Mount Gilead at Centerburg, 7 p.m.
Mount Gilead (2-3, 1-1) broke its brief two-game winning streak to Northmor on Friday, falling 47-13. Nathan Rogers scored two touchdowns for the Indians, on a 3-yard run and a 13-yard catch, but the defense allowed the Golden Knights two TDs in three of the game’s four quarters. Rogers had more yards receiving than running (35-9), and the team gained just 43 yards on 26 carries, leaving QB Joel Butterman to throw for 116 of the team’s 159 yards. The defense was effectively ground down by the Northmor offense, allowing 29 first downs, 300 rushing yards and 144 passing yards. This week, Centerburg’s Donnell Marshall will be the running back to try to stop.
Centerburg (3-2, 1-1) had its headline victory of the season so far in Week 5, downing Danville 50-6. The Trojans got some good blocking up front to spring RBs Donnell Marshall (24-133) and Preston Barber (6-85), as the team ran for 271 yards on 43 carries, and QB Jack Gregory had a great per-pass average, completing 12 of 23 for 179 yards. But takeaways were the real key to the game, as the defense picked off four Blue Devil passes, forced five fumbles and recovered two of them. Centerburg defensive backs and pass rushers frustrated Danville to 3 of 18 passing for just 57 yards, and will have another test this week against Mount Gilead’s Joel Butterman.
Cardington at Danville (Homecoming), 7 p.m.
Cardington (1-4, 1-1) had a big defensive lapse against Highland in Week 5, allowing the Scots’ best rushing numbers of the season in a 42-20 KMAC loss. The Pirates were unable to stop a renewed Highland rushing attack which gained 481 yards on 41 carries, an average of 11.7 yards per carry. Cardington also have up over 20 yards on each of Scots QB Kadin Johnson’s 4-of-6 completions. Pirate QB Nate Hickman had an up-and-down game, completing four passes for 91 yards, but going 4 of 15 with an interception. Trey Brininger is an excellent receiving threat, and if he and Hickman have time to exploit the Danville defense this week, good things may come out of it.
Danville (0-5, 0-2) was its own worst enemy once again last Friday, committing six turnovers in falling to Centerburg, 50-6. QB Charlie Cook was harassed all night, completing 3 of 18 tosses for 57 yards, as the Trojans hauled in more passes (four interceptions) than his own receivers. The Blue Devils also dropped five fumbles, losing two. One big play, a Langdon Johnson TD run of 74 yards, was the bulk of the team’s 118 yards rushing, as Danville gained only 101 yards on 39 other plays. The graduation losses from the previous season have not been filled, especially on the lines, so the Blue Devils’ trying season could remain so the rest of the way.
Highland at Fredericktown, 7 p.m.
Highland (1-4, 1-1) returned to the smash-mouth football of previous seasons with great aplomb, defeating Cardington on Friday, 42-20. Of the Scots’ 571 yards of offense, 481 were on 41 carries, although QB Kadin Johnson had a great game on limited passing, going 4 of 6 for 90 yards. RB Jack Weaver ran just 11 times, but for 182 yards and two scores, and he, Johnson (8-90), Landyn Albanese (8-87) and Gavin Hankins (3-51) all gained over 10 yards per carry. The defense gave Pirate QB Nate Hickman little time, as he finished 4 of 15, but for 91 yards. The Scots will try to repeat last week’s success against a Fredericktown team that is vulnerable to the rush.
Fredericktown (1-4, 0-2) was mismatched by a factor of 10 against East Knox last Friday, as the Bulldogs earned a 69-0 in KMAC play. The Freddies gained 54 yards of offense, but allowed 536 yards, including 387 yards on 29 carries (13.3 ypc) and scoring runs of 56, 29, 36, 64 and 52 yards. They also were vulnerable to the pass, giving up 149 yards on 8 of 12 completions. QB Terry Fearn has one or fewer completions in three of the team’s five games, and the team had just three first downs and were 1 of 13 on third-down attempts. RBs Corey Webb and Mason Finnell have shown some ability, but the lack of push from the line is a problem.
Newark Catholic at Utica, 7 p.m.
Newark Catholic (3-2, 1-0) trailed Licking Heights at halftime, 14-10, but a two-touchdown fourth quarter lifted the Green Wave to a 24-21. Newark Catholic has generally scored in the 20s this season, with a high of 35 in Week 1 game against Edon. Although in Division VII, the Green Wave’s last two wins have been over Division II foes, including a 21-0 victory at Watkins Memorial, so they have experience beating much larger schools. Newark Catholic has played only one team with a winning record so far this season, and Utica will be the second straight winless team it has faced, but the Green Wave haven’t lost to the Redskins since the series restarted in 2013.
Utica (0-5, 0-1) had little success on offense or defense against Granville on Friday, falling 63-0. It was the third game in the last four that the Redskins had given up 60 or more points, and they have not allowed fewer than 42 points in any game. On offense, the team was shut out for the second straight game, and have scored one or fewer TDs in three games. Against the Blue Aces, QB Collin McCullough was 7 of 19 for 87 yards, while the running backs combined for only 29 yards on 21 carries.