Northmor at Danville, 7 p.m.
Northmor (6-1, 3-1) more than doubled Cardington’s yardage on Friday to earn a 36-13 victory. It was QB Hunter Mariotti’s show, as the senior threw for four touchdowns while completing 12 of 18 passes for 293 yards. His tosses averaged 24.4 yards apiece, and his TDs were for 36, 5, 45 and 31 yards. He also got them 10 first downs, and the Golden Knights were successful on half of their combined third- and fourth-down attempts. The defense gave up just over 100 yards throwing and passing, but kept the passing percentage low (7 of 16) and the rushing average to 3.4 yards. The defense will have to more of the same to control a surging Danville team this week.
Danville (2-5, 2-2) won its second straight game in Week 7, downing Fredericktown 43-7. It was also the second straight contest against a team with only one victory this season after a 24-21 win over Cardington on Oct. 4. The Blue Devils’ offense has shown signs of improvement after scoring one touchdown in losses to Mount Gilead and Centerburg, as Langdon Johnson has begun to emerge. Johnson had seven catches for 159 yards and three TDs vs. the Freddies, and also ran for 76 yards on 16 carries. QB Charlie Cook has also gotten better, but the line will have to protect him against Northmor pass rushers Blake Miller and Hunter Brookover this week.
Cardington at East Knox, 7 p.m.
Cardington (1-6, 1-3) trailed by one touchdown in the second quarter last Friday, but Northmor scored twice in the period to regain momentum and win, 36-13. QB Nathan Hickman threw a 17-yard TD to Trey Brininger seconds into the second quarter, but Golden Knights’ QB Hunter Mariotti ripped through the Pirates’ defense for two more TDs in the period and once more in the fourth quarter. Cardington’s defense did a good job against the rush, allowing 134 yards on 37 carries (3.6 avg.), but was vulnerable through the air. With East Knox’s top receivers, Gage Steinmetz, Cade Leach and Weston Melick, to defend against this week, the Pirates’ work is cut out for them.
East Knox (7-0, 4-0) struggled for one of the few times this season in Week 7’s game against Centerburg, but got its act together for 31 second-half points in a 38-14 KMAC victory. RB Caleb Gallwitz (32-211) was held to 60 yards in the first half but broke off an 80-yard TD run to start the second-half onslaught. QB Kadden Lester completed 15 of 20 passes for 208 yards, with 148 in the second half.
The defense had some difficulty controlling Trojans’ RB Donnell Marshall (14-137), but the rest of the team gained -1 yards. Cardington has no one close to Marshall’s caliber, so East Knox’s control of the scrimmage line on both sides shouldn’t be a problem.
Fredericktown at Mount Gilead, 7 p.m.
Fredericktown (1-6, 0-4) has had one offensive problem after another this season, and that continued in Week 7 with a 43-7 loss to Danville. The Freddies have scored one TD in four games and shut out twice, with a high of 42 points against winless Utica in Week 3, and the only tally against the Blue Devils was an interception return by Terry Fearn. Fredericktown gave up three TDs to Langdon Johnson, one on an 87-yard run, and Alex Holt scored on a 48-yard pass and a 23-yard run. Another TD run was for 35 yards. By giving up big scoring plays without the ability to answer, Fredericktown’s chances of success against Mount Gilead will be severely limited.
Mount Gilead (2-5, 1-3) was tied with Highland in the first quarter of last Friday’s game, but a fumble return for a touchdown spurred the Scot to the victory, 28-13. The Indians came to within eight points with a second-quarter TD, but Highland shut them out in the second half. QB Joel Butterman completed 10 of 16 passes for 132 yards and both TDs, which helped make up for 78 yards on 38 rushing attempts (2.1 avg.). Nothing could make up for four turnovers, two fumbles and two picks, which cost Mount Gilead opportunities to score. The Indians face a Fredericktown team that has struggled offensively and will have to avoid another turnover-filled game.
Utica at Johnstown, 7 p.m.
Utica (0-7, 0-3) continued its tough slog through the Licking County League schedule on Friday, falling to visiting Heath, 47-0. The Bulldogs were the fourth in a string of games against opponents who have lost only three games thus far this season, with two undefeated (Licking Valley, Granville), each in the top four of the playoff standings in their region. Utica gave up big plays all game, including a 55-yards TD run by Xavier Puryear and a 46-yard throw from Austin Morrow to Nolan McClain. This week’s foe, Johnstown, has a losing record this season, but has easily handled the Redskins in the past, and this year should be no exception.
Johnstown (3-4, 2-1) has had a down season after five straight playoff appearances, and after two wins were brought under .500 in Week 7 with a 21-10 loss to Newark Catholic. The last time the Green Wave defeated the Johnnies was in 2013, coincidentally the last season that Johnstown did not make the playoffs. QB Cole Workman has been doing double duty as both passer and the team’s second-leading rusher, but he has yet to throw a touchdown pass this season. RB Wes Myers leads the team in ground yards, but his carries get limited by the deficits Johnstown faces in games, leading to more passing. That shouldn’t be a problem against Utica this week.