Beaver Local, Edison face off in battle of 3-1 squads
RICHMOND — On Friday night when Edison hosts Beaver Local, it will be a battle of two teams both having impressive seasons thus far.
The Wildcats’ turnaround season continued with their biggest margin of victory of the season so far against Catholic Central last week, while the Beavers have rattled off three straight wins after a tough loss in Week 1.
“Both teams are on a roll right now, and both teams are coming in with a lot of confidence,” Edison head coach Shane O’Brien said. “It’s two different styles of team. We like to run the ball and play physical, and they have a lot of speed.”
Both teams are coming off their best offensive performances of the season, Edison hanging 41 points on the Crusaders, while the Beavers dropped 56 on Minerva.
“It’s been a number of things (contributing to the success), but it really comes down to the athletes buying into the program,” O’Brien said. “We work on things in practice, and see them show up on game day – and that is because they are buying in.”
Beaver Local, averaging 39 points per game, has scored increasingly more points each week, climbing from 15 in the opening loss to East Liverpool before scoring 36 against Barnesville and 49 on Indian Creek.
On the flip side, the Edison defense is No. 1 in the Herald-Star/Daily Times coverage area, allowing just 189 yards per game and surrendering 19.5 points.
“They have a good passing game, and their athletes on the perimeter are going to be a challenge for us,” O’Brien said. “We haven’t had to deal with that kind of speed quite as much yet. We’ve got to slow down the big play and win the line of scrimmage, control the clock and keep the ball out of their hands.
“They can put a lot of points on the board very fast and are very explosive. If we can prevent some of those explosive plays early and play our style, we can wear them down and give ourselves a shot late.”
Likewise, Beaver Local’s defense has also improved as the season has progressed, allowing an average of 12.25 points per game. The Beavers have allowed just a single touchdown combined in their previous two games and shut out Indian Creek two weeks ago.
Ethan Waggoner (305 yards and two scores) and Tyler Griffith (223 yards, four scores) have provided the Wildcats offense with a one-two punch, while Gage Cline has thrown for 281 yards and a score.
Toronto looks to bounce back again
CAMPBELL – The Red Knights head out on the road in search of the second win of the season Friday night, taking on 2-2 Campbell Memorial.
The Red Devils dropped their first two games of the season but have rattled off back-to-back victories heading into the matchup with the Red Knights.
“They’re super athletic and have a lot of team speed,” Toronto head coach Josh Franke said. “We have to take advantage of their mishaps, and we can’t afford to have mishaps or be out of position.”
The Red Knights offense has been hit and miss in 2020, still looking to click for an entire game. Franke’s club averages just 18.75 points and 233.25 yards per game but looks to have an opportunity to get things going against a Memorial team that allows an average of 30 points.
“They put a lot of guys in the box, which we’re for sure going to see with as much as we like to run the football,” Franke said. “They’re going to make it as hard on us as possible. When they get guys in the box like that – their linebackers play within a yard or two from the line of scrimmage – if you can break through to the second level you can pick up chunks of yardage. We’ll be trying to get Garrett Dozier into some space and Jojo Savage into space and see if they can make some things happen.”
The Red Devil defense has been better of late, allowing just 9.5 points in their two wins.
On the flip side, the Toronto defense has been plagued by the big play, allowing an average of 259.75 yards and 32.75 points per game. It faces a Memorial team that averages just 13.75 points, but has speed and big play potential.
Dozier is third in the area with 326 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on the ground so far, while Caleb Leasure has thrown for 362 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Savage leads the way receiving with seven catches, while Devin Corrao has been a big-play threat, averaging almost 37 yards per catch.
Panthers welcome Monroe Central
RAYLAND — Buckeye Local has been competitive in its last three games, coming close to a win two weeks ago and hanging with Indian Creek deep into the second half last week.
The Panthers look to break through on homecoming night at World War II Memorial Stadium, hosting 2-2 Monroe Central.
“We’ve both played Union Local, which helps a lot with tape,” Buckeye Local head coach Roger Herbert said. “They’ve got some good players. It’s going to be a good test for us. They do some things very well we’re going to have to prepare for this week.”
In order to get in the win column, the Panthers will need to get their offense going, as it enters the Week 5 matchup averaging 8.5 points and 158.5 yards per game. They might have an opportunity to do just that against a Seminoles defense that has allowed more than 20 points three times and gives up an average of 23.5 points per game.
“We have some wrinkles we like this week and some thing we think we can attack,” he said. “We have given up some points. No. 1 for us is we have to put more points on the board. Being the guy who calls the plays, that’s on me to get more points on the board. That is our No. 1 focus this week is putting up more points, and hopefully this week we have some opportunities to do so.”
Trey Hoover, a sophomore first-year starting quarterback, leads the Panthers with 119 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while throwing for another 425 yards and two scores. Brian Palmer, Jr. is a top-10 receiver in the area with 10 catches for 239 yards and a score. In two games, Hayden Taylor already has five catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.
On defense, Herbert feels his Panthers have performed better than the stats show and given his team a chance to hang in games, allowing 306 yards against and 27.75 points per game.
Monroe Central’s offense averages 26.5 points per game.
Huskies return home, host Ferry
CADIZ — Coming off a stinging 27-6 setback at county rival St. Clairsville last Friday, coach Chas Yoder’s Martins Ferry football team goes straight from the frying pan into the fire with a trip to 3-1 record Harrison Central this week.
Coach Anthony Hayes’ Huskies got back into the win column following its initial loss of the season the previous week with an impressive 40-20 triumph over an improving Union Local team.
“We have been a little dinged up, but we have a lot of capable young men on the field,” Hayes said. “The kids have been great on the field, and I am so proud of our young offensive line. There is just one senior on the line, and we have kids playing out of position all over the place, but the coaches have done a great job getting them all mentally prepared.”
After allowing 289 yards against the Red Devils last week, the Purple Riders will have to stop Harrison Central senior do-it-all Kobe Mitchell this week. Mitchell, who accounted for 269 yards against the Jets, averages nearly 300 yards a game himself through the air and on the ground.
Mitchell completed 14 of 22 passes for 212 yards and two scores a week ago, while rushing for 57 more on nine carries and scoring a pair of touchdowns on the ground. But, he has been anything but a one-man show with junior Nathan Bertolino rushing for 75 yards and a score on nine totes last week, and classmates Trevor Carman and Jonathan Vermillion combining for 11 catches for 183 yards and two scores.
(Sports writer Tracy Watson contributed to this story.)