Bluffton at Carey
Record: Bluffton 1-0; Carey 0-1.
Coaches: Bluffton Dennis Lee; Carey Todd Worst.
Last week: Bluffton beat Cory-Rawson 49-13; Carey fell at Upper Sandusky, 40-19.
Last year: Carey shut out the Pirates 26-0.
Outlook: Worst said Carey has the ability to compete with anyone on its schedule.
As long as the Blue Devils take care of the ball.
They didn't last week. Upper Sandusky took advantage of four Blue Devil turnovers to beat Carey
"As long as we attack our jobs and hang on to the ball, I think we can be competitive with most teams," Worst said.
The coach also said he wants to see his team do a better job tackling against Bluffton.
"We gotta do a good job wrapping up," he said. "We were in the right position [against Upper Sandusky] and didn't do what we were supposed to do."
Worst said quarterback Matthew Holsinger, who missed most of the first half last week, is "going to be fine," and he will face a tough Pirate defense.
"They move pretty well up front, good speed across the top," he said. "We're gonna have to be consistent in our blocking."
Elmwood at Hopewell-Loudon
Record: Elmwood 0-1, Hopewell-Loudon 0-1.
Coaches: Elmwood Brian Cooper; Hopewell-Loudon Jeremy Nutter
Last week Elmwood fell to Gibsonburg 35-13; Hopewell-Loudon lost to Leipsic 33-20.
Last season: Hopewell-Loudon defeated the Royals, 36-20
Outlook: While Nutter said he saw some positives in the Chieftains' loss to Leipsic last week, he said no one in his camp is satisfied.
"Our kids aren't OK with losing," Nutter said. "They know there's work to be done, and they're resilient."
Hopewell-Loudon will have a chance to prove that Friday, when it makes its home debut against Elmwood., which like the Chieftains, is coming off a loss. But Nutter said the Royals have some playmakers, starting with receiver Aaron Arnold, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound senior.
"Arnold, he makes them go," Nutter said. "He's a really fast kid, the most athletic kid on the field. But if you overfocus on him they have a nice tailback (Austin Isaacs) who can run you over up the middle.
"It's gonna be interesting," Nutter said.
Mohawk at Wynford
Record: Mohawk 0-1; Wynford 0-1
Coaches: Mohawk Erik Baker; Wynford Gabe Helbert
Last week: Mohawk fell to Pleasant 58-12; Wynford lost to Liberty-Benton 17-3,
Last season: Wynford beat the Warriors 34-14.
Outlook: Baker said last week's loss spelled out to the Warriors where they are right now.
"Biggest thing we took from last week is that we are a work in progress," he said. "Pleasant is big , fast and well-coached and we have a lot of work to do to get to that level of performance."
A formidable challenge awaits this week as well. Wynford, the traditionally strong non-conference rival of Mohawk, has a strong running back in Corey Brown.
Baker said the Warriors expect the Royals to establish the star back.
"I expect Wynford to try and establish Corey Brown just as they expect us to establish [Mohawk back] Gunnar Johnson," he said. "To contain their offense we need to shed blocks and run to [the] ball as a team."
Most of all, Baker said he just wants his team to play better.
"Improvement has been [the] emphasis this week," he said. "You will have adversity in your life, don't shrink from it, address it and move forward."
Lakota at Gibsonburg
Record: Lakota 1-0; Gibsonburg 1-0.
Last week: Lakota beat Arcadia 38-0; Gibsonburg beat Elmwood 35-13.
Last year: Lakota won 27-0.
Coaches: Dave Vodika, Lakota; Steve Reser, Gibsonburg.
Outlook: The shutout in Week 1 was nice, but it's far from the kind of signature win Lakota's seeking this year. Still, it's a step in the right direction.
"It's been a while in the making to get to this point where we feel we're competing and where we feel we've prepped well and we've had a good preseason," Vodika said. "It's a process and we've really challenged them this week to not make this [first win] our finest moment. It's a 10-game season. We were excited and we did play well, but the guys are focused.
"Gibsonburg's going to be a lot more formidable opponent. We're looking forward to the game and it's a neighborhood rivalry," he said. "I think a mature team right now handles those things and that's what we're trying to be. We told them Saturday, 'OK, celebration's over' and they wanted to get back to work."
After a dominating season-opening win, the Raiders hit the road to face the Golden Bears, who roughed up Elmwood 35-13 last week. It will be the second game in a row for Gibsonburg to face a former Suburban Lakes League foe, and Vodika said his Raiders look forward to what is now a non-conference rivalry.
"A rivalry is a rivalry and I think our guys are pretty pumped for this," he said.
"We're looking forward to this. It's a rivalry, a neighborhood rivalry," he said. "The concern's that we have are to maintain a high level of consistency."
A big challenge to that will be Gibsonburg quarterback Matt Tille, who threw for four TDs and 190 yards in the season-opener against Elmwood. Vodika said containing him will be key.
"I've seen enough of [quarterback] Matt Tille that if they want to graduate him early, that's fine with me," he said. "He's a three-year letterman and a mature quarterback."
Fostoria at Bowling Green
Record: Fostoria 0-1; Bowling Green 0-1.
Last week: Fostoria lost 55-0 to Ottawa-Glandorf; Bowling Green lost 13-7 to Rossford.
Last year: Bowling Green won 31-0.
Coaches: Jim Kelly, Fostoria; Bill Wammes, Bowling Green.
Outlook: It's difficult to find a positive in a 55-0 loss to a perennial power, but they are there for Fostoria.
One is the fact the Redmen still have plenty of health. Another is they also still have desire.
"One thing we did was stay healthy, and that's good. We were lucky there," Kelly said.
"This year we didn't quit. We weren't great all the time, but we didn't quit," he said. "Last year, there were times we quit. The young kids kept battling [in the opener]. I was proud to see that."
He also hopes to see a win. The Redmen haven't done that since the 2011 season finale and turning that trend around against Bowling Green won't be easy, Kelly said.
Fostoria hasn't beaten the Bobcats since 2009, and this year's bunch from BG bring challenges, he said.
"They have some skill guys. The biggest thing is, when you're facing a school that's a bigger school, the numbers come into play with that. Especially with us because we're a younger team," Kelly said. "They do throw the football well, they have some skill guys and we're going to keep everything in front of us."
Youth will also challenge Fostoria. But if there's one thing the Redmen have over Bowling Green, it's their continuity. Fostoria is in the second year under Kelly while the Bobcats have a new coach.
"We're just so young. I think probably the one thing is, they have a new coaching staff. When that happens, you like to think you have a little [more] continuity," Kelly said. "Sometimes those type of things take a team longer to get acclimated."
Seneca East at Upper Sandusky
Records: Seneca East 1-0; Upper Sandusky 1-0
Last week: Seneca East blasted South Central 54-21 while Upper Sandusky dropped rival Carey 40-19.
Coaches: Seneca East Ed Phillips; Upper Sandusky Jake Moyer.
Outlook: On paper it looked like two easy victories for two good teams, but Phillips and Moyer saw things that their teams need to address.
"Up front we have to do some things better in the run game, on the offensive line," Phillips said. "We did a good job controlling the line, but didn't get to the second level guys, that will be important for us this week."
"We dropped four long passes that were right in the kids hands; I really felt we should've been up three or four scores at halftime," Moyer said. "(Carey) losing their No. 1 quarterback for a period of time hurt them, so maybe it balances itself out."
Two of the area's best quarterbacks will face off, as Ethan Caudill brings his Tigers into Upper Sandusky to face Tylor Pritchard's Rams.
Each QB gives the opposing coach plenty to worry about.
"He's a good dual threat, there's no doubt," Phillips said of Pritchard. "When you look at what they do, he runs the ball well and throws the ball well. We gotta stop them running the ball first of all, and that goes for any game. If you don't stop the run, you're going to be in trouble. But then, he can throw the heck out of the ball and has a lot of weapons to throw it to."
"He does a real nice job of distributing the ball," Moyer countered when asked about Caudill. "We've seem him where he keeps the ball around end. He's got quick feet, nifty in the open field. All of the perimeter stuff the can do, they create quite a quandary for our defense."
Phillips says the game will come down to how his team's speed can match up against Upper Sandusky's size.
"They have very good size up front," he said. "Size-wise, their a big team on both sides of the football; they throw some beef at you. We're a speed team. We have speed with our skill guys and up front we're based on that as well."
For Moyer, he's hoping his team has learned a lesson from last year, when the Rams followed up a Week 1 win with a sub par Week 2.
"This game reminds all the coaches so much of last year when we beat Carey, then went into Colonel Crawford and laid an egg at Colonel Crawford," he said. "And that Colonel Crawford team is the same kind of team as Seneca East. We've been telling them 'It's only one game, don't get overconfident.'"
Buckeye Central at Cardington-Lincoln
Records: Buckeye Central 0-1; Cardington-Lincoln 0-1
Last week: Buckeye Central fell to New London 20-6 while Cardington-Lincoln lost to North Union, 50-6.
Coaches: Buckeye Central, Jeff Niedermier; Cardington-Lincoln, Brandon Dodrill
Outlook: Niedermier's debut as Bucks coach didn't go the way he wanted. But the positive side for Niedermier is he feels all the mistakes his team made were things that can be fixed.
"I felt the guys came out, did a decent job," he said. "We had quite a few mistakes, but there wasn't anything that wasn't correctable. A lot of things we could sit down and say, "We can do this better; we can do that better."
While the Pirates were on the wrong end of a lopsided score last week, Niedermier says that's more due to the strength of the opponent (North Union) rather than Cardington-Lincoln's abilities.
"The have a senior-dominated team," Niedermier said. "They run a spread, no-huddle offense. It's something a little bit different that we have to prepare for. They have some big guys on the d-line.
"They're fairly balanced from what we saw. They'll throw out of it, do a lot of motion out of it. Everyone has to do their assignment and be where they're supposed to be. We have to stay disciplined."
-- The?A-T?Sports Staff