Hopewell-Loudon at Elmwood
Records: Hopewell-Loudon 0-1; Elmwood 1-0
Coaches: Hopewell-Loudon, Jeremy Nutter; Elmwood, Brian Cooper
Last year: Hopewell-Loudon 38, Elmwood 6
Outlook: Elmwood is coming off a 32-0 thrashing of Gibsonburg in the debut of Cooper, and Nutter said he is impressed with what he's seen of the Royals so far.
"Just looking at it on film, I'm impressed with the job coach Cooper's done to get them to buy into smashmouth football," Nutter said. "They don't try to outsmart you. It's gonna be a challenge to try to match their physicality."
Nutter said his squad did a nice job of bouncing back after last week's loss to Leipsic.
"Practice has been good," Nutter said. "Guys have accepted it and moved on. They've worked hard."
Nutter said he was pleased with Alec Gregg's first start at quarterback. He said he wanted to see the Chieftains' completion percentage to go, which he said is the responsibility of the line and the receivers as well as the QB.
"Alec is gonna lead us to some wins, there's no question about it," Nutter said.
Carey at Bluffton
Records: Carey 0-1; Bluffton 1-0
Coaches: Carey, Todd Worst; Bluffton, Dennis Lee.
Last year: Bluffton 31, Carey 28
Outlook: Bluffton is coming off a 30-0 stomping of Cory-Rawson last week, and while Cory-Rawson, Ohio is a fictional place that only exists in the mind of would-be favorite son Ben Roethlisberger, the school, and the team, is very real.
So, it appears, are the Pirates, who were led by sophomore quarterback Robbie Stratton in last week's win over C-R. Stratton ran for 109 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Worst said Bluffton's prowess goes beyond one player.
"Bluffton's gonna be a physical team that shows up ready to play. We can always count on Bluffton for a tough fight," he said. "They spread out their running game between quarterback and running back."
As for Carey, which fell to Upper Sandusky last week, Worst said Carey needs to do what it does best: hold the ball.
"Big thing is gonna be ball control," he said. "If we do what we do on offense and create bad situations for them on defense, it will help us."
Wynford at Mohawk
Records: Wynford 1-0, Mohawk 1-0
Coaches: Wynford, Gabe Helbert; Mohawk, Erik Baker
Last year: Wynford 33, Mohawk 0.
Outlook: Baker was asked if he noticed any differences on tape between this year's Wynford squad and the ones of past years.
"They don't have Tyler Brause or Zach Chatlin at quarterback," Baker said. "This new quarterback is a tremendous runner; he's gonna be writing his own script. This kid (Brock Williamson) is almost a tailback playing quarterback."
But Williamson also can throw, as he showed on the final play of the Royals' Week One game against River Valley. He threw a touchdown pass to Adam Hartz that gave Wynford a 20-14 win, its 59th-straight home win.
Mohawk also is coming off a win, but like most coaches, Baker still sees things to improve upon. For starters, his defense was on the field for 73 plays last week against Upper Scioto Valley.
"We had players on the field for 140 snaps; that's entirely too much," Baker said.
Baker said Mohawk quarterback Drew Loose had a strong first game, and Baker said it was key that he found a number of different receivers.
"Our distribution of the ball was a big difference for us," he said.
Gibsonburg at Lakota
Records: Gibsonburg 0-1, Lakota 0-1
Coaches: Gibsonburg, Steve Reser; Lakota, David Vodika
Last year: Gibsonburg 19, Lakota 16
Outlook: Vodika said he thinks his team is getting close.
Last week's 41-20 loss to Arcadia was an example of this. The Raiders went scoreless in the first half, but erupted for 20 second half points, including 14 in the fourth quarter.
"We have to start playing to win; we have to grow up," Vodika said. "We are at that point where we can become a decent football team."
To Vodika, it's all about execution. And if Lakota does that, it can match up with Gibsonburg, which was shut out by Elmwood a week ago.
Vodika said the Raiders have to be ready for the Bears' quarterback, Matt Tille.
"Tille's a tough quarterback, a hard-running kid," Vodika said.
But Vodika said Lakota's success will come down to what it is able to do.
"We need to play like we're capable of playing, and that's what we're looking forward to," he said.
Plymouth at Seneca East
Records: Plymouth 0-1; Seneca East 1-0
Coaches: Plymouth, Mark Genders; Seneca East, Ed Phillips
Last Year: Seneca East 34, Plymouth 7
Outlook: Phillips couldn't have asked for more out of his defense as the Tigers started the season by posting a 20-0 shut out of South Central.
"That was exciting. Anytime you can go out and get a shutout you have to be impressed with the way the defense played," Phillips said. "First drive they drove down and got to our 9. ... We started off season with a goal line stand, and that set the tone for the night. They dominated pretty much the rest of the way. (South Central) never posed a big threat after that."
Phillips is going to need another strong performance out of his defense as this week the Tigers welcome to town a Plymouth team that put up 42 points in a Week 1 loss.
"Coach Genders has done a really nice job with the program," he said. "They are a very deceptive team. They do a lot of misdirection; they'll run spread and they'll run wishbone. So they give you multiple looks.
"Up front they are very sound. Their center is a Division-II [college] type player. They're a good, sound team offensively; they got a lot of weapons."
Phillips is hoping his team can clean up some of the unforced errors that it committed against South Central, namely false starts and other penalties. He is also looking for his players to stick to their assignments on both sides of the ball.
"We need to be assignment-sound up front, on both sides of the ball," he said. "Offensively we need to hit our assignments to move the ball. Defensively, they run some triple option, so we need to stick to our assignments there to stop them."
Upper Sandusky at Colonel Crawford
Records: Upper Sandusky 1-0; Colonel Crawford 1-0
Coaches: Upper Sandusky, Jake Moyer; Colonel Crawford, Ryan Teglovic
Last Year: Upper Sandusky 28, Colonel Crawford 7
Outlook: Two words hold the key for Upper Sandusky. For Moyer, two words are the difference between last year's 5-5 Ram team, and the one that went into Carey Week 1 and walked out with a victory.
"Maturation and resolve," he said. "Our kids have grown up. A lot of them were forced to grow up last season. We threw some puppies to the wolves, they had to grow up in a hurry. ...they took their lumps but they kept coming back each week. They had a great offseason, and I think that showed against Carey."
Junior quarterback Tylor Pritchard, in his second year as a starter, keyed the win with 104 rushing yards, 168 passing yards and four total touchdowns.
Moyer might need to get a similar outing from Pritchard this week as the Rams face a Colonel Crawford team that is similar in regards to being a young team a year ago, ready to grow up in 2012.
"Colonel Crawford has evolved in their offense," Moyer said. "They ran a good Wing-t, solid, sound package. This year their quarterback, Nate Klingenberger, he's a tall kid, got a great arm. They've evolved into a spread team kind of like we have. They run a real good draw, run a real good screen pass and throw the ball all over the place.
"We need to put pressure on him force him to make some bad decisions. We want to control the clock. Last week we were 50-50 run-to-pass, we really like that ratio."
Bowling Green at Fostoria
Records: Bowling Green 0-1; Fostoria 0-1
Coaches: Bowling Green, Steve Aungst; Fostoria, Jim Kelly
Last Year: Bowling Green 14, Fostoria 13
Outlook: It was a rough start to the Jim Kelly-era at Fostoria as the Redmen fell victim to Ottawa-Glandorf 62-7 last week. Although the game showed Kelly a few areas his team needed to improve on, he did see some positives in the effort.
"I think we have a lot of things we needed to work on this week," Kelly said. "We always try to take positives out of everything we do it. We've had to work on sticking together and not tearing each other down at times. I think we did a good job of that. We were clearly out matched, yet we stuck together. Friday night we turned the page and started getting ready for BG."
For those returning to the Fostoria team this year, a bad taste still lingers in their mouth after a close loss to the Bobcats last season.
"Our seniors, it's on their mind," Kelly said. "What it did was took away a potential playoff spot. Had they won that BG game, they probably would've been in the playoffs. ... That's something we talked about it a lot. We don't underestimate BG. We really had to prepare mentally on the game, not just the physical part of it."
Kelly said BG ran two quarterbacks in a loss last week to Rossford, each bringing a dual-threat to the table.
"They have some nice athletic kids. They try to move the ball down the field, get it in the air and throw it," Kelly said. "They had two quarterbacks last week, they like to throw but they're able to break contain and run. For us, we just got to do what we do, and thats play hard-nosed Fostoria football. If we can do that and be physical, that's the tone we want to set that we feel can help us.
Buckeye Central at Mapleton
Records: Buckeye Central 1-0; Mapleton 0-1
Coaches: Buckeye Central, Jason Ratliff; Mapleton, Ray Frisbee
Last Year: Buckeye Central 41-7
Outlook: Ratliff had a lot of holes to fill from a senior class that led the Bucks to a state runner-up finish last year. It took him three quarters into Week 1 before the new starters began to step up.
"I think the fourth quarter is what we liked the most (from last week)," Ratliff said. "We were down going in to the fourth, and came back and was able to score twice. I really liked how our kids never gave up."
That still leaves three quarters worth of things to work on.
"We got to tackle better on defense; we didn't tackle very well," he said. "Offensively it will just take some time with so many new guys."
The one returner at the skill positions in running back Michael Adkins who rushed for 165 yards and three scores. Ratliff though is looking for other weapons to step up.
"We know what Michael can do. After watching him last year we knew what his capable of," he said. "We need to develop some of the new kids to help take some of the burden off him."
This week the Bucks travel to face a Mapleton squad who is coming off a blow out loss to Carrollton last week. Still, Ratliff sees the danger the Mounties present.
"They're a very athletic team," he said. "They have a lot of very fast skill kids and their traditional big linemen. They like to run sweeps and get to the outside.
"We make sure we get guys to the football and make plays. We need to tackle better."
He's also looking for continued progress out of the new starters
"Hopefully in their second game and they understand what its like to play at the varsity level and they can help take some of the pressure off of Michael."