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Battle To The End
Midwest Recruiting Analyst
Posted Nov 28, 2008
What a game Anderson (Cincinnati, Ohio) played against Sylvania Southview (Toledo, Ohio) in the Division Two final at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon, Ohio. Too bad it wasn't enough to earn the Redskins their second state title in as many years.
Anderson hit the field looking like the defending champion as both teams traded punches early in the game. With 3:41 left in the first quarter, junior running back
scored on a 31-yard run. That number would pop up again for Slater later in the game.
Despite the early lead Southview knew they had some star-power of their own and looked to take advantage of it early in the second quarter as senior quarterback Alex Pidcock scored on a 1-yard run. The extra point failed and fans knew this was going to be a game until the final seconds ticked off the clock.
Sylvania would add another three points on a 32-yard field goal by Tim Hausfeld making it a 9-6 advantage on the score board.
Slater's lucky number on the night was 31 and with 1:31 left in the half he would score on another 31 yard run. Anderson looked to go for two after Sylvania was called for a penalty but failed to put another points on the board making the score 13-9 advantage Anderson.
But something went strange as Anderson placed pressure on Pidcock and everyone thought the half had ended. Instead the officials said the Cougars had called a timeout and time was put back on the clock allowing for one more play.
That play would see Pidcock hit Allen Gant in the back of the end zone for a great body control catch giving Sylvania a 16-13 advantage going into the locker room.
The advantage didn't last long as Anderson would place three points on the board with a John Howard field goal with 9:18 left in the third quarter.
The game would remained tied until Sylvania hit Shaun Joplin for a 38 yard pass with 9:22 left in the game but again the kick failed.
Both teams went back and forth until Anderson quarterback Daniel Rod was intercepted on the one yard line. The play was better than a punt as Anderson was able to keep the Cougars pinned forcing them to give Anderson a safety making the score 22-18 and Anderson holding the ball.
Again it was Kyle Slater the defending champions went to when it mattered most and he didn't fail as he scored on a 20-yard run. The kick was good and Anderson fans thought another title was in their grasp.
With just over two-minutes left in the game Sylvania looked to put the game away using their offensive weapons. Alex Pidcock was up to the task and lead his team on a drive that saw the team from Northwest Ohio put the final points on the board.
With 32-seconds left in the game Pidcock hit Paul Murphey for a 15-yard touchdown and when Hausfeld's kick went through the uprights Cougar Nation was feeling their first state title was only seconds away.
Anderson wouldn't go down easy and was able to drive down the field with only seconds reamaining but their final chance to win the game came up short and Sylvania Southview stormed the field knowing they'd knocked off on of the top teams in Ohio.
Breakdown The Players
Anderson High School
Kyle Slater – The junior running back is a player to watch as he shows great explosion and the ability to run inside or outside. Speed is his game and he hits a second gear with ease.
John Howard – The senior kicker shows a strong leg and should find some program willing to take him as a walk-on.
– What more can you say about a player many consider to be the best at his position. Only a junior, Norwell is a major force who is not afraid to throw his weight around in the trenches. We've now been watching Andrew for two full seasons and he continues to improve his game. This is a major prospect.
Sylvania High School
Alex Pidcock: The senior quarterback may not have the strongest arm, but he's got the moxie any college coach wants from his quarterback. In the spread this kid can hurt you with his arm or leg. While he holds no offers he should get some late interest from several programs from his performance during his senior season.
Shaun Joplin: Last year in the DII game a wide receiver blew up. This year again a wide receiver showed he's a major player looking for a school. With great size and athletic ability Joplin is the best receiver we've seen going under the recruiting radar. After the game he said he's not sure if football or basketball will get his interest but he's open at this time.
are in contact.
Jimmy Hall: The junior has a great body and showed great skills during this game. Scout.com has seen Hall in some 7-on-7 action and in this game he showed he's a player to keep an eye on.
Allen Gant: Only a freshman, Gant is a player who will blow up early much like
did just a year ago. Great body control and the physical tools to play with anyone makes Gant one of Ohio's top prospects no matter what class.
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