Jonathan Alder’s Jacob Fenik (7) breaks up a Marion Harding pass attempt in this file photo. The Pioneers will go for their fourth win of the season tonight at Urbana. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Jonathan Alder’s Pioneer football squad heads into the fourth game of the regular season as the lone unbeaten outfit among Union County-area teams.
The Pioneers will take a 3-0 record on the road when they face 0-3 Urbana this evening.
JA coach Brett Glass said the Hillclimbers, who are guided by former Fairbanks High School coach Carlton Cotner, will look to keep the ball on the ground behind what he calls a “decent-sized” offensive line.
“We will see some unbalanced sets and a lot of option,” said Glass.
“O.J. Sancho (a former Marysville High School player) is their offensive coordinator,”
he said. “He played at Marysville with the running game.”
The Hillclimbers have struggled to put points on the board as they have tallied just 19 in three games.
“They’ve had a lot of injuries and have had to use a lot of guys,” said Glass. “We will see a lot of different players in their rotation.”
Among the running backs who have seen action for Urbana are Rayvon Rogan, Ian Barrett, Trevor Stewart and Trey Williams.
Logan Johnson is a senior quarterback for Urbana.
Glass said Alder’s defense will have to play assignment football against Urbana’s option.
“We’re also going to have to make them drive the field to score,” he said. “We can’t give up any big plays.”
Urbana will employ an odd-man defensive front with a nose guard.
“They have some speed on defense and they run to the ball pretty well,” said Glass.
“We know they are going to load the box against us up the middle,” he said. “We’ll take the matchups available to us on the outside of their defense.”
Still, the Hillclimbers’ defense has been porous, with opponents having gashed them for 167 points.
Glass said the Pioneers must maintain their balanced offensive attack.
That is something Alder strives for each week.
“We passed for something like 170 yards against Bloom Carroll and ran for roughly 150,” he said.
JA quarterback J.T. Keith leads the conference with 533 passing yards.
Running back Garret Proxmire is fifth in the circuit in rushing with 364 yards.
Glass also said the Pioneers will have to take care of the football.
“We will have to win the turnover battle,” he said.
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