Cardington at Centerburg*, 7 p.m.
Cardington (0-3) scored two second-half touchdowns against Colonel Crawford last Friday, but the Eagles scored two in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 28-12 win. Mason Goers most certainly did go for the Pirates, running 24 times for 205 yards, but the rest of the team managed only 20 yards. Cardington connected on only 2 of 10 passes for 20 yards, and had 19 carries apart from Goers for a net of 0 yards. All of Goers’ good was negated by the defense, which gave up 400 yards of total offense, including 302 rushing. Cardington will continue to rely heavily on Goers, but stopping Centerburg’s offense, led by John Sheasby, will be the key to a victory.
Centerburg (2-1) had two 100-plus yard runners in QB John Sheasby and RB Donnell Marshall in its 27-0 shutout win over winless Northridge in Week 3. Sheasby rushed 22 times for 253 yards and was 5 of 9 with 57 yards through the air, and Marshall gained 102 yards on 18 totes. That kind of running allowed the Trojans to control the clock for 26:37. The defense held the Vikings, who had 19 points after two games, to 146 yards, all rushing, intercepted one pass and recovered a fumble. This week’s foe, Cardington, is the second straight winless team the Trojans have faced, but they will have to control Pirate RB Mason Goers if they want to continue winning.
* * *
Mount Gilead at East Knox*, 7 p.m.
Mount Gilead (0-3) finally scored its first points of the season Friday night, but also were ground down by previously-winless Elgin, 40-24. The Indians played well early with two first-quarter TDs, but the Comets scored twice in the period to stay close, then added two more scores in the fourth quarter. Although Mount Gilead racked up 403 total yards, and QB Nathan Rogers rushed 11 times for 170 yards and two TDs, he also threw four interceptions. The defense continued to be porous, allowing 529 yards on 59 running attempts. The Indians have given up 40 or more runs in all of its games so far, and this week should be no exception.
East Knox (3-0) is perfect through three games for the second straight season with a 68-6 pummeling of Strasburg-Franklin Friday. The Bulldogs moved at will, taking only 17:52 of game clock, as QB Kadden Lester had his best game of the season with 306 yards and three TDs on 10-of-14 passing. The team also averaged 10 yards a carry (23-231), forced two turnovers and did not commit any. The defense, which has not given up more than 10 points in any game, held the Tigers to 95 total yards and forced six punts. Receivers Braden Kannady (2-129), Weston Melick (3-86) and Dawson Moreland (3-63) proved they can get yards after the catch.
* * *
Northmor at Fredericktown*, 7 p.m.
Northmor (3-0) held down Lucas’ powerful offense Friday to upset the Cubs, a playoff team four years running, 36-16. Although Lucas RB Jeb Grover gained 233 yards and scored twice, his numbers were 24 for 122 without his two TD runs. The Golden Knights’ defense allowed only 4 of 9 passing for 27 yards, picked off two Logan Niswander passes and held the rest of the team to negative rushing yards. Northmor RB Conor Becker continued his fine season with 173 yards and two TDs, he added 97 yards and two receiving touchdowns to his rushing arsenal. Becker should have a field day against a Fredericktown defense that has had difficulty stopping the run.
Fredericktown (0-3) is one of four KMAC teams that go into league play with winless records after a 38-22 loss to Utica in Week 3. The Freddies had as many yards as the Redskins, 343, and actually ran for more yards, but turned over the ball twice and gave up three scores of 35 yards or more. RB John Robbins had a breakout game with 16 carries for 172 yards, but did not get into the end zone. Fredericktown’s run defense allowed another 100-plus yard performance by Utica’s Garrett Meyers, and WR Mack Marston burned them for five catches and 106 yards. The Freddies will have a tough go in trying to stop Northmor’s Conan Becker this week.
* * *
Utica at Licking Valley*, 7 p.m.
Utica (1-2) earned its first victory of the season Friday after a close loss in Week 1, taking down Fredericktown, 38-22. The Redskins ran for 229 yards on 49 carries, and QB Collin McCullough has played well in his first starts, contributing 5-of-9 passing for 114 yards and one TD. While the Utica defense allowed more yards than the team gained, it also had an interception and a fumble recovery. The special teams also rewarded the team with good field position with a pair of blocked punts. One key for the Redskins was the ability to control the line of scrimmage, and if they can continue to, opposing teams may find themselves in trouble in the coming weeks.
Licking Valley (1-2), a playoff team from last season, has faced two currently-undefeated teams in its first three weeks, with Friday’s game a 10-9 loss to 3-0 Johnstown. The Panthers held an early lead over the Johnnies, who currently are ranked No. 1 in Division V, but allowed a field goal to tie it by halftime. A successful extra point decided the game in Johnstown’s favor. Licking Valley was susceptible to the run, giving up 145 yards to Bryce Barasch and another 106 to QB Caden Calhoun. Last season, Licking Valley was a 42-13 winner over Utica, and if this season’s Panthers can keep close to Johnstown, Utica should be a cinch.