Centerburg at Fredericktown, 7 p.m.
Centerburg (6-3, 4-2) was stymied in its running game except for Donnell Marshall last Friday, but QB Jack Gregory threw two TDs to pace the team to a 24-13 victory over Cardington. Gregory started the game with a 10-yard TD pass to Hayden Sutton, and they connected again in the second quarter for 19 yards to finish 22 of 36 for 279 yards, with Sutton grabbing eight tosses for 138 yards. Marshall, who ran 14 times for 106 yards, had a 65-yard TD run in the fourth, but even he was handled apart from that. Another aspect of the team has been the production of kicker Ellis Grizenko, who, as one of the best in the area, kicked a 31-yard field goal.
Fredericktown (1-8, 0-6) was taken down methodically by Northmor in Week 9, as the Golden Knights gained 525 total yards in a 63-21 KMAC win. The Freddies gave up 298 yards on 31 carries, and 227 yards on 12-of-17 passing to Hunter Mariotti. Fredericktown had a 62-yard TD run by Corey Webb, but otherwise produced only 37 carries for 64 yards. The passing game was nonexistent, as Kailin Horlacher had a poor debut with two interceptions and one completion for -3 yards to his own players. If the Freddies had no answer for Wyatt Reeder, they can expect Centerburg runner Donnell Marshall to get a lot of chances to do the same this Friday.
Highland at Northmor, 7 p.m.
Highland (4-5, 4-2) returned to the rushing success that sustained it for many season in Week 9, gaining 283 yards in a 30-0 shutout win over Danville. Dylan Stillwell’s 74-yard run in the third quarter helped him lead the Scots with 93 yards, and QB Kadin Johnson ran nine times for 75 yards. Johnson also helped out with two second-quarter TD throws to an emerging Landon Remmert, for 42 and 25 yards. Defensively, Highland made three takeaways, two lost fumbles and one interception, and held the Blue Devils’ running game to 68 yards on 27 carries. The Scots will have a much tougher time this week, as Northmor’s offense can rack up big yards at any time.
Northmor (8-1, 5-1) had its way with Fredericktown on Friday, rushing and passing for over 200 yards each in a dominating 63-21 win. After three first-quarter TDs, the Golden Knights scored four in the final five minutes of the second quarter. QB Hunter Mariotti threw four TD passes, and Blake Miller caught two TDs and returned a fumble for another. Wyatt Reeder contributed 152 yards on 13 carries. The defense held the Freddies to -3 passing yards, and one big rushing TD gave Fredericktown 62 of its 126 rushing yards. Having already clinched a home playoff game, a victory against Highland would avenge the Scots’ ruining the Knights’ undefeated season last year.
Lakewood at Utica, 7 p.m.
Lakewood (2-7, 1-3) pulled off an improbable win on Friday, tying Watkins Memorial on the last play in regulation before winning in overtime, 29-28. Lancers QB Connor Vierstra hit Brandon Allen for a 28-yard score as the clock ran out, then rushed for a 7-yard TD in the overtime period, one of his two rushing scores. An extra point by Alex Pletcher provided the winning margin to break a 19-game losing streak against LCL opponents. Vierstra completed 21 of 36 passes for 216 yards, and also ran 20 times for 145 yards. Lakewood lost to Utica in overtime last year, 28-21, and has lost two straight to the Redskins, but the Lancers should be able to break that this week.
Utica (0-9, 0-4) was hammered at by the Northridge running game in Week 9, giving up 494 yards on the ground in falling, 49-12. The Redskins gave up TD runs of 60, 26, 20, 36, 40 and 16 yards, as Dylon Parman gained 237 yards and J.D. Miller 126. Utica gained 147 yards itself. The Redskins used three quarterbacks, with Ethan Adams leading the team in passing (65 yards), rushing (34 yards) and receiving (45 yards). Regular QB Collin McCullough completed only 5 of 13 passes for 60 yards, and the run game was limited to just 1 yard per carry. If it can’t find a better push up front for its running backs, Utica could suffer its first winless season since 2016.
Mount Gilead at Cardington, 7 p.m.
Mount Gilead (3-6, 2-4) had a good defensive game going for most of the first half last Friday, but East Knox scored 33 points in the second and third quarters to stay unbeaten, 40-17. After Carson Van Hoose’s 29-yard field goal got the Indians on the board, 7-3, Bulldogs’ QB Kadden Lester threw three TDs in the next two quarters. Mount Gilead used three quarterbacks, and they combined for 253 yards on 19-of-31 passing, which helped to make up for a running game that was held to 54 yards on 26 carries. Cardington’s Nathan Hickman and WR Trey Brininger are a good test for the Indians this week, and they will have to keep them in check to earn the victory.
Cardington (1-8, 1-5) gained more yards than Centerburg in Friday’s home KMAC game, but a couple of big touchdown runs lifted the Trojans to the victory, 24-13. The Pirates’ defense was devastating against the run, giving up 36 yards on 24 carries, as all but Donnell Marshall had negative rushing yards. But Cardington was much less effective against the pass, which gained Centerburg 291 of its 327 yards. The Pirates had good running success (36-183) and showed some quick-strike ability with Nathan Hickman’s fourth-quarter, 58-yard TD pass to Trey Brininger with two seconds left in the game, and that could make for interesting times against Mount Gilead.