The last time Anna played at one of the Midwest Athletic Conference’s two frontrunners, it had a hot start but faltered down the stretch.
Friday when the Rockets travel to play the conference’s other frontrunner, they’ll try for a more consistent performance.
Anna (5-2, 4-1 MAC) will travel to state-ranked Coldwater (7-0, 5-0) on Friday. The Cavaliers are ranked No. 1 in Division VI in the Associated Press state rankings, one point ahead of No. 2 Marion Local. Anna played at Marion Local in Week 5 and took an early 20-6 lead before the Flyers scored the last 37 points of the game to run away.
Coldwater ranks second in the MAC in average yards (379.3) and points (36.1) per game. Quarterback Jake Hemmelgarn has completed 127-of-171 passes for 1,614 yards and 20 touchdowns with six interceptions and has rushed for 287 yards. Running back Ben Wenning has rushed for 279 yards and three touchdowns.
Coldwater receivers Cole Frilling (32 receptions, 414 yards) and Ben Winning (25, 347) both rank among the MAC’s top five receivers. Frilling has eight touchdown receptions to his credit while Wenning has three.
The Cavaliers’ defense allows an average of 242.7 yards and 16.1 points per game, while Anna allows an average of 351.6 yards and 28.9 points.
The Rockets rank fourth in the MAC in average offensive yards (342.5) and average points (35) per game. Riley Huelskamp has rushed for 891 yards and 18 touchdowns, while Bart Bixler has rushed for 579 yards and six TDs. Bixler has completed 51-of-94 passes for 686 yards and three touchdowns. Jeffrey Richards (23 receptions, 406 yards) has caught most of Bixler’s passes.
Coldwater safety Myles Blasingame ranks second in the MAC in tackles (65) while Anna linebacker Kam Steward (62) and safety Brandon Shannon (60) rank third and fourth, respectively. Richards is tied for first in the conference with five interceptions and has recovered two fumbles. Shannon has also recovered two fumbles.
Fort Loramie at Tri-Village
Fort Loramie’s race to the playoffs continued last Friday with a 64-20 win over Mississinawa Valley (3-4).
The Redskins (6-1, 5-0 Cross County Conference) likely won’t get much of a challenge from Tri-Village (3-4) or National Trail (3-4) the next two weeks — and maybe not in Week 10 against Tri-County North, either. Though Tri-County North is 5-2, it lost 45-8 to Covington in Week 4 — which Fort Loramie beat 33-14 the previous week.
Up first for Fort Loramie, which is ranked No. 5 in Div. VII in the AP state poll, is Tri-Village. The Patriots lost 22-16 to Twin Valley South last week to fall to 1-4 in conference play. Their four conference losses have come by an average of margin of 25.75 points — including a 44-28 Week 4 loss to Mississinawa Valley.
The Redskins amassed a 57-6 halftime lead over Mississinawa Valley last Friday. Collin Moore completed 5-of-10 passes for 75 yards with three touchdowns and ran for 30 yards and two TDs on five carries. Devin Wehrman rushed for 91 yards and one TD for Fort Loramie, while Nate Meyer ran for 44 yards and one TD and Nick Brandewie ran for 41 yards and one TD.
Fort Loramie had 369 yards of offense and held the Blackhawks to 244. Wehrman and Jacob Sherman each had one interception for the Redskins, while Damon Mescher had a team-high six tackles, one of which was for loss.
Upper Scioto Valley at Lehman Catholic
Lehman Catholic’s cruise through Northwest Central Conference play ended with a 22-3 loss to Waynesfield-Goshen last week.
The Tigers (4-3, 2-2 NWCC) had lost their previous two league games by a combined score of 72-8, while Lehman (4-3, 3-1) had won its previous three by an average score of 55.6-17.
The Cavaliers will try to rebound against Upper Scioto Valley (2-5, 1-3) on Friday before facing Lima Perry (6-1, 4-0) next week.
The Rams average 252.9 yards per game. Quarterback Quinn Sanders has completed 77-of-163 passes for 1,074 yards with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions. Sanders also leads the team with 469 rushing yards and eight rushing TDs. JJ Overs has caught 29 passes for 435 yards and six TDs, while Jackson Rohrs has caught 13 passes for 223 yards with one TD.
Senior quarterback Elliott Gilardi completed 4-of-7 passes for 28 yards last Friday for Lehman while RJ Bertini completed 3-of-6 passes for 27 yards with two interceptions. The Cavaliers managed just 55 rushing yards, with most coming from Drew Barhorst (14 carries, 53 yards).
Marion Local at Minster
Minster struggled to contain St. Henry’s rushing attack last week and will have a hard challenge this Friday when it hosts Marion Local.
The Flyers (7-0, 5-0 MAC) average a conference-best 389 yards and 44.1 points per game. Nate Bruns has completed 67-of-110 passes for 1,127 yards and 14 touchdowns while Nolan Habodasz has rushed for 664 yards and 12 TDs. Nick Tangeman leads the MAC with 590 receiving yards and nine touchdown receptions.
The Wildcats (5-2, 3-2) rank near the top of the MAC in average total yards (370.5) and points (33.1) per game but rank near the bottom in average yards allowed (381.2) and points allowed (25.1). Minster’s defense does, however, lead the league in interceptions (13) and ranks third fumble recoveries (five).
Minster gave up 470 yards of offense in a 20-point loss to St. Henry last Friday and managed just 250.
Minster junior quarterback Jacob Niemeyer ranks third in the MAC with 1,251 passing yards, while junior running back Alex Schmitmeyer ranks sixth in rushing yards (517) and is tied for second in rushing touchdowns (12).
New Bremen at Versailles
New Bremen broke a two-game losing streak last Friday and will try to keep it going when it travels to Versailles on Friday in MAC action.
The Cardinals (4-3, 2-3) beat Parkway 33-13, while Versailles dropped to 2-5 overall and 1-4 in league play with a 49-14 loss to Marion Local.
The Tigers average 285 yards and 19.3 points per game, while New Bremen averages 253 yards and 19.1 points per game. The Cardinals have allowed an average of 264 yards and 22 points per game while Versailles has allowed an average of 330 yards and 28.7 points.
Versailles quarterback Ryan Martin has thrown for 941 yards and five touchdowns with nine interceptions while New Bremen quarterback Nolan Bornhorst has thrown for 821 yards and nine touchdowns with five interceptions.
Riverside at Lima Perry
Riverside’s rushing offense has rolled the last two weeks in NWCC play and will need to continue against the conference’s frontrunner in Lima Perry on Friday.
Perry (6-1, 4-0 NWCC) hasn’t lost since a Week 3 defeat by Spencerville. The Commodores beat Ridgemont 62-6 last Friday and have won their four league games by an average margin of 47.5 points.
The Pirates (4-3, 3-1) beat Upper Scioto Valley 40-0 last Friday. They racked up 278 yards of offense, 222 of which came on the ground. Senior running back Luke Roby rushed for 89 yards and one touchdown while Deven Frilling, Joel Cotterman and Ethan Jackson also scored touchdowns. Roby also had an interception.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.