The playoffs are fast approaching and week eight is usually one that locks up berths for many teams. In this week's primetime performers, we highlight those players who came up big to keep their team's postseason hopes alive.
Dublin Coffman didn't secure a playoff berth, but they inched closer with a 38-14 victory over Worthington Kilbourne. Quarterback Cole Stoudt had a big night for the Shamrocks, throwing for 370 yards and three touchdowns.
If Cincinnati St. Xavier linebacker Steven Daniels doesn't win the Division I Defensive Player of the Year award, it would be a shock. The 6-1, 230-pounder continues to wreak havoc and virtually be unblockable. In the Bombers' 19-9 win over St. Ignatius, Daniels had another monster game with seven tackles and three sacks. He now has 16 sacks on the year. The win moved the Bombers to 5-4 on the season and into contention for the final playoff spot in Region 4.
Tallmadge ran their record to 9-0 and clinched a playoff spot with a huge 34-14 win over rival and previously unbeaten Copley. The Blue Devils got a workmanlike performance from junior tailback Tyrin Taylor who toted the rock 39 times for 174 yards and a touchdown. Tallmadge should close out a perfect regular season and top seed in Region 5 just a year after finishing 2-8.
Willoughby South quarterback Ray Russ has been lighting up opposing secondaries all season, but the senior saved his best for a 49-21 victory over Painesville Riverside that clinched a Region 1 playoff berth for the Rebels. Russ threw for 345 yards and seven touchdowns...all in the first half.
Youngstown Ursuline's all-around standout Akise Teague continues to be a stud. The two-way back registered another big performance in the Irish's 44-7 romp over crosstown rival Cardinal Mooney. Teague rushed for 182 yards on just 16 carries and scored four touchdowns. Two scores came on the ground (50,5), one via a 39-yard reception, and the other on a 43-yard interception return. Ursuline secured the top seed in the Division V, Region 17 playoffs.
Nationally-ranked Solon faced a big test against Medina, who entered with a 7-1 record. The Comets kept their unbeaten record intact and clinched a Region 1 berth with a 36-6 win. Kyle Hammonds, Solon's talented senior running back, rushed for 143 yards on 20 carries and scored three touchdowns. The Ohio University commit pushed his season total to over 1,000 yards.
Jayshon Jackson had another standout performance rushing the ball for Westerville South, who clinched a berth in Region 3 with a 52-10 triumph over Olentangy. Jackson rushed for 223 yards and scored three touchdowns as the Wildcats' moved to 8-1 and clinched the OCC Cardinal Division.
Finally, how about Canton Central Catholic? The Crusaders' defense was absolutely lights out in a 33-0 win over Gilmour Academy? How good were they? Gilmour failed to record a single first down and totaled only 20 yards of offense. The Crusaders moved their record to 8-1 and remained in the hunt for the final playoff spot in Region 13.