FHS, Cardinals will hook up for backyard contest


Fairbanks running back Riordin Stauffer battles for additional yardage against West Liberty-Salem. The Panthers will stay close to home tonight with a game at neighboring Triad. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)

A pair of local high school football teams that have been going in the opposite direction will tangle tonight.
The Triad Cardinals (2-5) will host Fairbanks (5-2) in an Ohio Heritage Conference game.
After starting the season with a pair of setbacks, the Panthers have won five consecutive games, including last week’s upset over state-ranked West Liberty-Salem.
On the other hand, Triad defeated Ridgemont (1-6), 60-30, during the second week of the season and edged Southeastern (2-5), 18-14, three weeks ago.
The Panthers, at least on paper, appear to have a big advantage going into the contest.
FHS has five running backs who have tallied more than 200 yards, led by Brogan Green (426 on 54 carries).
The Cardinals’ ground game has struggled.
Coleman Hauck leads Triad with 280 yards on 66 attempts.
Fairbanks is averaging 229 yards on the ground per game, while Triad is averaging 130.
The Panthers average 366 total yards per outing, while the Cardinals stand at 270.
Both squads have solid quarterbacks.
Fairbanks’ Braxton Wilhelm has completed 68 of 136 passes for 50 percent. His aerials have covered 934 yards with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions.
He has spread the ball around to several receivers including Braylon Green (15 catches, 172 yards), Ashton Griffith (11-115), Trey Good (11-256), Gatlin Luke (10-145) and Braeden Fairchild (10-70).
Cardinal signal-caller Jordon Simonelli has passed for 838 yards and completed 47 percent of his 107 attempts.
He has thrown eight touchdown passes and has suffered a pair of picks.
Logan McCoy of Triad leads the OHC in receiving yardage at 545 on 28 receptions. He has scored six touchdowns through the air.
Hauk is also another threat with 17 catches for 206 yards and a pair of scores.
The Panthers are in the running for their second consecutive state playoff berth.
They are ranked eighth in Region 24 of Division VI.
The top eight teams in each region at the conclusion of the regular season will earn spots in the post-season.
Triad stands at 20th in the same region.

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