Centerburg at Mechanicsburg
Centerburg (2-0) has gained over 300 total yards in each of its first two victories of the season. After running past Cardington in Week 1, the Trojans brought their passing game more into the mix against Lucas last Friday. Quarterback Travis Poland had a fine game, going 7-of-12 for 154 yards, and Logan McGovern and Caleb White have proven a goto receiving tandem with eight and six catches in the first two games, respectively.
Mechanicsburg (1-1) has had little offense in its first two games, averaging 161.5 rushing yards and 68 passing yards per game. Quarterback Austin Black has completed 52 percent of his passes, and also leads the team with 116 rushing yards. The Indians have little after that, and manage less than 3.5 yards per carry. Centerburg will not have to deal with a big brusing runner like in Lucas, so the Trojans should win if they continue to control the line of scrimmage.
Danville at Grove City Christian
Danville (2-0) has not surrendered a single point in two games this season. Facing a Rosecrans team built in much the same way as themselves, the Blue Devils controlled the line at both ends to outgain the Bishops 367-114. Heath Buckingham has over 260 yards in the two games, and Quinton Ferenbaugh and Cade Mickley have provided excellent relief. Danville has an excellent chance to pitch its third shutout in a row against Grove City Christian.
The Eagles (2-0) have put up big scores against Bellaire St. John (61-12) and Troy Christian (49-15) in its first two games. They rushed for 456 yards in Week 1, and 424 yards on Friday, but their weak opponents did not give much in the way of competition. Danville, moreover, has only given up -37 and 64 rushing yards in its first two games, so Grove City Christian will have to work for its yards this week.
Bishop Hartley at East Knox
East Knox (0-2) has had little success on either side of the ball this season, giving up 41 and 40 points in the first two games and failing to score an offensive touchdown. Signal caller Dylan Wears has been the offense, passing for 76 yards and running for 130. The next best runner has 29 yards. The Bulldogs have to figure out a way to get more people involved in the offense, to get defenses to force attention away from Wears.
Hartley (2-0), the defending Division IV state champion, rushed for 255 yards in a 28-7 victory over Columbus Academy last Friday. Led by junior running back/linebacker Ja’Wuan Woodley, the Hawks are perhaps the most athletic team the Bulldogs will face all season, and should make another playoff run this season. Coach Brad Burchfield is intimately acquainted with Mid-Buckeye Conference football, after his stint as head coach of Centerburg.
Fredericktown at Crestview
Fredericktown (1-1) lost its first home game in 18 games last week with a 17-14 loss to Bishop Ready. A state semifinalist last season, Fredericktown has had trouble getting its offense in gear, despite returning quarterback Ryan Logan and running back Matt Smith. The defense, which seldom gave up 200 yards a game last season, has allowed 225 and 217 yards so far this season. The Freddies need to establish its running game early, and avoid having to make a game-saving comeback for the third straight week.
Crestview (2-0) comes into this game with a 28-14 over Northwestern in the first week and 28-21 over Loudonville in Week 2. The Cougars return 1,535-yard runner Mason Minnich, who has over 500 yards in the first two games, from 2010, as well as Garrick Montgomery, who gained 705 yards. Their combined firepower should test a Fredericktown defense who looks to be more vulnerable to the run than in its previous playoff incarnations.
Northmor at Highland, 7 p.m.
Highland (0-2) faced the class of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference, North Union, on Friday, and had just 174 total yards in a 55-0 loss. The Scots running game has not yet taken off, averaging about 3.5 yard per carry, but the defense has yielded over 340 yards in each of their losses. Quarterback Josh Gahm will have to play like he did in Week 1 (9-of-15, 103 yards) rather than last week (2-of-9, two int.) to give his runners some breathing room.
Northmor (0-2) has been outscored 99-13 so far this season, with a 42-13 loss to Crestline and 57-0 skunking by Mount Gilead. Last week, the Knights gained 59 rushing yards and averaged just 1.59 yards per carry, and completed 1-of-9 passes for 6 yards. Northmor allowed nearly as many yards to the Indians as Highland gave up to the Wildcats. With an offense this poor, the Scots should see its winless season end pretty decisively.