Clyde focused on Rams

Clyde coach Ryan Carter said his team has not allowed itself too much time to enjoy its victories this season.

Take 24 hours to enjoy the win, then start preparing for the next opponent.

But the first-year football coach did acknowledge last week was a little different.

Beating a reining state champion in the regional finals, and doing so in the most dramatic fashion, makes it that way.

“This win took a little longer,” Carter said of the aftermath of Clyde’s 42-41 win over Toledo Central Catholic. The kids were very excited. To beat a team like that and the way we did it, the kids were really excited.”

But Carter said the Fliers have come back with strong practices this week, as they prepare – once again – for a great test.

Officially, the Trotwood Madison Rams arrive at Week 13 with an 11-2 record.

But one of its “losses” came from a season-opening game against Springfield. In what was contested on the field, Madison won 42-8.

But later, the Rams were ruled to have used an ineligible player and had to forfeit.

Since a Week 2 loss to powerhouse Wayne, Madison not only hasn’t lost, but has racked up convincing wins each week. Its regional final win over Tippecanoe was its closest game in the postseason, and the Rams won that 25-7.

Carter is impressed, but doesn’t want his players overwhelmed. They have no reason to be.

“They’re a good football team, but did we really think we’d get to the last four teams in the state of Ohio and not play a good football team?” Carter asked rhetorically.

Carter said he sees similarities between the Rams and Toledo Central Catholic, but not schematically.

“Similarities would be they’re as fast if not faster with their athletes,” he said.

But they’re not wide open the way the Irish were. Instead, the Rams are a run-first offense.

Their running game is paced by running backs Mark Raye-Raymond and Breland Cospy. Quarterback Messiah DeWeaver, just a sophomore, also is expected to be a factor.

“They’re a run-first team,” Carter said. “They’ll take deep throws, deep shots. They’re similar in athletes [to Toledo Central Catholic], different approach.”

The key for Clyde, according to its coach, is not to go beyond what has allowed them to reach this point.

“I told ’em all week, ‘we have to just do what we do and trust that that is enough.’ Don’t do anymore than your capable of,” he said.

And as last week showed, Clyde is capable of plenty. Quarterback Tim Hoppe shined with a school-record 364 passing yards, while receiver Derek Gray had more than 200 yards receiving. And the Flier defense forced a fumble when it needed it the most, allowing Clyde to be in Lima tonight.

Against Madison, Carter said he’s expecting to see a 4-3 front and mixed coverages in the secondary.

“We’ll get whatever we get,” he said.

If it’s anything like the last few weeks, that would mean a good night for Clyde.

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Lima Senior.