns to Dakota McPeak. . Donny Johnson rushed for 215 yards and six touchdowns in Hamler Patrick Henry’s 47-27 win over Columbus Grove. The senior running back has 697 yards and 13 rushing TDs in three games. . Warren G. Harding’s Lynn Bowden led the Raiders to a 3-0 start with Friday’s 41-28 win at Massillon Washington. Bowden had 21 carries for 266 yards and all six of Harding’s scores. The quarterback was also 4 of 7 for 39 yards. . Connor Gessells of Pickerington North made 11 catches for 168 yards and a school-record five TDs – all in the first half – in a 49-21 win over Centerville. . Garrettsville Garfield quarterback Dalton Fall was 19 of 32 for 276 yards and five touchdowns in Friday’s 50-28 victory over Warren Champion.
Daveon Anderson of Hilliard Bradley made 15 receptions for 189 yards and four touchdowns, and added a two-point conversion catch, in the Jaguars’ last-second 31-28 win over cross-town rival Hilliard Davidson. . North Jackson Jackson-Milton’s Noah Laster rushed for 162 yards on eight carries and two scores. He added five catches for 91 yards and one touchdown. Laster also returned a kickoff 82 yards for a score in Friday’s 50-29 victory over Windham. . Napoleon’s Tyler Stuber recovered three fumbles and caught four passes for 91 yards, including two touchdowns, in a 21-0 win over Bryan. . Caledonia River Valley junior running back Tyler Spears rushed 23 times for 243 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-35 win at Sparta Highland. Dylan Thobe’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Neal Muhlenkamp with 1:20 left in the game allowed Coldwater to overcome a 14-0 deficit to beat Maria Stein Marion Local 17-14 in a battle of small-school state powerhouses in Maria Stein. . St. Marys Memorial head coach Doug Frye won his 200th career game as the Roughriders beat Lima Shawnee 43-7. . Lewis Center Olentangy rallied from a 51-24 deficit in the third quarter to edge Reynoldsburg 52-51 on a 5-yard TD run on fourth down by Ali Iverson with 32.6 seconds left. The game took more than five hours due to two lengthy lightning delays.
Hamilton, 12-38 over the last five seasons, is off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2001. . Sandusky snapped a six-game losing streak to rival Fremont Ross in one of Ohio’s longest running rivalries with a 40-8 win over the Little Giants. The Blue Streaks are 3-0 for the first time since 1996. . Preston Ingol ran for 166 yards and three touchdowns to help Paulding snap a 19-game losing streak with a 38-20 victory over Antwerp. . New Bremen, which was 1-29 the previous three seasons, has started 2-1 for the first time since 2004. The Cardinals’ 82 points in three games this season has already surpassed last year’s 60 points scored all season. . After finishing 0-10 a year ago, Newark is off to a 3-0 start.