Once again conference rivals, Senecas and Streaks square off
The rivalry has been reignited.
Calvert coach Todd Fox said he made sure of that.
The Senecas travel to Fremont tonight to take on Fremont St. Joe. The longtime Midland Athletic League opponents are in the same conference again, this time in the Sandusky Bay Conference’s River Division.
The teams haven’t been in the same conference since 2013, when this year’s seniors were freshmen.
Fox is excited to get the rivalry going again.
“I’ve tried to re-enter that into our guys’ brains,” Fox said. “It’s a rival game. Fortunately, we’re all in the same league again, and I’m sure some of their parents, and older alums have restated that this is a rival game, so it’s nice to have that kind of game. Relive the past, but now, knowing it’s going to be the future, so the guys are getting flippy, ready for some football.”
The Streaks are coming in just 1-4, but they also have some momentum. They rallied for a late 23-20 win over Danville last week.
“If you look at their schedule, they’ve played some really good teams,” Fox said.
The coach said the Streaks played well against Gibsonburg, and did some good things against St. Paul, both St. Joe losses.
“We know they’re a good football team,” Fox said. “Their record does not display how good they are.”
The Streaks do have a solid offense, starting with quarterback Spencer Harrison.
Harrison, a junior, throws the ball more than any signal caller in the River Division.
Harrison has completed 125 of 212 passes for 1,583 yards and 10 touchdowns. Harrison has thrown 97 more passes than his Calvert counterpart, Park Hemminger.
“He’s done a great job in their offense, and you can’t give him time,” Fox said. “He’ll pick you apart. Defensively, we’re gonna have to get some pressure on him, and keep him off balance as much as we can. If you give him time, he’s gonna make something happen.”
He also has a prolific receiver in Zach Militello, who has 45 receptions for 687 yards and seven touchdowns. St. Joe also has Chris Morrisette. who has 32 catches for 437 yards.
“They’ve got two great receivers, and the others are very good too,” Fox said of St. Joe’s skill players. “They do a great job of balancing that out offensively. Fortunately for us, defensively I feel very confident with what coach (Pat) Herron has got going. We’re gonna have to play a great football game, though.”
Calvert comes in off of two straight wins, and has improved to 3-2. But Fox said he doesn’t want the players to be satisfied.
“What we’ve been preaching for several weeks is ‘better every week.’ We found things we feel we can still (do) better,” Fox said. “We felt we played a very good game last week, but… we’re not negative on our guys, but we always find things we can work on, and we focus on ourselves that way. Each and every week, we put time into our opponent, but we put equal amount of time into ourselves so we get better as a football team.”
Fox may look for his players to get better, but one who has been really good already is Hemminger, who has run for 228 yards and thrown for 947, accounting for 12 total touchdowns.
“Park Hemminger’s done a fantastic job for us,” Fox said. “There’s nothing we can say, negatively, about Park. He’s got his rhythm with receivers. His pocket awareness, and his ability to make plays out of broken plays…he’s become that quarterback leader that every coach wants. We’re excited at his development and how he’s been doing and will continue to work.”
There’s other players who are doing big things for the Senecas. Fred Fabrizio is second in the league in rushing, with 477 yards. Corbin Kantner is third in receiving yards with 271. Connor Kwiat is tied for the league lead with two interceptions.
“They just know they’re getting better,” Fox said. “We’ve reinforced that it’s OK to be (up) and excited about your ability, but you can’t forget the root and celebrate the fruit. So, we’ll get better, and continue to get better (tonight).
Kickoff is 7 p.m.