Kenton Ridge off to 3-1 start after strong offseason

SPRINGFIELD — The Kenton Ridge High School football program is 3-1 for the first time since 2019.

The key, Cougars coach Jon Daniels said, was a strong offseason program.

“We really had a great offseason,” he said. “Our seniors led us all offseason long. Our attendance was phenomenal and our competition through stuff was phenomenal.”

Cougars senior Heath Jones rushed for 142 yards and a touchdown as Kenton Ridge beat Northwestern 23-13 on Friday night at Taylor Field in Springfield.

After a season-opening loss to Mechanicsburg, the Cougars have won three straight games for the first time since 2019.

KR sophomore quarterback Julian Daniels went 8-for-18 for 127 yards and a TD, sophomore Xavier White caught a 20-yard TD pass and had two interceptions and junior Jackson Patton rushed for a touchdown for the Cougars (3-1).

Northwestern sophomore quarterback Ried Smith threw a five-yard TD pass to senior Jacob Shaffer and rushed for an 11-yard TD as the Warriors fell to 1-3, dropping their second straight game. The Warriors travel to Tecumseh next week.

After stopping Northwestern on its first drive, the Cougars scored on a 3-yard run by Patton to take an early 7-0 lead.

The Warriors (1-3) mishandled the ensuing kickoff and were forced to punt from their own end zone. The Cougars took advantage of the good field position, scoring on a 1-yard run early in the second quarter.

Northwestern responded with a five-yard TD pass from Smith to Shaffer to make it 14-6.

Julian Daniels hit junior Nick Arnold on two deep passes late in the first half, setting up a 22-yard field goal by sophomore Cruz Sanders to give the Cougars a 17-6 halftime lead.

“We’re just opening it up a little more now offensively,” Daniels said. “We have more coaches with experience in our offensive sets that we’re doing and it allows us to be all over the place, instead of saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got to come up and pound you in the face.’ I think our kids still buy-in to tough football, coming up and pounding it in your face. At the end of the day you’ve got to be able to defend the whole field and that’s what it’s about.”

With about three minutes remaining in the third quarter, Julian Daniels hit White on a 20-yard TD pass to give the Cougars a 23-6 lead.

Ried Smith scored on an 11-yard scramble with 6:39 remaining, but the Warriors couldn’t get any closer.

The Cougars (3-1) host another Clark County rival in Week 5. Kenton Ridge hosts Shawnee for the second straight season in a battle of 3-1 teams. The Braves beat the Cougars 17-7 last season.

“I will take this senior group to war with me any day of the week,” Jon Daniels said. “I would take this group of kids to war with me any day of the week. We’re going to get after it this week and I know they’re excited about the crosstown rivalry. We’re going to see what happens. I know this group will leave it all out there.”

Wayne 27, Springfield 22: Wayne had the ball in victory formation in the final two minutes, seemingly a couple kneel-downs away from clinching its first victory against Springfield since 2017 on the opening night of Greater Western Ohio Conference play Friday.

Then the wildest finish of the high school football season — maybe anywhere in Ohio — turned the game around twice in the final minute.

Wayne lost a fumble while trying to run out the clock, giving Springfield the ball deep in Wayne territory. Springfield’s star recruit, cornerback Aaron Scott, a 2024 Ohio State commit, took over at quarterback and produced a miraculous touchdown. He ran left and then threw back across the field to Jayvin Norman, who took it 72 yards down the sideline in front of the Springfield bench for the touchdown.

Scott then threw a two-point conversion pass to Da’Shawn Martin to give the Wildcats a 22-21 lead with 26 seconds to play.

Springfield didn’t get to rejoice long. Jussiah Williams-West returned the kickoff 83 yards for a touchdown with 14 seconds to play to secure a 27-22 victory for Wayne.

Northeastern 42, Greenon 6: Jets sophomore quarterback Diezel Taylor threw for four touchdown passes as the Jets beat their Clark County rivals.

Jets junior Garrett Chadwell caught two TD passes and ran for another score, senior Cody Lookabaugh and senior Johnny Jones each caught a TD pass and sophomore Jackson Jones rushed for a TD in the victory.

Greenon freshman Teagan Henry threw a 35-yard TD pass to sophomore Kai Ricks for the Knights (0-4) lone score.

The Jets host unbeaten Cedarville next Friday night.

West Liberty-Salem 41, Southeastern 21: Tigers senior Gabe McGill and senior Miles Hostetler each rushed for two TDs as WLS improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2019.

Hostetler threw TD passes to junior Jacob Evans and junior Taran Logwood for the Tigers, who outscored the Trojans 20-7 in the second half.

Trojans senior quarterback Zack McKee threw for 276 yards and two TDs, senior Jonah Asebrook caught a 61-yard TD pass and rushed for another, while junior Brennan Workman also caught an 83-yard TD pass.

The Trojans host West Jefferson (4-0) next week.

Indian Lake 35, Tecumseh 28: The Lakers scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to hand the Arrows their second straight loss.

Arrows senior Connor Bledsoe rushed for two TDs and senior Tim Moore, Jr. and freshman Brandon Radford each ran for a TD as Tecumseh fell to 2-2.

The Arrows host Northwestern (1-4) next week.

London 26, Shawnee 14: The Braves scored in the third quarter to take a 14-13 lead, but the Red Raiders scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to remain unbeaten.

Shawnee travels to Kenton Ridge (3-1) next week.

Fairbanks 16, Catholic Central 2: The Irish scored on a safety in the second half, but couldn’t get any closer, dropping their third straight game.

Catholic Central (1-3) travels to Mechanicsburg next week.

Urbana 51, Graham 14: Hillclimbers senior quarterback Will Donahoe threw for three TDs and rushed for two scores as Urbana improved to 4-0.

Hillclimbers sophomore Austin Hill rushed for three TDs and Colton Teepe caught two TD passes in the victory.

Freshman quarterback Gage Stull threw a 1-yard TD pass to senior Gus Ward and junior Kamren Hardwick scored on a 26-yard run for the Falcons (0-4), which travel to unbeaten London next week.

Cedarville 28, Mechanicsburg 14: Junior running back Colt Coffey rushed for two TDs and senior quarterback Jackson Pyles threw for two TDs as Cedarville improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2013.

Mechanicsburg led 14-0 early in the first quarter, but Coffey scored on a 2-yard run to make it 14-7 at the half. Pyles threw a 77-yard TD pass to senior Jackson Pyles to tie the score early in the third quarter.

Pyles found senior Josh Flora on a 49-yard TD pass to give Cedarville a 21-14 lead. Coffey scored on a 17-yard run in the fourth quarter to seal Cedarville’s first victory over Mechanicsburg since 2011.

West Jefferson 42, Greeneview 41, OT: The Rams two-point conversion attempt at the end of overtime fell short as Greeneview dropped its third straight game.

Greeneview junior Alex Horney rushed for three TDs and threw a 35-yard TD pass to junior Joey Giannoble for the Rams, which led 35-21 after three quarters.

Rams junior Cooper Payton added a TD run for Greeneview.

Madison Plains 24, Triad 20: The Cardinals fell to 0-4 and travel to Greeneview next week.

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