Panther players and fans cheer as running back Mason Cushman crosses into the end zone against Cedarville. Fairbanks will play at Greenon on Friday. (Journal-Tribune photo by Chad Williamson)
“The guys were really excited about our first win of the season,” said Fairbanks High School football coach Patrick Cotter.
“It was just a great team effort.”
Those were among Cotter’s reactions after the Panthers (1-2) rolled to a 53-0 victory over Cedarville last week.
There was, however, very little time to celebrate as FHS goes on the road this Friday to play the 3-0 Knights of Greenon.
The Clark County team will line up in the spread offense with doubles and trips among their receivers.
“They really want to throw the ball,” said Cotter.
The Knights are led by quarterback Cade Rice, who has thrown for an Ohio Heritage Conference-leading 838 yards.
His favorite receivers are Bass Moore, Luke Downing and Clay Hough.
Hough is second to Triad’s Logan McCoy in receiving yardage for the conference. McCoy has 361, while Hough has 262.
“Rice is a really good quarterback who throws the ball well,” said Cotter. “He’s mobile and moves in the pocket very well.”
The Knights’ offensive line isn’t huge, according to the Panther boss, but moves well to protect Rice from an opponent’s blitzing attack.
“Their offense is going to put a little pressure on our secondary, but I think we will match up well with them,” said Cotter. “We’ve been pretty good against the pass the last couple of weeks.
“Opposing quarterbacks have gone 17-of-50 the past two games against us.
“We have to continue to play the pass well, but we know they will also give us a healthy dose of a running game to try and fool us,” said Cotter. “Kameron Cox is their running back and he’s a fantastic athlete.”
The Knights will line up in a 4-3 defense, which Cotter said is similar to his team’s alignment.
“Their front seven are very solid and their defensive backs fly to the football,” he said. “They get to the ball well and try to suffocate you.”
Cotter said the Panthers will have to mix up their ground and aerial attacks in order to win.
“We will have to keep Greenon guessing and allow our playmakers to make plays,” he said. “We have to play disciplined, aggressive football with the same type of great effort we had last week.
“When you hustle and give great effort, good things are going to happen around the football.”
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