WOODSFIELD - Monroe Central attempted 18 passes in its 15-9 upset of previously undefeated and third-seeded Centerburg in an Ohio Division VI, Region 21 football game last Friday night.
Seminole Quarterback Curtis Nixon may be airing it out even more against Columbus Bishop Ready in a second-round game at Sulsberger Memorial Stadium in Zanesville this Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
"I think we may have to throw a little bit against Ready," said veteran Noles head football coach Jay Circosta, whose Pioneer Valley Conference championship squad owns an 8-3 overall record. "We won't be abandoning the run, but Ready is pretty big - and pretty good."
Photo courtesy of Paul Krajnyak
Monroe Central’s Cordell Gauding (58) and Mike Jones (46) celebrate after the Seminoles posted a 15-9 victory against previously undefeated Centerburg last Friday night in the Division VI. This Friday night, the Noles take on Columbus Bishop Ready in Zanesville.
So are the Seminoles, winners of eight of their last nine games. Pretty good, that is.
Against Centerburg, Monroe Central, spearheaded by 5-11, 166-pound linebacker Mike Jones, limited the Trojans' high octane offense to 265 total yards. The Seminoles' D is coached assistants' Dave Schuerman and Josh Ischy.
"I was very pleased with the way we played on defense," Circosta said.
Offensively, MC was led by 6-2, 185-pound Nixon, who completed 11 of 18 passes for 131 yards and one 15-yard TD strike to Jones. Nixon also gained 100 yards on 18 carries and one TD run of 36 yards (the game-winner), while 5-4, 146-pound Levi Brown added 72 yards on 14 attempts.
After his TD score in third quarter, Nixon passed to 6-4, 177-pound Gavin Morton for the two-point conversion.
MC's Jarett Hooper, a 5-9, 161-pound freshman, had a highlight film, 26-yard reception in the fourth quarter.
While sixth-seeded Monroe Central was winning and advancing in Knox County, fifth-ranked and second-seeded Ready (10-1) was doing the same in Franklin County, routing seventh-seeded Oak Hill 48-6 at Upper Arlington High.
The Joel Cutler-coached Silver Knights had five different players score touchdowns in the opening half, with three scores coming on aerial strikes.
"Oh, there's not question that they can run and throw the football," Circosta said. "Their quarterback (Matt Yoho) is 6-5, 205. In fact, everybody on that team seems to be 6-foot, 200-something."
Yoho completed eight of 11 throws for 190 yards and three TDs against OH.
For the winners, Myles Fowler (6-1, 182-pound senior) scored two TDs, while teammates' Nickolas Chapman (6-1, 205), Hunter Clanin (6-3, 200), Kelly Cubertson (5-9, 170), Deandre Golden (5-10, 195), and Akili Taylor (5-9, 190) each had one. Aiden Dulin (5-9, 175) converted six of seven extra point kicks.
Defensively, 6-5, 276-pound Brady Taylor, figures to introduce himself to Monroe Central ballcarriers as often as possible. Taylor, a Virginia Tech recruit, was instrumental in helping the Silver Knight defense limit Oak Hill to three first-half first downs.
OH's only points in the contest came against Ready's reserves in the final period.
Fowler and Chapman also had a standout game on the defensive side of the ball with the former getting an interception.
Fowler and Golden are transfers from Westland and Watterson, respectively, and were not available for action in Ready's first five games this fall.
Ready's only blemish on its record was a 21-14 setback to Columbus Bishop Hartley in a Central Catholic League and regular-season finale at Hilliard Bradley on Nov. 1.
One of the Silver Knights' wins this season was a 98-20 rout of Washington Court House on Oct. 4.
"Our reward for beating Centerburg is that we get to play another week," Circosta said. "We'll prepare and work hard to get ready for Ready. We know we have our work cut out for ourselves.
"If we play as hard as we did against Centerburg last week, I think we'll be OK."