CINCINNATI — Though he’s often in the spotlight, Western Brown senior quarterback Drew Novak doesn’t seek the attention.
But, the 6-foot-6, 210-pound standout fully embraced a special career moment during the first quarter of Friday night’s season-opening 55-0 win over visiting Hillsboro.
That’s when Novak reached 10,000 career yards, becoming only the 14th player in Ohio High School Athletic Association history to reach such a milestone.
“That was pretty cool, I’m not going to lie,” Novak said Saturday morning.
Novak was grateful to be able to get a photo with Western Brown coach Nick Osborne on the field. It was a proud moment for anyone associated with the Western Brown football program.
“It’s real special watching him grow up since he was young,” Osborne said.
Novak was 17 of 25 passing for 309 yards and four touchdowns. The 2021 Division III state offensive player of the year has 10,233 yards passing in his career.
Novak is 1,195 yards away from tying Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (Athens High School) for sixth place on the OHSAA career passing yards list.
Novak also reached 100 touchdown passes for his career Friday night — another milestone on the OHSAA state record list.
“He is a very special player and whoever takes a chance on him (after high school) will get not only a very talented quarterback, but a very humble kid as well,” Western Brown athletic director Tim Cook said. “The little guys are constantly asking him for a photo and he takes the time to do that with everyone that wants a picture.”
Novak said he enjoyed everything about the atmosphere Friday night. He also carried the football twice and rushed for 39 yards and a touchdown, too.
Osborne said Novak made some throws that will certainly impress college programs when they take a look at his film.
“The kid is legit,” Osborne said.
And so was the Broncos’ team effort on Friday night, just a season after reaching the Division III regional final for the first time in program history.
Novak said Friday night was really important to set the tone for this season. His teammates certainly contributed greatly to that effort.
Senior Zack Chisman had 11 carries for 149 yards and three touchdowns. He had four receptions for 43 yards. Senior Matt Frye had five receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown.
Junior Isaiah Smith had two receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown. Junior Matt Osborne had two receiving touchdowns.
Defensively, senior defensive back Quentin Collins had 11 tackles and an interception. Senior defensive back Andrew Schneeman had seven tackles including a tackle for loss.
Western Brown (1-0) plays at Washington Court House (1-0) on Aug. 26.
Western Brown also named its press box in tribute to longtime score clock operator Jim Neu during Friday night’s game at Kibler Stadium at LaRosa’s Field. The Jim Neu Press Box was officially dedicated as a sign of gratitude for Neu’s 50 years of service within the program. Neu, 76, is starting his 37th year as the girls cross country coach. The retired teacher also previously coached the boys cross country team for many years.
Cook said Neu has always been there for the football program.
“He bleeds brown and gold and the community thinks the world of him,” Cook said.
REIGNING STATE CHAMPS WIN: Winton Woods defeated visiting Trotwood Madison 39-16. The Warriors led 32-0 at the end of three quarters. Winton Woods, the reigning Division II state champion, had several players contribute Friday night.
“The offensive line handled business,” Winton Woods coach Chad Murphy said. “(Junior quarterback) Van George, (senior) KC Spears, (junior wide receiver) Tra’mar Harris and (senior defensive back) Carlos Cox Jr played well offensively. (Senior defensive lineman) Terren Macklin and the defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage. (Senior cornerback and Ohio State University verbal commit) Jermaine Mathews had a big effort play in which he stripped a Trotwood running back of the football.”
MOELLER WINS IN STARK COUNTY: Moeller defeated Massillon 49-31 in the first meeting between the programs since 2006. The Crusaders held a 13-0 at the end of the first quarter and 20-10 at halftime.
Junior quarterback Luke Dunn was 9 of 14 passing for 260 yards and four touchdowns. Junior running back Jordan Marshall rushed 16 times for 139 yards and three touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Tennel Bryant had seven receptions for 227 yards and three touchdowns. Senior linebacker Joe Ginnetti had a team-high nine tackles.
ANOTHER VICTORY IN NORTHEAST OHIO: Badin defeated Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph 34-3 Friday night.
“The team played great after a four-hour bus ride,” Badin coach Nick Yordy said. “I’m very proud of their efforts.”
Senior wide receiver/defensive back Braedyn Moore, who is verbally committed to UC, had two touchdowns — one receiving and one rushing. Moore had an interception on defense. Sophomore defensive lineman Royce Rachel had an interception, too.
CROUCH WINS HAMILTON DEBUT: Hamilton coach Arvie Crouch won his debut as the Big Blue coach in a 28-9 victory at West Clermont.
“It’s been a long time coming; I’m just really happy,” Crouch said. “I love this town.”
Senior running back Semaj Aldridge rushed 21 times for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Sir’Charles Riggins had four receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown.
Senior linebacker Gabe Verdon had six tackles including a sack. Senior linebacker Hassan Robertson had eight tackles.
STRONG START: Kings senior quarterback Will Kocher threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns as the Knights defeated Sycamore 34-0.
Kocher is closing in on school records for most career passing yards and touchdowns.
Senior linebacker Nick Hoying had four tackles while senior defensive back Brady Wik had two interceptions in his first-ever football game, according to Kings coach Alex Garvin. Wik switched to football from soccer this past offseason.
DOMINANT FIRST HALF: Elder defeated Covington Catholic 42-21 after the Panthers led 28-0 at halftime. Senior quarterback Ben Schoster was 15 of 17 passing for 165 yards and a touchdown. His two incompletions were intentionally thrown away.
“Ben’s game was outstanding,” Elder coach Doug Ramsey said. “He ran the ball well, too.”
Senior running back Luke Flowers rushed for 69 yards and two touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Justin Re had five receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown. Senior defensive back Zack Gutekunst had nine tackles.
Elder (1-0) plays host to Pickerington Central (1-0) Aug. 26 in a celebration of the school’s centennial.
OAK HILLS WINS HOME OPENER: Oak Hills snapped a 12-game losing streak as the host Highlighders defeated Turpin 31-20.
“It was something we needed as a program and as a school and a community,” Oak Hills coach Justin Roden said.
Senior quarterback Jaxon Schreiber threw for 118 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns. He also had an interception on defense as a safety.
Junior running back Demar Parker Jr. had 21 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown. Freshman middle linebacker Max Rhodes had a team-leading 11 tackles.
Roden said he was proud of the toughness his team exhibited in the second half. He said the effort in the weight room certainly paid dividends Friday night.
NEIGHBORHOOD RIVALRY: La Salle defeated host Colerain 17-13 Friday night.
La Salle senior linebacker Tajh Landrum and senior defensive end Jake Rhodes led the defense for the Lancers, according to La Salle coach Pat McLaughlin. This was the first game of a new two-year contract the schools agreed upon in April.
PLENTY OF OFFENSE: Princeton had 588 yards of total offense (379 yards rushing, 209 passing) in a 61-36 win at Anderson Friday night.
WELCOME TO THE SEASON: Western Hills defeated Dayton Meadowdale 30-3 Saturday afternoon at Welcome Stadium in Dayton. It is the first victory for Western Hills head coach Charles Boyd. Linebacker Denzel Moses had a pick-six. Senior defensive tackle Darrail Davis had a forced fumble and recovery. Junior running back Isaiah Camp had two rushing touchdowns. Rahson Hutchinson had a 70-yard touchdown run.
“If you believe in momentum it’s nice to start fast and get going with that first win,” Boyd said. “It’s been a while for these guys. I just want us to continue to keep improving.”
IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCES: Milford senior quarterback Austin Hardin was 17 of 23 for 326 yards passing and four touchdowns in the Eagles’ 42-6 win over visiting Edgewood. Junior Reece Davis had five receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
“Austin was very efficient,” Milford coach Tom Grippa said “He played verywell. Junior Reece Davis is one of the best receivers in the city. He started as a sophomore and he is better this year than last.”
Milford’s defense was also very strong. Junior defensive back Toto Luani had nine tackles including two sacks.
“Our entire defense played well and our defense will be stout all year as long as we stay healthy,” Grippa said.
- Monroe senior Elijah Jackson rushed 24 times for 171 yards and a touchdown in a 35-16 win over host Talawanda.
- McNicholas defeated visiting Indian Hill 56-7 Friday night.
“We had a lot of new faces playing their first varsity football game last night, and it was good to see them handle the situation well,” McNicholas coach Mike Orlando said. “We showed some maturity even though we are an inexperienced bunch. We have a tremendous amount of work to do but I think that we are on schedule.” Junior quarterback Isaac White played well for the Rockets. Defensively, McNicholas forced multiple turnovers. Junior safety Jake Rees stood out as a defensive leader, Orlando said.
- Hughes defeated host Summit Country Day 38-7 for the first victory for head coach Lorenzo Engleman.
“It was a very emotional game and I have a great group of young men,” Engleman said. “I told the team one down, way to come together to get the win but there is still quite a bit of work to do.”
- Hughes senior quarterback Marvin Good was 13 of 17 passing for 217 yards and three touchdowns. Junior running back/linebacker TJ Engleman had seven carries for 134 yards and a touchdown. He also returned a punt 99 yards for a touchdown. He also led the defense with six tackles and a sack.
Junior wide receiver/defensive back Lorenzo Engleman Jr. had five receptions for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively he had two tackles, a forced fumble and an interception. Sophomore running back Justin Thomas had seven carries for 63 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver/defensive back Jaleel Engleman had four receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, he had four tackles and an interception. Junior Fiston Feruzi had 2 1/2 sacks and another tackle. Junior Daryl Gaines lll had 5 1/2 tackles, a tackle for loss and a sack. Senior Saleem Ford had three carries for 30 yards and defensively he added two tackles and a sack. Senior Malekhi Price had 5 1/2 tackles, an interception and a pass break-up to go along with a catch for 49 yards.
COLLEGE RECRUITING: Taft coach Tyler Williams spoke with Illinois and Boston College this morning regarding 2024 defensive back Quinton Price. Price had two interceptions in a 32-0 win at Roger Bacon Thursday night. Price, who is 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds, has scholarship offers that include Purdue, Kentucky and Miami University.
Auburn is the latest scholarship offer for Moeller 2024 running back Jordan Marshall. He has several other scholarship offers including The Ohio State University, University of Tennessee, Michigan and Michigan State, Cincinnati, Iowa, Kentucky, Purdue, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Rutgers, Missouri, West Virginia, Minnesota, Duke, Indiana, Miami University, Pittsburgh and others.
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