State passing leaders
Tiger's team in playoffs

Tiger LaVerde has another great team at Kirtland, Ohio, and picked up his 200th coaching victory Oct. 17.

The Hornets are 7-0 after a 56-28  victory Oct. 24 in the Class V playoffs.

LaVerde, a 1991 OCHS grad and a former Franklin coach, was scheduled to play his alma mater this season before Covid struck.

They are looking for their sixth Ohio state title this season.

Mario Fontanazza graced the cover of this year's football tab published Sept. 11 by The Derrick/The News-Herald.  Fontanazza anchors an offensive line -- the Oilers' bread and butter -- that this year includes Jayson Weilacher at the other guard, Seth Yeager at center, Lucas DeGroat and soph Cam Crocker at tackle and A.J. Angros at tight end.

Front Page news

Ashlee Douglass was the subject of a front page feature by Judy Etzel that appeared in the Oct. 2, 2020, edition of The Derrick and The News-Herald. Douglass, listed as a senior tackle for Oil City, has played football since her Little Driller days. She performs on the scout and special teams for the Oilers. The story can be found under the Stuff That Was in the Paper link.

2020 Oil City schedule
2020 Franklin schedule
Region 8 Standings

Friday, Sept. 11

Oil City 68, Franklin 6

Meadville 45, Titusville 6 (non-region)

Conneaut open

Warren open

Friday, Sept. 18

Oil City 38, Meadville 14

Saturday, Sept. 19

Franklin 21, Titusville 0

Monday, Sept. 21

Conneaut 28, Warren 0

Friday, Sept. 25

Meadville 62, Titusville 7

Saturday, Sept. 26

Oil City 28, Conneaut 13

Warren 35, Franklin 12

Friday, Oct. 2

Oil City 61, Warren 0

Meadville 62, Franklin 0

Conneaut 42, Titusville 6

Friday, Oct. 9

Oil City 72, Titusville 0

Saturday, Oct. 10

Conneaut 60, Franklin 21

Meadville 45, Warren 6

Friday, Oct. 16

Oil City 75, Franklin 0(non-region)

Warren 45, Titusville 13

Meadville 27, Conneaut 22

Friday, Oct. 23

D-10 semifinal

Oil City 56, Conneaut 0


Titusville at Maplewood, canceled

Saturday, Oct. 24


North East 49, Franklin 12

Warren 52, Corry 21

Monday, Oct. 26

D-10 semifinal

Meadville at Harbor Creek, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 30


Lakeview at Franklin, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 31


Moniteau at Warren, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 7


Franklin at Warren, 1:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 13


Franklin at Fairview, 7 p.m.

Oilers roll Conneaut, 56-0

An interesting sequence in the Oil City-Conneaut game Oct. 23 at the Oil Field:

* Dakota Cole booted the ball into the end zone on a kickoff

* One play later, Cole intercepted a pass -- the 11th pick of his career to break the Oil City career record. Cole had shared the record with Scott Kaminske, a 1997 graduate.

* On the next play, quarterback Holden Stahl found Cole streaking toward the end zone. He didn't miss and Cole had a 40-yard touchdown pass.

* Then Cole booted the ball into the end zone again for another touchback.

Aside from that, it was just another day at the office for the Oilers, who routed the Eagles, 56-0, in a District 10 4A semifinal to run their record to 7-0 with their fourth straight shutout.

Cam Russell scored four touchdowns on runs of 62, 22, 9 and 1 yards and finished with a yet verified 196 yards on 13 carries, moving into the Oil City single-season all-time top 10. He really tight-roped the sideline on the second one.

It was the second four-touchdown game of the season/ his career for Russell, who sits between Kevin Daly and Kevin Kresinski on the single-season list. He's still No. 5 on the career list with an apparent 2,343 yards. Only Christian Cole, Noah Petro, Daly and Kresinski are ahead of him.

Stahl threw some beautiful passes -- the one to Cole for the touchdown, another to Cole that demanded pinpoint accuracy threading the needle along the sideline, a third to Cole who fought off a defender or two to bring the ball in at the one -- and put an exclamation point on his performance with a 64-yard fumble return to complete the scoring.

Little-used senior fullback Zac Kiefer found the end zone for Oil City's third touchdown on a 1-yard run to climax a 10-play drive, and Sean Stack opened the second half with a 33-yard touchdown, and finnished with (an unofficial) 101 yards on nine carries.

The defense, meanwhile, was its usual stifling self as it posted its fourth straight shutout. The last time the Oilers won three straight shutouts was 1934; they opened the 1931 season with five straight whitewashes.

If they are to match that, it will be against either unbeaten Harbor Creek or Meadville in the 4A title game Oct. 31 at the Oil Field. They will square of Monday after Covid cases at Meadville forced the game to be postponed from Oct. 23.

The last time Oil City posted four shutouts in a season (not consecutive) was 1981. Its only other four-shutout season in the last 50 years came in 1971.

Although nailed in the backfield several times, the Eagles (3-3) wound up in the black with 68 yards rushing. To be fair, CASH was playing without starting quarterback Nathan Bortnick, who riddled the Oilers with his running and passing during a Week 3 game, but was injured last week against Meadville. Senior backup Luke Petergol threw for 79, but completed only nine of 23.

The Oilers also held Max Lewandowski, one of the top rushers in the region, to 24 yards on 12 carries. This after he got 33 the first time.

Oil City ran for 302 yards while Stahl completed five of seven for 121. Cole finished with four receptions for 104 yards, his second 100-yard game of the season.

Still more later.

First Quarter

OC -- Cam Russell, 62, run (Russell run), 10:03

OC -- Russell, 22, run (Brayden Crocker recovered fumble in end zone), 5:38

Second Quarter

OC -- Zac Kiefer, 1, run (Dakota Cole pass from Holden Stahl), 8:37

OC -- Cole, 40, pass from Stahl (pass failed), 7:41

OC -- Russell, 9, run (Cole kick), 1:11

Third quarter

OC -- Sean Stack, 33, run (kick failed), 5:54

OC -- Russell, 1, run (kick failed), 2:23

Fourth Quarter

OC -- Stahl, 65, fumble return (Cole kick), 8:47

OIL SLICKS -- Scott Kaminske congratulated Cole during an in-game tweet, "Good for that young man! Go win D10! And bring home the 1st state championship!"...The last Oiler to return a fumble for a touchdown was Jackson McFall (45 yards) against Meadville in 2015...Stahl has 38 touchdowns responsible for, tying Eric McDay for fourth place on the all-time list...Cole reached the end zone three times on kickoffs...The record for most shutouts in a season is eight, set by the 1924 and 1921 teams. The unbeaten 1924 squad opened the season with six straight shutouts...

About the Covid infections at Meadville: One was a high school teacher and the other was a student at one of the grade schools, according to the Erie Times News...

North East rips Knights, 49-12

Seth Fuller scored four touchdowns, leading North East to a 49-12 verdict over Franklin Oct. 24 in a non-region game.

Fuller caught two scoring passes from Jackson Humes covering 9 and 10 yards for his first TDs, and then added a 28-yard pick 6 and a 90-yard kickoff return for the last two.

The Grapepickers also got a 20-yard pick six from Anthony Rizzo as they won their first game of the season after six losses.

Aaron Burkhardt scored on a 1-yard run to cut a North East Lead to 8-6 in the second quarter. The Pickers led 16-6 at halftime, and really stretched the lead with a 21-point fourth quarter..

Cade Adams scored on a 20-yard run for the Knights (1-6) in the fourth quarter. It was his first touchdown of the season.

Adams had two catches for 15 yards, according to GoErie stats, and apparently inches ahead of Tyler Bittner for third place on Franklin's all-time receiving list.

The Pickers outgained Franklin, 314-171, rushing for 221 yards on 41 carries. Keyen Skrekla ran for 109 yards on 20 carries.


The Knights ran for 80 and passed for 91. Adams was the leading ball-carrier with 45 yards on three carries. Burkhardt completed five-of-11 for 53 yards (but with three INTs). Freshman Cole Buckley had two catches for 44 yards.

The game started Friday night, but was called with 7:45 left in the second quarter due to lightning. It resumed the following afternoon.

More later.

First Quarter

NE -- Tyler Wittman, 1, run (Wittman run

Second quarter

F -- Aaron Burkhardt, 1, run (pass failed)

NE -- Seth Fuller, 9, pass from Jackson Humes (Wittman pass from Humes)

Third Quarter

NE -- Fuller, 10, pass from Humes (run failed)

Fourth Quarter

NE -- Anthony Rizzo, 20, interception return (pass failed)

NE -- Seth Fuller, 28, interception return (Ian Seymour kick)

F -- Cade Adams, 20, run (run failed)

NE -- Fuller, 90, kickoff return (Seymour kick)

KNIGHT LIFE -- Fuller was coming off a four-touchdown game against Corry in which he returned two kickoffs covering 99 and 90 yards for scores...Franklin will play Lakeview Friday in its final home game of the season. The Sailors are coming off a 47-7 win over Mercer in which Gavin Murdock rushed for 213 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 230 yards and two more scores...Franklin has played Lakeview four times -- in consecutive seasons from 2012-15. The Knights won the 2012 game, but has since lost three straight to the Sailors...

venangoFooTBALL.COM covers the Grid Doings of Oil City and Franklin High Schools in Venango County, Pa. It also includes the football histories of the two schools along with that of venango catholic (nee Christian), which dropped the sport in the 1990s.
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