Kyle Abel must have been saving it up.
Dover rallied from an 11-point second-quarter deficit and scored 40 unanswered points en route to a 53-24 win over Canfield last week to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Abel, a surprise starter, was 22 of 32 passing for 419 yards, four TDs and no interceptions. It was Abel’s first start at QB at any level after Merrick Mamarella started the first two games.
“He’s got a gun,” Dover coach Dan Ifft said of Abel. “He doesn’t have the savvy of a veteran quarterback, but that will come with time. He did a nice job out there.”
Shay Smith had nine catches for 201 yards and two scores and Cory Contini had eight receptions for 172 yards and two touchdowns.
EARLE’S BUSY NIGHT: Before former Ohio State coach Earle Bruce had it in for Michigan, his chief rival was East Liverpool.
Bruce, who got his first head coaching job at Salem High in 1956, was back watching the Quakers play Friday at East Liverpool’s Patterson Field in a longtime Columbiana County rivalry. Salem took a 14-0 halftime lead before East Liverpool rallied for a 20-14 victory.
Bruce left the game and went across the Ohio River to watch a horse he co-owns race at Mountaineer Racetrack in Chester, W.Va. My Friend Wes, a 15-to-1 longshot, finished fifth in the six-horse field.
WELCOME BACK, RIDERS: With a tradition like Orrville’s — 22 playoff trips — the Red Riders clearly don’t stay down for long. After going just 1-9 a year ago, the Riders are the only 3-0 team in Wayne County after topping Canal Fulton Northwest 28-22. Orrville has needed players in all grades to contribute with just 41 on the roster. It will try for all-time the school’s 600th victory when it hosts Lexington this Friday.
WHAT’D HE DO ON THE OTHER CARRY? Arlington’s Austin Rettig got the call seven times in the first quarter of the Red Devils game with Arcadia — and scored six TDs. He scored on runs of 11, 5, 44, 4 and 32 yards. Arlington also scored a safety in the first quarter, and Rettig returned the free kick 61 yards for yet another score as he accounted for 36 of the 50 points Arlington had in the opening period of a 70-7 romp. Rettig has scored 14 TDs in leading the assault for an Arlington team that has outscored its first three opponents 200-7.
SCORING MACHINES: Elyria senior RB Jordan Connell scored a personal-best five touchdowns in a 53-17 win over Grafton Midview last Friday, with four going for at least 21 yards including a 50-yarder in the second quarter; Division VI Kirtland has topped 60 points in each of its three wins so far, and is on pace to have the third-highest scoring average (61.7) in Ohio high school football history; and Bainbridge Paint Valley has averaged 40 points a game en route to a 3-0 start.
RUSH STREET: Nelsonville-York freshman Austin Mount ran for 333 yards on 26 carries and three TDs in a 44-21 victory over Berne Union, giving him 501 yards rushing through three games; Carlisle’s Nick Svarda ran 14 times for 301 yards and three TDs in a 49-21 win over Dayton Oakwood; Mike Martin ran for 295 yards and three TDs on 26 carries and QB Garrett Beech added 170 yards and three TDs on 19 carries in leading Hanoverton United past Newcomerstown, 40-20; Sam Dues carried 17 times for 209 yards and three TDs as Minster beat backyard neighbor New Bremen 41-20 in the Battle of Route 66; QB Julian Salinas ran for 230 yards on 11 carries and freshman Preston Ingol added 153 yards on 11 attempts to help Paulding snap a 22-game losing streak with a 48-30 victory over Antwerp; and Tobey Hernandez ran for 200 yards and four TDs in Hamler Patrick Henry’s 49-7 victory over Montpelier.
SHORT WORK: Liberty-Benton’s Austin Combs carried 26 times for 207 yards and a school-record six touchdowns in a 41-6 win over McComb, scoring on runs of 5, 9, 5, 29, 6 and 9 yards. A week later, Combs carried just four times, but scored on all four on runs of 97, 96, 4 and 2 yards and had 205 yards rushing in a 63-0 win over Vanlue.
THREES ARE WILD: Wauseon has already equaled last year’s win total of three; after winning three combined games in the past three years, Kansas Lakota is off to a 3-0 start; in McComb’s 50-0 win over Cleveland East Tech, the Panthers recorded three safeties; Fairfield is off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 1993; and Upper Sandusky’s Tylor Pritchard ran for three scores and passed for three more in a 48-19 win over Sycamore Mohawk.
NOTE THIS: Doylestown Chippewa had been 1-29 the last three years, but is off to a 2-1 start — the only loss a 43-42 setback in OT to Massillon Tuslaw when new coach Mike Bohley opted to go for it on a conversion but the Chipps were stopped; Coldwater outgained Versailles 353-81 in a 31-0 win as the teams met for the 59th time (Coldwater leads 29-28-2); and Chillicothe opened its new Obadiah Harris Family Athletic Complex, which includes artificial turf and $1.4 million in renovations, with a 21-0 win over previously unbeaten Ashville Teays Valley.
AIR RAIDERS: Colby Speice was 20 for 30 passing for 384 yards and six scores and Korbin Showalter had eight receptions for 248 yards and four TDs in Haviland Wayne Trace’s 54-41 win over Convoy Crestview; Grant Sherman was 24 of 43 passing for 444 yards and seven TDs and Justin Sawmiller caught 10 passes for 251 yards and four scores to lead Kenton to a 66-14 win over St. Marys Memorial; Pandora-Gilboa’s Seth Schmenk accounted for seven TDs in a 58-0 win over Cory-Rawson, completing 7 of 12 passes for 208 yards and four scores and running for 107 yards and three more; through three games, Mansfield Senior’s Jalen Reese is 60 for 90 for 873 yards with 10 TDs and two interceptions; Bryan’s Austin Schimmoeller passed for 368 yards and 6 touchdowns in a 69-31 win over Van Wert in week one, also rushing for two scores; and Clay Smith completed 13 of 18 passes for 301 yards and two TDs in Germantown Valley View’s 48-20 win over Middletown Madison;
WORTHY SUCCESSOR: Little Ada High School has a rich tradition of QBs that includes Zac Dysert (Miami of Ohio; Denver Broncos). Continuing that tradition is Matt Wilcox, who in the past two weeks has completed 65 of 88 passes for 823 yards and 9 TDs in wins over Spencerville (39-21) and Columbus Grove (20-0).
FOR THE DEFENSE: After all that offense, here’s a stat from the other side. Defiance had five interceptions, including a pick-six by Zach Hale, and also recovered a fumble and had a punt return touchdown by Trey Guilliam in a 49-21 win over Lima Bath.
Rusty Miller can be reached at http://twitter.com/RustyMillerAP