Week one is now in the books and week two is on the horizon. There weren’t a lot of one-score games in the area, but teams got to show what their current team is all about.
For some schools, week two marks the start of conference play. Some have non-conference games to play.
Nonetheless, I’m sure every coach wants to improve on their performance from week one. It’s still very early in the season, teams still have an opportunity to show they can have a special season.
For some teams, it starts with getting their first win this week. For the others, it’s about getting to that 2-0 start. Here are the things to look for from the Darke county teams this Friday.
Arcanum at Twin Valley South: Offensive consistency
It wasn’t an ideal start to the season for the Trojans. They were shutout to start the season against South Adams. The first game wasn’t a great recipe for success with a first-year head coach that has a team that lost a lot of skill players going up against a 10-win team from a season ago.
Week one showed the team is going need time to gel and nail the offense down. All it could take is for the team to watch themselves on film to have the offense click in their heads.
They do face a challenge in Twin Valley South this week. The Panthers lost in an 8-6 game against Carlisle week one. They allowed 241 total yards. Arcanum had 106 total yards in their week one game. This week is a chance for Arcanum to show improvement on the offensive side of the ball.
Gamble Montessori at Ansonia: Overall play vs. uncommon opponent
Ansonia is the first team up in the WOAC to play against their Bradford replacement team. Most of the teams scheduled teams from around the Cincinnati area. Gamble Montessori is one of those teams.
There is going to be some differences when playing teams from a different area. Teams could be faster, stronger, more athletic or more physical than the teams around here. There is a big unknown factor going into this game since this is a program that Ansonia is not really familiar with.
This is a playoff type of game. In the playoffs, you have to rely on film to prepare for them. It’s helpful, but it’s not like a conference game where there is familiarity with the opponent. With less film to prepare, Ansonia will have their work cut out for them. Should be interesting to see if they can repeat their dominate performance from last week. They had 321 rushing yards as a team in the game, 178 yards coming from Exzaviar Moody.
Stebbins at Greenville: Defensive line play
Last week against Eaton, the defensive line was neutralized by the Eaton offense. They ran outside zone and moved their quarterback around. Head coach Bart Schmitz said the Eagles made his defense play in space.
This week could be a different story. It will be the home opener for the Green Wave and last year’s game against Stebbins was a shootout. The best way to slow down an offense is to be disruptive up front.
The defensive line has to be hungry to make some plays. They don’t have to make the flashy plays, the line just needs to eat up blocks or get pressure on the quarterback to help the defense. Greenville does have a young secondary and good linebackers. The guys up front can let those guys shine if they can do the dirty work.
Dixie at Mississinawa Valley: Getting an early conference win
The Blackhawks were only down by eight heading into the fourth quarter against Bucyrus last week. They lost 48-20 after allowing 20 points in the fourth quarter.
There is still a lot to like about Mississinawa Valley after week one. They just let the fourth quarter slip away from them.
The Blackhawks had 311 total yards of offense. Quarterback Chastan Daniels went 12 for 15 with 203 passing yards and one interception. Daniels averaged 13.5 yards per pass. He also led the team in rushing with 76 yards and a rushing touchdown.
The defense had some success too. They had 8.5 tackles for loss and Trent Trobridge had the teams only sack.
Last season, Mississinawa Valley got their first win and conference win in October. This is a team that, obviously, wants to the change the narrative around them after going 1-9 last season. Last season, Mississinawa Valley lost to Dixie by four points. A big step towards doing that is to get a win on Friday.
Preble Shawnee at Tri-Village: Braden Keating
Last season, Braden Keating made his first official start of his career at Preble Shawnee. He went 12 for 22 with 171 passing yards and a touchdown. He also had two interceptions. It was the only regular season game the Patriots lost that season.
Preble Shawnee is going to see a different Keating this time around. Last week against Troy Christian, Keating went 13 for 17 with 233 yards passing and three touchdowns. He also had 103 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown.
Tri-Village finished second in the WOAC last season after Preble Shawnee went 9-0 in conference play. This is an early season game that could have a big effect on the WOAC this year. This is also a game for Keating to show how much he has improved from a season ago.
Ft. Loramie at Versailles: Another strong defensive performance
Last week against Celina, the Tigers rushed for 257 yards as a team. Joel Gehret led the team with 194 rushing yards. The best way to complement a strong running game is with a strong defense.
Versailles didn’t let Celina score until the fourth quarter. They allowed 134 total yards of offense and held Celina to 2 for 9 on third down conversions. The Tigers also had two interceptions.
Last week, Ft. Loramie defeated another MAC school in Minster 36-24. Versailles has proven they can score at will on the ground. They can cruise to another victory if the defense shows out again.
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]