Preview: Harrison at East Central

East Central RB Josh Ringer (photo by Linda Lyness Maxwell)

The Blitz 5 Comeback Tour heads west to the Hoosier State to cover the “War on 74.”  The atmosphere will be raucous for this interstate battle.

More often than not this affair is decided by a touchdown or less. Expect another nip-and-tuck contest on Friday night. 

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Trojans Stadium
Follow on Twitter @TSFootball 

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior quarterback Mason Young propels the Harrison offense. He can beat you with his arm or his legs. Young has thrown for 2,075 yards, ran for 624 yards and accounted for 25 touchdowns (17 passing, eight rushing) in 11 career starts. Classmate Nathan Blank is his top target. He has 43 receptions of which six have gone for touchdowns. 

The Wildcats’ defense has some talented youngsters with bright futures. Sophomore linebacker Stryker Reverman led Harrison with 10 total tackles (nine solo) in the opener. Junior lineman Aydan Mackendrick and freshman Chris Loos each had four total tackles in last week’s loss.

East Central sophomore running back Josh Ringer had a career high 189 yards on the ground in last week’s win over Lawrenceburg. One game into his sophomore season Ringer has already had four outings of at least 150 yards rushing. Brother Sam Ringer and senior classmate Hunter Sohns set the tone for the Trojans’ defense. The special teams are on solid footing with kicker Sophie Browndyke. In her career, Browndyke is 100/113 on extra points and 8/12 on field goals for 124 points.

TEAM TRENDS: Harrison leads the all-time series, 22-21-1. The Wildcats are coming off their first losing season since 2012, the inaugural season for the Southwest Ohio Conference. On the bright side, Harrison did pick up a playoff win for a second straight year. It is the first time that has happened in program history.

East Central has won the last four and six of the last eight games in this series dating back to 2011. The Trojans are three wins away from 400 in program history.

Eight times in the last 12 years East Central has won 10 games or more. The Trojans have won at least 11 games in five of their last six seasons. They are a combined 65-15 (.812 winning %), in that span.

Under head coach Jake Meiners, the Trojans’ defense has allowed 10.1 points per contest while holding 13 of the 23 opponents to seven points or less.

Harrison: Derek Rehage (29-17 at Harrison, fifth year, 29-17 overall)

East Central: Jack Meiners (20-4 at East Central, third year; 20-4 overall)

HARRISON (14 appearances, 8-14) – 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2006, 1997, 1989, 1988 (Regional Champion), 1987

Sectional Champion (19) – 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2010, 2009, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2000, 1998, 1996, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1989, 1987, 1985 & 1980.

Regional Champion (eight) – 2017, 2016, 2015, 2003, 1998, 1994, 1993 & 1985.

Semi-State Champion (four) – 2017, 2015, 1994 & 1993.

State Champion (two) – 2017 & 1994.

HARRISON’S KEYS TO VICTORY: Last Friday night the Wildcats’ defensive front lost the time of possession battle to Division IV Wyoming by 11:53 (almost a full quarter). The Wildcats must make their biggest improvement from Week 1 to Week 2 in the trenches. The offense is going to score. They just need more opportunities to put up big points.

EAST CENTRAL’S KEYS TO VICTORY: Do what you do best. Play great defense and run the football. One feeds off the other and vice versa. The Trojan’s strength, running the ball, exploits Harrison’s most glaring weakness, stopping the run. Attack until the Wildcats prove they can stop it.

Prediction: EAST CENTRAL 27, HARRISON 13



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