East Clinton is in familiar territory as the 2022 season enters week 4.
Several key players are battling injuries. Until they return, the Astros need younger players to fill their roles, ready or not.
“We are still waiting to get a few guys back,” head coach Steve Olds said. “At this point, we just don’t know. Until that happens, if it happens, we are going to need some young guys to step up and fill the void.”
It seems East Clinton has this issue each season. When young guys have to play up, it takes away potential reps they could get as junior varsity players.
“Our JV team hasn’t had the chance to play much this year due to injuries or other teams not having a JV squad,” said Olds “But they come to practice every day and never complain. They just had their first game this past Monday and got through the entire game with only 11 players, which is pretty remarkable. We are very proud of them.”
The Astros will host McClain Friday night in a non-league battle. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Tigers, members of the Frontier Athletic Conference, are 2-1. They won against Adena (28-14) and Northwest (36-35) but lost to unbeaten Zane Trace (40-0).
McClain won last year’s meeting 34-13. East Clinton won the 2020 meeting 21-6.
“McClain has several players back from last season,” said Olds “Their QB is a good athlete with a solid arm. Their fullback is a load and they have a couple of other backs that can really play as well. Defensively, we have seen them in a 4-3 and 5-2 and as a team they are pretty physical. In order to be successful against them on Friday we are going to have to toughen up, both mentally and physically. We also need to win the special teams battle and not turn the ball over.”
Those issues proved to be the downfall in EC’s loss last week to Hillsboro.
“I thought we were much better offensively and our boys played hard until the very end,” Olds said. “We still spotted Hillsboro short fields off of special teams and turnovers, which ultimately cost us the game.”
Dameon Williams, a transfer from Blanchester, has 208 yards on the ground with five touchdowns. In last week’s loss to Hillsboro he had 90 yards rushing with two scores and 95 yards receiving with another touchdown.
Glenn Peacock is the leading rusher with 217 yards on 26 attempts.
Adran Baker leads the defense with 28 tackles. Peacock is next with 17; he also has an interception.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports