MECHANICSBURG – Unbeaten Mechanicsburg walloped Williamsburg in the opening round of the Division VI, Region 22 playoffs last week, but the Indians have bigger fish to fry when they play Delphos Jefferson on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Sidney.
“You survive and advance in the playoffs. We kept our family alive for another week,” M’burg Coach Kurt Forrest said. “They’re used to the step up in the competition.”
The competition hasn’t offered much resistance so far this season for the Indians – the boys in purple have started up the running clock with 30-plus point leads in each game this season.
“With the running clock in 11 straight games – they always say your games should be easier than your practices, and I don’t think there’s any doubt that’s been the case for our kids,” Forrest said, adding that those running clock days might end this week, forcing his starters to play an entire game. “I’m very confident in our kids. They’re in great shape.”
This week, the opposition ramps up another notch with Jefferson (10-1), which has a vice-like defense and plays tough, fundamental football.
“Delphos Jefferson is not going to fool you, they’re not going to trick you,” Forrest said. “They’re pretty basic in what they do. But they play really, really hard and really, really fast.”
The Indians will have to be prepared on defense, as Jefferson tends to snap the ball quickly on offense. And defensively, Jefferson held high-scoring Spencerville to less than two touchdowns in back-to-back weeks.
Now, the lights get brighter and the stadiums get bigger, with this game being played at Sidney Memorial Stadium.
“We’ve had a lot of kids that have been in some big-time situations,” Forrest said, explaining that many of the players have state meet experience in wrestling or track and field. “We’ve got some guys that have had success in their high school career, but also know how to perform on the big stage. The kids are excited. They thrive on that and they enjoy that.”
Jefferson’s only loss came in Week Two at undefeated and defending Division V state champion Coldwater. The Wildcats lost 35-6 to the Cavaliers in that meeting.
Jefferson enters Saturday’s contest on a nine-game winning streak, including victories over arch-rival Spencerville in each of the past two weeks.
The Wildcats’ 26-10 victory at Spencerville in Week 10 spoiled the Bearcats’ bid for a perfect season and also secured Jefferson’s third consecutive Northwest Conference championship.
Kickoff for Mechanicsburg-Jefferson is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.