This Saturday night won’t be the Division I regional final most fans expected at the start of the season, but Cincinnati Elder and Cincinnati Anderson certainly have made their case to be among the finalists to represent the Queen City in the state final four.
Elder (9-2) plays Anderson (12-0) in the Division I, Region 4 final at University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday. The winner advances to the state semifinals Nov. 28, where it will play Hilliard Davidson or Dublin Coffman.
Elder, which was ranked in the top five nationally at the start of the season, has rebounded nicely after suffering some key injuries in the middle of the season. The Panthers defeated top seed Cincinnati St. Xavier 17-14 on Saturday night at Nippert Stadium.
"We’re as a healthy as we’ve been in a while, and that makes a difference," Elder coach Doug Ramsey said. "To be in the final eight again is great, but we’re not satisfied."
Elder senior QB Mark Miller was 15-of-19 passing for 150 yards and a touchdown on Saturday. Junior RB Ben Coffaro was outstanding – rushing 30 times for 125 yards and a touchdown and hauling in four receptions for 64 yards.
"We put a lot on Ben Coffaro in this game, and he responded," Ramsey told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Elder will play Anderson for the first time since 2003 when the Panthers won 28-7. Elder also won in 1996 for the only other meeting between the schools. Anderson (12-0), which moved to Division I this season after being in the Division II state final the past two years, continued to dominate with the running game.
Senior Kyle Slater had 36 carries for 256 yards and four touchdowns as the Redskins defeated Middletown 41-20 in the other regional semifinal on Saturday. Anderson senior quarterback Brandon Bornhauser rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.
"That’s our offensive line, and it’s Kyle and it’s Brandon," Anderson coach Jeff Giesting told the Enquirer. "You’ve got tough kids running the ball and you’ve got tough kids blocking."
2. Winton Woods wins: Winton Woods (10-2) plays Trotwood-Madison (9-3) in the Division II regional final at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mason. It is the second consecutive season Winton Woods has made it to the regional final. The Warriors lost to Anderson 24-21 last season. Winton Woods defeated Tecumseh 40-7 in the regional semifinals last week. Senior quarterback Dominique Brown (a Cincinnati commit) had 14 carries for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
3. Wyoming goes to regional final: The Cincinnati Wyoming football team defeated Monroe 14-7 on Friday night to capture a berth in the Division III regional final. The Cowboys (12-0) play Springfield Shawnee at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium. Wyoming is led offensively by junior QB Kyle Seyfried, who has thrown for 3,023 yards and 37 touchdowns.
4. Payne commits to Auburn: Winton Woods senior forward Allen Payne made an oral commitment to Auburn on Wednesday night. Payne, who is 6-foot-7 and 205 pounds, is one of Ohio’s top recruits in the 2010 class. He also considered Virginia Commonwealth along with Mid-American Conference and Big Ten programs. Winton Woods coach Donnie Gillespie said Payne felt comfortable in the SEC. "I felt like it’s a good fit for him," Gillespie said. Payne averaged 14.9 points. 6.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists last season for Winton Woods, which plays in the Fort Ancient Valley Conference.
5. State volleyball: Cincinnati Ursuline won the Division I state title with a 3-1 advantage over Dublin Coffman. Ursuline (29-0) captured the state title a year after it was the state runner-up. The Lions defeated Dublin Coffman 25-16, 25-19, 18-25, 25-17 at Wright State University. It was the first state title for Ursuline since 2002. Senior Jade Henderson (18 kills), senior Lauren Marlatt (16 kills) and senior Dani Reinert (48 assists) were among the leaders. Coffman (29-1) made its first appearance in the state final four. Senior Andrea Baylin had 18 kills and senior Alex Blair had 10 kills.
Among the outstanding efforts this week
Leah Levy, Bexley girls soccer: The senior had two goals in a 3-2 win over Wyoming in the Division II state semifinals Wednesday night in Cedarville. Levy gave Bexley a 1-0 lead early in the game and tied it later.
Ian McNamara, Seven Hills boys soccer: The junior goalkeeper played solid defense in the net in the Division II state semifinals last week. Worthington Christian won 1-0, but McNamara saved several shots throughout the game, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. "…Our goalkeeper was fabulous," Seven Hills coach Terry Nicholl told the Enquirer.
National signing day: Several student-athletes across the state signed national letters of intent on Wednesday and Thursday. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Dublin Jerome’s Logan Jones signed to play golf at Ohio State, while Pickerington Central softball player Erin Lashley has committed to Ohio University.
Clinton-Massie vs. Alter football game, Saturday at Centerville: The Division IV regional final features two undefeated teams. Clinton-Massie is led by running back Jordie Scanlon, who has more than 1,600 yards rushing this season. Alter is the reigning Division IV state champion and a favorite this season.
Columbus Bishop Watterson vs. Columbus DeSales, football game, Friday at Dublin Coffman: The two Columbus powers meet in the Division III regional final. DeSales defeated Tipp City Tippecanoe 54-14 in the regional semifinal in Dayton last week. Watterson defeated Napoleon 6-3 in Findlay.
Bowling season is here: Boys and girls bowling teams around the state are allowed to begin regular-season competition on Friday. The state tournament is in March.
Archbishop Moeller senior linebacker Nick Galvin (6-1, 225) orally committed to Western Michigan on Wednesday night. Galvin had six sacks and fumble recovery for the Crusaders this season. Galvin is the second Moeller play to orally commit to the Mid-American Conference program from the 2010 class. Senior offensive lineman Ali Kassem (6-4, 330) also committed to the Broncos. …Mason announced two college commitments for girls swimming: Cari Caprio has committed to Tulane and Kayla Wiemers has committed to Toledo.
Mason football coach David Sedmak has stepped down after three seasons with the Comets. Mason was 3-7 this season. …Lakota East senior third baseman Andrew Wills has signed to play baseball at Miami University. He hit .386 with 30 RBI as a junior. …Finneytown junior offensive lineman Donavon Clark (6-4, 290) has scheduled an unofficial visit to Michigan State on Nov. 21. He is getting interest from Big East schools, among others.