Lucas at Centerburg, 7 p.m.
Lucas (1-0) held off a pesky Danville squad to win its season opener on Friday, 32-12. The Cubs did not miss graduated star running back Jeb Grover much, getting most of their yards on the ground, 194 yards on 34 rushes. QB Logan Niswander was pestered into completing only 5 of 12 passes but two of those completions went for touchdowns. Lucas also scored once on a kickoff return by Carson Hauger with a one-possession lead in the third quarter. The Cubs’ defense will face a Centerburg team that ran all over Utica in its first game, and will try to better the 114 yards allowed on the ground to the Blue Devils, while trying to control the ball by its running game.
Centerburg (1-0) had its running game going full tilt in Week 1, racking up 561 total yards in a 52-6 win over Utica. Donnell Marshall and Trey Kendrick each ran for over 100 yards, Marshall rushing for 137 of his 142 yards in the first half alone and Kendrick finished with 107 yards. The Trojans also got 50 or more yards from three more backs, Jarred Rings (82), Tyler Johnson (59) and Preston Barber (57). On defense, Centerburg held the Redskins to 135 total yards, 93 through the air, while getting 10 of 17 and 94 yards from QB Jack Gregory. Running the ball and controlling the clock will determine the winning of this week’s game.
Danville at Loudonville, 7 p.m.
Danville (0-1) got to within six points of visiting Lucas twice during last Friday’s season-opener, but the Cubs scored late to pull out a 32-12 win. Charlie Cook took over QB duties and completed 14 of 26 passes for 104 yards, close to the running backs’ total of 114 yards, but also threw two interceptions. Alex Holt gave the team 71 yards on 16 carries and three catches for 42 yards, and Langdon Johnson caught eight passes for 53 yards and a touchdown. The defense gave up only 292 yards, which is not insurmountable if the offense can be more consistent. Danville has good pieces with which to work on offense, it just has to get them to work together.
Loudonville (0-1) gave up a 78-yard TD pass with 4:03 to play in the game to drop a 9-7 game against Ashland Crestview last week. Gavin Davis’s 10-yard TD run was the Redbirds’ only score for an offense that gained 166 yards. Loudonville was without the services of RB Alec Eldridge, who broke a hand in preseason, so the team was led by Trevor Cutlip’s 56 yards. Chuck Gannon added a 43-yard run, but QB Logan Huffman completed only 2 of 5 passes. Most of Crestview yards came through the air, with 156 of its total of 207, so if the Blue Devils can exploit the Redbirds’ secondary this week, they could break into the win column.
Madison Plains at Fredericktown, 7:30 p.m.
Madison Plains (1-0) gained 441 yards on offense in shutting out Westfall on Friday, 32-0, which was a near-total reversal of their 2018 score, a 34-6 Westfall win. The Golden Eagles had 270 yards on the ground, with RB Kosta Xenikis rushing 17 times for 101 yards and a touchdown. QB Jarrett Vallery threw for 171 yards on 14-of-23 attempts, and was one of the key members of the rushing attack with 62 yards on 11 carries. RB Paul Bryant ran for 54 yards, and also played a big part of the passing game with five catches for 88 yards, including a 44-yard TD. If Madison Plains can match that kind of production this week, another win should be in the cards.
Fredericktown (0-1) was shut out by Clear Fork for the second year in a row, falling 56-0 after a 63-0 drubbing in 2018. The Freddies faced a deficit almost immediately, and were down 21-0 by the end of the first quarter. The Colts ran the score to 49-0 at the half, bolstered by a passing game that completed 13 of 16 passes for 311 yards and five touchdowns. Fredericktown also gave up 104 yards on 16 carries, but gaining just 56 yards on 34 carries itself. Freddies passing did not complete a single one in four attempts. The Freddies can only improve the rest of the way, and can gain confidence by playing better against Madison Plains this week.
Ontario at Highland, 7 p.m.
Ontario (0-1) stunned Lexington in 2018, but the Minutemen got revenge with a 47-21 victory in Week 1. The Warriors were hurt by big plays, giving up multiple 14-plus yard runs to Kayden Berry, who finished with 300 yards and three TDs. Ontario allowed 511 yards in all, 421 on the ground, including 121 by Keith Thomas, and the Warriors’ offense was balanced between 117 passing and 97 rushing yards. Last season, Ontario scored over 20 points just twice, so its offense seems to be better this season. The Warriors also had one interception return for a touchdown, which could play a factor against a renewed Highland passing game.
Highland (0-1) had a lot of offense to replace after the 2018 season, and the Scots had a hard time doing it against visiting Bloom-Carroll on Friday, falling 31-0. It was the Scots’ first shutout since a 34-0 loss to Centerburg in 2014, and their lowest point total since a playoff loss to St. Mary’s in 2017. The Highland running game, the strength of the team in past years, was almost negated, as Jon Jensen led the team with 28 yards on 10 carries, but QB Kadin Johnson was 13 of 25 for 143 yards, with Landon Remmert providing 93 yards on four catches. Is this a new era that sees the Scots go away from running and more to the air? The game will give some clues.