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Harrison’s Tidwell and Young: Snagging passes into regional title game and OHSAA record book

HARRISON– Multiple words come to mind when you think of Harrison’s offense; explosive, potent, dominant and unstoppable. Well let’s add some more– record breaking. 

Last Friday Conner Kinnett threw for 227 yards, which let him eclipse the 3,500 threshold and put him in the OHSAA record book for passing yards in a season. That was well established, what went under the radar was that two of Harrison’s receivers established themselves into the record book as well.

Levi Tidwell caught eight passes for 98 yards and a touchdown. That game put him in not one, but four record books. 

Tidwell eclipsed 1,500 yards and 17 receiving touchdowns on the season, both of which have put him in the record book. It doesn’t stop there. 

He cemented himself in the OHSAA record book for his career also, for touchdowns (28 is the benchmark, Tidwell has 31) and yards (2,500 is the benchmark, he has 2,913). Tidwell isn’t alone though. Senior receiver CJ Young has propelled himself into the career receiving yards record, with 2,587 yards.

This is all according to SWOCsports.com, OHSAA.org and my own math.

Sure, Conner Kinnett is maybe the best quarterback in southwest Ohio, but he couldn’t do it without Young and Tidwell getting open– and they couldn’t get open without one another.

“The reason for our success is each other,” said Tidwell. “Since he is really good, and I’m really good, they can’t double team both of us.” 

And he is right. You simply can’t lockdown both receivers, which is what the Wildcats’ first twelve opponents realized and what La Salle will find out come Friday. 

That being said, there was a time in the early season when Harrison’s offense wasn’t firing on all cylinders. In weeks two and three, the Wildcats went into OT in both games and could only muster up 13 points. What has been the difference since then? A full buy-in from all 11 guys on offense. 

“We weren’t clicking as well as we should have. Now everyone is bought in,” said CJ Young. “Now, we love the success we’re having, and we just want more.”

The Wildcats certainly have had success, but their tallest task comes in the form of a rolling La Salle Lancers team this Friday. In these games, what often shines through as the difference is experience– something both Tidwell and Young have. 

“CJ and Levi will be starting their 35th game on Friday. They were great players as sophomores, juniors and now as seniors,” said Harrison head coach, Derek Rehage. “Anytime you have that much experience to fall back on, it is huge.” 

To be three year starters you obviously have to be extremely talented, but that isn’t the only driving force for these two.

“CJ is extremely competitive. He loves to compete, he loves to get after it. When the lights come on 15 comes out,” said Rehage on what makes Young such a great ballplayer.

“Levi is such a hard worker. Anything you ask him to do he is going to give you 110% until he doesn’t have anything else to give you,” said Rehage. “Each of them are made from a different cloth, but they’re both special.”

Young and Tidwell have made Kinnett’s job as the Wildcats slinger easier all season long by getting into open space and breaking ankles. This Friday they will get at least one more chance to play together.

“We are excited for the opportunity [to play for a regional title], it’s a dream come true. I never would have imagined that I would be here when I was growing up,” said Tidwell. 

While they both might never have imagined they’d be there, it still doesn’t shock them considering their aspirations.

“This is just another goal we set out before the year. It’s another Friday, we are going to go out and play our game,” said Young.

There isn’t a better time to show out than the postseason, and the pair said their best game as a duo came last week against DeSales– they certainly hope to roll that into this week.

The pair is in the record book along with their quarterback. When asked if Kinnett is nothing without the duo, they both laughed. 

“We tell him that all the time,” said Young. “But, he is a great guy, and we love him back there.”

As for the record book, here is what OHSAA has, obviously, it hasn’t been updated to include the Wildcats.

Conner Kinnett, 3,532 yards this season.

Levi Tidwell, 2,913 career rec. yards, 31 career rec. TDs, 1,525 rec. yards this season, 17 rec. TDs this season.

CJ Young, 2,587 career rec. yards. 

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