Cardington at Centerburg
With eight starters back on offense, including three of its top receivers, the Centerburg football team (3-7, 2-5) should be well prepared to get over the loss of Drew Osborne, last year’s starting signal caller. Seniors Logan McGovern and Josh Teale caught 56 and 37 passes, respectively, and Caleb White had 18 more, giving McGovern a lot of options. Four experienced offensive linemen should help the Trojans improve its running game.
Scores, stories, photos and videos of the local teams from the 2011 season.
Cardington (6-4, 5-4) brings back tailback Blair Wolcott, who gained 1,402 yards as a junior with 12 TDs. He should get the bulk of the action on offense, especially with a passing game which was largely nonexistant. The Pirates’ defensive backfield, including senior Caleb Martin (6 int.), should prove up to the challenge of Centerburg’s passing game. Cardington won four straight to start last season, and would love to do the same this year.
Rittman at Danville, 7 p.m.
Danville (6-4, 3-3) has the core of its offense back this season in quarterback Marcus Durbin and running back Heath Buckingham, as well as four of its five starting offensive linemen, so running the ball should not be a problem. On defense, the linebacking corps, headed by All-Ohioan Quinton Ferenbaugh, is experienced, but three starters are gone from the defensive secondary. It will be inexperience against inexperience against Rittman’s passing game.
Rittman’s (5-5, 3-4) new coach in Bill Dennis looks to improve on the team’s .500 record from last season, which followed a 2-38 stint from 2006-09. The team’s third coach in four years, Dennis will bring a spread offense with five receivers and a new quarterback, his son Blake, into Danville. How the sophomore handles the pressure of being a quarterback and the Blue Devils’ defense will play a big part in the Indians’ success or failure early in the season.
East Knox at Coshocton, 7:30 p.m.
East Knox (3-7, 3-4) instituted a strong weightlifting program over the past season under coach Calvin Hatfield, and that training will have to come up big, especially on an offensive line which lost most of its starters. The line will have to open up holes for running backs Tyler Berger and Mason Lyon, as well as protect sophomore quarterback Dylan Wears. With only four seniors on its roster, the Bulldogs will have to grow up quickly in the rough-and-tumble MBC.
One of the most successful coaches in Coshocton history, Marty Arganbright, resigned as coach in January after nine seasons, six playoff appearances, and an 11-3 in 2010 which included a 2010 state Division IV semifinal berth, the school’s first. But continuity should reign, as assistant coach Jim Woodrum was elevated to the top spot. Depite losing 2,243-yard rusher Marcus Johnston and 1,214-yard runner Dominque McCluskey to graduation, the Redskins have plenty of offensive firepower left from its option offense.
Utica at Buckeye Local, Saturday, 7 p.m.
Utica (6-4, 5-2) lost its two biggest stars of 2010, quarterback Jason Hoar and receiver Scott Cline, but have capable replacements in Clay Rowley and Artie Douglas, respectively. Quarterbacks in the Redskins’ system run a lot, so Rowley should be the focal point of any defense they face. On defense, the lack of line depth has brought a change to a 3-3 defense, in part to rely on the team’s speed at linebacker.
Buckeye Local (3-7) returns six players on offense and defense this season, but that leaves a lot positions to be manned by inexperienced players. One player who is back is running back Josten Dear, an 1,100-yard, 23-touchdown runner from a year ago who also gained 800 receiving yards to earn Second Team All-Ohio honors. Quarterback A.J. Barsch has a year of experience behind him, and should improve the passing game from the wing-T formation.