Centerburg at Cardington
The Centerburg-Cardington game will match two young teams with new coaches ready to take it to the next level.
Jim Stoyle takes over the helm at Centerburg after being an assistant last year, while Cardington’s new coach, Brandon Dodrill, also moves up from the assistant ranks.
The Trojans will be led by senior quarterback Drew Osborne, who threw for more than 1,600 yards a year ago.
Cardington has just five returning starters from last year’s 6-4 team. The Pirates will be led by junior runningbacks John McClenathan and Blair Wolcott.
Grandview at Utica
The Utica Redskins are expecting big things offensively this year, as they return quarterback Jason Hoar (1,868 yards passing, 1,200 yards rushing) and leading receiver Scott Cline (40 catches, 894 yards).
Grandview struggled last year, finishing the season 4-6, but has nine starters back on each side of the ball. Quarterback Oliver Rouch and running back Jason Franks are expected to lead the Bobcats offensively.
Grove City Christian at Danville
Danville is looking to reignite its dominance from the past as Ed Honabarger returns as coach. Honabarger led the Blue Devils to several trips to the playoffs in his five years as head coach.
Grove City Christian will give the Blue Devils a tough opening-game opponent, though. The Eagles were a Final Four team a year ago, but they lost 17 seniors from that team. Senior running backs Kevin Williams and Jaymie Barns are expected to lead the Eagles back toward another trip to the playoffs.
Coshocton at East Knox
The East Knox Bulldogs will be looking to snap a streak of four straight losing seasons as Calvin Hatfield takes over the coaching reins.
It will be a tough start for the Bulldogs, though, as the Redskins come to town. Coshocton beat the Bulldogs 55-9 last year and advanced to the Division IV state playoffs. Zack Shaw, who has committed to play at Indiana University, will carry the load for the Redskins offensively. Senior J.J. McKay will also help out in the wing-T offense the Redskins run.