Jonathan Alder’s Brennan Blain (50) puts down Bellefontaine quarterback Dezmin Lyburtus on this play last week. Also pictured for JA is Nolan Larison (52). The Pioneers will travel to Tecumseh this evening.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
The Jonathan Alder Pioneers had to lick some wounds this week after last Friday’s Homecoming loss to Bellefontaine.
While the setback put JA a game behind the Chieftains in the Central Buckeye Conference race, it still left them in decent shape for a spot in the Division IV state playoffs.
The Pioneers went into last week’s game ranked second in Region 16 of D-IV. They have slipped a couple of notches to No. 4, but are still in line for a first-round home game in the post-season.
Tonight, Alder (5-2) will travel to New Carlisle to face the Tecumseh Arrows (2-5).
Tecumseh is a ground-oriented team that runs out of the I-formation.
Running back Gavin Wasson has returned from an injury in the past couple of weeks and is averaging eight yards per carry.
The quarterback is 6-0, 240-pounder Jaden McFarland, who was converted from tight end.
“He will run the ball, so that gives Tecumseh dual threats in the backfield,” said JA head coach Brett Glass.
The Pioneers must win the battle in the trenches in order to stop the Arrows’ ground game.
“Our defensive line has to win control in order to allow our linebackers to make plays,” said Glass. “Even though Tecumseh is primarily a running team, our defensive backs can’t fall asleep in case they do throw the ball.”
The Arrows’ 4-4 defense is much like the one played by the Pioneers.
It is a defense that wants to stop an opposing team’s running game.
Alder is a squad that wants to first establish its infantry attack.
The team that wins that battle could very well emerge as the overall victor, even though the Pioneers have been able to throw the ball when the opportunity arises.
Quarterback Preston Eisnaugle can look for Dalton Potts and Drew Myers to be on the receiving end of his aerials.
Glass said last week’s setback to the Chieftains has not adversely affected his squad.
“The guys were ready to get back to work this week,” he said. “We can’t let one game define our season. We have to correct our mistakes and go forward.
“We gave up some big plays last week and that’s something we have to shore up,” said Glass. “We’ve got to stop Tecumseh’s running game and limit costly mistakes.
“We can’t have those mistakes as we hopefully move forward to Week 11 of the season.”
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