McKinley 26, Huber Heights Wayne 0 (Sep 5-2010)
Non-League game at Ohio Stadium, Columbus
as part of the Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic
McKinley's offense looked choppy Sunday despite big final numbers
Updated: Monday, September 6, 2010
COLUMBUS The final numbers seem good enough.
Close to 400 yards of offense. Twenty-six points on the scoreboard.
But it wasn't an offensive display of clinical precision during the McKinley High School football team's 26-0 win Sunday against Huber Heights Wayne in the Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic.
The Bulldogs looked choppy at Ohio Stadium. They completed 47.4 percent of their passes. They had a couple of big runs called back because of penalties. They averaged only 2.5 yards a carry in the first half.
A fast, aggressive Wayne defense had a lot to do with it. But this wasn't the same dynamic McKinley offense from Week 1.
McKinley's first scoring drive was aided by a couple of Wayne penalties, including one on fourth down. On the three ensuing possessions, which started at the 50 or inside Wayne territory, McKinley gained two first downs and scored zero points.
McKinley coach Ron Johnson said the Bulldogs went vanilla because their defense was dominating the game. But the offense also seemed to be a step behind and a click off.
"I was really disappointed we couldnâ€™t finish on some drives," Johnson said. "We were just that much off on two passes to Pitt (Se'Von Pittman), one he dropped. We miss a cut or we slip and fall. Or we have one guy in space and we can't make the cut and make the guy miss on the reverse."
The Bulldogs converted just one of their four 2-point conversions, making them 4-for-8 on the year, as they continue to live without a place kicker.
Elijah Farrakhan finished with 146 rushing yards as McKinley ran for 268 yards as a team, with 189 of that coming in the second half.
"We just believe if we continue to pound the rock long enough, good things are going to happen," Johnson said. â€œOur kids run hard. We throw a bunch of different runners at you. Sooner or later They're going to pop, which they did."
McKinley didn't have a run of 20 yards or longer until its two fourth-quarter scoring drives. Farrakhan ran for 20 to set up a touchdown pass. Later, Tyler Foster ran 44 yards for a touchdown.
"We came out slow," Farrakhan said. "But we finished hard."
McKinley shuts down Huber Heights Wayne
Updated: Sunday, September 5, 2010
COLUMBUS A disjointed game in a mostly empty stadium.
This wasn't the expected atmosphere for Sundayâ€™s nationally televised matchup of McKinley versus Huber Heights Wayne and Ohio State-recruit Braxton Miller.
Braxton was a no-show on the field at the Horseshoe.
The McKinley defense? Present and accounted for.
The Bulldogs held a Braxton-less Wayne to 88 yards and four first downs in a 26-0 McKinley win at Ohio Stadium as part of the Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic.
The Bulldogs are 2-0 for the first time since 2006. With or without Miller, Wayne would have been in for a fight with the McKinley defense.
"I think with the focus the defense had today, we wouldâ€™ve been up for the challenge," McKinley head coach Ron Johnson said after his team forced 10 punts.
Westerville South beat Dublin Coffman in the first game, 31-21. The two-game attendance was announced at 10,054, although there appeared to be less than 2,000 people in the cavernous stadium for the McKinley game.
The meager crowd was part of a lazy Sunday afternoon that was sapped of its energy when Miller came out in street clothes. He didn't play because of a high ankle sprain that he suffered late in last weekâ€™s loss to Moeller.
Miller didn't practice all week, but that didn't stop Wayne head coach Jay Minton from wishing for the best.
â€œFor me, I guess I had hopes that he would (play) up until we didn't put his equipment on the bus," Minton said.
Johnson, who knows Minton well, said the Wayne coach had told him Miller might not play.
"I called bull crap on him," Johnson said. â€œWillis Reed wasn't going to play either."
The Bulldogs didn't learn he wasn't playing until pregame warm-ups.
"We wanted to play him a lot," McKinley defensive end and fellow Buckeye recruit Steve Miller said. "But as long as we got the win, that was good."
Wayne was down to its third-string quarterback by its third possession of the game.
Sophomore QB Javon Harrison hurt his left arm going for a fumble, which McKinley's Mike Aylward recovered. So freshman Dorian Hendrix was inserted. The Bulldogs, led by Steve Miller, Se'Von Pittman and others, feasted.
Wayne didn't get a first down until 1:20 remained in the second quarter. To that point, Wayne had minus-4 yards of offense.
"We felt we had a pretty good game plan with (Harrison)," Minton said. â€œHeâ€™s pretty poised and can throw the ball around a little bit. The way (McKinley comes) you know you have to throw the ball on them. They have some holes in their secondary that we felt like we could take advantage of."
Instead, Wayne was stonewalled. A 25-yard completion to Marcus Bonner gave Wayne a chance at a 25-yard field goal with seconds left in the first half, but Steve Miller knifed through and blocked the Warriorsâ€™ only true scoring chance. McKinley led 12-0 at half.
The defense kept Wayne in the game. Missing defensive back Tre Moore -- a Mid-American Conference recruit -- the Warriors played inspired football. Early in the game, they won the battle at the line of scrimmage and didn't miss tackles.
â€œThey play physical," said McKinley running back Elijah Farrakhan, who finished with 142 yards and two first-half TDs on 26 carries. "We just had to come out and match them. Once we got focused into the game more, we started running more big plays."
The Bulldogs eventually wore down Wayne, gaining 227 of their 371 yards of offense in the second half. Johnson said the Bulldogs switched to a conservative mode once they realized Wayne was going to struggle moving the ball.
"I think we played a very smart game offensively understanding the situation they were in offensively and how our defense was playing," he said. "We weren't going to do anything to put the ball at risk, change the momentum and change the fields."
McKinley QB Kyle Ohradzansky was 8-of-17 passing for 91 yards and a 26-yard TD pass to Tyler Carney. Tyler Foster added a 44-yard TD run. The Bulldogs were successful on one of their four 2-point conversion tries.
Wayne's Miller out for today's showdown with McKinley
Updated: Sunday, September 5, 2010
An unexpected sight greeted the McKinley Bulldogs before today's anticipated game with Huber Heights Wayne.
Wayne quarterback Braxton Miller -- one of the nation's top-rated high school players -- stood on the sidelines in street clothes and will not play in the game, which ESPNU will televise at 3:30.
The Ohio State recruit injured an ankle a week ago, late in a loss to Cincinnati Moeller. Moments before kickoff, Miller told ESPNU that he is suffering from a high ankle sprain on the left leg and he did not practice this week.
McKinley notebook: McKinley returns to Ohio Stadium
Updated: Saturday, September 4, 2010
McKinley's game against Huber Heights Wayne will be the Bulldogs' second game ever at the Horseshoe.
They played the 1985 Division I state title game there, losing to Cincinnati Moeller, 35-11, on a Sunday afternoon. Coincidentally, Moeller just beat Wayne last week, 35-28.
Looking to improve
From players to coaches, the Bulldogs weren't happy with the way last weekâ€™s win finished against Gallatin (Tenn.). McKinley got sloppy on offense and turned the ball over. The defense allowed a pair of TD passes in the fourth quarter.
McKinley head coach Ron Johnson discovered a team not satisfied with its performance as it reviewed the game early this week.
â€œThe most encouraging thing was, every one of our guys saw it, as well," Johnson said. â€œThe players saw it. They didn't come in with a chip on their shoulders or sensitive to being coached and making improvements. They want to be coached and be good players. You could just tell by the way they indulged themselves in the film."
Johnson knows Wayne head coach Jay Minton well after coaching in Southwest Ohio at Middletown and recruiting Mintonâ€™s teams while Johnson was on the staff at Miami University.
Johnson thinks highly of Wayne.
â€œFor the last 25 years ... they've been one of the premier programs in Region 4 down there," he said. â€œThey have a good mix of kids. A great group to draw from. Good youth programs. They're just a solid football factory."
McKinley senior defensive end Steve Miller was asked if he was going to take it easy on Wayne QB Braxton Miller since the two are future Ohio State teammates, to which he said, â€œNo, not at all, sir."
McKinley in national spotlight against top QB
Updated: Saturday, September 4, 2010
The sideshows are all around the McKinley football team.
There is the attention in facing Huber Heights Wayne quarterback Braxton Miller, who might be the most well-known high school football player in America.
There is playing in giant Ohio Stadium, the Horseshoe, with all its aura and history.
There is national television, with todayâ€™s 3:30 game being aired on ESPNU.
McKinley defensive end and co-captain Steve Miller thought about the situation and came to this conclusion: â€œThis is all about just playing football."
Yes, the main show for the Bulldogs is playing Wayne. And their only concern is winning the game. The Bulldogs and Warriors meet as part of the Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic in Columbus.
As McKinley head coach Ron Johnson said, McKinley's focus is â€œ120-by-531â„3â€ -- the fieldâ€™s dimensions in yards. That's good because Braxton Miller can use every inch of it with his strong right arm and electric quickness.
The Bulldogs were beaten last year by Wayne, 27-14, as Miller -- rated one of the top quarterbacks, if not the No. 1 QB, in the class of 2011 -- accounted for three touchdowns at Fawcett Stadium. McKinley, with four turnovers, felt like it gave away the game.
This year, the Bulldogs feel like Braxton Miller has to deal with them just as much as they have to deal with him.
Their senior defensive end shares more than a surname with Braxton. Steve Miller, an Ohio State recruit just like Braxton, serves as a 6-foot-4, 242-pound bookend on McKinley's defensive line with 6-5, 235-pound junior Se'Von Pittman, who has Big Ten potential, on the other end. The Bulldogs play fast and hit hard.
â€œOur guys are very confident," Johnson said. â€œThey know (Braxton is) a great player. They respect him tremendously. But I think they understand it takes a football team to win a game. ... The best football team is going to win."
Wayne features some speedy playmakers around Miller. Senior RB Anthone Taylor will get touches on the ground and through the air. The Warriorsâ€™ 4-3 attacking defense is highlighted by a veteran secondary.
Steve Miller and Braxton Miller have spoken a couple of times in passing. Nothing extensive.
Steve said the Bulldogs have to treat his future Buckeye teammate as â€œjust another guy."
But in reality, Braxton Miller isn't. He's the kind of kid who has to work photo shoots into his schedule. He was featured in a full-page piece in Sports Illustrated in the Aug. 2-9 double issue.
"We just played the second-best player in the country, and he showed why totally," Moeller head coach John Rodenberg told the Dayton Daily News after his team beat Wayne, 35-28, last week. "He is the best I have faced."
The 6-3, 200-pound quarterback ran for 212 yards against Moeller. Last year vs. McKinley, Miller threw for 221.
â€œHeâ€™s got the whole skill set," Johnson said. â€œHeâ€™s big. ... He's 4.3 fast. He's got range. He's got confidence that he can make every play.
"You put a great physical skill set with a great mental belief, and He's just a dangerous player."
Moeller gained 463 yards of offense on the Warriors last week, including a punishing 234 on the ground. Now they get a McKinley offense that can attack them in a variety of ways.
From running backs Elijah Farrakhan and Sa'Veon Holloway to receivers Tyler Foster, Taron Montgomery, Tyler Carney and Zach Sweat, the Bulldogs have plenty of weapons around third-year starting quarterback Kyle Ohradzansky.
Last week vs. Gallatin (Tenn.), McKinley gained 478 yards of offense and led 32-0 before settling for a 32-14 win.
The Bulldogs took a â€œbusiness as usualâ€ approach to their opener. Nothing changes in Week 2.
"We're just going to take it as another game," Steve Miller said. â€œNothing major."
Come here for media about past games of the Bulldogs and their opponents. Feel free to make comments yourself of the events described by our primary news source, The Repository.
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- Versatile playmaker Tyler Foster supplied McKinley's offense with one of its biggest plays Sunday, a 44-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. Courtesy of REPOSITORY BOB ROSSITER
- Tyler Foster.jpg (125.16 KiB) Viewed 1300 times
- McKinley's Elijah Farrakhan stiff-arms Huber Heights Wayne's Trey Thomas on his way to a first down. Courtesy of REPOSITORY BOB ROSSITER
- Farrakhan.jpg (134.83 KiB) Viewed 1308 times
- Huber Heights Wayne quarterback Braxton Miller accounted for three touchdowns last year in a 27-14 victory over McKinley at Fawcett Stadium. The two teams meet today at 3:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium as part of the Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic in Columbus. Photo Dayton Daily News / Jim Witmer
- Braxton Miller.jpg (42.8 KiB) Viewed 1311 times
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