FREDERICKTOWN — The undefeated Fredericktown Freddies, ranked No. 3 in Division V in the latest AP poll, will have to find the right combination to crack the visiting Centerburg Trojans’ defensive unit this Friday. While a win seals up a postseason berth for the Freddies, overlooking the Trojans could ruin their perfect season.
The Trojans, for their part, are only too aware of the task at hand.
“From our standpoint, we are focusing on what we can control and preparing mentally and physically,” said Centerburg coach Jim Stoyle. “We’re preparing just like we are for anyone else. (Fredericktown) has got good athletes all over the field. They’re experienced and their good up front. Their skill positions are good and they are well-coached.”
Coming off a 48-20 win over the Utica Redskins last week, the Freddies know they will be facing one of the MBC’s best defensive units this Friday. The Trojans’ Week 4 loss to Johnstown in the league opener, 42-14, was the only time an opponent has beaten them substantially. Otherwise, the Trojans’ defense has performed as advertised, stonewalling opposing offenses and keeping themselves in games.
“It’s about playing assignment football,” said Stoyle. “Our guys need to concentrate, execute their assignments, read their keys and tackle well. Fredericktown is very explosive on offense at all their skill positions. We can’t focus on one guy. We’ve got to play assignment football.”
“They swarm after you,” said Fredericktown coach Brian Baum of the Trojan defense. “They’re not big guys up front, but all 11 guys swarm after the ball. They’re all quick. I like the way (Centerburg) plays defense. They get after the football. We have to sustain our blocks so we can get our backs through. If we don’t do that, they’ll get us with their quickness.”
The Trojans (3-5 overall, 2-3 MBC) won at home, 27-7 last Friday, against a Northridge team that seemed to play better than in weeks past. If Stoyle and his defense can keep it close against Fredericktown, they have a chance to pull off a win.
“Our defense is vastly improved over the past couple of years,” said Stoyle. “That’s because the kids are understanding their assignments more and they are reading their keys better. We just want to go out, play assignment football and give them some things to worry about as well.”