New Richmond. Western Brown. Clinton-Massie.
The SBAAC American Division’s three strongest teams in recent years have been the same trio Wilmington closes its season with each season.
The first in the trifecta of powerhouses, 6-1 New Richmond, is up Friday night for the Hurricane.
And first-year head coach Ryan Evans wouldn’t have it any other way.
“This is what high school football should be about, games like this,” said Evans. “Make no mistake about it, we have to play four quarters of hard-nosed football and I strongly believe that our boys are ready for the challenge.”
The Hurricane and Lions kick-off 7 p.m. Friday from Alumni Field.
“I feel our approach as a coaching staff has been solidified,” said Evans. “Every player, parent, coach knows the expectations and the standard of our program and understands that we will continue to chop wood. My staff and I have been talking about ‘being the a1pha’ for the last few weeks and they (the players) have answered the bell. We will not deviate from that approach.”
New Richmond has dominated Wilmington since the two became SBAAC rivals in 2017, winning all five meetings, including 32-22 last season.
“The Lions look a little different than in years past,” Evans said. “They throw the ball around. Their wide receiver group (five players with three or more TDs) is something to be talked about. They will challenge our secondary which according to our secondary coach, coach Stewart, they are ready for the challenge.
“The Lions can also run the ball as well. Their defense is similar to our’s in ways. They do a lot in the secondary with their coverages. They have a rover linebacker that can fly around so we will have to play clean football against these guys.”
Quarterback AJ Metzger (1,825 yards, 25 TDs) is among the best in the SBAAC at throwing the ball while Laurence Smith has eight rushing TDs and five receiving TDs.
Jack Moore leads the SBAAC in tackles with 104.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports