CENTERBURG — The season’s mid-point will see a pair of teams that are looking to quickly regroup after being stung in different ways.
The host Centerburg Trojans (1-4 overall, 0-2 Mid-Buckeye Conference) nearly got their first conference win last Friday. They wound up suffering a disappointing 26-20 loss to East Knox in overtime, despite racking up over 400 yards on offense.
“We’ve got to eliminate mistakes,” said Centerburg coach Jim Stoyle. “We lost a tough one last weekend. We just made too many mistakes that we are going to go back and correct in practice. Hopefully, this week, we’ll cut down on them.”
The Danville Blue Devils (3-2, 0-2) are just looking to put distance between themselves and the 63-0 hammering they endured on Homecoming night at the hands of undefeated Fredericktown last week.
“Our biggest thing is that we need to get better,” said Danville coach Ed Honabarger. “We’re struggling. Defensively, we were playing pretty well until last week and then, obviously, what happened was Fredericktown had a lot to do with that. When you have a lot of weapons like that, you can do what you do.”
It doesn’t let up for the Blue Devils’ defense, who will face another offense that can attack in a variety of ways. Trojans’ quarterback Drew Osborne not only throws well, but he has a good deal of mobility. He connected with receiver Logan McGovern, who caught 10 passes for 69 yards last week, but he has other targets like Jacob Teale as well. Steven Keihl added 81 yards rushing for the Trojans on Friday. His slashing style is a nice contrast to fellow Trojans’ running back Jason Ratliff’s hard-charging, straight-ahead style.
“Our philosophy is that we’re going to take what the defense gives us,” said Stoyle. “We’re fine with being methodical offensively and we’re fine if we get a big play. We’re trying to have good balance. If you look at our offense, it’s split pretty much down the middle — 800 yards rushing and 800 yards passing. We have three guys that have rushed for over 200 yards.”
“(Centerburg) has a lot of nice players and they do a lot of things,” said Honabarger. “It gets you out of your element defensively. We have to work on being able to adjust to their adjustments.”
Blue Devils’ quarterback Marcus Durbin, who is hobbled with an ankle injury, will lead the list of walking wounded as they struggle to find an identity.
“Oh, we’ve got a bunch of people hurt,” said Honabarger. “We’ve got eight guys with ankles, we’ve got a couple of shoulders. We’re like a MASH unit right now.”