The end of the football continues to inch closer as OHSAA Regional Finals over the past weekend turned in some great performances.
In this week’s First Star Logistics Player of the Week voting finds three quarterbacks, a wide receiver and a linebacker as each played major roles in their teams advancing another week and a step closer to playing for a state championship.
Here are the five players up for consideration to earn your vote. Voting closes on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. est.
Zach Branam – La Salle
The junior quarterback was the leader in the Lancers Region 8 title win over Harrison going 6-of-8 passing for 155 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 104 yards and a score in a 45-8 win over Harrison. This season Branam has thrown for 20 touchdowns while rushing for 13 as the Lancers look to reach another state title game on Friday night against Toledo Central Catholic at Sidney Memorial Stadium.
Matthew Luebbe – Elder
A year ago, Luebbe saw limited playing time during the regular season until an injury to starting quarterback Michael Bittner happened early in their second-round playoff game against Lakota East. The following weekend Luebbe was the starter against one of the top teams in Ohio, Colerain, and the Cardinals flexed their muscle in a 42-0 win over the Panthers. This time it was Luebbe and the Panthers walking off the field as Region 4 champions as the senior passed for 209 yards on 23-of-30 passing and two touchdowns while also rushing 29 times for 170 yards and two more scores in a 28-21 win.
Carl Blanton Jr – Trotwood-Madison
The Rams senior wide receiver/safety came up big when his team needed him with four receptions for 170 yards and two touchdowns while also posting four tackles on defense as the Rams defeated Badin 20-7 to capture the Region 12 title. The multi-sport standout will look to help the Rams reach another state title game this week when they will meet Columbus Bishop Hartley at London Bowlus Field.
Xzerious Stinnett – Springfield
The senior linebacker is no stranger to the First Star Logistics Player of the Week voting as he’s turned in a great season with 138 total tackles for the 12-1 Wildcats. Last Friday night it was defense that shutdown Dublin Coffman in a 7-3 win with Stinnett leading the way with nine total tackles (6 solo). Up next, Cincinnati Elder at Piqua Alexander Stadium.
Evan Prater – Wyoming
The senior quarterback is getting a lot of recognition and deserving of all of it. The Cowboys run continues as they are enjoying another magical season and Prater is a big part of their success. Saturday night, Prater was responsible for all five of the Cowboys touchdowns in an impressive 33-0 win over Valley View to claim the Region 16 title and advance to play Clyde at Marysville Impact Stadium.