Prep football, Week 8: Follow you follow me
Records: Carey 4-3, 2-2; Wynford 5-2,
Last year: Wynford, 37-20.
Outlook: One week after dropping a tough 34-27 loss to Seneca East, the Blue Devils travel to face Wynford, which has dominated the Northern 10 Athletic Conference since it began four years ago.
In fact, the Royals have lost just once in N10 play, a 47-14 loss two weeks ago to the same Tigers who just beat Carey.
But Wynford rebounded from that defeat with a 51-14 trouncing of Upper Sandusky. and Carey coach Jonathon Mershman said trying to hand the Royals their second loss in N10 history will be difficult.
“Our biggest concern is making sure that we can do the things that we do well,” he said. “They’re always a well-coached team. They fly around on defense. They get a lot of turnovers, so we have to make sure we hold onto the ball and not turn the ball over.
“We need to make sure we end every offensive series with a kick or on downs. It may come down to that. Not turning the ball over, basically,” he said.
Carey quarterback Ethan Beringer has thrown for 864 yards and 12 touchdowns against three interceptions. Jordan Dasher adds 368 yards and four touchdowns on the ground while catching 16 passes for 254 yards and two more scores.
Adam Hackworth bolsters the running game with 350 yards and four scores, while Griffin Summit has caught 16 passes for 423 yards and eight touchdowns.
The passing game could prove crucial, Mershman said.
“They do a nice job of scheming and taking away what you do well,” he said. “They’re going to try to take away our running game, so we’ll have to connect on a couple passes to open up the running game.”
That could prove difficult.
Wynford’s Seth Benedict leads the N10 with seven interceptions, and Nate Imbody has three more.
Cody Taylor adds 74 tackles and three fumble recoveries and Gavin Leffler has 6 1/2 sacks.
The offense features quarterback Dustin Brady throwing for 454 yards and three touchdowns, but he’s also tossed six interceptions.
Blake Sparks adds 356 yards and seven scores on the ground, and Imbody has caught 17 passes for 274 yards the two TDs.
And when the Royals must punt, they have the N10’s best, with Benedict leading the conference with a 40.4-yard average.
But the Blue Devils also have the talent needed to force those punts.
Hackworth is tied for the N10 lead with 19 tackles for loss, Connor Williams has 70 tackles and 14 tackles for loss and Jordan Clauss has amassed 69 tackles.
Meanwhile, Dasher has picked off three passes, and is second in the conference in kick returns with a 31.7-yard average.
Records: St. Joe 3-4, 1-3; Lakota 3-4, 1-3.
Last year: Lakota, 41-10.
Outlook: It’s homecoming week for Lakota, and the Raiders are still searching for home win.
Getting it against St. Joe won’t come easily, Lakota coach Mike Lento said.
“I think this is the third week I’ve said this: They’re big up front. We have to play physical and we have to play strong,” he said. “They can spread the ball around. Their quarterback, Chase Harrison, he’s what, 6-foot-4. He can run the ball. Heck, he can fall forward for 4 yards. And he can throw the ball. There’s multiple weapons on the field. We can’t just key on one guy.”
Harrison leads them with 447 yards and three touchdowns through the air and another 480 yards and seven scores on the ground.
Grant Stepanic adds 19 catches for 260 yards and three touchdowns, and Logan Johnson has run four times for 114 yards and a TD.
In the 4-2 defense, linebacker Caleb Reed has 69 tackles, Stephanic has 41 as a defensive back and linebacker Izzy Ysasi (33) and lineman Noah Price (30) each have at least 30. Linemen Noah Lindenberger (29 tackles, 4 sacks) and Elijah Reed (25 tackles, 3 sacks) have combined for another 54 tackles and seven sacks.
“They’re very physical (on defense), they fly to the football,” Lento said. “I believe we’ll get pretty much to the same look that Margaretta gave us last week.”
That look Margaretta turned in led to Lakota falling 24-21, a loss Lento said upset his players.
But, he added, that was last week and the Raiders have to learn from it and focus on the Crimson Streaks, who fell 44-20 to Willard.
“It’s good,” Lento said of being mad about the loss. “It shows that it means something to you. As a coach, I questioned some play calls. Everything should be evaluated.
“At this point in the season, we still have a game ahead of us,” he said. “Last year when we lost to Margaretta, we had to sit for a whole year with a bad taste in our mouth.”
Getting that taste of out of their mouths this year will mean learning how to finish a game, Lento said.
“I think that’s the biggest point going into this week,” he said. “We’re going to to continue to coach hard, coach you up and better our program.”
On the field, that starts with junior Trevor Franks, who leads the Sandusky Bay Conference River Division with 1,194 rushing yards while scoring 13 touchdowns.
Quarterback Josh Matz has thrown for 492 yards and five TDs, and run for 259 yards and three more scores. Carter Reinhart has caught 14 passes for 310 yards and three TDs.
“Trevor Franks is our guy. We’re going to try to get him the ball, but we’ll also spread it around. We worked efficiently last week. We’re going to let our strengths be our strengths.”
Reinhart leads the defense with 53 tackles, nine sacks and two fumble recoveries as a linebacker. Franks adds 41 tackles as a safety, linebacker Jordan Wilmarth has 35 tackles and four sacks and defensive end Dakota Travis (24), safety Jake Hoffman (24) and lineman Deven Keim (23) have combined for another 71 tackles, with Keim adding three sacks.
Records: Sandusky 5-2, 0-2 SBC Lake; Clyde 5-2, 2-0 SBC Lake.
Last year: Sandusky, 42-28.
Outlook: After a tough couple games in a row early in the season, Clyde quietly has won four in a row, including a 24-21 win over Columbian last week.
Even with a lot of changes this season and different guys in different spots due to injury, Clyde is still right in the mix for the SBC Lake title and a playoff spot with three games to go.
“We still have our hardest part of the schedule coming up, so we are still trying to improve and get better every day,” Clyde coach Ryan Carter said. “I’m very pleased with the progress and the kids come to practice every day and work hard. We have guys filling different roles, but they are starting to have higher comfort levels with what we’re doing.”
This week, the Fliers will take on Sandusky, who started the season 5-0 and was highly ranked in the AP Poll in Division III, but have lost two in a row (Columbian and Norwalk).
Stopping Terion Stewart is the No. 1 goal for the Fliers’ defense, but Carter said it’s easier said than done. Stewart is quick and can make tackling in space a nightmare. He leads the league in rushing with 1,578 yards with 25 touchdowns.
“It’s our No. 1 goal (to stop Stewart), but they have a different number of guys that can hurt us,” Carter said. “They got some guys back from injury, including a wideout that gives them some danger on the outside as well. Their QB is progressing and can make some throws, but yea we have to tackle (Stewart) every chance we get. You have to play well in all three facets of the game to beat a team like this.
“I told our guys that we have three guaranteed weeks left and we need everyone’s all to finish this season the way we want to.”
at Buckeye Central
Records: Mohawk 7-0, 4-0 N10; Buckeye Central 0-7, 0-4 N10.
Last year: Mohawk, 45-14.
Outlook: The new No. 1 team in the state in Division VII, Mohawk travels to struggling Buckeye Central this week.
Obviously Mohawk has had success this season being unbeaten, but with a few games left, coach Brent Konkle doesn’t want his team to lose any focus no matter who it plays.
“We’ve been preaching focus this season from two-a-days really,” Konkle said. “We will be able to reach our goals as long as we stay focused and do what we are supposed to. We are getting back to fundamentals this week. We made some mistakes last week, which we have to clean up and we are throwing some things at the kids this week to get some experience. We are throwing some different formations at them because this time of the year, you never know what you might see.”
Buckeye Central and coach Rob Detterman will see a strong offensive line backed by playmakers in the backfield and on the outside at wide receiver.
“First, we have a lot of respect for Mohawk and how far the program has come under Konkle,” Detterman said. “A lot of their kids have been playing for three years now and we admire them quite a bit.
“Chris Klopp really jumps out on tape. He’s one of the best linemen in the area on both sides of the ball and is an All-Ohio type player in my mind. (Quarterback Keith) Jenkins is running a lot more this season, but can throw it as well and (tailback Brock) Kirian will pound you. Their defense is just outstanding and they are always well-coached over there. They just do everything really well.”
The Bucks have not been getting off to good starts this season, which is a point of emphasis for Detterman this week.
“On both sides of the ball, we’ve just lacked aggressiveness,” he said. “We obviously lack competition in practice with how low our numbers are, but we need to be more aggressive and get off to better starts. We have some size and talent. We need to attack early. We will struggle in games like this against good teams, but we want to put out a good showing for ourselves with a few games left.”
at Seneca East
Records: Upper Sandusky 3-4, 1-3 N10; Seneca East 6-1, 3-1.
Last season: Seneca East 41-0.
Outlook: Seneca East coach Ed Phillips dismissed the idea that his team could have a letdown this week when it hosts Upper Sandusky.
After beating 2017 playoff teams Wynford and Carey in back-to-back weeks, the Tigers host the three-win Rams.
When asked if he was worried about the Tigers letting up this week, the SE coach’s answer was firm and immediate.
“No, our kids won’t let that happen, our coaches won’t tet that happen,” Phillips said. “We just need to keep the momentum going. Not too many teams who can say they beat Wynford and Carey in consecutive weeks. We want to keep the momentum we’ve had.”
Meanwhile, Upper Sandusky’s Russell Hall has been dealing with a slew of injuries. Last week against Wynford, the Rams were without starting quarterback Levi Malone, who was injured. Jordan Wright, who had been the junior varsity team’s starter, took his place.
So who starts this week for the Rams?
“We’ll have to wait and see,” Hall said.
Injuries have been such a problem for the Rams that last week, Hall had to resort to desperate measures for depth.
Injuries left the Rams with one healthy middle linebacker. Upper Sandusky needs two middle linebackers for its defense.
It also doesn’t dress its freshman team for varsity games.
So the USHS staff went into the stands to get freshman Aiden Gallant. Gallant played in the second half against the Royals.
Still, Phillips said the Rams present challenges.
“They got the guys that can catch and run the ball very well, so they’re balanced,” Phillips said.
Meanwhile, Hall is just looking for improvement.
“Everybody’s working hard,” he said.
Records: Hopewell-Loudon 3-4, 2-3 BVC; Liberty-Benton 3-4, 3-2.
Last season: Arlington 58-21.
Outlook: It’s not clear if there’s much left to say about Hopewell-Loudon tailback Sam Stickley.
The senior has scored 20 touchdowns. He’s also rushed for 786 yards, and last week, in a loss to Van Buren, he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.
“He’s a very talented football player and he has really expanded his game,” said Chieftain coach Brian Colatruglio. “He’s really become a complete football player.
“Every team’s main priority is to contain him, they’ve still struggled to do that. When you have a back like Sam, you don’t have to give him too much space.”
Colatruglio said that as the season has gone on, H-L’s entire offense has improved. The defense has still had issues, though, and it figures to be pushed by Liberty-Benton.
“They’re kind of similar to us and Van Buren and are playing a lot of young guys. It will be an evenly matched game.”
Records: Elmwood 1-6, 1-3; Fostoria 2-5, 1-3.
Last year: Fostoria, 41-14.
Outlook: Fostoria celebrates homecoming this week, and while coaches generally dislike such distractions, this Friday may be the exception for coach Derek Kidwell.
School officials are naming the field at Memorial Stadium in honor of his father, Dick Kidwell, who coached the Redmen from 1977 through 1996.
The elder Kidwell’s Redmen won state titles in 1991 and ’96 and finished second in 1989 and ’93, earning 11 playoff berths and seven unbeaten regular seasons.
His son, a senior on the ’91 state champion team who was also named Ohio’s Mr. Football that year and an assistant on the ’96 team, said Friday’s event will be special for the family.
“Obviously it’s a great honor, well deserved,” coach Kidwell said. “I’m sure it will be real emotional. I’m just glad him and mom get to take part in it … and still enjoy it.”
They’ll see Fostoria take on the Royals, who snapped a pair of 13-game losing streaks – 13 games overall, and 13 Northern Buckeye Conference games — in last week’s 30-13 thumping of Rossford.
Garrett Wright led that assault by running for 241 yards. Kidwell said he doesn’t foresee the Royals straying from that success, but the Redmen will try to make them do just that.
“They’re a spread team, but they want to run first. We want to take the running game away, but to do that we’ve got to play well up front, we’ve got to fill our gaps and we’ve got to be able to tackle. If we can do that and make them one-dimensional, I think we can get them in some long-yardage situations where they’re not really comfortable,” he said.
“They don’t have an elaborate passing game, but it’s effective at times and sometimes it’s ineffective,” he said. “If we can get them in long yardage and force them to throw the ball with a young quarterback, I think we can get some stops and put the ball in our hands and see what happens.”
Putting the ball into Fostoria’s hands primarily means putting it into the hands of running backs Maalik Tucker and Jadyn Miller.
Kidwell said their success will lead to the offense opening up a bit and getting past last week’s 41-8 loss to Lake
“We want to run the football. We want to get the football to Jadyn Miller at fullback and Maalik at tailback. And if we want to go to more of a power game, we put Jadyn at tailback and get him running downhill,” Kidwell said.
“We want to get the ball in both their hands and have our offensive line control the line of scrimmage,” he said. “I also feel we can exploit some things in the passing game. The athletes we have on the perimeter have developed into some decent receivers. We’ll do a little bit of both, but if we can get our running game going, that’s definitely something we’ll lean on for four quarters.”
— By The A-T sports staff