Arrows a tough test for TC

Through two weeks, Columbian coach Judd Lutz said he is pleased with his team’s season.

The Tornadoes come into tonight’s home game with Ashland at 1-1. They dominated Elida in Week 1, but fell short last week against Anthony Wayne.

Now the Tornadoes face another tough test — an Arrows team that is 2-0 and coming off a 28-21 win over Clyde.

“I feel really good,” Lutz said. “Obviously, we had a tough loss last week against a good team, but this is gonna be a big bounce-back week, and that’s been the message all week.”

Lutz said the way tonight’s game goes may show a lot moving forward.

“How we respond to last week is gonna be really big for the rest of the year,” Lutz said. “It could either debilitate us, or it can catapult us into some good things. So we’re hoping to get that bad taste out of our mouths. We had a good week of preparation.”

Preparation is key when going against the Arrows.

“We’ve got to be sound up front on both ends, offensively and defensively,” Lutz said. “They do some things — their defense — that can give some offensive lines fits. They’re able to get after the passer if you’re trying to throw it, and they’re also able to stop the run. We’ve got to be really sound in who we’re blocking and how we’re blocking.

“Defensively, same thing,” he said. “They do a good job of spreading you out and throwing the ball, but they’re also really dangerous running the quarterback, or the slot receivers on some jet sweeps and inside zone. We’ve got to be able to stop the pass game but also get after it in the run game as well. I think that’s the key to the game.”

Lutz said he’s impressed by Ashland quarterback Mitch Heilman, who ran for 107 yards and threw for 140.

“I would say they have some really good athletes offensively and defensively,” Lutz said. “The quarterback is a really good athlete; he can throw it really well. He throws a good deep ball, he throws a good quick-game ball. He’s accurate and out on time. He’s also really fast and agile. So he does some great things with his feet and makes something happen when it’s not there.”

As for Columbian’s offense, led by quarterback Chase Frankhauser, Lutz said it will be facing a squad with a different front.

“Defensively, they do something kind of funky,” Lutz said. “They play like a 3-3 or a 3-5. Defensively they play a lot of linebackers, so that means they have a lot of speed on the field, and like to bring those guys from all different places.

“They run to the football really well on defense, and they keep the ball in front of them and tackle well,” Lutz said. “They do a lot of things really well, and that’s why they are 2-0.”

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Frost-Kalnow Stadium.