Tornadoes face ‘explosive’ offense in NOL opener

NORWALK – Columbian coach Brian Colatruglio said it’s the most explosive offense the Tornadoes have faced.

TC, which stands at 2-1 this season, travels to Norwalk to take on the unbeaten Truckers, a test the Tornadoes’ coach said likely will come down to speed vs. power.

The Truckers, coached by Columbian graduate Chris MacFarland, will supply the speed, especially on offense.

Norwalk has scored 156 points over its first three games. While its opponents – Edison, John Hay and Western Reserve – are smaller schools, the Truckers’ offense has been dominant.

“They have three really dynamic players offensively – quarterback [Jordan] Johnson, the running back [Breck] Turner and [Joseph] Hinkley, the wide receiver. They have speed we haven’t seen up to this point, especially at the quarterback and running back positions.”

It will be a tough task for the Tornadoes in their Northern Ohio League opener; they have established themselves as a power team.

“It’s the best offense we’ve faced; skill-wise, speed-wise,” Colatruglio said. “They’re averaging 50-some [points] a game, and we’re giving up like eight, so something has to give there.

“It’s a huge challenge for our defense, and we have to do a good job of containing their quarterback,” Colatruglio said. “They make a lot of plays that aren’t necessarily designed.”

Offensively, Columbian will use much the same personnel it did over the first three weeks.

“We’re closer to full strength, but it’s not gonna affect our starting lineup for this week,” Colatruglio said.

Stone Simmons will start again at quarterback for Columbian; Donovan Walker will not play.

The Columbian coach said the Tornadoes will stick with what it has been doing on offense.

“We’ve got to run the ball,” Colatruglio said. “We want to be physical. We don’t want to make it a track meet. We want to make it a fight inside.”

Colatruglio said the Truckers’ defense has been in a position to play with confidence, since its offense is playing so well.

“They’ve caused some turnovers,” Colatruglio said. “Their offense scores so much, it’s nice to play defense when you’re ahead. They’re fairly aggressive and they do a nice job in the secondary. Once they get a team behind, they make it really hard to throw on them.”

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.