Unioto Prepared for Victory Against McClain< < Back to
A team’s goal for the season’s second week is one of two possibilities: build from a week one win or build back up from a season-opening loss.
Unioto’s luxury is the former. McClain is focused on the latter. The two teams of purple and gold will battle it out in Chillicothe Friday night.
In Greenfield, the Tigers dropped the opener to Adena in humiliating fashion. McClain’s offense accumulated a measly 33 yards of offense and zero points against a rival and added to a losing streak that grew to double-digits. Coach Jeremy Andrews thought his defense played above average, but used just one word to describe his offense’s performance.
Meanwhile, Unioto scored 30 points in Vinton County in its opener. The Sherman Tanks return home with heads held high after forcing six turnovers on the defensive side.
The first came on Dalton Poole’s interception two plays into the contest.
McClain’s main worry entering Friday night should be ball control. The Tigers’ coughed up a fumble and surrendered a pick-six last week, so Unioto’s defensive performance from week one likely makes them feel a bit weary.
The Sherman Tank defenders showed a real knack for getting to the ball and making an offense pay for poor decisions. Three different defenders snagged an interception and Chance Smith recovered a stripped ball for a 39-yard score. Coach Jeff Metzler wants his defense to play “fast, aggressive, and violent.”
So far, it’s working.
Offensively, Unioto boasts a few talented ball carriers. Quarterback Gabe Fisher competently filled the departure of the dynamic Clay Edler, totaling 145 yards in his first start.
Fisher left the scoring to his comrades in the backfield. Jamarcus Carroll scurried in a rush from seven yards out. Smith followed up his big time fumble recovery with a three-yard touchdown run before Poole carried a 29-yard rush to pay dirt.
Fisher led a balanced attack to victory last Friday while the Tigers struggled to find room for their playmakers. Darius White led the team with 40 yards on the ground. A 22-yard jet sweep tied for his team’s biggest play of the game.
Don’t count the McClain offense out just yet, though. White showed serious grit as the only reliable playmaker for the Tigers early on, and quarterback Justin Osborne displayed some decent poise. After winning the battle for the job, Osborne threw balls with some nice touch right where they needed to be, but did only complete two passes.
Landree Gray came down with both completions, one of which was worth 22-yards. At six-feet-four-inches tall, Gray could develop into a serious threat in the passing game with more opportunities. It’s going to be up to the offensive schemes to give him those opportunities and Osborne to continue putting passes where they need to be.
McClain could rattle off some big gains, but expect Unioto’s defense to again dominate the matchup. The Tigers have not shown enough potential to put consistent positive plays together.
The Sherman Tanks are riding high after their first ever playoff appearance a season ago. McClain travels to Chillicothe Friday to halt Unioto’s momentum.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 pm from Unioto High School.
If you can’t make it out but still want to catch the action, watch Gridiron Glory at 11:30 pm Friday night. The program runs live on WOUB and also on WOUB’s YouTube channel “woubpbs” and also again on Saturday mornings at 11:30 am.