How does a team stop a player who ran for 312 yards and scored three touchdowns against St. Xavier (Ohio)?
How does a defense contain the No. 4-ranked pocket passer in the nation and 26th-ranked player in the ESPN 150?
The first of those questions will be answered when big-time recruit Thaddeus Snodgrass goes toe-to-toe with Ohio State commit Jalin Marshall on Friday, as Middletown travels to Springfield for a Friday night game slated for a 7:30 kickoff on Snodgrass’ home field.
The game pits 2014 wide receiver Snodgrass, with offers from Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Purdue and Wisconsin, against Mr. 312 yards Marshall, who will be a Buckeye next season.
According to Snodgrass, the best defense for Springfield will be a good offense.
“If we keep the ball out of his hands and score every time, we’ll keep ourselves in the game,” Snodgrass said. “[What Marshall did last week] was impressive, but it’s more impressive if you can do it more than once.”
Marshall agrees, but has the utmost faith in his defense as he looks to rebound after a loss last week.
“I’m fine with putting it in the hands of my defense to do what they have to do,” Marshall said. “Right now, it’s me trying to win the game for my team.”
Saturday’s soirée at Byers Field in Parma, Ohio is the one everyone is talking about.
Michigan commit Shane Morris (Warren, Mich./De La Salle) rolls into town for a 3 p.m. start against 11-time champion and current Ohio Division I kings St. Ignatius.
St. Ignatius is led defensively by defensive end Kevin Kavalec (Boston College commit), defensive tackle David Katusha (Air Force), Tim McVey (Buffalo) and safety Dameon Willis Jr., who has the interest of Ohio State and Michigan.
“We’re going to execute what we’ve been practicing,” Morris said. “If we do that, we’ll be fine. We have a really good offense. They have a really good defense.
“They’re ranked high (23rd in the ESPN Power Rankings) and we’re under the radar. We just need to do what we know how to do.”
“We need to take away his first read,” Willis said of Morris. “We need to go with the guys that go in motion and stay on top of things. Footwork is going to be very key this weekend. We’ll practice that all week.”
HALLOWED ST. IGNATIUS: With three Division I commits on defense, how good is St. Ignatius this season?
Led by Willis, St. Ignatius held Canton McKinley (Ohio) and 2015 super athlete Eric Glover to 60 yards total offense in three quarters two weeks ago in a scrimmage.
Glover, who already has interest from Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Syracuse and UCLA, opened the season last week against Walsh Jesuit in style. The sophomore rushed for 264 yards and three TDs on 28 carries. He went 8-of-13 for 133 yards and a touchdown in a 34-28 win over the Warriors.
PURPLE POWER: Tyquan Lewis mania is everywhere, especially in his hometown of Tarboro, N.C.
At Tarboro home games, fans can buy a T-shirt honoring the 2014 recruit.
The front lists his Twitter account: @PrimeTime_Lewis and the back says “The Freakshow” with this sentence: “Disrespecting me is almost the same as you telling me you want your season cut short.” The yellow shirt with purple lettering is $10 with proceeds tentatively going to the high school’s booster club.
THE BIG THREE: Dante Booker (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary), Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County) and Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield) are making Ohio State fans very happy in the early stages of the 2014 recruiting process.
McMillan has Ohio State and Georgia as his favorites. Booker said Ohio State is the early favorite, and Garrett lists the Buckeyes along with Oklahoma, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Wisconsin in his top five.
Though none competed, all three were at Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights on July 27.
THE BIG TWO: Shaker Heights might have missed a chance at upsetting heavy favorite Solon when the Red Raiders squandered an 11-point lead in the final 2:22 seconds of a 24-21 loss to Solon, but two individuals stood out.
Those two would be 2013 defensive tackle Donovan Munger and 2014 defensive end Joe Henderson. Munger is a big Ohio State target and said the Buckeyes will be in his list of official visits. Henderson has strong Ohio State interest and is working incredibly hard to get an offer. After Friday’s performance, it might just happen.
Munger was in the Comets’ backfield all night, registering eight tackles and one sack -- for minus-3 yards -- and added two quarterback pressures. Henderson notched seven tackles and 1½ sacks -- for minus-10 yards -- and added a pass deflection and three quarterback pressures.
WHERE WE’RE AT: BuckeyeNation will start Friday Night off with Walsh and St. Vincent-St. Mary. Booker leads a squad that includes Aaron Bushner (Ohio State interest), Franshon Bickley, Jordan Hargrove, Parris Campbell and Tyler Moran. Walsh counters with Doug Lewis, Crissean Caver and Antoine Stone. Saturday, we’ll be at De La Salle versus St. Ignatius. Look for updates in the Horseshoe Pit from both games.