Previews of Week 6 area football games
Thursday, October 3rd
Utica at Licking Valley
Utica (1-4) faced a good test in Granville’s powerful spread offense on Friday, but the Blue Aces dominated all aspects of the game to win, 56-16. The Redskins lost control early, giving up two kickoff return touchdowns in the first quarter alone. Travis Baldwin ground out 94 yards on 21 carries, but the team managed only 204 yards on 63 rushes. Utica needs a better push at the line to break open holes for Baldwin.
Licking Valley (4-1) trailed Johnstown 21-12 at halftime in Week 5, but scored 14 points in the third quarter to earn a 26-21 victory. It’s been boom or bust for the offense, which has scored 50 or more points in two of its wins, while winning two others by a combined eight points. The Panthers were outgained 232-119 rushing, but QB Grant Garber and receiver Ty Griffith hooked up for three TD passes.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Clarksburg Notre Dame (W. Va.) at Danville
Notre Dame (4-0) hasn’t exactly blown away opponents this season, despite its 4-0 record. It’s largest winning margin was 21 points for the No. 6-ranked team in West Virginia’s Class A, and that came in last week’s 37-16 victory over Bishop Donohue. Junior running back Santino Cava has gained 2,412 yards in his two-plus seasons as starting tailback, but the use of two different quarterbacks and a long drive to Danville for the game could leave the team susceptable to mistakes.
Danville (4-1) led 12-6 at halftime of last week’s game against Coshocton, but pulled away in the second half for a 33-6 victory. QB Ridge Durbin led the Blue Devils with 116 yards on the ground and 12-of-17 for 163 yards in the air, and Greg Briggs combined for 141 yards receiving and rushing. The defense, as usual, was dominant, allowing 109 total yards — 63 of those on trick plays — and zero yards in the second half. Danville will need another stalwart defensive performance this week.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
East Knox at Madison Plains
East Knox (2-3) got another 200-plus yard game from Dylan Wears in Week 5’s 45-20 win over Berne Union. In only 14 carries, Wears rushed for 219 yards, which put him over the 1,000 mark for the season after just five games. WR Colton Rebel also got back into the scoring column, scoring two touchdowns after three quiet games. Cody Howard also ran for 100-plus yards againt Berne Union, and was an effective 7-of-9 throwing the ball.
But Wears is the team’s engine; it goes where he leads them.
Madison Plains (1-4) has given up more than 28 points only once in five games, but has scored as many as 25 points just one time, in last week’s 28-25 loss to London. Only London’s last minute scoring drive kept the Golden Eagles from victory. Travis Chaffin had TD runs of 64 and 44 yards in the first quarter alone, and he and Grant Johnson combined for 247 yards and an average of 11.2 yards per carry. Plains has almost no passing game, so East Knox will have to control those two at the point of attack.
The kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
Northmor at Highland
Northmor (2-3, 0-2) scored 44 points on Friday, which would be enough to beat most teams, but fell to Fredericktown, 56-44. QB Zach Caroll combined for 244 yards and three touchdowns. He went 9-of-25 for 133 yards in the air. Its defense, however, ceded the Freddies 643 total yards (524 rushing), but it did force three lost fumbles. The Knights will have to contend with another powerhouse running team in Highland this week.
Highland (4-1, 2-0) had the opportunity to get its reserves some good playing time in last week’s 49-6 win over Mount Gilead. James Cochran ran for 165 yards and four touchdowns in the second quarter alone, and finished with 250 yards and four scores. The Scots gained 464 total yards, and as usual 421 were on the ground. The defense was stingy, giving up only one play of 20 or more yards and losing a shutout only in the final minutes. Highland now faces another porous defense in Northmor.
The game has a 7 p.m. start.
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