Lake-McKinley notes

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By Josh Weir

Friday Night Ohio


How many times a day is McKinley head coach Ron Johnson asked about the Bulldogs not having a place-kicker?

“Countless,” Johnson said. “It’s coming from some of the most obscure places.”

 Students. Teachers. Fans. The other day, a guy asked him as Johnson was stopped at a red light.

Johnson, who tried out hundreds of kids by his count (including soccer players) in search of someone in the school who could put it through the uprights, has expressed confidence in McKinley’s 2-point approach. So far the Bulldogs are 4-for-8 on conversion tries.

As for field goals, those simply aren’t in the equation.

Chad Fite, who starts at middle linebacker, kicked off for the first time this season during last week’s game. Fite had been pulled back from the kickoff duty when he pulled a quad muscle in a scrimmage. Johnson said Fite is not a candidate to kick field goals or extra points.


The Bulldogs don’t drop back in a conventional punt formation. Rather, they quick kick with QB Kyle Ohradzansky, which makes opponents think twice about putting in their usual return units.

Ohradzansky, who drops back a few steps from his usual shotgun position shortly before the ball is snapped, is averaging 40.9 yards a punt. He does a good job of getting the punt off quickly.


Saturday night’s McKinley-Lake game features two of the area’s best running backs: Lake’s Jim Luther and McKinley’s Elijah Farrakhan.

Johnson on Luther: “I think he’s outstanding, a great player. He’s fast. A very low center of gravity. He doesn’t lack courage. He’ll gladly mix it up with you.”

Lake head coach Jeff Durbin on Farrakhan: “Farrakhan is a great runner. He runs with great effort. He’s difficult to tackle. You don’t just knock him down.”


Durbin explained just how much of an impact the McKinley defensive ends — 6-foot-4, 242-pound Steve Miller and 6-5, 235-pound Se’Von Pittman — make on a game.

“First of all, they play with great leverage,” Durbin said. “You don’t see anybody knocking them off the ball. Then they’ve got length, which makes them difficult to throw around. And the other significant thing is they’re very athletic. So they can run the line of scrimmage or rush the passer.

“Probably the biggest challenge is the way they anchor the edge of the defense on both sides. It’s hard to get movement on those guys to get around the edge.”

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