Best Bets: Week 15

Badin DL Hunter Harrison (photo by; Shelby Frieszell /

There are just five teams from the TriStateFootball coverage area left vying for state titles in Ohio. They are two wins away from accomplishing their preseason goal of being state champions. We take a look at their tough roads to make it to Canton in this week’s Best Bets.

OHSAA Division I, State Semifinal – at Sidney Memorial Stadium

For the third straight year Springfield will face a GCL South squad in the final four. The outcome of the previous two games was not favorable for the Wildcats. Springfield has made it to this point by playing tenacious defense. They are led by GWOC Co-Defensive Player of the Year Tywan January, Jokell Brown, Jaivian Norman and Delian Bradley. The Wildcats have posted shutouts in their last three playoff victories and allowed just seven points in the tournament. They have held seven of their 13 opponents scoreless on the year.

The Springfield offense is fueled by quarterback Te’Sean Smoot, the OPSWA Division I Southwest District Offensive Player of the Year. The senior has amassed 3,218 yards of total offense (2,372 passing, 846 rushing) and accounted for 40 touchdowns (19 passing, 21 rushing). Juniors Daylen Bradley, Anthony Brown (a Minnesota commit) and Shawn Thigpen are a load to handle for opposing secondaries.

Moeller continues to prove itself worthy of being at this point on a weekly basis. The Crusaders have seven wins in their last 11 games versus teams that have 10 or more victories this season. Five of their last eight contests have been decided by seven points or less (4-1).

The Big Moe defense doesn’t get the credit it deserves behind Joe Ginnetti, Matthew Seliga, Chase Brown and Brandon Martin. Moeller has 28 takeaways (16 FRs, 12 INTs) and 27.5 sacks. Running back Jordan Marshall is showing why he is one of the best sophomores in the state. Marshall has 1,001 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns (12 rushing, seven receiving).

OHSAA Division II, State Semifinal – at Westerville Central H.S., Warhawk Field

It took a while for the Winton Woods offense to gel under new head coach Chad Murphy, but they have gotten it going big time during their current seven-game winning streak. The Warriors are averaging 39.25 points in their four playoff games. Running back TyRek Spikes has been on fire. The senior has run for 252, 240, 230 and 170 yards with nine touchdowns in the team’s four postseason victories.

Pressure is the name of the game for the Winton Woods’ defense. The Warriors have 39.0 sacks, 14.0 of them are from OPSWA Division II Southwest District Defensive Player of the Year. Defensive backs Cameron Calhoun (eight INTs, one FR) and Jermaine Matthews Jr. (four INTs, one FR) have accounted for 14 of the team’s takeaways.

Green was a giant killer last week knocking off Massillon Jackson, 26-25. The last three playoff wins by the Bulldogs have been by seven points or less. Quarterback Trevor Van Horn is the catalyst for Green. He has amassed 4,026 yards of total offense (3,274 passing, 752 rushing) and accounted for 42 touchdowns (28 passing, 14 rushing). His top target is Trey Martin, who has 77 receptions for 1,262 yards and 19 touchdowns (six of those in the last two weeks).

BADIN (13-0) VS. GRANVILLE (13-0)
OHSAA Division III, State Semifinal – at London H.S., Bowlus Field

A matchup of unbeatens is rare, but appropriate at this time of year. Badin has been outstanding on defense all year long. The Rams are allowing just 8.4 points per game on the season and just 4.8 with two shutouts in the playoffs. Linemen Hunter Harrison and Logan Neu are the foundation up front.

On offense, Badin running back Jack Walsh has posted 100-plus yards on the ground in six of his last seven starts. The senior has 1,589 and 16 touchdowns rushing. Classmate Landyn Vidourek (a Cincinnati commit for baseball) conducts the orchestra. He has amassed 2,173 yards of total offense (1,279 passing, 894 rushing) and accounted for 28 touchdowns (13 passing, 15 rushing).

Granville is making its first ever appearance in the final four. The Blue Aces have gotten to this point having won their last three contests by eight points or less. Before this season they had only two victories in 10 prior trips to the postseason.

Granville has an explosive offense with running back Devon Haley and quarterback Carsyn Crouch leading the way. Haley has 2,049 yards and 31 touchdowns on the ground. Crouch did not play in last week’s win over Western Brown. Receiver Christian Hilton is also a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

OHSAA Division IV, State Semifinal – at Jonathan Alder H.S., Performance Stadium at Volunteer Field

Two of the hottest teams left in the tournament square off in this affair. Bloom-Carroll is looking for its first state title. This Clinton-Massie’s fifth trip to the final four in the last 11 years. The Falcons are in pursuit of the school’s third championship and first since 2013.

This is the second straight semifinals appearance for Bloom-Carroll. The Bulldogs are 29-2 over their last 31 games dating back to 2019. This is a team that does it with defense. Bloom-Carroll is allowing just 5.4 points per game with four shutouts and four more contests yielding just three points. Over the last six weeks the Bulldogs are giving up 2.0 points per outing with an average margin of victory of 33.7 points.

Bloom-Carroll is led by the OPSWA Central District Offensive Player of the Year, KJ Benedict and OPSWA Central District Defensive Player of the Year, Luke Ferrell. Complementing Ferrell on defense are First Team All-District selections, Brandon Totten (DB) Beau Wisecarver (DB), Clay Dozer (LB) and Chase Plantz (LB).

The Clinton-Massie offense is running downhill right now. The Falcons are averaging 361.0 yards per game with 75 touchdowns on the ground. They have not completed a pass (0-5) in the past three weeks. Carson Vanhoose leads the team with 1,705 yards and 27 touchdowns rushing. Since the beginning of 2020 Vanhoose has 57 rushing touchdowns in 23 games. Senior classmates Colton Trampler (1,018 – 12), Carter Frank (846 – 14) and Kody Zantene (525 – 11) have combined for another 2,389 yards and 37 touchdowns rushing.

Make sure to check out the COMPLETE PREVIEW for this week’s Blitz 5 Game of the Week, Mayfield at Beechwood



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