East Clinton football coach Jeremy Yankey isn’t one to mince words. He’s been straight with his players as they prepare for Friday night’s game at McClain.
“I don’t sugar coat it for our kids,” said Yankey, the long-time coach in his first year as varsity football coach at ECHS. “I told them this game is for last place. I asked them the question each day ‘Do you want to be the worst team in this league?’ I think this game is important for the moral of our kids and our program going forward.”
East Clinton comes into the game at 2-6 overall and 0-5 in the SCOL. The Astros have lost six consecutive games after starting the year 2-0.
McClain is struggling as well. The Tigers are 0-8 overall and 0-5 in league play.
“McClain on offense has two guys in quarterback Tristan Pitzer and running back Alex Hollar that are capable of beating us,” Yankey said. “Hollar has nearly 1,000 yards rushing this season. On defense the Tigers like to mix up their fronts, playing a four-, five- or six-man front.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Greenfield Friday night.
Last week, the Astros fell to Hillsboro 18-7, the first league win for the Indians.
Yankey said Aaron Livingston, playing in place of Joey Gray who is out for the season with an injury, played well in the loss, catching four passes for 23 yards. Brian Barnes had a big receiving night with seven catches for 140 yards and a touchdown.
Erik Moore was 18-35 passing for 211 yards but East Clinton managed just 16 yards on nine rushing attempts.
“I am still not pleased with our run game,” said Yankey. “We can not keep putting our defense on the field after three-and-out possessions (on offense).”
Wyatt Floyd had a solid game on defense, leading EC with eight tackles, two of those behind the line of scrimmage. Jared Evans had seven tackles and Brendan Jenkins was in on six.
Yankey said the outcome of Friday’s game comes down to a simple football adage.
“Stop the run, something we have not been able to do all year long because we have not been able to win the line of scrimmage,” he said. “That is another thing I have told the kids this week is we can not win a game until we first win the line of scrimmage.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.