After two straight wins, East Clinton lost its Week 6 game to Blanchester 28-14. However, the Astros scored the final 14 points to make a game of it.
“I think we learned some valuable things about our guys during the game, things that we can take with us as the season unfolds,” EC head coach Steven Olds said. “Our defense did all they could to keep them out of the endzone. I know we gave up a lot of yards but 7-0 at halftime felt like a win for us. It took awhile but I thought we finally started to loosen up offensively in the fourth quarter and we just started having fun with it and letting them play.”
The Astros will continue their season Saturday night in Madison County against former Kenton Trace Conference rival Madison-Plains. East Clinton (2-4) and Madison-Plains (3-3) will kick things off at 7 p.m. Saturday night.
“We don’t know a lot about East Clinton,” Golden Eagles head coach Jason Hunt said. “It is really difficult to tell how good a team is on film if you don’t have anything to compare their competition to.”
Hunt noted Branson Smith, EC receiver, as the focal point of the offense and said tailback Glenn Peacock is “not especially big but he runs hard and is quick.” Hunt also said the Astros look to be big up front.
“The fact that they were able to hang in there with Blanchester last week tells us that we have our work cut out for us Saturday night,” he said.
Olds said Plains is balanced on offense and use a couple different fronts on defense.
“It should be a good game between two old KTC (Kenton Trace Conference) rivals,” said Olds.
Evan Coil is the Plains QB. He is 71-111 passing for 908 yards, 10 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Kosta Xenikis has 532 yards on the ground with four TDs while Paul Bryant averages 6.5 yards per carry on his 34 attempts. Bryant also is the top pass-catcher with a 24-213-2 line. Andrew Hunt is the deep threat with a 22-428-4 receiving line.
Bryant also is the top tackler on the team with 29 solos and 22 assisted tackles. Ryan Ernst has three interceptions.
“For week 7, we are pretty healthy,” Hunt said. “We have been up and down but that is mostly due to the competition we have played. We have a very inexperienced offensive and defensive line. We graduated all five starters from last year’s team. We struggled early there.”
Olds said his Astros continue to get better every time they step on the football field.
“Although we returned several starters from a year ago, most of those were sophomores and juniors, so we have some guys still growing and developing,” he said. “It helps that a couple of guys are finding their form at the right time as well.
“Every game for us is so important to our players development and legacy. The next few weeks will determine how this season is viewed and remembered by the guys leaving the program and by the guys coming up through it. They have the opportunity to leave their mark on this program over the next month or so, and that alone should be enough to keep them motivated.”
LAST MEETING: East Clinton defeated Madison-Plains 28-20 in 2012, the last time the two teams met in football.
HUNT IN KTC/SCOL: Jason Hunt graduated from Madison-Plains High School and played against East Clinton teams when both schools were members of the Kenton Trace Conference. Later during his coaching career, Hunt spent two years with Miami Trace and 12 years at Washington Senior as an assistant coach.
HUNT WITH OLDS: While at Madison-Plains during the 1990 season, Hunt played for coach still finding his way named Andy Olds, Steven’s uncle.
“I thought Andy Olds was one of the greatest men I have ever known,” Hunt said.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports