‘Special connection’ helps Kenton Ridge roll past Stebbins


When junior quarterback Dylan Lemen needed to restart the Kenton Ridge offense late in the first half Friday night at Stebbins, he looked for classmate Calvin Dibert.

“We’ve had a special connection ever since eighth grade when I started playing,” Dibert said.

»RELATED: Week 3 Scoreboard

»RELATED: Glass leads Shawnee past Thurgood Marshall

That’s when Dibert gave up soccer. In his first middle school football game on a nearby field against Stebbins, he caught his first touchdown pass from Lemen.

“I just wanted something new and tried football to see how I liked it,” Dibert said. “And I really liked it.”

Good thing for the football Cougars.

On Friday, their early three-touchdown lead had been cut to a 12-point lead late in the first half and momentum had shifted. Then Lemen and Dibert shifted it back.

On three consecutive plays, Dibert, who is 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, lined up wide on the right. All other receivers were on the left side. Dibert drew single coverage each time and Lemen knew what to do. The first two plays covered 36 and 31 yards. Lemen put the ball up high both times so Dibert could go get it. The third was a two-yard strike to the front corner of the end zone for the touchdown into Dibert’s big hands.

The three-score lead was back (33-14) and the Cougars were on their way to a 47-14 nonconference victory.

“Calvin’s a great wide receiver and our line’s giving us great protection,” Lemen said. “I’m just trying to get it out there to him. He can go up and get it — he makes us look good.”

Lemen completed 12 of 20 passes for 167 passing yards and two touchdown passes to Dibert, who caught six passes for 118 yards. The Cougars rushed for 279 yards with Lemen and Carson gaining 110 each. Lemen scored on runs of 41, 14 and 6 yards. Jones scored on a 5-yard run, but his biggest play was a 95-yard touchdown on the opening kickoff.

“We preach so much to our kids about how important winning the kicking phase of the game is,” Cougars coach Joel Marratta said. “And coming out finally taking an opening kickoff for a touchdown … we spend so much time on special teams and it finally paid off for us tonight. That was the spark we needed to get going.”

The Cougars are 2-1 with wins over Carlisle and Stebbins after a 54-14 season-opening loss to Mechanicsburg.

“We had a few good scrimmages so we were rolling in there big-headed,” Lemen said. “We needed an eye opener and that gave it to us.”

Stebbins quarterback Austin Womack reminded the Cougars of that when he led two touchdown drives in the second quarter, connecting on a long pass to set up a short touchdown and throwing a 47-yard touchdown to Andre Snow.

“We’re not world-beaters,” Marratta said. “We were very uneven tonight. We let up, we got complacent, we got comfortable. We’re not a good enough football team to be able to do that and let people in the backdoor and give them hope.”

Stebbins (0-3) is coached by former Southeastern coach Greg Bonifay who is trying to build a program at a school where he previously served as an assistant. In his first season, he played a lot of freshmen and sophomores. This year a lot of sophomores are playing.

“We show signs of being a pretty good football team, and then we show signs of needing to work on things,” he said. “Once we start doing all the little things right, we’re going to be all right.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

High School Football Week 5 Roundup: Miamisburg stays unbeaten; Tipp and Fairmont roll
High School Football Week 5 Roundup: Miamisburg stays unbeaten; Tipp and Fairmont roll

In a Greater Western Ohio Conference showdown of unbeaten teams, visiting Miamisburg beat Troy 31-14 in high school football action on Friday.  Tate Vongsy hit Zion Lewis on a 15-yard scoring strike and tacked on a rushing score to help ‘Burg build up a 17-0 lead heading into the half. Lewis added a rushing TD in the fourth quarter to help...
High School Football: Week 5 boxscores, scores
High School Football: Week 5 boxscores, scores

Allen East 50, Delphos Jefferson 6 Alter 45, Fenwick 20 Anderson 47, Withrow 12 Badin 42, Roger Bacon 35, OT Bellbrook 21, Franklin 17 Bellefontaine 14, Ben Logan 6 Brookville 42, Carlisle 2 Butler 13, Xenia 7, OT Celina 42, Ottawa-Glandorf 24 Chaminade Julienne 61, Carroll 30 Cin. Country Day 28, New Miami 20 Clinton-Massie 34, Bishop Hartley 31 Col...
Glass makes most of second chance to lift Shawnee past Northwestern
Glass makes most of second chance to lift Shawnee past Northwestern

An athlete rarely gets a second chance to be a hero, especially on the football field. But that’s exactly where Shawnee High School junior Robie Glass found himself on Friday night against Northwestern. With Shawnee trailing 35-34 with 39 seconds remaining, Braves sophomore Drew Mitch — playing quarterback for the first time the entire...
Springfield beats Lebanon to stay undefeated
Springfield beats Lebanon to stay undefeated

The Springfield Wildcats reached the midway point of the regular season with a second straight dominant performance, blanking Lebanon 28-0 on Friday at Evans Stadium. How does it feel to be 5-0, a feat unparalleled in the 11-year history of the new high school? That was the question quarterback Raheim Moss faced after the game. "It's a blessing...
Top-ranked Northmont has no answer for Wayne QB McKee
Top-ranked Northmont has no answer for Wayne QB McKee

Wayne quarterback Rashad McKee riddled Northmont’s vaunted defense, throwing five touchdown passes and running for two more in a 49-20 Warriors defeat of the visiting Thunderbolts on Friday night. The midseason Week 5 win snapped Wayne’s (3-2) two-game losing streak and jump-started the Warriors’ season and Division I, Region 3 playoff...
More Stories