The Colonel Crawford football team feels nothing but excitement for its second home playoff game in school history.
The No. 3 seed Eagles (9-1), of Division VI, Region 20, take on No. 6 seed Defiance Ayersville Pilots (8-2) at 7 p.m. today. Colonel Crawford missed the playoffs last year despite an 8-2 record.
“We’re going to have to be very focused,” said Colonel Crawford head football coach Ryan Teglovic. “It’s going to be a big mental week for us.”
The Eagles’ offense ended the regular season with 4,101 yards total with 3,015 yards for rushing and 1,086 yards passing.
Quarterback Will Kirkpartrick was 59-of-101 passing for 1,068 yards for 10 touchdowns and four interceptions this season. He also had 176 carries for 1,759 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns.
“Their quarterback is a tremendous athlete,” said Ayersville head football coach Chris Dales, adding it will be a “huge challenge for the defense to contain” Kirkpartrick.
Blake Treisch finished the regular season with 119 carries for 911 yards and 15 touchdowns, while Michael Knisely had 22 carries for 111 yards. Owen Adams had 36 catches for 581 yards and seven touchdowns, while Brock Cotsmire finished with 12 catches for 284 yards.
“(Colonel Crawford has) got a lot of size and a lot of speed,” said Ayersville head football coach Chris Dales.
The Pilots had the same record last season but were shy of making the playoffs, he said.
But Dales said the team’s goal, all season long, was to not only make the playoffs this year but to do well.
“The team wants to prove people that they belong here,” he said.
Teglovic expects a good game with Ayersville as they have “very good football team,” he said.
“They got some explosive guys,” Teglovic said.
That includes Dales’ son, Dauson, the team’s starting quarterback, who was 71-of-142 passing for 1,066 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions this regular season. He finished with 184 carries for 769 yards. The junior started out as linebacker as a freshman and became quarterback the previous season.
Panthers running back Hunter Stark finished the season with 159 carries for 1,093 yards and Jacob Miller had 53 catches for 807 yards.
The Pilots recorded 3,432 yards total with 2,066 yards for rushing and 1,366 yards passing for the regular season.
“The kids are looking forward to this opportunity,” Dales said. “It’s just a great opportunity for both ball clubs.”
Tickets for the game are $9 at the gate.
Reach Klein 419-468-1117, ext. 2048 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein