Galion has won six consecutive games and seven of the last 10 against its oldest rival, but Hawkins doesn’t expect anything to come easily when the Tigers and Redmen tangle Friday at the BHS Athletic Complex. The Tigers lead the series, 60-47-7.
“This is going to be a huge game,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what the records are because of that rivalry. I know Bucyrus sees it as a big rivalry as well. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”
Galion had to stage a late rally to keep its winning streak in the series alive in 2014. Trailing 22-21 in the fourth quarter, the Tigers surged ahead thanks to a 4-yard touchdown run by Arby Thompson. Caleb Ivy then hit Cario Davison on a fade pattern for the 2-point conversion that gave Galion a 29-22 edge.
Jordan Valentine picked off a pass at the Galion 25-yard line with 1:29 remaining to seal the victory for the orange and blue.
“I have to admit, I think we overlooked them a little bit last year,” Hawkins said Friday evening. “We’re not going to do that this year. If we overlook them again this year, we’ll get beat.”
Kickoff at Bucyrus is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Mount Gilead at Colonel Crawford
The Eagles handed the Indians a 51-24 defeat in 2014 to run their winning streak in the series to three consecutive games. Mount Gilead’s last win in the series was a 14-6 victory in 2011.
“They’ve got a lot of kids back and they have a really explosive quarterback who gave us some fits last year,” Teglovic said, referencing Mount Gilead signal-caller Deondre Cook who was a first-team All-Mid Ohio Athletic Conference selection in 2014. “We had a hard time corralling him. He’s a nice player. He does a lot of nice things with his feet and his arm.”
Cook was 9-for-9 for 127 yards passing and two touchdowns, and rushed for 138 yards in last season’s game.
The Eagles counter with their own dual-threat quarterback, senior Will Kirkpatrick. He rushed for 1,145 yards and 11 touchdowns and passed for 1,128 yards and 12 touchdowns to spearhead Colonel Crawford’s Wing-T offense in 2014.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at North Robinson.
Ashland Crestview at Northmor
Northmor head coach B.J. Trainer hopes his ballclub can build on a 6-4 season in 2014. But Trainer knows his young team will experience some growing pains along the way.
“We will be very young and do not have the experience of a lot of other teams,” he said. “Our depth may also create some problems if there are any injuries.”
The Golden Knights tangle with Ashland Crestview in the season opener on Friday. The Cougars finished 2-8 in 2014. One of their two wins was against Mid Ohio Athletic Conference Blue Division member East Knox, whom Crestview defeated 22-20 in last year’s season opener.
Cougars head coach Dan Mager has just nine seniors and eight juniors on his roster this season.
Kickoff at Northmor is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Mapleton at Crestline
The Bulldogs take on a Mounties squad that finished 7-3 in 2014 and made the OHSAA playoffs. Mapleton went 1-1 in the postseason, bowing out in the second round to Norwalk St. Paul.
Crestline, 0-10 in 2014, is trying to snap a three-year losing skid in season openers. The Bulldogs’ last win in the first game of the season came in 2011 against Northmor, 42-12.
With only 17 players on the roster, Crestline lacks in numbers, but head coach Kevin Sipes said the Bulldogs does have experienced athletes returning.
“We have our full offensive line and defensive line returning,” Sipes said. “We should be strong up front.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Reach Carter at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048, or on Twitter @ACGalionSports.