EAST LIVERPOOL - Practice days are winding down.
The Ohio football team had its next-to-last-day of practice Tuesday at the East Liverpool practice field in preparation for the 33rd-annual Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic Football Game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Springfield High School in New Middletown.
"It was a very good practice," Ohio and Indian Creek head coach Andrew Connor said. "Obviously, the weather is cooperating.
SUMMER FOOTBALL — Ohio and Indian Creek football coach Andrew Connor talks to the Ohio players after Tuesday’s practice at East Liverpool High School. The 33rd-annual Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic Football Game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Springfield High School in New Middletown.
-- Aaron Petchal
"It was a crisp day. I thought we got our timing a little bit better. I still thought we hit a lot today. I think the kids are starting to just get used to being back in pads again. This is the fourth day of us hitting. I think our tackling is getting a little bit better. Our blocking up front is getting a little bit better.
"Again, the physicality of the game is starting to work for us at this point."
Tuesday's practice was about 90 minutes, setting the stage for the final full day of practice today.
"One more big day tomorrow," Connor said. "Again, we will go full pads tomorrow, and try to continue with our time, especially offensively, because that is where you are working on your time up.
"I think the kids have worked hard, and you can tell they are picking up more and more as we go through this, especially today when we went a little no huddle, and I thought our no huddle had a really good tempo to it."
The players on the Ohio team are getting more and more comfortable with their individual positions and their duties on Friday night.
"I think they feel good about it," Connor said. "We have got a good rotation going. I think the kids all understand that they are all going to play, and I think a lot of will do with the different sets we run offensively, whether we use two tight ends or we go to spread and have four wide outs in the game. Based on what they are giving us, we can get a lot more kids in the game offensively."
The coaching staff had a pretty good idea of where they were going to put the kids prior to the start of practice last week.
"We kind of stayed true to who we picked and for what position we picked them," Connor said. "There has been a little bit of maneuvering once we got here, trading a guy here for that, trying to strengthen up both sides of the ball, but I would say 90 percent of where we picked a kid, that is where that kid has played."
The Buckeyes will be able to get more players into the game, but due to the rules of the all-star game, the Ohio and Pennsylvania teams are limited in what they can do defensively and on special teams.
"It is limited defensively, obviously," Connor said. "It is a limited format and obviously it's about trying not to confuse the offense and to try and help the offense in the all-star game, but I think defensively up front, we have got some athletes up there.
"I still think it well help us in the long run to cause a lot of havoc for the Pennsylvania offensive line."
Following the conclusion of practice, the players voted for the four team captains.
The Ohio team will hold a walk-through Thursday as its final step in preparation for the annual all-star game Friday night.