East Knox at Centerburg
East Knox (3-1, 1-0) ran wild against Utica last week, getting 208 yards and two TDs from Mason Lyon and four scores from Dylan Wears to win, 40-20. The Bulldogs committed far too many penalties for a fourth-week game, for 112 yards, but the Redskins were penalized for 95 yards. East Knox was able to score on quick hitters and on long drives with Cody Howard directing the offense. This week, East Knox will have to control the line on defense, holding down the run and pressuring Tyler Stoyle.
Centerburg (2-2, 0-1) has lost two straight after a 2-0 start, falling to Johnstown last week, 42-21. The Trojans have given up 40 or more points in both of those contests, and surrendered 379 rushing yards to the physical Johnnies. The running game, which did so well in the first two games, was held to just 27 yard total. QB Stoyle tried to pick up the slack by going 15-of-29 and 179 yards.
Cardington at Highland
Cardington (0-4, 0-3) is in the middle of a difficult season, losing its first four games. The Pirates have scored only 10 points in those games, and were shut out twice — by River Valley in Week 2 and Buckeye Valley last week. The Barons won last season, 29-0, and it could have been worse if not for 141 yards in penalties. Cardington ran for only 60 yards on 18 carries, and completed just 2-of-9 through the air on offense, and allowed over 407 yards of offense. Expect Highland to run free and wild.
Highland (2-2, 2-1) continued to put up excellent numbers in the running game, piling up 390 yards in a 42-20 victory over Elgin in Week 4. The Scots had six rushing touchdowns, three by Kyle Minyo and two from James Cochran. Shawn Beltz is instant offense, running the ball for over 400 yards on only 36 carries this season. Highland’s defense has also stiffened in the past weeks, allowing only 90 rushing yards. The Scots remain vulnerable to the pass, but have improved in that area as well.
Northridge at Utica
Northridge (2-2, 0-1) had nearly as many yards as Fredericktown last week, but gave up four touchdown plays of 29 or more yards to lose, 33-14. The Freddies held the Vikings first-team offense scoreless until the waning minutes of the game, when they scored two quick TDs. Northridge ran well, posting a 5.5 yard average, but committed three turnovers. The Vikings’ passing game needs work, with Bryant Garee tossing a pair of interceptions and completing only 8-of-21 throws versus the Freddies.
Utica (1-3, 0-1) had a 26-play drive take nearly the entire second quarter of Week 4’s game against East Knox, but got nothing to show for it after a missed field goal. That exemplifies the Redskins season to date — decent play but just one win to show. QB Trent Vickers leads the team with nearly 500 yards of offense through four games, completing about 40 percent of his passes. On defense, Utica gave up two TDs of over 50 yards, but showed no quit and continued to pound away until the final gun.