Previews of Week 5 football matchups
Thursday, September 26th
Granville at Utica
Granville (3-1) has won three straight games since a Week 1 loss to River Valley. Last week, the Blue Aces held a powerhouse Johnstown offense to 13 points in a 26-13 win. Granville graduated star QB David Fraley, but 20 lettermen return from last year’s conference title-sharers. The new QB is senior Isaac Maurer, but he will throw to three All-District receivers in Ajay Alderman, Hunter Orth and Brock Hill.
Utica (1-3) totaled only 166 yards in Week 4’s 48-6 loss to Watkins Memorial. Travis Baldwin ran for 82 yards, with 37 coming on the team’s only touchdown. QBs Mitchell Marston and Shane Sparks combined for just 14 passing yards in the game. On defense, the Redskins allowed 250 rushing yards and 10-of-16 passing for 104 yards. Their main focus will have to be to stop Granville’s dynamic passing attack.
Centerburg at Ridgedale
Centerburg (4-0) controlled the football for only 14:52 of its Week 4 game against Northmor, but defeated the Knights, 51-26. The Trojans rolled in the first half, leading 38-7 before play was called on Friday. QB Tyler Stoyle continued to impress, with four touchdown passes in the first half alone, but the running game got 141 yards from Austin Glasscock and 70 yards from Jeremy Sesma. The defense had four sacks against Northmor, and should do a simliar job against Ridgedale.
Ridgedale (1-3) tallied a season-low in points at last week’s 27-6 loss to Mount Gilead. In their three losses, the Rockets have allowed 47, 54 and 27 points, with their only victory coming in Week 2 against Ridgemont, 31-14. A loss to Mount Gilead was seemingly a low point, but now Ridgedale will have to try to hold back Centerburg’s high-flying offense.
Berne Union at East Knox
Berne Union (0-4) will face its second straight Mid-Buckeye Conference opponent this week after a 53-7 loss at Danville on Friday. The Lancers were held to minus-13 yards rushing and were 7-of-18 passing for 74 yards. They made only five first downs and punted six times. East Knox does not have the passing game Danville does, but Berne Union should still have its hands full with Bulldog running back Dylan Wears.
East Knox (1-3) got 254 yards on 40 carries last week from Dylan Wears, but fumbles gave Gilmour Academy three easy touchdowns in a 35-14 victory. Wears was responsible for 54 percent of the plays for the Bulldogs’ offense, with some help from Cody Howard (15 carries, 73 yards). East Knox’s passing needs some work, going just 2-of-14 for 4 total yards. If Wears is stalled against Berne Union, Howard has a chance to throw for big yards against a vulnerable Lancers secondary.
Fredericktown at Northmor
Fredericktown (2-2) destroyed Cardington in Week 4’s contest, putting up 425 yards in 2 1/2 quarters to win, 33-0. QB Austin Hathaway was the offensive leader with 176 rushing yards and 113 passing yards. Tyler Ruhl rushed for 68 yards and caught two passes for 35 yards, and the Freddies established the kind of balance it had not yet had all season. Fredericktown’s defense will have to cope with a control-minded offense, but all it has to do is slow down Northmor. The Freddie offense is more than capable of putting up enough points.
Northmor (2-2) trailed 38-7 to Centerburg last week when lightning stopped play at the beginning of the second half. The Knights scored 19 straight points, but the Trojans held on for a 51-26 win. Northmor ran 70 plays and took 33:08 off the clock, but averaged only 3 yards per carry. Its defense gave up 448 yards, including 15-of-22 passing and an average of 7 yards per carry, so it is highly vulnerable to the kind of pounding running game that Fredericktown has.
Mount Gilead at Highland
Mount Gilead (1-3) put up a season-high 27 points in breaking an 0-3 start to the season last week against Ridgedale. The Indians have given up 27 or more points in their three losses, and had scored only 31 points in the three games prior to Week 4. Against a similar opponent, East Knox, Mount Gilead was shut out 27-0 in Week 3, while Highland won a close one, 38-34. Highland rushers should find more room to run this week.
Highland (3-1) committed three turnovers in the first half of Friday’s game against Buckeye Valley, but scored 21 points in the fourth quarter on Saturday to win, 28-0. The Scots running back tandem of Kyle Minyo and James Cochran combined for 202 of the team’s 307 rushing yards, and scored two TDs apiece. The defense has jelled in recent weeks, and held the Barons to 71 rushing yards and 80 yards total.
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