Preview: Meigs, Nelsonville-York look to take care of business

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The sole possession of second place in the TVC-Ohio is on the line Friday night, as the Meigs Marauders (3-2, 2-0) travel to Nelsonville-York to take on the Buckeyes (3-2, 1-0).

The Marauders will roll into Nelsonville-York fresh off of a massive 49-28 conference win over River Valley last week. Their offense, which fought the injury bug early in the season, seems to have found its identity, scoring 47.5 points over its past two contests.

The majority of Meigs’s offensive production stems from the rushing attack. The team’s offensive line propelled senior running back Michael Davis to more than 300 yards on the ground a week ago, a feat which the Marauders have accomplished on more than one occasion.

“We try to practice so fast that the game slows down for us on Friday nights,” head coach Mike Bartrum said. “Michael will be the first to tell you that our blocking is what gets it done. Our offense will have to be on our ‘A game’, because we know Coach (Dave) Boston always has his guys prepared.”

Bartrum emphasized that all three phases of the team must perform well in order to pick up a road conference win.

“We have to pay attention to detail,” Bartrum said. “We have been doing OK, but we are still missing some things, whether it’s the defensive coverage or details on the punt team. If we can do the little things right, then it will add up to big things.”

Before the season began, the Marauders had one game circled on their calendars: week seven opponent Athens. The matchup with the conference’s top team looms, but Bartrum wants to keep his team focused on the task at hand.

“Everybody is guilty of looking forward,” Bartrum said. “We need to keep things in perspective. Once they blow that whistle on Friday night, we will be ready to take care of business.”

On the other side of the coin, Nelsonville-York had its three-game winning streak snapped last week, falling 40-7 to Logan. Boston made it clear that his team is ready to bounce back this week.

“We have to get back to the basics,” Boston said. “We did not play very physical last week, and I am not sure what the reason was. We need to get back to playing typical Nelsonville-York football.”

The Buckeyes missed their rushing leader, Alex Mount, last week due to injury. Without his physical presence between the tackles, Nelsonville-York had a difficult time moving the ball and controlling the clock.

“Alex is a big part of our offense,” Boston said. “He practiced with us lightly on Wednesday, and hopefully he will be ready to go on Friday.”

Prior to last season, N-Y dominated the conference rivalry between these two teams, winning 13 consecutive games. Meigs shifted the balance last time out, blowing out the Buckeyes 47-6.

“We still feel like we are the team on the block to beat,” Boston said. “When they come to Nelsonville-York, they are going to know one thing; they have been in a ball game. Our kids are going to be ready Friday night.”