East Clinton celebrates its Homecoming Friday night as Wilmington visits Lees Creek.
Wilmington is among the four South Central Ohio League teams 2-0 on the season. At the other end, East Clinton is one of four league teams who are 0-2. The Astros lost to Washington 42-22 last week.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday night.
Wilmington is coming off its second straight 60-point offensive game. The Hurricane, 4-1 overall, defeated Hillsboro in a Highland County shootout 61-36. And they did all that Friday without the services of Dylan Beaugard, who did not play.
“Our offense is explosive,” WHS coach Scott Killen said. “I feel we can score at any given time. Our kids are starting to understand where we can go offensively as long as we don’t take plays off and have mistakes.
“We are banged up and at this point I am not certain who is coming back or being held out.”
Adam Phelps was the bell-cow for the Hurricane, rushing for 203 yards and a couple of scores. Quarterback Brady Evans rushed for 45 yards and a pair of scores while passing for 218 yards and three touchdowns.
Matt Smith was the top receiver with 75 yards and two TDs. Mason McIntosh had 67 yards receiving and Tony Merritt had 61 yards and a TD.
On the defensive side, Kyler Reed was in on eight tackles while Frantz Cherisca was in on seven, including a sack. Sloan Marsh, Porter Pagett and Brett Bell were in on four each. Parker Gunkel, Jake Vaughan and Grant Mayer took part in three tackles each.
However, Killen was not pleased with another slow start for WHS, who trailed 15-0 and lead just 34-29 at the half. The Hurricane outscored the Indians 27-7 in the second half.
‘We started slow and had breakdowns on defense that led to Hillsboro being able to score points. We had four missed assignments on defense that resulted in 28 points. To me, that is completely unacceptable and it is my job to fix it.”
Against Washington, East Clinton was able to run the ball. Anthony Osburn led the rushing attack with 110 yards and a touchdown on 19 attempts. Brendan Jenkins and Cody Fosbrink also scored TDs on the ground for EC. However the Astros turned the ball over four times.
“I have the same feeling I had after we lost to Batavia,” said coach Jeremy Yankey. “We made too many mistakes that hurt ourselves and gave up big plays. We didn’t take advantage of some scoring opportunities.”
Jenkins completed passes to six different receivers. Joey Gray was the receiving leader with three catches for 22 yards.
On defense, Wyatt Floyd was the tackle leader with eight. Nick Mess was in on seven tackles while Fosbrink was in on five and Gray took part on four.
Floyd and Gray had interceptions while Jenkins recovered a fumble. Travis Knell blocked a kick.
“We are a little more beat up this week then we have been in the past few weeks,” said Yankey. “We have a few players that we hope to have ready to go Friday.”
Wilmington is currently No. 6 in the Div. III Region 12 playoff rankings. The top eight teams in each of Ohio’s 24 regions advance to the playoffs.
“Wilmington is a young team that has a lot of good athletes who like to play physical,” Yankey said. “They can spread you out and get the ball to different players and also just pound the ball right down your throat. Defensively they like to play fast and physical and bring pressure with their linebackers.
“We are trying to have positive and competitive practices. It is very tough emotionally to put in the work each week and not have the success to show for it but the one thing we must do is stay positive.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports