Landis repeats as Press Lineman of the Year

J. Patrick Eaken

For the second straight year, Eastwood two-way lineman Blake Landis is Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press Lineman of the Year.

The 6-foot-2, 197 pound senior, Landis is a third team All-Ohio defensive lineman and first team left offensive guard and defensive tackle on the All-Press offense and defense. 

Last year, he was a first team All-Ohio defensive lineman, and finished the 2020 season with 40 tackles, including 19 for a loss, 11 sacks, one caused fumble and one recovered fumble. He is a three-year starter on the offensive line and two-year starter on the defensive line.

Landis’ work gets done in the trenches, and he loves it there.

“We all worked as a group and a big family, you know,” Landis said. “In practice we worked the hardest, and the running backs worked the hardest, but we had to block to get them through. 

“I thought it was a blast. I loved it. I always liked being the one getting in there to make big plays with my teammates. I always just keep my head up and no matter how fast a play is, if things went wrong, I just fixed whatever I had to. I never let anything get me down.”

Eastwood finished the season 7-2 with both losses coming to eventual Division V state semifinalist and Northern Buckeye Conference champion Otsego (10-1), 17-7 in a league matchup and 31-21 in a regional final contest. Eastwood coach Craig Rutherford says Landis is a big part of the Eagles’ success. 

“His versatility has allowed him to play most of the spots on our DL,” Rutherford said. “He’s really strong and fast, but he also worked hard to improve his technique. Blake’s tackle for loss numbers over the last two years have been amazing. He just finds a way to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. 

“On the offensive line, one of his best games might have been our playoff win over North Union (20-14 in overtime). He had some key blocks that allowed us to get big plays to the outside. He’s always been great for us, but I think that game really showed how far he’s come as a player.”

Landis’ favorite play this year was picking up a loose ball on defense and taking it the other way for six points. He thanks his buddy, 6-3, 203 pound Max Buchman, who is a second team All-Ohio offensive lineman and first team All-Press, for forcing the fumble.

“My friend, Max hit the quarterback and made him fumble the ball and I caught it once it left his hands and ran it in,” Landis said. 

Like all the rest of us, Landis says he has loved the game “ever since I was little watching football on TV. I always wanted to be the one going to the NFL and stuff.” Any chance of playing in the NFL will have to wait, but he is planning on playing collegiately but has not made any decisions yet.

In All-Press voting by 10 area football coaches and local media members, Landis received just under 50 percent of the votes, with the other votes going to Buchman, Northwood senior A.J. Rable, Eastwood senior Gage Might, Clay junior Ty Cobb, Waite junior Jaiden Cope and two Oak Harbor juniors — Ryan Snow and Dylan Schiets.

Eastwood senior linebacker Zach Kwiatkowski a second team All-Ohio linebacker, junior Keegan Shank is an honorable mention all-state offensive lineman and Might is an HM all-state defensive lineman. Schiets is an HM All-Ohio defensive lineman and he is joined by Oak Harbor senior defensive back Collin Fauver. Genoa senior Ray Gomez is also an HM all-state DB.











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