Jonathan Alder’s Denver Petersheim (27) makes a tackle during last week’s game against Bellefontaine. The Pioneers will take a 7-0 record into tonight’s game at Tecumseh. (Photo submitted)
The No. 2 team in this week’s Association Press state Division III football poll shouldn’t have a huge task ahead of it tonight.
The Jonathan Alder Pioneers (7-0) are ranked second in this week’s poll behind New Philadelphia.
They will take to the road against Tecumseh, which stands at 1-6 for the season.
The Arrows will run out of the Wing T and use quite a few running backs.
“They don’t have any particular running back they feature,” said Alder head coach Brett Glass.
“They are a typical Wing T team in that they use a lot of misdirection from different formations.”
Tecumseh has struggled on offense and has no one among the top statistical leaders in the Central Buckeye Conference.
The squad has tallied only 76 points to date this season.
Lucas Rodgers is the Arrows’ top ball carrier with 427 yards on 95 attempts.
Wyatt Ferguson is next on the list with 211 yards on 56 carries.
One thing Tecumseh doesn’t do very often is throw the pigskin.
Quarterback Caden Riley has attempted 60 passes in seven games. He’s completed 22 for 198 yards with one touchdown and five interceptions.
“They don’t throw the ball a lot, but when they do, they can go over the top,” said Glass. “They only throw when they have do, but we have to keep everything in front of us when they do throw.
“We’re going to see a lot of different looks with their misdirection,” he said. “We’re going to have to be on our defensive keys.”
The Arrows will throw 4-3 and 4-4 defensive fronts at the Pioneers.
“They’ve got decent size up front and will blitz at times,” said Glass. “We know they are going to load the box and try to stop our running game.”
Teams on Alder’s schedule this season have tried that, but few have succeeded.
Bellefontaine, last week’s opponent, did the best job of the season to date in limiting the Pioneers on the ground.
Alder countered that with several touchdown passes from quarterback JT Keith to Jackson Izzard.
The Arrows’ defense has been porous as it has yielded 264 points.
JA will employ a two-pronged offensive attack.
Running back Garret Proxmire has rushed for 970 yards on 152 carries, while Keith has completed nearly 66 percent of his aerial offerings for 1,086 yards.
Izzard, Dawson Detweiler and Jacob Fenik have combined for 54 receptions and 15 touchdowns.
“We’re going to have to be balanced between the pass and the run,” said Glass. “We have to be better at establishing our running game than what we did against Bellefontaine.
“We will also have to take care of the football,” he said.
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