The rushing and passing numbers established by Lake 6-foot-1, 180 pound sophomore quarterback Jared Rettig and Genoa 5-11, 216 pound senior running back Kyle Nutter surpass nearly anything we’ve ever seen on this side of town before.
They are, shall we say, in another dimension that only a handful has reached before.
Rettig, in first-year coach Bob Olwin’s high-flying offense, completed 176-of-278 passes (55.6 percent) for 2,838 yards and 32 touchdowns. Plus, Rettig missed at least one game because of an injury, and D’Angelo Smith filled in nicely, despite losing, by completing 41-of-71 passes for 429 yards.
Just halfway through his prep football career, Rettig has completed 260-of-429 passes for 4,357 yards and 49 touchdowns.
Nutter continues the family tradition started by older brother Andrew, rushing for 2,058 yards on 230 attempts (8.9 yards per carry). He scored 34 touchdowns running with the football and finished the season with his most important touchdown, in picking up a fumble and carrying it 65 yards to defeat Eastwood and secure a sole Northern Buckeye Conference championship.
It is the second straight season Nutter led the area in rushing, and as a sophomore he was second—reaching the 1,000 yard plateau each year. The three years combined, he ran for 4,600 yards, and that does not include playoffs.
“In my opinion, Kyle Nutter has been the best running back in the league the last two years,” first-year Genoa coach Tim Spiess said before the 2012 season started. If you ask Spiess now, he will no doubt say the last three years.
“He’s the best running back in the state of Ohio in Division IV,” Spiess continued. “He’s been contacted by almost every Mid-American Conference schools and gone to their camps in the summer.”
As a team this year, the Comets passed only 43 times in 10 games, but ran for 3,848 yards (8.3 per attempt) and 53 touchdowns.
Spiess told The Press it starts with center Nick Keller, a senior who stands 6 feet tall and weighs 235 pounds. On the left side is tackle Mike Deiter (6-3, 283) and guard Logan Bryer (5-11, 235) with Nick Harrick (6-2, 238) and Cole Beck (5-11, 245) splitting time at right tackle and guard John Belski (5-9, 175) rounding out the line. Only Keller and Deiter are returning starters, but Bryer did see his share of action on the line last year. Helping to complement the line are tight ends Zach Roberts and Quentin Spiess.
Nutter’s 212 points this season outdistance the second best scorer, Northwood sophomore halfback Dominik Bermejo, by 108 points.
But Nutter did not outdistance the second best running back this season — Oak Harbor 5-7, 185 senior Mark Konieczny, who set all-time career rushing record at his school after carrying the football 256 times for 1,881 yards (7.3) and 20 touchdowns, was close behind.
However, Nutter got to move on to a date with playoff destiny as the Comets hosted Columbus Bishop Ready in a playoff game Friday, Oak Harbor came close to reaching the playoffs for the first time in years, but came up just short.
This year’s high-flying numbers don’t end with Nutter, Rettig, and Konieczny. There were four other quarterbacks who threw for over 1,000 yards this season — record-setting 6-0, 190 pound Woodmore junior Jake Matwiejczyk (2,112), Clay 6-2, 180 junior Joshua Pennington (2,025), Waite 6-0, 170 senior Johnny Douanglee (1,476), and Northwood 5-11, 165 senior Nick Russell (1,085).
Plus, there is another Ranger who set a mark unseen on this side of town in quite a few years — the 5-9, 146 Bermejo, who also follows a family line of Northwood football players, had seven interceptions, including three defensive touchdowns and two picks in each of two games.
Then there is Genoa sophomore place kicker Cody Pickard, who finished third among football players from 10 area schools in scoring with 99 points. Along with booting 57 extra points, he kicked 12 field goals — an asset Coach Tim Spiess might find useful in the playoffs. In one game, he set a state-record with six 3-point boots.
(— writer Yaneek Smith contributed to this report)