Updated Thu, Sep 12, 2013 3:38 pm
Last year the Maysville vs. Philo matchup was one of Gridiron Glory’s games of the year. This year, the expectation is much of the same, especially with these two teams are considered to be the top of the MVL class, based on recent success. In addition, both teams return several key players from last season. However, Philo head coach Dirk Lincicome says its too early for MVL title talk.
“We will be tested week in and week out in the MVL,” Lincicome says. “It’s important for everyone to be on the same page. We can’t overlook anyone.”
Lincicome knows that a lot can be taken away from last year’s tough loss to the Panthers.
“We felt like we let one slip away,” he says. “Our turnover cost us, and Maysville played flawlessly in that game, so give them credit. This year we can’t beat ourselves. We need to play better defensively. We need to limit big plays and turnovers.”
Lincicome hopes to get his team healthy for the game in order to be ready to play what he predicted as a “four quarter hard fought game.”
Health has already shown itself to be a storyline for Friday’s game, as Maysville running back Eli Chambers recently revealed via Twitter that he is out for the season with broken bones and a torn ligament in his ankle. Even without Chambers, Lincicome isn’t changing anything in his gameplan.
“Eli is a phenomenal player and a game changer,” Lincicome says. “You can’t sustain an injury like that and not feel the effects. I’m sure they’ll have their next kid step in and get ready to go.
“There’s nothing different in our gameplan. Their weapons make this offense go. Their running backs can beat you on any given play. We can’t fall into trap that they’ll be less effective. One kid doesn’t make your whole team.”
Lincicome’s goal with the Electrics is to emphasize the little things.
“The best chance we have to win is when we play together,” Lincicome says. “No one needs to do anything beyond what they do in practice.”
Maysville enters this week 2-0 overall and in the conference. The Panthers survived a close 40-33 win over Crooksville and an all-around victory over New Lexington last week, 28-6, putting them at the top of the MVL at the moment.
Philo defeated West Muskingum in week one, 46-7, and faced off with one of their non-conference opponents in Licking Valley, who defeated Tri-Valley in week one. Last week, Philo took down Licking Valley in a close game, 26-21. Lincicome is worried that his players might be riding the high from last Friday still, but believes they’ll still be ready for the Panthers on Friday night.
“We need to refocus after a big win last week,” Lincicome says. “This will be a big game for both teams that’ll decide a lot down the stretch.”