Colonel Crawford (2-0, 1-0 N10) at Wynford (1-1, 1-0 N10)
There’s a lot at stake when Colonel Crawford meets Wynford; bragging rights in the rivalry; the inside track to the Northern 10 championship; a boatload of computer points. Yeah, you could say this game is pretty important.
“It’s a big game for both schools,” said Wynford head coach Gabe Helbert. “We’re traditional rivals and it’s a trophy game. Crawford is a very good team and they’re well coached. They have great athletes and the game is going to be electric. They have a nice balance offensively, and they’ve got a nice offensive and defensive line that can back that up.”
The recent history of this series has been dominated by Wynford. The Royals have won nine of the last 10 meetings between the Crawford County rivals, including a 41-10 victory over the Eagles at H.J. Gary Field in 2014. The Eagles’ lone win in the past decade was a 20-14 victory in 2013.
“It’s a big game, a league game, a bitter rival; they’re an excellent football team,” said Eagles head coach Ryan Teglovic. “But more importantly for us, and what we always stress to our kids, it’s important because it’s the next game on our schedule. That’s the way we really have to approach it. It sounds kind of cliche, but that’s what you have to do in football, take one game at a time.”
Teglovic said he’s concerned about Wynford’s overall team speed, but has also been impressed with quarterback Zach Hoffman, who took over as the starter this season following the graduation of Keaton Teynor. Teynor rolled up nearly 2,500 total yards and was responsible for 32 touchdowns in 2014. Hoffman has accounted for 347 totals and four scores through the first two weeks of 2015.
“He’s underrated as a passer,” Teglovic said of Hoffman. “I’ve seen him throw the ball pretty well. I look at them as a balanced team, overall, offensively, defensively and special teams. They’re well coached and they’ve got good players.”
Cole Fortner (147 rushing yards, 3 TD), Braxton Tea (86 receiving yards, 1 TD) and Tristan Tobias (2 sacks) are also big contributors for the Royals.
Eagles quarterback Will Kirkpatrick is on pace to eclipse the stellar numbers he amassed in 2015. The senior rushed for 379 yards and five touchdowns, and passed for 124 yards and one score in the first two weeks of the season. Blake Treisch has rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns. On defense, Tyson Scott (22 tackles) and Owen Adams (21 tackles) are among the N10 leaders in tackles, and Josh Dye already has five tackles for loss.
Keystone (0-2) at Galion (2-0)
Galion has beaten its first two opponents by a combined score of 95-0, but head coach Chris Hawkins believes his team will be given a tougher test this week by Keystone.
“We know they lost a great senior class, however, the cupboard is not completely empty,” Hawkins said. “They moved (Austin Conrad) to tailback and anytime you’ve got a 6-4, 6-5, 230-pound kid getting the ball 20 times a game, that’s a concern. He’s a very good defensive player, as well. Plus they’ve got some really nice defensive linemen (Tyler Kelly and Cade Christoff) back. They’ve got enough talent to be dangerous.”
The Wildcats dropped their second straight game on Friday, losing to Cloverleaf, 9-6. Cuyahoga Heights defeated the Wildcats 42-6 in Week 1. The Tigers shut out Keystone 14-0 in Week 3 last season and own a four-game winning streak against the Wildcats dating back to 2011.
Junior Chase Cooke was called upon to start at quarterback for Galion last week with senior Jacob Fryer sidelined due to a knee injury. Cooke will be back under center this week as Fryer continues to mend.
“I think Chase is progressing nicely,” Hawkins said. “I don’t think he’s progressing as fast as he wants, but each week you’re going to see improvement from his standpoint.”
Despite the blowout win over the Columbus Crusaders, Hawkins said the Tigers still need to improve in the passing game.
“Our spacing with our receivers was horrible,” Hawkins noted. “Our route running was horrible and we had some drops, so we addressed that on Saturday. We took the receivers out on the game field and worked on those things. We’re going to get that corrected.”
The running game is experiencing no such difficulty. Senior Drake Barnett is averaging more than 150 yards per game and has scored five touchdowns so far. In spite of the gaudy numbers, Hawkins said the passing offense needs to catch up to the run game in quick fashion.
“As soon as we can get our pass game up to where our run game is, that’s when we can be truly lethal,” he said. “We’re still way too one dimensional. When we face good teams like Wooster Triway in the playoffs and they put seven or eight guys in the box, we’re going to have to be able to pass.”
Northmor (1-1) at Lucas (2-0)
Jake Farley and Demetrius Johnson each had a big game in the 25-19 win over Worthington Christian last week. Farley passed for a score and ran for another touchdown. Johnson rushed for 122 yards and two scores. The Knights face a tough test on the road against a Cubs team that has outscored its opponents 100-14 so far this season.
Fisher Catholic (0-2) at Crestline (0-2)
The Bulldogs nearly pulled off the comeback against Bucyrus in Week 2, coming up just short. Quarterback J.R. Wolfe has performed well in his new role as the starter. Fisher Catholic has struggled defensively, giving up 76 total points in its first two outings. A long road trip from Lancaster on Friday doesn’t help matters for the Irish.
Seneca East (2-0, 1-0 N10) at Bucyrus (1-1)
The Tigers have put up impressive offensive numbers while the Redmen are still trying to determine their identity. Seneca East quarterback Brennan Martin has thrown for 454 yards and five touchdowns in his first two games. Bucyrus quarterback Gavin Lewis was handed the reins to the offense this season and showed improvement in Week 2 after a tough outing in the season opener.
Ridgemont (1-1) at Buckeye Central (1-1)
After a blowout win in Week 1, the Bucks lost a heart-breaker to Seneca East last week, 40-34 in overtime. Offense is not a problem for the Bucks, with quarterback Grant Loy accounting for 380 yards and three touchdowns passing. Wideout Scott Heydinger has amassed 171 receiving yards and two scores. Ridgemont blew out Vanlue in Week 1, 43-12, but ended up on the short end of a 48-12 scoreline against Mount Gilead last week. Which Golden Gophers team will show up in New Washington this week?
Reach Carter at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048, or on Twitter @ACGalionSports.