Centerburg at Johnstown
Centerburg (2-1) started off well in Week 3’s game against Elyria Catholic, but gave up 33 unanswered points after a 21-7 first-quarter lead became a 40-21 defeat. The Trojans failed to break the 200-yard mark in rushing for the first time this season, managing 94 yards on 30 carries. QB Tyler Stoyle attempted 51 passes, completing 21 for 236 yards. Centerburg is a team that best get ahead early so its running game can wear down defenses, and its own defense will need to stop the still-potent Johnnie rushing attack.
Johnstown (2-1) lost consecutive 2,000-yard rusher Ross Franklin, but still finds ways to win. The Johnnies have won two straight games after a season-opening loss, and dominated Lakewood on Friday, 62-7. Johnstown turned four turnovers into touchdowns, and found Franklin’s replacement in sophomore Cody Farley. FB Adam Carter provides the heavy running inside the tackles, and QB Tyler Thompson is a two-way threat, running for 125 yards and two TDs on eight carries against the Lancers.
Loudonville at Danville
Loudonville (3-0) enters Friday’s game undefeated with wins over Smithville, Crestview and Hillsdale. After its 55-point performance against Crestview in Week 2, the Redbirds won its first game over Hillsdale since 2008, rallying for a 29-28 victory. First-year coach Justin Todd of Apple Valley has his team ranked No. 2 in Division V, Region 19.
Danville (2-1) was pass happy in its season opener, could not move at all against Rosecrans in Week 2, but found a happy medium in a 32-6 win over Grove City Christian last week. The Blue Devils gained 194 yards on the ground and 189 through the air, both led by QB Bryce Staats. Staats led Danville with 88 rushing yards, and was 11-of-21 passing. Corey Geog is a go-to receiver, and had four catches for a 20-plus yards-per-catch average. Danville needs to find other weapons besides Staats for a win this week.
Fredericktown at Northridge
Fredericktown (2-1) gave up plenty of yards to Lucas on Friday night before pulling out a 34-30 victory. The Freddie defense has been pretty porous the first three weeks, giving up 311 rushing yards to the visiting Cubs. Fredericktown still runs the ball well, with two 100-yard backs in Tyler Ruhl and Logan Smith against Lucas. The Freddies will need to keep the ball on the ground to control the clock, and its defense needs to step up to keep them from having to post yet another fourth-quarter comeback.
New coach Darby Riley has his Northridge team at 2-1 after three weeks, but the Vikings are just getting into the toughest part of their schedule. On Friday, the Vikings breezed past Millersport, 34-0, with sophomore QB Bryant Garee tossing two TD passes in the first half in his first start. Tailback Jacob Burke had been out with a foot injury, but came back for a pair of touchdown runs. However, Millersport is in the middle of a 31-game losing streak.
Highland at Elgin
Highland (1-2, 1-1) gave up nearly 600 yards of offense in last week’s 56-6 loss to Pleasant. The Spartans had 26 first downs in the game, ran for 321 yards and passed for another 274 yards. The Scots had difficulty running the ball, gaining nearly half of its 214 yards on just two carries. Without those runs, Highland managed less than three yards per carry. The Scots rely on the run for the majority of their offense.
Elgin (2-1, 2-0) gained 327 yards, had TD passes of 50 and 20 yards and added a pair of rushing touchdowns in the first half to beat Cardington in Week 3, 27-7. Although the Pirates held the Comets to just 39 yards in the second half, it mattered little, as Elgin held them to just 126 total yards and forced turnovers on downs twice. Elgin’s defense will have to prepare for another run-oriented offense this week in Highland.