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September 28, 2009They say "big time players make big time plays."
It sounds like an old cliche, but there is merit to the statement. Take week five of the high school football season for example. Some of the top players in the state rose to the occasion and turned in some dazzling performances to lead their team to victory.
We highlight some of the week five primetime performances by members of the Ohio Varsity preseason positional rankings for the class of 2010.
The weekend got off to a big start with a Thursday night clash between small school powers Cuyahoga Heights and Kirtland. The difference was Cuyahoga Heights' quarterback Zach D'Orazio.
The senior signal caller accounted for all 20 of the Redskins' points in a 20-10 victory. D'Orazio scored two touchdowns on runs of 66 and 57 yards, booted two field goals (33, 27), and kicked two extra points. He also prevented a Kirtland touchdown with an interception in the endzone. D'Orazio finished with 163 total yards and four solo tackles.
The first four weeks of the season were unsually quiet for Elder's standout quarterback Mark Miller, but the senior broke out in a big way in the Panthers' 38-14 spanking of Lakewood St. Edward.
Miller, the seventh-ranked quarterback in the state, tossed four touchdowns and finished with 303 passing yards as Elder kept its perfect record intact.
Kickers rarely get the attention they deserve, but it's impossible to ignore the night Mayfield's Carey Spear turned in Friday night in a 23-0 blanking of Brush.
The second-ranked kicker in the state booted field goals of 55, 47 and 47 yards, becoming the first kicker in school history to hit three field goals of 40 or more yards. It's highly unlikely any kicker in the state will turn in a more impressive single-game performance this season.
Cincinnati Anderson running back Kyle Slater continues to impress. One of the most productive backs in the state, Slater had another dominant outing in Anderson's 57-6 cakewalk victory over Amelia.
Slater, the eighth-ranked running back prospect in the state, totalled 191 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns. The senior scored on touchdown runs of 62, 16 and 4 yards and caught a 42-yard touchdown pass as Anderson moved to 5-0.
We might be getting ahead of ourselves a little bit as the next guy technically wasn't included in the Ohio Varsity quarterback rankings. But it was because he is a only a junior, and you can bet he will be found near the top of the class of 2011 rankings once they are released.
Dublin Coffman junior quarterback Cole Stoudt completed 18 of 24 passes for 217 yards and five touchdowns in the Shamrocks' 51-7 destruction of previously undefeated Groveport-Madison. Dublin Coffman firmly stamped itself as the team to beat in Region 3 with the convincing win.
Defending Mr. Football Erick Howard is showing why he just might win it again this year. Ohio Varsity's top-ranked running back in the class of 2010 put on a display Friday night that left Uniontown Lake licking their wounds.
In a 35-20 victory, Howard rushed for 274 yards and five touchdowns. Even more impressive was that Howard had totaled 230 yards by halftime and scored four touchdowns in the second quarter alone. He had been battling the flu earlier in the week and missed a few days of school as a result.
We saved the best for last, and the top performance of the weekend belongs to Lebanon's Chase Cochran.
The senior receiver simply couldn't be stopped in Lebanon's 49-28 win over Piqua. Cochran recorded 296 receiving yards on 12 receptions (24.6 ypc) and caught three touchdown passes of 93, 85 and 30 yards.
Cochran, the seventh-ranked wideout in the class of 2010, broke the school single-game record for most receptions and career marks for both receptions (102) and receiving yards (2,302).