April 23, 2010

Herbstreit Series set for Ohio session

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Dallas Jackson is the Senior Analyst for RivalsHigh. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.

They're calling it the 2010 Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Football Series - but the two-day, four-game event over Labor Day Weekend could just easily be Ohio vs. the U.S.

Two of the games, to take place Sept. 5-6 at Ohio Stadium, will pit some of the best in Ohio against two top-quality national opponents.

All four games should be good football though, as five of the eight teams participating spent time in the RivalsHigh 100 rankings during the 2009 season and at least three will begin the 2010 season ranked nationally.

The event kicks off at noon Sunday with the first of two All-Ohio matchups, as Dublin (Ohio) Coffman takes on Westerville (Ohio) South. Coffman, which was ranked as high as No. 87 nationally in 2009, defeated Westerville South 21-19 in the regional semifinals.

That game is followed by another rematch between Ohio teams as Huber Heights Wayne squares off with Canton McKinley. Wayne was a playoff team in 2009 losing to Cincinnati Elder in the first round but returns Rivals 250 to Watch quarterback, Braxton Miller.

McKinley, which lost to Wayne early in the 2009 season, welcomes back Ohio State commit, and Rivals 250 to Watch member, defensive end Steve Miller.

The second day of the event features two major out-of-state games of national importance as West Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer is paired with Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville for the noon game and Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith takes on Pickerington (Ohio) Central to close the event.

Monday's first game will be aired on ESPN and features two teams that finished in the top half of the RivalsHigh 100 in 2009.

Dwyer, which finished No. 7 nationally in 2009, will enter the 2010 season ranked nationally. The Panthers are lead by three Rivals 250 to Watch members, including quarterback Jacoby Brissett, tight end Nick O'Leary, and defensive end Curt Maggitt.

They will be opposed by the Tarblooders from Glenville.

Glenville nearly won its first ever football state championship last season, losing on a two-point conversion by Hilliard Davidson. The school still ended the season ranked No. 40 in the nation and looks to start the 2010 season in that same range nationally.

Glenville, coached by Ted Ginn Sr., is a team typically loaded with top end talent and features two of the best players at their positions nationally, linebacker Andre Sturdivant and lineman Aundrey Walker. Both are members of the Rivals 250 to Watch list.

The nightcap between Oscar Smith and Pickerington Central is a true measuring-stick game for both programs.

Smith was ranked as high as No. 5 nationally in 2009, but lost a very talented senior class. Pickerington Central, meanwhile, was briefly ranked in 2009, but looks to 2010 as a year to shine.

Tickets for the event will go on sale on June 1 and can be purchased through the event website. Adult tickets are $15 and student tickets sell for $10. Tickets for each day are sold separately, but valid for both games of the day.

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