After starting 2-0, East Clinton lost its first game last week to Greeneview, 28-13.
After starting 0-2, Chillicothe won its first game last week over Teays Valley, 34-28.
So the two teams are headed in different directions as the South Central Ohio League season opens.
East Clinton will make the long trek east to Chillicothe to face the Cavaliers. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“Chillicothe is very fast and physical,” said EC head coach Jeremy Yankey. “Don’t let their (1-2) record fool you. This is a very well-coached football team that could be (3-0) right now. They lost week one to Johnstown Monroe 14-10 and lost week two to Jackson 19-16 in OT. Both of those teams are 3-0.”
The Astros’ passing game was solid against the Rams. Erik Moore went 7-for-18 for 122 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
J.T. McCarren caught two for 83 yards, including a 73-yard scoring pass. Brian Barnes also caught a touchdown pass among his three receptions.
On defense, Wyatt Floyd had 11 tackles, a good number but most coaches don’t want their safety leading the team in tackles. Why, that means the opposition is getting down field.
Jaren Evans had five tackles and Brandon Newman and Austin Hanners had four tackles each. Barnes had a fumble recovery.
However, East Clinton struggled to run the ball, gaining just 26 yards on 14 attempts.
“We could not establish a running game at all and that really hurt our offense,” Yankey said. “We only had 26 yards rushing on the night and you are just not going to beat a quality opponent like Greeneview unless you can control the clock. Our offense really hurt our defense by going three and out so many times.”
That thought continues as the Astros delve into SCOL play.
“I have been telling our kids that each week our schedule just gets harder and it truly has from week one to this week,” said Yankey. “I’m not talking to our team about winning the league. I have just been telling them that in order to compete in the SCOL that we must become more physical and stronger football players each week. I think, for the most part, we are doing that. These kids are really working hard. You can tell just by their attitude that winning and being successful is important to them.”
Yankey said J.T. McCarren has played well through the non-league portion of the schedule.
“Each week we have faced a team that has put a big wide receiver out there against us and he (McCarren) has really done a great job of shutting them down,” said Yankey.
McCarren has six receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown on offense.
Yankey also commended the play of Travis Knell, who “has also really put in some hard work for us this year. He has played great for us at right tackle.”