Timber Creek loses to West Orange, 42-21 in Regional Quarterfinal

By: Nick Bray (@nabray92)
November 17, 2014
 

The Class 8A Regional Quarterfinal playoff game kicked off last Friday night to a raucous crowd at West Orange High School (Fla.). The undefeated Warriors (10-0) entered the game as the home favorite against the Timber Creek Wolves (Fla.).

 

Timber Creek (7-4) took an early lead over West Orange in the first quarter with an impressive start by running back Jacques Patrick

 

In the first quarter alone, Patrick ran for two touchdowns and completed a 34-yard pass to Chris Womick for a TD and an early 21-7 Timber Creek lead.

 

However the Wolves’ offense would sputter for the remainder of the game as West Orange got on a roll.

 

The Warriors seemed unstoppable, as they went on a 35-0 run in the final three quarters. Quarterback Ervin “Woody” Barrett showcased his running and throwing ability as he moved the West Orange offense down the field with ease. 

 

Timber Creek struggled in the final three quarters, both running the ball as well as defending against the run. They allowed 340 rushing yards and nearly 11 yards per play on the night.

 

Barrett and the West Orange Warriors defeated the Timber Creek Wolves 42-21 and will now face Apopka High School (Fla.) in the Regional Semifinals on November 21 at 7:30 pm. This game will be played at West Orange High School.

 

Timber Creek’s season ends on a sour note with an early playoff exit and 7-4 record overall. Patrick finishes his senior season rushing for over 2,000 yards and 34 touchdowns. He also managed to throw for four touchdowns during his senior year, and has committed to play football at Florida State next fall.

 

2nd round playoff games offer much interest

 
Cameron Mellor (@CamMellor)
November 12, 2014

 

There is much to be said for the OHSAA Football Playoffs. Exciting, entertaining, heaps of fun, interesting, water-cooler worthy.

 

While the intrigue is bountiful, one thing that cannot be said about the OHSAA Football Playoffs, is that they are boring.

 

The second round of the OHSAA Playoffs offer many intriguing matchups across all seven divisions, from all over the state.

 

Division I:

 

Lakota East vs Lakota West, Saturday, 7:00

 

In the most improbable of possible round two matchups, Lakota East will take on Lakota West. A rematch of a game from earlier in the 2014 season. A rematch, in which the game earlier in the season now lacks some relativity. Not because it wasn’t a good game, or not because this game won’t be exciting, but rather because of how Lakota West advanced to the second round.

 

Facing arguably the toughest challenge in the 2014 OHSAA Playoffs, a 5-5 Lakota West team drew No. 1 seed, 10-0 Centerville in the opening round. That tough draw in their first game would not stop them, or phase them in the slightest as they traveled to Centerville and took care of business, 21-15 over the Region 2 top seed.

 

The victory over Centerville marked the first ever playoff win for the Firebirds while it also handed Centerville their first loss of the season.

 

Lakota East on the other hand, played a stingy defensive game against Springboro, shutting out the Panthers, 7-0 to advance to the 2nd round.

 

Both Lakota programs winning sets up for a huge matchup at Mason High School this Saturday, November 15 at 7:00 pm.

 

The Lakota East-Lakota West game will mark the second time in three weeks that these programs have squared off. West defeated East in the final week of the regular season, 24-7. Will the ‘Cinderella Story’ continue or will Lakota East seek revenge from their last time meeting?

 

The winner will face off against the winner of the Dublin Coffman-Huber Heights Wayne game that will be live on our site.

 

 

St. Xavier vs Colerain, Saturday, 7:00

 

In a rematch of their week 2 matchup – St. Xavier and Colerain will take the field at Hamilton High School this Saturday night at 7:00. St. Xavier won their earlier matchup 31-12 before Colerain would win their final seven regular season games to finish the year as arguably one of the hotter teams in Division I.

 

St. Xavier led the entire way through the game against Colerain as both Bomber quarterback Sean Clifford and running back Sean Prophit found success against the Cardinals.

 

Clifford completed 11-of-19 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown while Prophit ran the ball 21 times for 144 yards and another touchdown.

 

Colerain carried their success into the first round of the playoffs by upsetting host Hilliard Darby, 28-7. The Cardinals dominated from the opening whistle, outgaining the Panthers 345-168 in the game. Quarterback Deshaunte Jones ran the ball for three scores while completing his only three pass attempts for 50 yards.

 

They limited Darby star Nick Powers to just 79 yards passing and an interception. They held the dual-threat quarterback to just 45 yards on the ground – his lowest output since week two against Hilliard Davidson (37).

 

Colerain and St. Xavier meet at Hamilton on Saturday, November 15 at 7:00 with the winner getting to play the victor of the Pickerington Central vs Moeller game.

 

 

Division II

 

Dublin Scioto vs Worthington Kilbourne, Friday, 7:30

 

If their first game of the season was anything – it was exciting. A 17-14 Scioto victory that had it’s fair share of excitement and promise for the 2014 season for both teams.

 

Kilbourne is still finding ways to win without their starting quarterback Griffin Dahn. They hold victories over Big Walnut, Franklin Heights, New Albany, Olentangy Orange and Watkins Memorial after dropping their first game without their senior QB.

 

Their victory against Watkins came last week, in their opening round playoff game, in what might be considered as an upset. Watkins was the higher seed sitting at No. 3, but didn’t play like one. Kilbourne controlled the game from the beginning and built an 18-0 lead by halftime.

 

Isaiah Young, who has carried the lead for the team since Dahn's injury, touted the ball 20 times for 117 yards and a touchdown en route to the 32-9 victory.

 

Scioto has had a different story in 2014. The Irish have had a mixed bag of success and puzzling losses. They defeated Marysville, Westerville North and Westerville South but managed to drop a game to their cross-town rival Dublin Jerome and came out flat in the second half against Hilliard Darby.

 

When it all mattered however, Scioto came to play against Teays Valley in their opening round game of the playoffs. Quarterback Nathan Densel lit up the scoreboard with his arm, tossing four touchdowns and more than 300 yards. He hit Evan Wallace on two scores, Justin Schafer on another and Jake Keeley on a 39-yarder in the second.

 

Densel also ran for 98 yards while Francis Cutchember carried the ball across the goal line for Scioto in the 38-14 victory over the Vikings.

 

The two neighboring schools will travel a short distance to Upper Arlington in a game that could be considered to have home field advantage for both programs. They play Friday night at 7:30 with the forecast calling for a game-time temperate no higher than 35 degrees.

 

 

Mount Healthy vs Kings, Friday, 7:30

 

Two 11-0 teams will meet with everything on the line this Friday night from Lakota West High School when Mount Healthy takes on Kings Mills Kings High School.

 

Kings comes into the game, winners of their last 11 games, and have seemingly been in control of nearly every game this season from the start. Their closest final score of the season came just three weeks ago against Glen Este, where they had to score the 21 of the final 28 points to defeat the Trojans 24-20.

 

The Knights are averaging nearly 37 points per game and have scored 30 or more points in all but two games this season. Kings defeated Northwest, 42-7 in the first round.

 

Mount Healthy heads into the game also winners of 11 straight, and also with a high-scoring offensive attack. The Owls actually average more points per game (38) and have scored 30 or more points in all but one game this season.

 

In their opening round game, the Owls shut out Tecumseh39-0 to advance.

 

One team will face their first blemish of the season when it’s settled on Friday night, while the other will face off against the winner of the La Salle-Harrison game.

 

Kings and Mount Healthy square off Friday night at 7:30 at Lakota West High School.

 

 

Division III

 

Tri-Valley vs Athens, Friday, 7:30

 

Two prolific sides of the ball meet this Friday night at 7:30 when Tri-Valley takes on Athens.

 

The Scotties of Tri-Valley head into their 12th game of the season having allowed only 41 total points this season. Their defense has been nothing short of incredible as they have shut out six opponents this season and held all but one opponent under seven points this year.

 

Grant Nolder leads the team in tackles with 41 while his 16.5 tackles for loss are second on the team behind John Alford, who has 19 tackles for loss.

 

As a whole, their defense has recorded 26 quarterback sacks, forced 13 interceptions and help opponents to just 1212 total yards of offense through 11 games.

 

On the other side of the ball, the Scotties will be facing off against arguably their toughest opponent to date in 11-0 Athens High School.

 

The Bulldogs have scored no less than 48 points in all 11 games this season and are averaging 62 points per game this season.

 

Senior quarterback Joe Burrow has thrown for 2887 yards and 42 passing touchdowns this season, completing 136-of-180 pass attempts. He has also run for 270 yards and 2 touchdowns.

 

Senior running back Trae Williams has carried the ball for the Bulldogs offense very efficiently, accruing 1596 yards and 33 touchdowns despite just 122 carries. He averages over 13 yards per touch while averaging a touchdown on every four carries. Deshawn Horton has added to the rushing attack with 506 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.

 

Something will have to give in this game when arguably one of the state’s better defenses pits themselves against arguably one of the state’s best offenses. Check it out live on the NFHS Network, Friday night at 7:30.

 

 

Division IV

 

Bay vs Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, Friday, 7:30

 

Two 7-4 teams will square off Friday night at 7:30 when No. 7 Bay takes on No. 6 Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin. Both underdogs in their first round matchups will now face off for the right to take on either Benedictine or Cardinal Mooney.

 

Bay has turned in an impressive season, despite their record. Three of their four losses came against teams from Division II (North Olmstead, Midview & Avon) while their other blemish came on some last second heroics. In an early season game against Elyria Catholic, the Panthers scored a successful 2-point conversion with under a minute to play to stun the Rockets, 43-42.

 

The Rockets defeated Crestwood, 18-7 to advance to the second round.

 

Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin saw similar fates as their counterpart during their regular season. They also lost three of their four games to higher classified opponents (Hubbard, Lake Catholic & Walsh Jesuit).

 

The Lions took care of Mogadore Field in their first round playoff game, 45-27 to advance.

 

One team will falter to a 7-5 record, while the other will be the highest seeded team left in the entire Division IV bracket.

 

The Lions and Rockets take the field this Friday night at 7:30 from Twinsburg High School. 

 

 

Division V

 

Badin vs West Jefferson, Saturday, 7:00

 

In a battle of two lower ranked teams, both Badin (No. 7) and West Jefferson (No. 6) were not expected to advance to the second round of the Division V playoffs. Badin knocked off a 9-1 Shroder team, 23-13, while West Jefferson defeated a 7-3 Madeira squad, 36-14, ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

 

Badin has been paced by quarterback Zach Larkin and running back Cody Boxrucker during the 2014 campaign. Larkin has thrown the ball well, completing over 58 percent of his passes for 1646 yards and 21 touchdowns. Boxrucker has carried the ball for 1033 yards and 13 scores on the ground.

 

Larkin has hit his two favorite targets, Phillip Dozier and Dominic Valentino, for a combined 56 receptions, 860 yards and 11 touchdowns. Dozier leads the team in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and all-purpose yards as he has accrued 1278 yards either through the air, on the ground or in the return game.

 

On the defensive side, it’s more of the same. Boxrucker leads the team in tackles with 69.5. Valentino leads the team with his 10.5 tackles for loss while Dozier himself has chipped in with 18.5 total tackles, 11 passes defended and four interceptions (tied for the team lead).

 

West Jefferson has also seen success in the ground game, but rather with two separate attacks. Quarterback Mitch Denes has carried the ball 140 times for 544 yards and five scores while running back DJ Braithwaite has been the workhorse. Braithwaite has carried the ball 177 times for 985 yards and 17 touchdowns.

 

The Rough Riders defense is led by Trevor Ferguson who’s 79.5 tackles leads the team.

 

West Jefferson and Badin meet this Saturday at 7:30 from Kettering Fairmont High School and on the NFHS Network, while the winner will face off against either Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy or Greeneview.

 

 

Division VI

 

Garaway vs Kirtland, Friday, 7:30

 

It’s not often that a defending state champion is an underdog. It’s especially rare when an undefeated defending state champion is given a No. 3 seed in their respective playoff bracket.

 

That’s exactly what happened when defending Division VI State Champion Kirtland was ranked in the No. 3 seed in Region 19. Kirtland, winners of 26 straight and 76 of their last 78 games, was ranked third in Region 19 behind undefeated Loudonville (No. 1) and Garaway (No. 2).

 

Not putting anything past Garaway or Loudonville, but it’s hard to pick against a team whose last regular season loss came back in 2009 and who has won 2-of-the-3 state championships.

 

The Hornets have seen much success this season on the ground. Running backs Jacob Boyd (1401, 20) and Adam Hess (997, 21) have combined for 2398 rushing yards and 41 touchdowns. Quarterback Sam Skiljan has carried the ball 62 times for 717 yards and another 10 touchdowns. Skiljan is averaging 11.6 yards every time he carries the ball.

 

Additionally, he has completed 55-of-91 pass attempts for 1019 yards and another 12 touchdowns. Boyd leads the team with 1887 all-purpose yards and 24 total touchdowns this season.

 

Garaway, on the other hand, has had the majority of their success through the air. Quarterback RJ Jacobs is 200-299 through the air for 3368 yards and 42 touchdowns against just five interceptions. His favorite target has been Connor Troyer who has brought down 53 receptions for 1127 yards and 14 touchdowns.

 

Ethan Slentz (47-657), Quinn Miller (33-535) and Josh Werker (30-515) each have over 30 receptions and over 500 yards this season, while Werker is second on the team with 11 touchdowns. Slentz leads the team with 339 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.

 

The Pirates tough rush defense will be tested against the Hornets run game. Garaway has held opponents to an average of just 11.5 points per game while Kirtland averages just under 49 points per contest (48.7).

 

One this is for sure, despite who wins. Their road will get no easier as the winner of this game will have to face off against the winner of Loudonville-Mogadore, both of whom are also 11-0 this season. Next week’s matchup will see two 12-0 teams battle it out for Region 19’s spot in the Division VI final four teams.

 

Kirtland and Garaway square off, live on the NFHS Network this Friday night at 7:30 from Green High School.

 

 

Division VII

 

Trimble vs Caldwell, Saturday, 7:00

 

In a battle of two of the last remaining four undefeated teams in Division VII, Trimble will face off against Caldwell at New Lexington High School.

 

Trimble comes in as the defending state runner-up and with a head full of steam, holding their last eight opponents to a combined 45 points. They defeated Symmes Valley, 55-8, to advance to the second round against Caldwell.

 

Caldwell, on the other hand, is seeking revenge after a second round exit from the playoffs a season ago at the hands of No. 1 seed Shadyside.

 

The Redskins are winners of 11 straight and defeated Harvest Prep48-25, to advance to round two.

 

Since their 30-8 loss to Shadyside a season ago in the playoffs, Caldwell has been impressive. With running back Bricker Lori and quarterback Tanner Clark running the show, literally, have seemed unstoppable in 2014.

 

Lori has accumulated 1414 yards on the ground and 23 touchdowns. Clark has gained 1297 yards and 16 touchdowns with his feet this season. He has also throw for 13 additional touchdowns, six of which have gone to Tanner Baker.

 

Their defense has been led by Sheldon Archer. His 102.5 tackles nearly doubles the next closest on the team, while his nine tackles for loss are also tops on the team. David Ivey has recorded seven sacks while Jason Allen leads the team with four interceptions.

 

Caldwell and Trimble face off this Saturday at 7:00 from New Lexington High School, with the winner getting to play either Shadyside or Paint Valley. If Shadyside were to win, regardless of the Caldwell-Trimble result, that game would be a rematch of a 2013 playoff meeting. Shadyside defeated Caldwell, but was then thrust out of the playoffs at the hands of Trimble.

 

The game will be live on the NFHS Network this Saturday at 7:00.

Timber Creek routs Freedom on Senior Night, 42-13

By: Nick Bray (@nabray92)
November 10, 2014
 

On Senior Night, Timber Creek (Fla.) secured their place in the FHSAA playoffs with a home victory over Freedom (Orlando) High School (Fla.), 42-13. The Wolves (7-3, 3-1) controlled the game with touchdown runs from Jacques Patrick and MJ Jarrell, both accumulating 301 total yards and five touchdowns against Freedom (4-6, 2-2).

 

The Wolves started fast with a three-yard touchdown run from Patrick on their very first possession. Patrick wasn’t the only senior who made an impact on Senior Night.

 

Merely one minute later, senior Josh Perry intercepted Freedom quarterback Justin Schindler, returning it 61 yards for a touchdown, putting the Wolves up 14-0.

 

Just one play after a Freedom field goal, Patrick raced down the sidelines untouched for an 80-yard touchdown. Playing in his final regular season game, Patrick finished with a bang, totaling 150 rushing yards on just 12 carries and three touchdowns.

 

Timber Creek continued to roll as Jarrell would take a reverse handoff 79-yard for a touchdown and Patrick would score his third and final TD of the game before halftime, giving the Wolves a commanding 35-6 lead at the break.

 

Jarrell would add a receiving touchdown early in the third quarter as Timber Creek kept the Patriots at bay, dominating every facet of the game. The Wolves clinched their spot in the FHSAA 8A playoffs with the victory.

 

Timber Creek will travel to West Orange High School (Fla.) to face the undefeated Warriors on November 14 at 7:30.

 

Freedom’s regular season ends with a 4-6 record for the Patriots.

 

Top teams, hated rivals take the field Friday in Virginia

 
Cameron Mellor (@CamMellor)
November 6, 2014
 

The last week of the regular season is upon us in Virginia.

 

Week 11 of the regular season brings with it obvious playoff ramifications for teams everywhere. For some, its win to get in, or it’s lose and you’re out.

 

For others, the last week of the season is finally the time to face off against your biggest rivals. The game that some kids wait all season for. Some, maybe even for an entire year.

 

This week – three games caught our eyes that will have their respective cities abuzz.

 

LC Bird at Manchester – Chesterfield, Virginia

 

A marquee matchup in its own rite gets a personal touch when LC Bird comes to Manchester, Friday night at 7:00 pm. Current Manchester quarterback Daniel Rose played his first two seasons for LC Bird from 2010-12.

 

Rose is now the senior leader of a Manchester offense that averages over 42 points per game.

 

The 6-foot-2, 175-pound quarterback has thrown for 1316 yards and 14 touchdowns compared to just three interceptions this season. He has also run the ball 81 times for 477 yards and another four touchdowns. He and the Lancers offense enter the game on the heels of an impressive 41-13 performance over James River a week ago.

 

Rose completed 10-of-12 passes for 219 yards and three scores. He ran the ball for 54 yards while Eric Gordon totaled 68 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Trevor Benn brought down six of Rose’s completions for 156 yards and two touchdowns.

 

 

 

Rose will host his former team in the final game of the regular season and for his Senior Night in Chesterfield – the place he now calls home.

 

“I love my team,” Rose told Digital Scout earlier this season. “I love my school and the whole Manchester community.”

 

Daniel Rose celebrates a touchdown early in the season.

 

Briar Woods at Tuscarora – Leesburg, Virginia

 

In a 5A matchup in Northern Virginia, the 9-0 Tuscarora Huskies, possibly the state’s best team, will face their stiffest test since a game against Broad Run in early October, this Friday against Briar Woods.

 

The Huskies are led by senior running back and Harvard commit, Noah Reimers who has totaled 1766 rushing yards this season. His yardage and 24 rush touchdowns are tops across the District, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) region.

 

With Reimers setting the pace for the Huskies offense, only one of their nine victories this season has been within one possession. The aforementioned game against Broad Run demonstrated the perseverance of this Huskies team as Tuscarora outscored the Spartans 28-14 in the second half, including 16-0 in the fourth quarter in a comeback 35-28 victory.

 

Briar Woods will enter the game with a chip on their shoulder following a surprising 8-7 loss to Potomac Falls last Friday night. Previous to that, the Falcons had shut out two of their last three opponents and were outscoring teams by a combined 143-21 in their previous three games.

 

Briar Woods will make the short trek from Ashburn to Leesburg on Friday night for a pivotal matchup for playoff seeding while Tuscarora will look to remain perfect and enter the 5A playoffs guaranteeing home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win. The two take the field Friday night at 7:00 pm.

 

Loudoun Valley at Woodgrove – Purcellville, Virginia

 

In a pivotal Dulles District matchup, arch-rivals Loudoun Valley will face host Woodgrove with important playoff seedings on the line.

 

Woodgrove enters the game with a 6-3 record and looking to host a 4A playoff game for the second consecutive season. Valley will face off against the Wolverines, holding a 7-2 record and have all but guaranteed at least one home playoff game in the 3A playoffs.

 

The Wolverines have been paced by senior wide receiver Dylan Mellor whose 16 receiving touchdowns are tied for tops across the DMV. He has six multi-TD games so far this season and is looking to eclipse the 2,000 receiving yard mark. He has 120 career receptions, 1,986 career yards and 29 receiving touchdowns – all school records.

 

First-year starting quarterback Billy Sheehan has thrown the ball well this season, completing 96-of-172 passes for 1472 yards and 20 touchdowns. His yardage and touchdowns are also single-season school records.

 

Junior running back Charlie Clewis has quietly enjoyed a great season, running the ball 228 times for 1176 yards and 11 touchdowns as the Wolverines have balanced their offensive attack out in recent weeks.

 

Valley comes in to the game, following a disappointing home finale against Loudoun County, dropping the game to the Raiders 28-24.

 

Separated by a mere 3.7 miles, just across Route 7, the Vikings and Wolverines will take part in the ‘Battle for the Ville’ on Friday night. Last season, Woodgrove spoiled Valley’s Senior Night by defeating the Vikings 35-0 behind two Mellor touchdowns.

 

Mellor lines up against a Valley defender in their meeting a season ago.

 

Valley will look to turn the tables and reverse their recent fortune against their in-town rivals and upset the Woodgrove Senior Night this Friday at 7:00 pm.

 

Oviedo clinches district title, playoff berth with win against Timber Creek

By: Nick Bray (@nabray92)
November 4, 2014

 

Oviedo High School (Fla.) mounted an impressive comeback performance against Timber Creek High School (Fla.) this past Friday night led by quarterback Nick Carbone’s four touchdowns. The Lions outscored the Wolves 28-7 in the second half en route to topping Timber Creek by a final score of 28-21.

 

Timber Creek led 14-0 at halftime behind recent-FSU commit – Jacques Patrick’s rushing and passing touchdown as Timber Creek seemed to be well on its way to clinching their district title with a win Friday night at Oviedo High School.

 

Oviedo head coach Wes Allen began the second half calling for his quarterback to run the ball more with the infamous read-option play. The change on offense was effective as Carbone ripped off runs of 15 and 63 yards, that latter gave the Lions their first touchdown of the night, at the 10:41 mark of the 3rd quarter.

 

Patrick responded however, on the next possession with an 80-yard touchdown run up the Timber Creek sideline increasing the Wolves’ lead 21-7. Patrick would finish the game with 236 total yards and three touchdowns, eclipsing the 2,000 yard rushing mark for the third consecutive season.

 

Despite the effort, Oviedo would end the game on a 21-0 run and earn the 8A-3 District Championship and their first trip to the playoffs since 2007.   

 

 

 

Lions running back Jurell Green and Carbone seemed unstoppable in the second half, piling up 185 yards rushing between the two. The home crowd erupted when Carbone completed a 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Chase Kingsley with 3:13 left in the final quarter, giving the Lions their first lead of the night.

 

Carbone finished the game completing 10-of-12 passes for 151 passing yards in addition to gaining 81 yards on the ground. Kingsley found himself on the receiving end of six Carbone throws, recording 75 yards and the go-ahead touchdown.

 

The Lions improve to 7-2 with their next game at Lake Mary High School (Fla.) on Friday, November 7th. 

 

The Wolves drop to 6-3 but still have a shot at the playoffs if they win their last game. Timber Creek hosts Freedom High School (Fla.) on Friday, November 7th at 7:00 pm for their Senior Night.

 

 

Cheers to one of our Digital Scout Family - Dylan Mellor

 
Cameron Mellor (@CamMellor)
November 3, 2014

 

Longwood, Fla. – Sunday, April 20, 2003 – It was your normal, typical, everyday Florida-Family-Easter-Sunday-football-game in the front yard. Dodging around pine cones and sandspurs on the ground while tumbling through the grass you had spent four hours the day previous raking, mowing, edging.

 

The Mellors, famous for ‘one-more-throw-dad!’ moments, enjoyed a lazy Sunday of good food and competitive football in the front yard with friends and family alike.

 

Enter 6-year old Dylan Mellor. The youngest of three brothers, then the second-youngest of eight grandchildren and an avid proponent of the ‘one-more-throw-dad!’ mantra. After many passes, runs, tackles and what felt like hours of ‘one-more-throw-dad!’ in the front yard, it was Dylan’s moment for one last heave from Dad before calling it a night.

 

Dylan lines up. Dad snaps the ball from our fake center. Dad drops back to pass as Dylan runs a post-corner route towards the trees in the front yard. Dad unleashes a high, lofting, spiral of a pass towards the out-of-bounds-tree-line, something that was a Mellor boy favorite. “Get there!” we all yell as Dylan sprints towards the ball, cognizant of where he’s going to plant his feet before the out-of-bounds-line and the ball in the air.

 

The pass lands perfectly into Dylan’s hands just as he taps his feet down ‘in-bounds’ and just as he looks up to find a face full of pine tree.

 

Two front teeth smashed into the roof of his mouth later, a bloodied Dylan looks up, ball in hands, and says “I still caught the ball.”

 

In that moment, I KNEW, my little brother was something special.

 

 

Altamonte Springs, Fla. – September 5, 2007 – 10-year old Dylan Mellor begins his second year of tackle football for the Lake Brantley Patriots junior pee-wee team. As a quarterback, Dylan was just your normal 10-year old boy among much-smaller-boys on the field, regularly blowing by defenders, making plays that others could only dream of.

 

Leading the Patriots offensive attack, he consistently could be found looking for the next defender to make miss, sometimes faking out defenders two-at-a-time en route to a plethora of multi-touchdown games and recognition from coaches all over.

 

One particular day, Dylan – preparing for a game against cross-town rival Apopka – strapped up his Michael Vick III Shark Cleats, and donned his infamous eye-black, something opposing teams didn’t like to see. This time, however, he placed his eye-black on vertically as opposed to horizontally, because he had ‘seen an FSU player do it, and it looked cool’.

 

Mellor's vertical eye-black became a staple in Central Florida.

 

It was that moment, that confirmed my belief, that my little brother WAS SPECIAL.

 

Purcellville, Va. – November 8, 2014 – Senior Night approaches in Loudoun County, Virginia as the Woodgrove Wolverines play host to their arch-rival Loudoun Valley Vikings at 7:00 pm.

 

Enter that little brother of mine – Dylan Mellor, now a 17-year old senior at Woodgrove High School.

 

That little brother of mine who now is the Woodgrove record holder for each of the school’s receiving categories, single season and career. Who is looking to eclipse 2,000 receiving yards this Friday night.

 

That little brother of mine who routinely makes the impossible look possible on the football field and in the classroom. Who scored a 2250 on his SATs.

 

That little brother of mine who habitually makes those did-you-see-that-highlight-reel receptions. Who makes grown men jump out of their seats.

 

 

 

That little brother of mine who caught the ball with a face full of pine tree. Who once remarked ‘cut-ers-hair-boy’ when watching a football game on TV.

 

That, not-so-little-brother anymore of mine. All 6-foot-1, 190-pounds of him.

 

How proud I am of all that he has accomplished and how proud I am of what he has made of himself and made of his team. How proud I am of how special he truly has been to me, our family and so many others.

 

A leader on a 6-3 Wolverines team looking to host an opening round game of the VHSL Playoffs next week for the second consecutive season, Dylan has recorded 54 receptions for 920 yards and 16 touchdowns during the 2014 campaign. He has recorded another 325 yards on kick and punt returns and two more touchdowns while additionally, has caught two 2-point conversion attempts leading the team with 112 points this season.

 

He has 120 career receptions, 1,986 career receiving yards and 29 receiving touchdowns in three years on the varsity level at Woodgrove.

 

Friday night’s regular season culmination comes for a Wolverines team that seemingly started the 2014 season still adjusting to life-without-Josh-Sweet. A team who has leaned heavily upon Dylan this season, with great success. With quarterback and best friend Billy Sheehan throwing the ball, the Sheehan-Mellor combination has quickly developed into one of Northern Virginia’s finest and most recognized.

 

Now, both senior QB and WR – with a host of other senior teammates – will play their final regular season home game this Friday night.

 

While special in its own rite, it’s safe to say that this Woodgrove Senior Night will be one to remember for many reasons, but many of those reasons can be attributed to that special little brother of mine – Dylan Mellor.

 

 

Cheers to you, Dylan Mellor, my little brother, my favorite player. The best friend a guy could ask for.