HOWARD — The Utica Redskins
and the East Knox Bulldogs are two teams with very different expectations in
2010. Both, however, have had their struggles in the nonconference portion of
The start of the 2010 Mid-Buckeye Conference schedule has the visiting Redskins (1-2) looking to take the first step in, what they hope will be a march to the MBC title. The host Bulldogs (0-3) are looking to Friday’s conference opener to take the next step up in the rebuilding of their football program and become a force in the MBC.
Utica quarterback Jason Hoar (10-for-23, 181 yards, one TD last week) will be expected to lead his team with his arm as well as his feet.
“When you play a team like Utica, the first thing you have to do is be able defend their quarterback,” said East Knox coach Calvin Hatfield. “He makes a lot of the offense go. He can hurt you throwing the ball so we have to make sure we play good defense, first and foremost.”
The Redskins will need to minimize East Knox’s opportunities control the football and simply can’t afford to turn the football over like they did against Heath last Friday. Three interceptions and a pair of fumbles proved to be the Redskins’ undoing in their 18-6 loss at Heath.
“We had two bad weeks, where we had great chances to win games and didn’t,” said Utica coach Randy Felumlee. “We are very disappointed but we have to get over that and start fresh with a different mindset. It’s now a seven-game season. Our two pre-season goals of trying to win the MBC and advancing to the playoffs are still ahead of us, if we can win these next seven games. Everybody is 0-0. East Knox is 0-0 and we know that everyone is going to have the same, fresh outlook this Friday.”
Last Friday, East Knox was pounded in Bucyrus, 27-6, by a Wynford team that has not lost in their last 41 games. A boatload of penalties did little to help the Bulldogs’ cause.
“I think we managed to get penalized every way possible,” said Hatfield. “I’m sure that some of it was frustration. There were some unfortunate facemasks where we got a hand in there, got a finger in and pulled a little, accidentally. That will give you 15 yards. We had some blocks in the back called on us (last Friday) that were very close. Each was a good call. A kid was trying to do the right thing, but he missed it by a little bit and that has kind of been our story so far this year — not just with penalties, but with everything. We’re close, but not quite there yet.”