I lack the mental acuity to comprehend the NFL passer rating formula. I wish I could explain it to you, but it would be like a chimpanzee trying to teach Latin.
This much I can tell you: Mansfield Senior quarterback Jalen Reese maxed out in Friday’s 45-21 win over Marion Harding.
Reese completed 16 of 19 passes for 425 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. When you plug his numbers into the NFL passer rating formula, Reese had a rating of 158.3 — the maximum rating possible.
He broke his own single-game passing record and he did it before halftime. When the second half started, the Tygers led 42-7 and Reese’s shoulder pads and helmet were nowhere to be found. He spent the final two quarters offering advice and encouragement to back-up Mitch Nixon.
“We watched film of last year’s game ( a 41-6 Marion Harding win) and we noticed they were loading the box on us a little bit,” Reese said. “If we were quick and decisive, we felt we would be off to the races.”
Nobody benefited more from Reese’s career day than slot receiver Keon Johnson. The shifty senior caught five passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns. What’s more, Johnson had a 74-yard touchdown pass from Chek Washington on Senior High’s first offensive play of the game nullified by an illegal forward pass penalty.
“We watched film and we saw, when we matched up our skill against their skill, we could do some things,” Senior High coach Chioke Bradley said. “We saw some things we thought would benefit us and we went after it.”
Reese’s four touchdown passes were to three receivers (Johnson, Washington, Chris Diaz) and covered 60, 52, 52 and 39 yards. He also rushed for a touchdown, as did emerging running back Keevon Taylor.
“We haven’t given up a lot of big plays, but we haven’t faced anybody with as many athletes as Mansfield Senior,” Harding coach John Cupps said. “Mansfield has amazing athletes who can run and jump.”
Next up for Senior High is a trip to Clear Fork for the Ohio Cardinal Conference opener. The Tygers haven’t beaten the Colts since 2004.
“This win gives us a great amount of confidence,” Reese said. “Not that the nonconference games don’t matter, but the next seven games really count.”
» Everybody expected West Holmes to be perched atop the OCC standings. Not many people thought Madison would be sharing the catbird seat.
The Rams will invade Millersburg on Friday for what could be a pivotal showdown with the Knights. Both teams are unbeaten.
“West Holmes is a very good football team,” Madison coach Sean Conway said. “They probably have the best set of backs we will see all year and they have a veteran offensive line.”
The Knights have scored a conference-high 137 points through three games. Madison isn’t far behind with 121 points. The Rams have the best scoring defense in the league, allowing just 33 points. West Holmes (41 points allowed) is second.
“What I’m most pleased with is we have shown the ability to score points if we need to and we have shown the ability to limit our opponents if we need to,” Conway said. “We are right where we want to be, but our guys know we still have seven games left and, in this conference, every game is a big game.”