Wilmington High School football coach Scott Killen believes his Hurricane continues to take steps in the right direction.
However WHS also must clean up parts of its game to make winning a long-term goal.
Last week’s 21-14 win over Goshen was a perfect example of where the Hurricane stands and where it could be headed.
“We did enough good things to win the game but we had too many breakdowns to get to where we want to be,” said Killen. “I didn’t like being inside the red zone as many times as we were and not coming away with points.”
Wilmington will have its hands full with one of the SBAAC’s best, state-ranked New Richmond. The Lions are No. 8 in the first Division III Associated Press football poll. Kickoff at Alumni Field is set for 7 p.m. Friday.
Wilmington has struggled with New Richmond since joining the SBAAC beginning with the fall 2017 season.
The Lions have won the previous three meetings and are averaging 41 points a game while winning by a 20-point margin.
Luke Lytle, the quarterback, leads the Lions who defeated Western Brown 77-61 in Week 2 then turned to its defense to beat Sidney 21-7 last week. The Week 3 game was originally scheduled to be against Batavia but a BHS player tested positive for COVID-19. Wilmington’s game with Batavia was also postponed in Week 2.
Lytle is the spark that lights the New Richmond offensive engine. The run-pass option offense allows Lytle to take advantage of all his weapons.
“They are talented,” Killen said. “There must be a trend in the SBAAC and RPOs. New Richmond has added RPOs to their offense so we have to understand what they are looking for and where they want to go with the ball. Defensively, they are very fundamentally sound and physical all the way around.”
Killen said the Lions are a formidable foe.
“We know they can score some points from the Western Brown game and we learned that they can also play defense from the Sidney game,” he said. “We have looked at both and need to be ready to play four quarters of physical, error-free football.”
The WHS coaches hope the Hurricane can build on the positive from the Goshen game.
“I really liked how we started the game and how physical we were throughout the game,” Killen said. “I thought the defense had some key stops throughout the game and we will continue to build and grow from those plays.”
While the execution has been inconsistent, Killen said there are parts of the team that have been steady from Day 1.
“Attitude and effort,” he said. “These kids come to practice every day wanting to compete and get better. I give the credit to the senior’s and the leadership they are providing so far this season.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports