Last Season: Celina traveled to Kraft Stadium and won a 56-36 shootout. Celina led 21-3 before Elida came back to take a 29-28 lead late in the third quarter. Then Celina scored 28 of the final 35 points. Chase Stephens rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown and Kyle Zizelman added 98 yards and two scores for Celina.
About Elida: Elida had one of its best defensive games of the season last week. Unfortunately, so did Bath as the Wildcats won their first game of the season with a 6-0 result on Saturday night. The Wildcats scored their lone touchdown with 33 seconds remaining in the contest. Elida had a solid running game with Marcel Poe rushing for 135 yards and quarterback Keshawn Spivey adding 102 yards. Spivey, who took over in Week 2, passed for 60 yards and two interceptions.
About Celina: After looking good early with a 14-0 lead, Celina struggled the rest of the game in falling 42-14 to Kenton in the home opener. Jaxson Silliman rushed for 144 yards in the contest and Drake Langenkamp had an interception return touchdown in the first quarter. After seeing a run-based offense in Week 1 and a spread passing offense in Week 2, Celina will see a lot of running when it meets Elida.
Last Season: Nate Bruns threw for 246 yards and three touchdowns, two going to Nick Tangeman, in a 53-7 win over the Blue Jays at Stadium Park. The Flyers limited the Blue Jays to 55 yards of total offense.
About the Blue Jays: After winning in dramatic fashion in the opener with Elida, St. John's struggled with losses to LCC and St. Henry. Quarterback Brady Parrish has been the main cog of offense so far, leading the team in rushing with 129 yards and two touchdowns and 296 passing yards.
About the Flyers: After suffering its first non-conference regular season loss since 2014, Marion opened MAC play in style with a 49-0 shutout win over Parkway, the second shutout in three games this season. The 1-2 punch of backs Kyle Heitkamp (168 yards, 6 TDs) and Brandon Fleck (162 yards, 2 TDs) has been potent for the Flyers. Linebacker Matt Everman leads the team with two sacks.
Last Season: Nolan Bornhorst's 30-yard pass to Bryce Blickle for a touchdown with 1:49 remaining in regulation allowed the Cardinals to leave Barrenbrugge Park with a 19-15 victory. Bornhorst rushed for 109 yards and passed for 177 yards while Clay Schmitz passed for 209 yards and two scores for the Indians.
About the Indians: Last week, Fort Recovery struggled in stopping Minster running back Alex Schmitmeyer, who rushed for 261 yards and four scores in a 41-20 Wildcat win. Indians running back Derek Jutte had a great first half with 118 yards and a score but was held to just 10 yards in the second half.
About the Cardinals: The Cardinals ran into a strong Anna squad in taking a 45-0 loss in Shelby County. New Bremen was held to just 108 yards as it fell to 2-1 on the season.
Last Season: Nick Hawk rushed for 164 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score midway through the first quarter to give Parkway its only win of 2018 by a score of 21-7 at Panthers Stadium. All the scoring was done in the first nine minutes of the game.
About the Panthers: After starting 2-0 for the first time in a decade, the Panthers took a tough 49-0 loss to state power Marion Local. Parkway was able to move the ball well in the game, tallying 213 yards of offense, but was unable to reach the end zone. RB/DE Nick Hawk continues to be a force on both sides of the ball, rushing for 256 yards and three scores and adding 16 tackles on defense. QB Eli Rich has completed 60% of his passes as he has grown into the starting role since taking over early last season.
About the Tigers: After getting their first win in Week 2 over Delphos Jefferson, Versailles was dealt a 42-7 loss by Coldwater at Cavalier Stadium. First-year coach Ryan Jones has put emphasis on the passing game while keeping it fairly balanced. Quarterback Ryan Martin has thrown for 457 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. The offensive line has been formidable, allowing just one sack this season. Receiver Michael Stammen has caught three of four Martin TD passes.
Last Season: Anna won 28-27 in overtime at Booster Field in Anna. The Redskins scored a touchdown to get within one in OT and went for the victory but missed the two-point conversion. Zach Niekamp rushed for 230 yards for St. Henry while Riley Huelskamp had 144 yards and three touchdowns for Anna.
About the Rockets: Anna has started out the season 3-0 and is ranked second in the first AP Division VI poll. The tandem of Huelskamp at tailback and Bart Bixler at quarterback continues to be potent. Huelskamp has 341 yards rushing with eight touchdowns with Bixler rushing for 324 yards and nine scores while adding 334 passing yards and two scores. The Rockets are plus-five in turnover ratio (eight takeaways to just three turnovers). 324 yards and nine scores while adding 334 passing yards and two scores. The Rockets are plus-five in turnover ratio (eight takeaways to just three turnovers).
About the Redskins: After a rough non-conference slate, St. Henry won its first game of the season last week in Delphos. The Redskins defeated St. John's 24-21 on a 20-yard field goal by Logan Lefeld with time running out. Running back KJ Jacobs had a breakout game with 178 yards and a touchdown.
Last Season: The Roughriders held the Cougars to just 158 yards of offense in a 38-8 win at Eggerss Stadium in Van Wert. Two of Van Wert's three losses in 2018 came at the hands of St. Marys, which beat the Cougars 55-20 in the Division IV regional semifinals.
About the Cougars: Van Wert had to fill some spots on offense this season. Owen Treece has taken over at quarterback and has been able to throw the ball well, passing for 545 yards. But he has been picked off five times, including four times last week in a 13-7 loss to unbeaten Wapakoneta.
About the Roughriders: After three straight road games to start the season, the Roughriders play their first official game at their new venue. St. Marys took a pair of tough losses to start WBL play, including a three-point loss to Ottawa-Glandorf last Friday. St. Marys has struggled with injuries at times this season. Defensive end Blake Kanorr leads the team with 43 tackles.
• Since 2014, Minster has earned two state championships and one runner-up but has gone just 1-9 against Coldwater and Marion Local in that stretch.
• The 87-yard kickoff return by Coldwater's Zach McKibben against Versailles last week was the ninth-longest return in program history. Four of the top 11 returns have come against Versailles (stat provided by Chris Cron).
• St. Marys has lost two consecutive games for the first time since 2015. In that season, the Roughriders had a pair of two-game losing streaks, falling to Bath and Celina on Oct. 2 and 9 and then losing to Wapakoneta and Ottawa-Glandorf on Oct. 23 and 30.
• St. Marys is playing its first-ever game at Grand Lake Health System Field this week after three straight road games to start the season. The last time St. Marys opened the season with three consecutive road games was in 2001 when it traveled to Sidney, Wapakoneta and Ottawa-Glandorf. (St. Marys info courtesy of school's football history website).
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Friday's Games (7 p.m. starts)
Coldwater at Minster
Anna at St. Henry
Del. St. John's at Marion Local
Fort Recovery at New Bremen
Parkway at Versailles
Friday's Games (7 p.m. starts)
Elida at Celina
Van Wert at St. Marys
Wapakoneta at Shawnee
Defiance at Kenton
Bath at Ottawa-Glandorf