Danville at Centerburg
Danville (4-1, 2-0) had its second-best passing yard total in its history in Week 5’s 52-21 victory over Fredericktown. QB Bryce Staats completed 18-of-27 passes, with 10 completions of 10 yards or more. The Blue Devils defense played just as well, holding Fredericktown to 119 yards rushing and 251 yards in all. This week’s opponent, Centerburg, has a more experienced quarterback in Tyler Stoyle and a good ground eater in Joey Valentine, which makes this one of the top MBC games of the year.
Centerburg (3-2, 1-1) outscored East Knox, 28-13, in the first half of Friday’s game, and won, 42-21. Joey Valentine carried the running load with 120 yards on 26 carries, and Tyler Stoyle threw for 218 yards and five touchdowns on 17-of-22 passing. Four Trojans caught three or more passes, which keeps the defense from keying on one receiver. Centerburg’s defense, which was shaky in its two losses, came back to hold the Bulldogs to 158 yards rushing and 51 yards passing.
Northridge at East Knox
Northridge (3-2, 1-1) had its best rushing game of the season against Utica on Friday, gaining 315 yards on 49 carries. Jacob Burke produced most of that total with 289 yards on 36 carries and four touchdowns. QB Bryant Garee was efficient, completing 7-of-11 passes for 76 yards and a TD. Defensively, the Vikings gave up 257 yards, 196 through the air, including a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Northridge will have to keep East Knox’s running game stymied to have a chance.
East Knox (3-2, 1-1) was hit from all angles against Centerburg in Week 5, giving up 160 yards on the ground and 218 through the air. The Bulldogs runners nearly matched the Trojans output with 158 yards, but QB Cody Howard couldn’t make up the difference in the passing game, going only 2-of-8 for 51 yards and two interceptions. The cliche of dominating the line of scrimmage actually applies in this game, and whoever runs the best and keeps possession without turnovers will win.
Johnstown at Fredericktown
Johnstown (4-1, 2-0) got 264 yards from sophomore Cody Farley on Friday to win Week 5’s game against Loudonville, 23-15. Farley had TD runs of 25 and 84 yards. The Johnnies do not pass well, as evidenced by QB Tyler Thompson’s 1-of-6 showing for 6 yards. Thompson did, however, run for a 25-yard touchdown. Another overlooked weapon for Johnstown is kicker/punter Charles Benton, who drilled a 35-yard field goal last week and averaged 39.3 yards on punts.
Fredericktown (3-2, 1-1) has struggled on defense this season, giving up 30 or more points in four games. The Freddies allowed a season-high 52 points to Danville last week, giving up 452 total yards, including 294 through the air. The Freddies will have to clamp down on a run-crazy Johnstown team to earn a victory this week.
Highland at Buckeye Valley
Highland (3-2, 3-1) had it quite easy in Week 5, defeating winless Cardington, 34-0. The Scots gave up only 79 total yards, with only 64 coming on runs. Highland got its usual performance from Shawn Beltz (96 yards, two TDs). The Scots’ David Fisher came off the bench to run for 190 yards and three touchdowns. QB Josh Gahm also had his best game with 101 passing yards. Highland’s deep running attack will keep Buckeye Valley facing fresh legs all game long.
Buckeye Valley (3-2, 3-1) has been something of an anigma this season, going 3-2 with two of the wins being shutouts. Defensively, the Barons hold opponents to less than 50 percent passing for just 75 yards per game, and on offense outgain opponents by nearly 150 yards per game. They have been successful on 40 percent of its third-down conversions, but are giving away an astounding 107 yards per game in penalties. BV cannot afford to give Highland those free yards.
Loudonville at Utica
Loudonville (3-2, 0-2) cleaned up in nonconference play, winning its first three games of the season, only to fall in its first two Mid-Buckeye Conference games. The Redbirds dropped a 23-15 loss to Johnstown on Friday, as Cody Farley ripped the Loudonville defense for 264 rushing yards.
Utica (1-4, 0-2) has run aground in recent weeks, losing four straight. QB Trent Vickers has provided the bulk of the offense with 204 rushing yards and 477 passing yards. Travis Baldwin has gained 314 yards on the ground. The Redskins defense will have to improve on its 382 yards-per-game allowed.