|Wildcats keep working toward NWC crown; Jays seeking to keep post-season hopes alive|
|Friday, October 11, 2013 12:16 AM|
By JIM METCALFE
Jefferson stands atop the Northwest Conference standings — tied with Ada at 4-0 — and hits the road to Columbus Grove tonight to continue in its quest.
St. John’s is basically out of the Midwest Athletic Conference race but still has a shot at the Division VII playoffs, ranking 12th in Region 24, as the Blue Jays host Fort Recovery.
JEFFERSON AT COLUMBUS GROVE
Jefferson head coach Bub Lindeman figures the Bulldogs might be a team with nothing to lose, especially coming off their first win of the season (1-5, 0-3 NWC).
“Everything we see from them is they are getting better each week. They started a lot of inexperienced underclassmane early but they are getting experience and playing better as a result of it,” Lindeman explained. “We see out of them what we saw from Crestview last week as far as their offense goes: a zone read attack; Crestview ran some of it last week but Grove is more out of the gun. Riley Brubaker is their number one runner and he does a nice job of reading the defensive end.
“Defensively, they run the base 4-3 cover 2; they mix in a couple of other coverages, like man, cover 1 and 3, but what they really do is try to blitz off the edges with their outside linebackers.”
Jefferson, coming off a 34-21 victory over Crestview, has an offense averaging 39.8 points and 394.7 yards behind Zavier Buzard (139 rushes, 1,135 yards, 21 TDs; 4 catches, 33 yards, 1), Ross Thompson (9 rushes, 109 yards, 2; 22 catches, 343 yards, 3), Austin Jettinghoff (55-of-97 passing, 783 yards, 5 TDs, 2 picks; 14 punts, 36.4-yard average), Tyler Mox (14 grabs, 215 yards, 1), Joe Gorman (5 for 68), Jordan McCann (4 for 53), Trevor Dudgeon (4 for 46), Kurt Wollenhaupt (27-of-30 extra points) and linemen Adam Crabtree (15 pancake blocks), Justin Stewart (11) and Isaac Illig (11).
The defense ceding 10.5 points and 181.2 yards, has Dalton Hicks (44 solo tackles, 31 assists, 4 for losses), Thompson (36 and 20), Gorman (28 and 12), Mox (24 and 12), Illig (26 and 10) and McCann (22 and 13).
“We’re six weeks into the season. We have to take care of the football, which we have done well all season; last week’s two interceptions were the first two turnovers of the season,” Lindeman added. “We have to tackle well this week, which we have done well this year. We have to play good, sound, disciplined defensive football this week and do our assignments; we did that better the second half last week once we settled down. We had a turnover early and fell behind, trailing for only the second time all season.
“We have played well in all three facets of the game to this point and we need to have that continue.”
ST. JOHN’S VS. FORT RECOVERY
The Blue Jays (2-4, 2-2 MAC) have been struggling to find a consistent level of play through their first six games.
Head coach Todd Schulte sees a team in Fort Recovery going through much the same.
“They will have three good plays in a row and then have three not-so-good ones. What they do is play hard every play and play with a physical edge,” Schulte said. “What we see is an offense that runs the spread and then — with the same personnel — before you know it, they are in a double-tight, 2-back look and run power. Our defense has to be on its toes as to what they are doing.
“Defensively, they have two guys in particular that we are concerned about: defensive tackle Dues and defensive end Timmerman. They both are tough to block and create a lot of havoc.”
The Jays, off a 28-14 loss to Marion Local, come in with an offensive average of 16.7 points and 227.2 yards behind Tyler Jettinghoff (100 rushes, 532 yards, 8 scores), Luke MacLennan (46 rushes, 258 yards, 2; 10 catches, 220 yards, 2), Nick Martz (67 totes, 244 yards, 1; 24-of-66 passing, 325 yards, 2 TDs, 6 picks), Evan Hays (5 catches, 50 yards), Ben Wrasman (11-of-13 extra points, 14 total points; 24 punts, 35.4-yard average) and linemen Spencer Ginter (8 pancake blocks) and Wes Buettner (3).
On the defense are Cody Looser (41 solo tackles, 25 assists), Austin Heiing (33 and 17), Hays (24 and 14), MacLennan (29 and 8), Jordan Mohler (27 and 10) and Nate Schroeder (22 and 11).
“Just like last week, we have to find playmakers, whether it’s one guy or a group of them, That cost us last week and this year,” he added. “We actually had chances to keep last week closer and you have to find a way to capitalize when those opportunities present themselves. What I find most disappointing is we are making many of the same mistakes in week six as we did in week one.
“We know we are out of the league race but we still have a shot at the playoffs; in my mind, we have to win out to take care of business and play week 11.”
Both games kick off at 7:30 p.m.