FREDERICKTOWN — Let the playoffs begin.
The Fredericktown Freddies begin what has become for them an annual journey: The run for the state championship.
First up, the Seminoles of Monroe Central.
The small school wedged between Wheeling and Parkersburg will make the trek to Fredericktown this Saturday for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
The Seminoles come in ranked seventh in the OHSAA computer rankings for Region 19. Their 8-2 record can be deceptive, because their only two losses came to two championship contenders. In September they fell to Shadyside, a top seed in Region 23, 12-0. Then on Oct. 1 they lost to Magnolia (W. Va.), 42-14. Magnolia is favored to win the West Virginia class AA state title.
“They dominated pretty well,” Fredericktown head coach Brian Baum said of Monroe Central. “They have some athletes. This will be a good game.”
Monroe Central’s offense is generated mostly by Tyler Kinchen. A running back by trade, Kinchen was converted to quarterback prior to this, his junior season. Lining up in shotgun nearly every play, he still relies mainly on his legs to get the ball forward. Kinchen is the first QB the Freddies have faced this year that averages more than 100 yards on the ground as well as in the air.
“They rely a lot on the rollout,” Baum said.
Frederitcktown‘s defense is bigger on the line. But with the style of offense that Monroe Central employs, it may not matter.