HIGH SCHOOL PREVIEW Saturday night playoff football
BOARDMAN vs. WARREN HARDING
Where: Mollenkopf Stadium, Warren.
WARREN HARDING (9-1)
Boardman scouting report: Senior RB Evan Beard has 1,146 yards on 174 carries with 11 touchdowns, while RB Brad Beck has 597 yards on 100 carries and 13 TDs. His presence in the backfield has helped take some pressure off Beard. QB Tom Zetts has completed 80-of-176 passes for 1,249 yards, with 16 TDs and nine INTs. Jay Upthegrove has 24 catches for 368 yards and five TDs, while Mike Villagrana has 20 receptions for 299 yards and five TDs. Boardman's defense has two shutouts in its last three games. The Spartans are coached by Garry Smith.
Warren Harding scouting report: If history means anything, the Raiders could be in good shape. They will be making their third postseason appearance. Their other two (in 1990 and 1974) ended in state championships. Warren is led by senior RB Maurice Clarett, who has 1,396 yards on 139 carries, with 22 TDs. He also has 14 catches for 253 yards and three TDs. Junior QB Mike Kokal has completed 32-of-45 passes for 528 yards, with seven TDs and no INTs. Junior QB Mike Phillips has completed 27-of-52 passes for 448 yards, with five TDs and three INTs. Junior WR Treymayne Warfield has 13 catches for 238 yards and three TDs. The Raiders are coached by Thom McDaniels.
GIRARD vs. CANTON CENT. CATH.
Where: Canton Central Catholic High Stadium.
Playoff history: This is Girard's third postseason appearance and second in three years. The Indians are 2-2 in the playoffs. Both times, Girard lost to the eventual state champion. In 1991, Girard beat Minerva, then lost to Mentor Lake Catholic in Division III. In 1999, the Indians beat Waterloo, then lost to Sandusky Perkins in Div. IV. This is Central's seventh playoff appearance. The Crusaders' overall playoff record is 11-4. Central won the Div. IV state championship in 1988 and again last season in Div. III. Central's first postseason appearance was in 1977 when it finished as semifinalist then again in 1985 as a regional finalist, in 1994 when it lost its opening-round game and in 1997 when it was a regional finalist.
CANTON CENTRAL CATHOLIC (8-2)
28Western Res. Acad.7
23St. Thomas Aquinas16
Girard scouting report: QB Randy Mason has thrown for 2,298 yards and 20 TDs on 131 of 233, with 7 INTs. Jon Hepfner is the leading rusher with 1,055 yards and 18 TDs on 198 attempts. Mason has 155 yards on 96 tries followed by Dustin Helle with 138 on 15. Helle is the top receiver with 38 catches for 11 TDs and 1,066 yards while Anthony Jackson has 30 receptions for 4 TDs and 491 yards. Hepfner is the team's leading scorer with 108 points followed by Helle's 74, Mason's 63 and Jackson's 24. Mason is punting at a 34.5-yard clip while Helle is averaging 25.1 yards per kickoff return.
Central Catholic scouting report: Coach is Lowell Klinefelter, 186-111-6 in 29 years at Central. QB Vince Gliatta (6-2, 205 Sr.) and TB Marques Warner (5-8, 185 Sr.) lead the offense. Central lost 15 starters from last year's team when the option was its primary offensive scheme. The Crusaders don't have a signature formation this season, but they will line up in the I and shotgun. Central's offensive output is 2,231 yards rushing and 1,091 passing. Gliatta has completed 67-of-130 passes for 1,076 yards. He's thrown three INTs. Gliatta is also the team's top rusher with 1,001 yards on 121 carries. Warner has picked up 735 yards on 151 attempts. Warner has 19 TDs rushing and Gliatta 10. Jim Curran (5-9, 160 Sr.) has caught 16 passes for 369 yards, while T.J. Volpe (6-0, 145 Sr.) has 16 catches for 236 yards and Warner 15 receptions for 184. Brett Lilley (5-8, 160 So.) does punts (36.1 avg.), kickoffs (48.2 avg.) and PATs (29 points). As a punt returner, Lilley is averaging 7.9 yards.
LOWELLVILLE vs. MOGADORE
Where: Wildcat Stadium, Mogadore.
Playoff history: The two teams have never met. Lowellville is in its second year in playoffs after losing in 1995 to Buckeye Central, 35-21. Mogadore is in the playoffs for the 15th time, having won state championships in 1979 and 1996. Last year, the Wildcats lost in the Division VI state championship game to Marion Local, 54-0.
Lowellville scouting report: Lowellville, led by second-year coach John Protopapa, has rushed for 3,016 yards this year. Paving the way for the Rockets on the offensive line are Pete Iudiciani, a senior guard; Ben Bestic, a junior tackle; Ross Morrone, a junior center; and Andrew Mamula, junior tackle. In last week's 53-7 win over Western Reserve, junior QB Mike Palumbo rushed for 315 yards in 19 carries. Half of his yards came on the option and the other half on quarterback sneaks. Meanwhile, junior TB Andy Peterson scored three TDs, one of them on a 70-yard pass interception. Joe Shuluga, a senior DE, came up with eight tackles, while Autumn Axel, a senior CB, had an interception and five tackles.
Mogadore scouting report: Mogadore is coached by Scott Pollock, in his 10th year at Mogadore. Pollock said his team has many skilled players with some experience. The offense is headed by senior RB John Raddish, junior RB Tommy Lee, junior QB Charley Molnar and junior WR Mike Wagner. The offensive line is spearheaded by senior Gs Nick Williams and Nate Hinton and senior C Bobby Lee. Raddish also leads the defense as a four-year starter at MLB, complemented by senior DEs Jason Belacic and Andy Francis and junior S Mike Roth.
-- Vindicator staff reports