The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 8, 2012

Jefferson back in the hunt

Star Beacon

— It’s amazing what a different a week can make, including when it comes to high school football.

Entering play in Week 7, the Jefferson Falcons were rated 13th in the Division III, Region 9 computer ratings.

However, a combination of a 24-21 All-American Conference victory at Lakeview by coach Jimmy Henson’s Falcons (5-2) — and some other results involving teams Jefferson has played — has resulted in the County Seat boys catapulting into the eighth spot in Region 9, according to Ohio high school football computer-points guru Joe Eitel.

The top eight teams in each of Ohio’s 24 regions, split into six divisions, qualify for the postseason, with the highest-seeded team earning the right to host a first-round game — a regional quarterfinal — should their facilities be deemed worthy.

According to Eitel, if the playoffs were to begin this week, Henson & Co. would be preparing for a first-round clash at Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division power Chagrin Falls (6-1), which Eitel has occupying the top spot in Region 9.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association will release its weekly computer ratings Tuesday night.

Here’s how Eitel has all of the area’s teams standing headed into Week 8 of the 2012 season:

Division I, Region 1 (32 teams) — 17, Riverside (5-2).

Division II, Region 5 (28 teams) — 10, Madison (4-3), 21, Lakeside  (1-6), 22, Geneva (2-5).

Division III, Region 9 (30 teams) — 8, Jefferson (5-2), T29, Conneaut (0-7), with Sheffield Brookside.

Division IV, Region 13 (32 teams) — 15, Edgewood (4-3), 19, Perry (3-4), 21, Grand Valley (4-3), 25, Pymatuning Valley (2-5).

There are no area teams in Divisions V or VI this season or next.

Our own resident expert, Slingin’ Steve Goldman, will have his weekly column that takes a closer look at the postseason aspirations of the teams in the area later this week.

To check out all of Eitel’s information, visit his website at

What a rush!

Five area ballcarriers surpassed the 100-yard mark during their Week 7 contests:

Manny Lucas, Lakeside — The junior carried 38 times for 191 yards in the Dragons’ 16-8 Premier Athletic Conference loss to visiting North.

Troy Colucci, Conneaut — The sophomore had 33 carries for 168 yards and scored on runs of 15, 43, 1 and 5 yards in the Spartans’ heartbreaking 29-28 double-overtime non-conference defeat at the hands of  visiting Gilmour Academy.

Quintin Ratliff, Pymatuning Valley — He had 158 yards on 13 carries and had scoring runs from 73 and 46 yards out in the Lakers’ 15-12 Northeastern Athletic Conference loss to visiting Grand Valley.

Sean Szitas, Grand Valley — Was the lone guy in this group to reach the 100-yard mark in a victory, carrying 17 times for 123 yards in the Mustangs’ emotional win at PV.

Mark Murray, Madison — He had 112 yards on 23 efforts in the Blue Streaks’ 41-0 PAC loss to visiting South.

Passing fancy

Three area quarterbacks bettered the 100-yard mark in Week 7:

Tony Chiacchiero, Jefferson — Tony the Tiger became the first Falcon to throw for more than 1,000 yards in a season since Angelo Mirando set the school record with 1,528 yards in 2003 with 288 yards on a 20-of-33 effort, including touchdown passes of 12 and 45 yards to Kyle Ashburn. Chiacchiero now has 1,279 yards on the season.

Colucci, Conneaut — The Spartan had a Braxton Miller-like effort against Gilmour, adding 130 yards passing on 13 of 25 to his 168 yards on the ground.

Tyler Loftus, Lakeside — The Dragon hit on 13 of 36 attempts for 123 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown toss to Chase Knight, in the loss to North.

Gift of grab

Only one area receiver reached and passed the century mark in Week 7, but in doing so, set an Ashtabula County high-water mark for the season.

Jefferson’s Ashburn had six catches for 148 yards, including the aforementioned 12- and 45-yard scoring strikes from Chiacchiero in the come-from-behind triumph at Lakeview.

The 45-yard catch and run proved to be the gamewinner for the Falcons.

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