Loudonville poised for third straight run to playoffs

Loudonville poised for third straight run to playoffs


Loudonville poised for third straight run to playoffs


Two years, two playoff appearances. Exactly what will Justin Todd do for an encore?

The Loudonville football coach has established an impressive standard of excellence during his first two autumns in the Mohican Valley. An 18-5 record, a Mid Buckeye Conference championship, and a playoff victory last season a division higher than the Redbirds should’ve been assigned (due to a clerical error in enrollment figures that wasn’t caught until too late).

The song figures should remain the same this season with 20 returning lettermen, including explosive quarterback Kolton Edmondson. The 5-foot-11, 185 pounder returns for his final season of devastation after earning third-team All-Ohio honors as a junior.

A year ago, Edmondson ran for a school-record 1,675 yards (8.2 yards per carry) and threw for 1,094 more. He collected 25 rushing touchdowns and 12 passing TDs while guiding an offense that averaged 35 points per game. The Redbirds’ standout hit on 75 of 143 passes and was intercepted just four times.

“We will put a major emphasis on throwing the football in an effort to distribute touches to what we feel are very dynamic athletes,” Todd said. “Last season we relied heavily upon the running ability of Ryan Weber and Kolton Edmondson.

“While we feel our offensive line will be a strength at some point, they are inexperienced and we want to limit the number of hits Edmondson takes.”

That probably means more action for senior running back Lane Harper, junior slot Austin Vansickle (143 yards rushing, 2 TDs) and receivers Garrett Quickle and Tristan Bender (9 catches, 179 yards, 2 TDs). Senior tight end Joe Artrip caught eight passes for 100 yards (12.5 avg.) last season.

Up front, Todd can’t hide his enthusiasm.

“We have a big, strong offensive line which can develop into the best I’ve had in my tenure,” the coach said.

The linemen all tip the scales over 205 pounds, topped by right guard Moe Aounah (6-0, 300). Senior tackle Kyle Graham (6-0, 220), senior center Blake Cary (6-1, 240), junior left guard Malakye Nall (6-0, 240) and right tackle Heath Snyder (6-1, 205) key the spread, read-option offense.

“Health will always be a factor, but the plan is to stress the defense laterally and vertically, all the while maintaining the inside running threat of Kolton,” Todd said.

Defensively, Loudonville allowed just 11.9 points per game, and really had just one bad quarter all season — the final period of a 26-0 loss to undefeated River Valley.

This year the Redbirds set up in a 3-3 stack.

“(That alignment) should take advantage of our overall team speed,” Todd said. “Last year we played an odd front and toyed with the stack during certain situations, which proved to be successful.

“We are hoping to employ it full time in an effort to defend all areas of the field as offenses continue to evolve.”

Bender, a second-team All-Ohio linebacker, anchors the defense. Last season he collected 142 tackles with 8.5 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, two fumbles caused and two interceptions.

Artrip and Cary flank Kyle Graham along the defensive line, while Heath Snyder (7 sacks) and Mike Henderson are projected to start at linebackers.

In the secondary, Tucker Bender (3 interceptions) and Jordan Wright, join Edmondson, Quickle and VanSickle (3 interceptions).

“We have an experienced defense with a lot of speed,” Todd said.




2014 Schedule


Sept. 5 at Crestview


Sept. 19 LOGAN

Sept. 26 WILLARD

Oct. 3 LUCAS

Oct. 10 at Columbus Ready

Oct. 17 at Danville

Oct. 25 at Gilmour Academy

Oct. 31 at Shelby

2013 Results (10-2, 3-0)



36 Hillsdale 13

31 Logan 7

28 Willard 14

50 Lucas 0




52 SHELBY 16


20 Northwestern 8

13 Medina 17

 The 2014 Loudonville High School football team.

The 2014 Loudonville High School football team.


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