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Published: Friday, 9/21/2007

Cincinnati school receives a lending hand after fire

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Had enough of the pros? Tired of steroid-infused sluggers, petulant prima donnas and uncaring commissioners?

Here's a nice story of how high school sports bring out the best in people.

A fire of suspicious origin at the school destroyed Cincinnati Taft's green-and-gold uniforms last Friday. But Taft was able to play that night at Withrow, thanks to red-and-white uniforms donated by Colerain.

Taft, coached by former Cincinnati Bengals receiver Mike Martin, lost 19-18.

It wasn't a total loss, however. Before the kickoff, local restaurateur Jeff Ruby showed up to let Martin and the team know he was buying them new uniforms.

PRIME REAL ESTATE: Cambridge's Tyler Hardesty carried 41 times for 294 yards and four TDs in a 30-0 win over Gnadenhutten Indian Valley; Bryan Gaiters of Zanesville ran for a school-record 286 yards on just 10 carries in a 56-14 win over previously unbeaten Portsmouth, scoring on runs of 72, 75 and 71 yards; Jon Gipson rushed for 261 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries in Rocky River's 21-0 win over North Ridgeville - a week after teammate David Dunne ran for 215 yards and four TDs on just six carries in a 35-14 win over Westlake; Apple Creek Waynedale's Thad Nofsinger rushed for 261 yards and three TDs on 39 carries in a 28-13 win over West Salem Northwestern 28-13;

Steve Beros needed just 14 carries to gain 242 yards and score a TD in Old Washington Buckeye Trail's 50-7 win over Barnesville; Madison's Nick Yeager ran for 235 yards on 30 carries and scored twice in a 35-24 victory over Painesville Harvey; Sparta Highland's Taylor Harris had 221 yards and four TDs (44, 1, 30, 20) on 18 carries in a 48-3 win over North Union; Andover Pymatuning Valley's Clayton Kirby ran for 202 yards on 30 carries and scored three times in a 28-6 victory over Conneaut; and Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy's John Pettigrew totaled 554 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 47 carries in his last two games, a 31-14 win over Louisville Aquinas and a 36-35 loss to Zoarville Tuscarawas Valley.

TURNAROUND: Creston Norwayne's Bobcats (4-0), who have never made the playoffs, beat Smithville 52-14 to end a 27-game losing skid to the Smithies, dating to 1978.

STREAKIN': Fort Recovery beat Versailles 33-20 to go to 3-1 for the first time in seven years; Zanesville Rosecrans, off to a 4-0 start for just the second time, hasn't allowed a point in its last 14 quarters with three straight shutouts; traditional small-school power Crooksville ended a rare 14-game losing streak with a 24-21 win at Nelsonville-York; Maria Stein Marion Local moved up to Division V this season after capturing its third Division VI state title since 2000, but the transition hasn't been a problem: The Flyers are 4-0 and have outscored opponents 152-27; Cincinnati Hughes is 4-0 - matching its 2006 win total - for the first time anyone at the school can remember.

NOTEWORTHY: Upper Scioto Valley's Chandler Smith tied a state record earlier this year when he blocked four punts in a game against Danbury; Corey Wobser booted a Margaretta-record 45-yard field goal in a 26-8 win over Sandusky Perkins; North Lima South Range had 508 total yards of offense and limited Lisbon David Anderson to zero first downs in the first half of a 55-7 win; Canton GlenOak and Alliance Marlington are off to

4-0 starts - and each have already surpassed last year's win total by one - under first-year, first-year coaches Scott Garcia and Ed Miley, respectively;

Louisville has been the model of consistency, scoring 35, 34, 35 and 33 points in its first four games, but is only 2-2, losing 35-34 to Uniontown Lake and 34-33 to Canal Fulton Northwest; Canton McKinley, Ohio's second-winningest football program (behind Massillon) with 751 wins, lost its first four games, including a 1-0 forfeit to Detroit Pershing for using an ineligible player; and the five teams in the Columbus Central Catholic League are a combined 23-1 - only Hartley (3-1) is not undefeated.



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