Important matchups abound in Week 3


Unbeaten Mechanicsburg continued its impressive opening-season destruction with a big win over Fairbanks last week.

This week, the Indians look toward another home matchup – this time with Northwestern (2-0).

“They’ve got a huge senior class and they’ll bring a lot of energy on Friday night,” MHS Coach Kurt Forrest said. “First thing’s first – you have to make sure you’re getting 100 percent from yourself.”

Forrest mentioned how each team is already looking at the playoff implications a win could have.

A win for MHS over the bigger school would earn points immediately and a win for the Warriors could put them in great position, with Mechanicsburg expected to rack up several wins.

“The kids are playing well right now,” Forrest said. “To be able to have three home games to start the year … The familiarity brings a little extra energy to your side.”

Triad (0-2) will host that very same Fairbanks (0-2) team Friday night, coming off consecutive losses to Indian Lake and North Union to begin the season.

Trent McIntyre and Timmy Marsalis looked pretty good in the passing game last week and McIntyre was a terror running the football.

It was the Triad defense that gave way time and again, with the offense running out of juice down the stretch. This week, the defense will have to play better than it has in the opening weeks.

To the north, fellow OHC member West Liberty-Salem (1-1) is coming off a 40-31 win at Ben Logan and goes on the road to Kenton Ridge (2-0) this week for a 7:30 p.m. matchup.

WL-S Coach Dan McGill is looking at the past two weeks with a dose of reality, noting that the Tigers learned a bit about teamwork against Valley View and something about focus after letting Ben Logan rally.

The Cougars are a much bigger school than WL-S and have the squad to match.

“They certainly have some guys that are tough matchups, physically,” McGill said. “Our schedule’s not real forgiving to have a lot of learning moments. It’s not getting any easier.”

Luckily, the Tigers are eager to learn in practice.

“The guys want to improve. They want to get better,” McGill said.

Also not getting easier is the road ahead of Urbana (0-2).

The Hillclimbers dropped a game to rival London to open the season and got crushed by Piqua on the road last Friday.

This week, Urbana returns to the friendly field under the castle, but archrival Bellefontaine comes to town. Though the Chieftains are 0-2, they walloped Urbana last year in Bellefontaine. It will be a tough matchup for the Hillclimbers.

Graham got a taste of sweetness after a final-play win over Catholic Central last week.

This Friday night, the Falcons play at Lehman Catholic (0-2).

“Focus is the main thing this week,” Graham Coach A.J. Woods said. “(Lehman) runs a lot of different route combinations.”

Woods said his players will have to look for certain keys on defense and be vigilant.

“Every day is a learning experience for our guys. There’s no stagnation here.”

By Justin Miller

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