Week 7 area football previews
Thursday, October 10th
Utica at Heath
Utica (1-5) had little offense to speak of in Week 6’s 41-7 loss to Licking Valley. Travis Baldwin ran for 107 yards on 16 carries, but one was a 50-yard TD in the dying moments of the game. The Redskins totaled 63 rushing yards on 27 carries, and only 4 passing yards. The Panthers were able to throw the ball for two early scores, then mix the run and the pass well for the rest of the game.
Heath (1-5) gave up over 40 points for the fifth time this season in last week’s 42-6 loss to Newark Catholic; the only time it didn’t was in Week 5’s 52-19 win over Lakewood. The Bulldogs rushed for 228 yards on 48 carries, but managed only 25 yards and two picks on 5-of-12 passing. Catholic gained 379 total yards and was 10-of-18 passing, and averaged almost 19 yards per catch. This matchup should come down to which offensive line can dominate.
Centerburg at Cardington
Centerburg (6-0) is undefeated in Week 7 after last week’s nail-biter victory against Fredericktown, 28-26, in overtime. Tyler Stoyle led the Trojans with 201 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-32 passing, and Austin Glasscock ran for 152 yards. On defense, Centerburg was exposed against the run by an experienced Fredericktown offensive line. Cardington, however, has none of the Freddies’ explosiveness.
Cardington (0-6) played its best game of the season in a 42-34 loss to Mount Gilead on Friday. Until then, the Pirates had been shut out twice and held to seven points two more times. Last week, Cardington blew a 21-7 halftime lead, allowing 35 points in the second half. The Indians’ Joe Elson scored three TDs, two of which went for 75 and 66 yards, while Colton Jenkins ran for 209 yards on 17 carries for Cardington. But Cardington’s job will be even tougher this week, as it tries to contain the multifaceted Centerburg offense.
Danville at Crooksville
Danville (5-1) got scores from eight different players in routing visiting Clarksburg (W.Va.) Notre Dame, 65-22, on Friday. Scores weren’t tough to get, either, as six touchdowns came on plays of over 30 yards, including a 95-yard run from Greg Briggs and a 78-yarder from Andrew Francis. The Blue Devils held Notre Dame under 100 yards rushing, but was vulnerable to the pass (246 yards). Danville had a plus-4 turnover ratio, but will have to reduce its penalties, which cost it 128 yards last week.
Crooksville (3-3) has had an up-and-down season, with two wins with scores in the 50s and a pair of losses with only seven points each. Last week, the Ceramics snapped a two-game winning streak with a 33-7 loss to Philo. Crooksville brought back 10 seniors, including QB Austin Ebert and RB Ty Slayton, and most of the offensive line. Second-year coach Brent Gorby is charged with bringing the Ceramics back into playoff contention.
Fredericktown at North Union
Fredericktown (3-3) gave Centerburg its best game of the season in Week 6’s 28-26 overtime loss. The Freddies gave up 201 passing yards to Trojans quarterback Tyler Stoyle and 152 yards to Trojans running back Austin Glasscock, but got 179 yards from Tyler Ruhl, who has gained 529 yards in the past two weeks. Ruhl will handle a lot of the load against the Wildcats this week, but QB Austin Hathaway will be there to provide a secondary option if North Union can hold down the Fredericktown running game.
North Union (5-1) suffered a tough loss to unbeaten River Valley on Friday, 7-6.
Traditionally one of the powers of the MOAC, the Wildcats have scored 30 or more points four times, and had a margin of victory of larger than 13 points just twice. North Union outgained the Vikings 244-200, with 171 coming through the air. Running the ball, the Wildcats gained just 73 yards and fumbled seven times. Fredericktown proved last week it can disrupt a proficient passing attack, so things might get interesting.
Highland at Ridgedale
Highland (5-1) had three running backs with over 100 yards apiece in last Friday’s 44-8 win over Northmor. Shane Carney (10-155), Kyle Minyo (9-126) and James Cochran (22-112) seemingly ran the ball at will against a porous Knight defense, and Cochran finished those drives with four short TD runs. The Scots also held a Northmor team to 175 total yards a week after the Knights had scored 44 points on Fredericktown. Ridgedale will see nothing new.
Ridgedale (1-5) gave up 40 or more points for the fourth game of the season in Friday’s 45-13 loss to Fairbanks. The Rockets have scored only as many as 18 points in any of its losses, and have been held to seven or fewer points three of the last four weeks. Until it met Ridgedale, the Panthers averaged only about 200 yards per game on offense, but far surpassed it in this game. The Rockets lost to Centerburg 55-0 in Week 4.
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