Updated Fri, Sep 27, 2013 2:43 pm
Two teams. Similar styles. The same goal.
This week’s Gridiron Glory “Game of the Week” isn’t just another Week 5 game. Rather, the Nelsonville-York Buckeyes and the Logan Chieftains are both looking to establish their identities and gain momentum, as conference play sits on the horizon.
The Chieftains enter Friday night’s game with a 1-3 record and fresh off of a 24-point loss to Loudonville. But the Buckeyes aren’t taking Logan lightly.
“Logan is probably one of the best 1-3 football team’s I’ve seen this year,” Nelsonville-York head coach Dave Boston said. “We’ve got our hands full.”
Logan’s three losses have come against tough opponents, and head coach Billy Burke is staying focused on the positives.
“Are we getting better at the things that we’re working on,” Burke said. “You can sometimes take the losses if you can see that your team is playing hard and working to get better at the things that you need to improve upon.”
Nelsonville-York started the season 0-2, but has since turned it around, winning its last two games over Berne Union and River Valley. The first four games of the season have all yielded the same results as the 2012 season, and the Buckeyes are hoping for the trend to continue. Last year, Nelsonville-York traveled north and crushed the Chieftains, 50-0.
“We’re a young football team still and we’re trying to grow up,” Boston said. “Games like this are games you best grow up in or they’ll take it to you.”
This year, the focus will be on Logan’s defense trying to redeem itself. Through four games, the Chieftains are allowing just over 35 points per game.
“They’re big and strong, defensively, and their linebackers fill gaps well,” Boston said. “We’re going to have to play good football and get after it.”
“We’ve got to commit seven-or-eight guys to stop the running game,” Burke said. “We’ll play man-to-man coverage, which gives us the ability to put more guys in the box — if we can force them to throw the football, then I think things are in our favor.”
Nelsonville-York can say the same about Logan. After losing their quarterback to injury, the Chieftains have had Nick Kost running the offense, literally. Kost is naturally a running back, but also the backup quarterback.
“We want to establish a power running game to take some of the pressure off of [Kost] trying to move the ball or win games with his arm,” Burke said.
“We’ll have to contain [Kost] — he fakes well, he reads well, and at times he can throw the ball,” Boston said. “We’re going to have to be able to stop the run — that’s the big key of the evening.”
Before the two teams are running up and down the field, fans from both schools will be running to their seats.
“Anytime you play at home you’ve got that 12th-man crowd, and we have great community support,” Boston said. “You’ve got to remember, they’re eight miles up the road. Last year we filled the stadium in Logan, and I’m sure [Chieftain fans] will travel here.”
Burke agrees with Boston, especially because of the proximity of the game.
“Logan always travels very well—considering everybody can basically walk to the game, I expect nothing less.”