Mechanicsburg is the only unblemished Champaign County squad after a single week of prep football action, and the Indians aren’t looking to change that any time soon.
“The kids have put in a ton of time and hard work,” M’burg Coach Kurt Forrest said. “Every Friday night is a special event. They’re going to go out there and lay it on the line for each other.”
The Indians walloped West Jefferson, 43-8, last Friday night, with another neighboring district team up this week in Fairbanks at M’burg.
“They’re a neighboring district. We’re very familiar,” Forrest said.
M’burg is relying on offensive firepower and defensive tenacity, with many guys playing both ways.
“They don’t want to let each other down,” Forrest said. “You look at the experience we have up front. The physicality that we’re playing with is pretty special.”
Fellow Ohio Heritage Conference coach Dan McGill has an area test in Benjamin Logan this week after his West Liberty-Salem squad narrowly dropped a game to Division IV Valley View, 37-31, last Friday night.
“We’re better off playing a team like that and losing than playing a worse team and winning,” McGill said. “We’re getting back to basics. I think Ben Logan is definitely getting better. We lost last week because of special teams and losing the turnover battle.”
The Tigers have a unique challenge in that they lost running back Brandon Wolfe last week for an undetermined amount of time with an ankle injury. Wolfe was widely expected to approach the 1,000-yard mark for the season, even splitting time with standout Trevor Anderson.
“It’s going to require us, as coaches, to be a little more on top of our substitutions and play calls,” McGill said.
Also in the OHC, Triad took a 41-0 spanking from Indian Lake on the road last week.
The Cardinals are looking forward to getting back home against North Union Friday night.
Triad is without a couple of key players early due to injury and the rebuilding of the offensive and defensive line from a year ago is evident.
Trent McIntyre is a special athlete, one who could drag this team into the playoff hunt by himself if necessary, so the Cardinals shouldn’t be pressing the panic button just yet.
Graham opened with a tough matchup at Tippecanoe, and the Falcons felt the sting from the Red Devils, 56-0.
First-year Graham Coach AJ Woods is looking to keep his team’s collective mindset right by beating the Catholic Central Irish this week.
SCC is coming off a big win of its own over Greenon, so the boys from Springfield should be fired up traveling to St. Paris Friday night.
“When you win that big, you draw some attention,” Woods said. “We’ll have to be disciplined in all phases of the game and be ready to play.”
Both programs have become accustomed to losing over the last few seasons, but both are also seemingly on the upswing and hungry.
“The biggest thing is the kids played hard,” Woods said. “The sun came up on Saturday. We’ve got to work hard every day. It was a tough loss, but we learned from it.”
At Urbana, first-year Coach Jon Daniels was disappointed with the Hillclimbers’ 42-30 home loss to London to open the season.
“We don’t take any moral victories,” he said. “That’s not the standard at Urbana. But looking back, were there some positives? Yeah, I think there were.”
The boys in maroon and white are going back to fundamentals this week, focusing on blocking, tackling, technique and alignment. More than half of the varsity starters took their first live snaps on Friday.
They’ll have a tall task against Piqua (1-0) on the road Friday night.
“They certainly like to win and they’re used to winning,” Daniels said, adding that some bad practice habits snuck in last week. “We identified some of those and made a team commitment to correct it.”
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller