It’s Trace and nothing else for WHS


While Wilmington High School football coach Scott Killen says he’s not talked with his squad about a post-season berth, the reality may be the final three games of the regular season are much like the playoffs.

A loss in any of the next three weeks may mean Wilmington is on the outside looking in at a game for Week 11.

“They know it’s (playoffs) out there but we are focused on the game this week and finishing the season strong,” said Killen. “If we don’t focus on Miami Trace then there isn’t much to say about the playoffs.”

While there is some coach-speak to that, the truth is Wilmington may not make the playoffs with an 8-2 record. They didn’t in 2014. Some projections have the Hurricane in at 8-2 but others do not.

“We are still at a point where we need to worry about us and continue to get better each day,” said Killen, the second-year Hurricane coach. “We have three games left to finish strong and continue to improve.”

This week, Miami Trace provides the opposition for Wilmington. The Hurricane will travel to Fayette Co. for a 7:30 p.m. Friday kickoff in South Central Ohio League action.

Wilmington defeated the Washington Blue Lions last week, 49-28, to improve to 4-0 in the SCOL, 6-1 overall. Wilmington, Chillicothe and Clinton-Massie are all 4-0 and in first place in the league standings. Wilmington plays Clinton-Massie next week and Chillicothe in the final regular season game.

Killen said he was pleased with his offense’ rushing attack against Washington and the “offensive line continues to get better.” However, he was not happy with his defense’s inability to stop the Blue Lions consistently on third downs.

Trace head coach Steve Bartlett says his offense is the key to stopping Wilmington’s offense.

“What we’re hoping is that we can stop their offense,” Bartlett said of Wilmington. “We hope that we can control the football on offense and keep their offense off the field.

“They are a very athletic football team. We’d like to think that we’re getting better all the time. We’d like to think that we’re starting to turn into a pretty good football team. We’re just trying to build on that and finish the season on a positive note.”

The Panthers’ record of 2-5 overall and 2-2 in the SCOL is not indicative of their ability, said Killen.

“Their record is deceiving because every team they have lost to is fighting for postseason berths,” Killen noted. “They are going to pressure when we are on offense and try and over-power us when we are on defense.”

Wilmington’s Briten Kessler (left) goes full extension in an attempt to tackle a McClain player from a game earlier this season at Alumni Field.’s Briten Kessler (left) goes full extension in an attempt to tackle a McClain player from a game earlier this season at Alumni Field.

By Mark Huber

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Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.

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