Undefeated Wildcats have big test ahead against Heath Bulldogs

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Trevyn Feasel, right, of North Union leans into a tackle by a Colonel Crawford defender during Week Two of the 2019 football season. The Wildcats will travel to Heath on Friday with the hopes of going to 3-0.

(Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)


The Wildcats of North Union gridiron squad is starting to find its positions on the field and after a 2-0 start is getting pretty comfortable.

Head coach Nick Hajjar said his players are settling in and taking responsibility for those roles.

“Each week poses new challenges in terms of rotations and their responsibilities and roles,” he said. “I think there are some things out there we need to work on, but rotational things are getting solidified.

“Guys are starting to assume their roles. I think they are starting to settle into their positions.”

Those roles will be challenged on Friday as the Cats make the long trip to Heath to take on a 1-1 Bulldogs squad that has a good deal of experience and depth.

“They are a really good football team,” Hajjar said. “They have a lot of seniors who play hard and have been through the battles. You can tell they know what they are doing.”

The Bulldogs made the jump to Division IV this year from D V and opened the season with a win over a solid Liberty Union team.

They fell to a very strong Licking Valley outfit last week.

“They beat a Liberty Union team that is traditionally pretty good and got beat by a Licking Valley team that is usually a very good football team that goes deep into the playoffs,” Hajjar said. “We will have our work cut out for us.”

Hajjar said the Bulldogs like to run multiple offensive formations that lean toward the spread. Senior quarterback Austin Morrow who Hajjar said is “smooth” will lead them.

“Their trigger man (Morrow) is one of the guys who makes them move,” he said. “He is a senior, left-handed quarterback and is a dual threat.

“He just has command of everything that is out there,” said Hajjar. “He’s very smooth with everything he does.”

When Morrow isn’t throwing the ball, he is handing off to a pair of solid running backs behind a big offensive line.

Hajjar said the Bulldogs also like to throw the ball up and go get it on the perimeter as well.

“They have some guys on the perimeter who can go,” he said. “They give those guys some chances with some 50-50 balls that they can go up and get. They like to take some shots down the field.”

Heath will show the Cats a 3-3 stack defense that Hajjar calls “unique.”

“They have ability to move people anywhere on any play when they are stacked like that,” he said. “The linebackers fly to the ball, they are big up front and have some seniors in the secondary.”

Hajjar said the lessons learned during the first two weeks of the season could help in this early season battle for the undefeated Cats.

“We tried to make some big improvements between Week One and Week Two,” he said. “Those are things that are just effort…things that made a difference, not necessarily scheme-wise.

“I thought the guys played hard,” said the coach. “I thought they ran to the ball better.”

With a new field and coming off a loss, the Bulldogs will try to return to success against NU.

Hajjar said it will be a solid test for the Wildcats.

“It is one of the bigger games in central Ohio,” he said. “I’m sure that place will be rocking and it should be fun.”

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