East Clinton head coach Steven Olds sees his Astros moving in the right direction despite a season-opening 21-0 loss to Wilmington.
”I believe that we are steadily progressing. Two years ago against Wilmington we were blown out, 55-0. Last Friday, we felt like we were never out of the game. We are getting closer to that breakthrough win.”
Will it come this week against Bethel-Tate? The Tigers tamed the Astros 40-7 last season. The Tigers have outscored the Astros 156-27 the past three years, including 61-6 in 2018 and 55-14 in 2017.
“Offensively, they like to throw the ball, then throw it some more,” Olds said. “They threw it 59 times last week against New Richmond. On defense, we have seen them in a couple of different fronts depending on the formation they are facing.”
East Clinton lost to Wilmington last week but, as Olds said, the Astros never felt like they were out of the game. EC held WHS to 292 yards on offense but managed just 133 yards.
“I thought our defense played really well after that first series,” said Olds.
The special teams gave Wilmington good field position that led to the second score. As from Brody Fisher, who had 48 yards on seven rushes, the Astros managed just 13 yards on 20 attempts.
“We will have to clean up special teams and continue grinding on offense until we get the consistency we seek,” said Olds.
The EC coach also noted four offside penalties that helped Wilmington maintain drives.
“I thought we showed a toughness, both mentally and physically, that I don’t think we had a year ago and I am very proud of that,” said Olds. “They started to show the kind of resilience that it takes to play and be successful at this game. It is the same resilience that they will need to take with them as they move into adulthood.”
In the end, Olds was happy to be on a football field knocking helmets with another team after so many weeks of uncertainty.
“All in all, it felt and smelled pretty much like a typical Friday Night,” he said. “We miss our fans and wish they could have been there with us, but we understand and respect why they cannot.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports