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September 22, 2009

Parris' Primetime Performers: Week 4

Last week we highlighted some of the top rushing performances in the state during week three contests.

For week four action we turn to the passing game and feature the best aerial exploits in Ohio.

With plenty of big-time quarterback prospects in the state, there was no shortage of passing prowess.

Liberty Benton lost All-Ohio quarterback Aaron Craft, but Brett Pasche has moved under center and the team hasn't lost a beat. In a 37-19 win over McComb, Pasche threw for 173 yards and touchdown and added 173 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Although the numbers aren't gaudy, Waverly's Derek Roback impressed in a easy 53-6 win over Vinton County. Despite departing at halftime after leading the Tigers to a 47-0 intermission lead, Roback completed 9-of-11 passes for 94 yards with three going for touchdowns. Roback also kicked off the scoring with a first quarter 11-yard TD run.

Brunswick fans probably were a little on edge heading into week four knowing that starting quarterback Jess Smatana was injured and wouldn't be playing against unbeated Garfield Heights. Enter, Pat Felton. The backup Blue Devils' quarterback filled in admirably, completing 13-of-17 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another in a 43-22 win.

Willoughby South got into a shootout with University School that the Rebels were able to pull out 41-40. All six Willoughby South touchdowns were the work of quarterback Ray Russ. Russ finished with 298 yards and six touchdown passes on 17-of-25 passing.

In a big "under-the-radar" game in Division I, Austintown Fitch kept its perfect record alive with a tough 28-15 win over Canton McKinley. The catalyst was senior quarterback Jon Ballard, who accounted for 394 yards of total offense and all four of his team's points. In three straight first half possessions, Ballard threw TD passes of 60 and 37 yards and ran for a 69-yard score.

Don't look now, but Maumee is sitting at 4-0 and quietly contending in Division II, Region 6. Much of their success hinges on an electric offense that has averaged 52.3 points per game thus far. Leading that offense is quarterback Jake Goatley, who had another big night in a 45-17 win over Northview. Goatley finished 14-of-21 for 251 yards and two touchdowns.

St. Ignatius had the D-I Offensive Player of the Year at quarterback in 2008, but even Andrew Holland never was able to do what his predecessor did Friday night against Mentor. Mark Myers completed 12-of-18 passes for 273 yards and five touchdowns in the Wildcats' 47-7 win.

Louisville's Bobby Swigert continues to impress in his conversion from wide receiver to quarterback. Despite playing on an injured ankle, Swigert threw for 252 yards and two touchdowns in a 17-14 win over Canton South. Swigert led an 86-yard drive in the final two minutes that resulted in a game-winning field goal with six seconds remaining.

Middletown has a dangerous football team this year with their quick-strike offense. Leading the charge is veteran signal caller Caleb Watkins who led the Middies to their fourth straight win and third game in which they scored 40 or more points. In a 40-0 whitewash of Sycamore, Watkins completed 11 passes to seven different receivers and threw three touchdown passes. He finished with 226 yards.

And the beat goes on on for Ada and quarterback Mitchell Faine. In a 77-24 victory over Toledo Christian, Faine passed for 469 yards and six touchdowns on 24-of-32 passing. He also added a seventh touchdown on the ground and finished with over 500 combined total yards in 2.5 quarters of play.


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