Friday night’s Wilmington versus Butler game may come down to which team’s young players continue to improve, grow up fastest.
“To me, I see a Butler team that is very similar to us,” WHS head coach Scott Killen said. “They have some really good skill players but are green in other areas.”
Wilmington heads up I-75 to Vandalia with kickoff at Butler High School set for 7 p.m. Friday.
Butler is 1-1, having lost to Harrison 42-19 in the season opener then coming back to defeat Tecumseh 49-28 in Week 2.
“They are going to spread us out and their quarterback does a nice job of running their offense and distributing the ball,” Killen said. “Defensively, they are very sound and run to the ball. Their special teams is scary good. There are certain players we need to avoid.”
Aviator quarterback Mason Motter has 376 yards and five touchdowns passing. There is balance as Butler has 68-42 run-pass ratio. The leading ground gainer is Ryan Martin with 212 yards on 29 rushes.
Motter’s favorite target is Bryant Johnson (11-241-3).
Butler defeated Wilmington 59-35 last season but WHS came out on top 42-21 at Butler in 2016.
Wilmington picked up its first win last week over Miami Trace 38-7.
“Any win is a good win and there were phases of the game where we played very well,” Killen said. “We must clean up the stupid penalties and turnovers.”
Killen said his Hurricane defense “took some steps in the right direction. We had one bad series where everything went wrong but they were able to clean it up.”
The WHS offense was more balanced with the steady Brady Evans throwing for 286 yards and four scores, 181 yards and two scores going to Cam Coomer. The run game produced 148 yards on 26 tries but Willie Morris’ 42 yards were the most of any individual.
“Our pass protection and pass game is really coming along,” said Killen. “We need to keep working on the run game and getting our backs to not be so tunnel vision.”
Killen noted the special teams play of Rory Bell (kickoffs) and Brady Henry (38 yard field goal). Brett Brooks, a freshman, led WHS with six tackles and a sack on defense.
“We are growing up and becoming more consistent on the offensive and defensive lines,” said Killen. “These kids are working very hard every day and doing what we ask which is making them better football players.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports