After so many great seasons and outstanding individuals, it takes someone special to make a dent in the Alter High School football record book. Make way for Branden McDonald.
The 6-foot-1, 224-pound sophomore hammer launched among the Knights’ best with 344 yards rushing in 25 carries to highlight Alter’s 49-14 Week 4 win at Cincinnati Roger Bacon on Friday night. Alter coach Ed Domsitz wasn’t certain that was a single-game Knights record, but conceded it was in rarefied company.
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Among McDonald’s repeated blasts were scoring runs of 70 and 69 yards.His previous best was 31 yards against Thurgood Marshall in Week 2.
It was the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North opener for Alter (3-1, 1-0) and the Knights’ third straight win. That sets up a Week 5 GCL North showdown against Fenwick (3-1, 1-0) at Centerville. The Falcons lost only in Week 3 to Clinton-Massie 21-18 and defeated Badin 21-9 on Friday.
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Here’s some other things to know after Week 4 of the high school football season:
• Seen and overheard at Coldwater’s 31-20 defeat of visiting Minster were former football coach Jim Place and current Centerville boys basketball coach Brook Cupps. Place and Coldwater coach Chip Otten coached together at Middletown when Place was the Middies’ head coach. Place also was the head coach at multiple other programs, mostly recently at Ponitz through last season.
“You coach long enough you cross paths with a lot of coaches,” quipped Place, a sideline regular for 40-plus seasons.
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Cupps and Minster football coach Geron Stokes go back to when both were at Graham. Cupps was the boys basketball coach and Stokes a Falcons basketball assistant.
• It appears Miamisburg (4-0) and Northmont (4-0) are headed to a Week 10 showdown to decide the Greater Western Ohio Conference National West championship. Northmont walloped Butler 43-16 on Thursday and Miamisburg landed a program-defining 30-13 defeat of Wayne on Friday.
Both Miamisburg and Northmont are in contention for the D-I, Region 3 postseason barring second-half collapses.
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• CJ (4-0) pounded host Cincinnati Purcell Marian 38-0. Eagles junior QB Ryan Minor had 188 yards passing and three TDs. Marquis Henry rushed for 109 yards on just 10 carries and scored and Colin Downing had nine catches for 109 yards and a score.
Minor leads the GCL North with 942 yards passing (60 of 79), 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
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• Trotwood-Madison made the most of six interceptions to shut down host Sidney, 41-7. That snapped a rare two-game losing streak for the Rams (2-2).
Trotwood sophomore QB Cooper Stewart had 121 yards passing and produced two scores. Justin Stephens and George Anderson each had four receptions and scored once.
»PHOTOS: Alter at Centerville, Week 3
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• Carroll (4-0, 1-0) continues to be an area surprise. The Patriots defeated Cincinnati McNicholas 37-28 in their GCL North opener with senior running back Fred Butts going for 135 yards rushing and two scores. Carroll was 1-9 last season.
• Xenia (3-1) also appears to be a contender in the GWOC American South following a 35-0 blanking of visiting Greenville. Buccaneers senior running back Sincere Wells had 184 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Wells leads the GWOC in rushing (859, 10 TDs) and is on pace to surpass 2,000 yards in the regular season. More important, Xenia, 2-8 last season, has a chance to qualify for the playoffs (Division II, Region 8) for the first time.
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• Tippecanoe’s Josh Burritt had a career effort in a 56-26 defeat of West Carrollton. The senior rushed for 297 yards and scored twice. Burritt had just 161 combined rushing yards through Week 3 for the Red Devils (2-2).
• The Ohio High School Athletic Association will release its first computer rankings on Tuesday. Teams earn points for wins and wins by a defeated opponent. The top eight teams in each of the 28 regions qualify to the playoffs.
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• Bethel (3-1) is at Miami East (3-1) in a showdown of Cross Country Conference powers in Week 5 on Thursday. Both advanced to the playoffs last season, but are coming off conference losses. Bethel fell 28-19 to Ansonia and Miami East was upended by Fort Loramie, 21-7.
»PHOTOS: Piqua at CJ, Week 1 football