ANNA — Anna is looking to keep its hot start going and earn a rare win over Marion Local in a key Midwest Athletic Conference game on Friday.
It’s the biggest area game in Week 5. The Rockets (4-0, 2-0) have put a running clock on their first four opponents and are looking to earn their first outright MAC title this year after sharing their first title last year with Marion Local.
A win over the Flyers (3-1, 2-0) would go a long way toward that goal. Marion Local is usually the class of the conference, and though it lost most of its starters from last year’s 13-2 squad, it doesn’t appear to have dropped off much.
The Flyers lost 31-7 on the road to undefeated Columbus Bishop Watterson in Week 2. Outside of that loss to a Division III program, they held Woodlan (Indiana), Parkway and Delphos St. John’s scoreless while racking up 122 points.
The game will be clash against Marion Local’s stout run defense and Anna’s running attack. The Flyers have allowed a MAC-low average of 175.5 yards per game, including an average of 61.5 rushing yards per game.
Behind senior quarterback Bart Bixler and running back Riley Huelskamp, the Rockets have the best rushing offense of all MAC schools. They average 407 yards per game, with 296 coming on the ground. They’ve scored 24 rushing touchdowns and average 47.5 points per game.
Huelskamp ranks third in the MAC with 554 rushing yards while Bixler is third with 470. Both have 11 rushing TDs. Bixler has thrown for 381 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
Marion Local averages 290.5 yards per game. Quarterback Kyle Muhlenkamp has thrown for 454 yards and three touchdowns with four interceptions for the Flyers. Dylan Heitkamp and Brandon Fleck have led the team’s rushing attack, which averages 171 yards per game.
Anna allows an average of 221 yards and 9.25 points per game, second in both categories of MAC schools behind Marion Local.
Marion Local has won 13 MAC titles, including six since 2011. The Flyers have dominated Anna since it joined the MAC last decade.
The Rockets have beaten Marion Local just once in 14 matchups, which came in 2008. The squads faced off the following week in a first-round playoff game, and the Flyers won.
Fort Loramie at Bradford
Fort Loramie survived a late rally try by Covington last Friday and now begins what should be an easy six-game stretch to end the season.
The Redskins (3-1, 2-0 Cross County Conference) have just one team on the schedule that is currently .500 or better, and its last six opponents have a combined record of 5-17.
None of the remaining opponents are struggling quite as much as Bradford, though. The winless Railroaders started the season with 16 players and have been outscored 216-13 in their first four games.
Fort Loramie is averaging 322 yards and 27 points per game.
Lehman Catholic at Ridgemont
The Cavaliers picked up their first win of the season by beating Riverside in three overtimes last Friday and will look to start a winning streak this Friday in a Northwest Central Conference game.
The Golden Gophers (0-4, 0-1 NWCC) have been outscored 195-76 in their first four games. They are averaging 216 yards per game, with most coming through the air. Junior quarterback Jayden Streets has completed 44-of-101 passes for 785 yards with nine touchdowns.
Lehman (1-3, 1-0) is averaging 283 yards per game. Senior quarterback R.J. Bertini has completed 54-of-107 passes for 781 yards with eight touchdowns and leads the team with 162 rushing yards and one TD on 33 carries. Brendan O’Leary leads the squad with 26 receptions for 459 yards and seven touchdowns.
Minster at Parkway
Minster couldn’t keep up with Coldwater last Friday but will look to bounce back this Friday.
Parkway (2-2, 0-2 MAC) started the season with nonconference wins over Convoy Crestview and Spencerville but was blitzed 49-0 against Marion Local in Week 3 and blew a lead last week in a 30-27 loss at Versailles.
The Panthers are averaging 255 yards and 20 points per game and are allowing an average of 285 yards and 26 points per game. Quarterback Eli Rich ranks fourth in the MAC with 505 passing yards and has thrown for five touchdowns with five interceptions. Nick Hawk has gained 299 rushing yards and scored three TDs.
Minster (3-1, 1-1) is averaging 325 yards and 29 points per game and is allowing an average of 329 yards and 24 points per game. Senior running back Alex Schmitmeyer leads the MAC with 600 rushing yards and has scored 10 touchdowns while quarterback Jacob Niemeyer has thrown for 489 yards and three TDs.
New Bremen at St. Henry
New Bremen got back on the winning track last week by beating Fort Recovery in a thriller and will look to stay on it this week.
The Redskins (1-3, 1-1) were demolished 48-7 at Anna last Friday. They’ve been outscored 146-44 in four games and are allowing a MAC-worst average of 359 yards per game.
New Bremen is averaging 335 yards and 30 points per game and is allowing an average of 273 yards and 25 points per game. Mitchell Hays has gained 368 rushing yards while Wyatt Dicke has gained 303 and Zach Bertke has gained 294.
Riverside at Marion Elgin
The Pirates are looking to rebound after suffering their second overtime defeat of the season last Friday.
Marion Elgin (0-4, 0-1 NWCC) has been outscored 150-76 in three games. The Comets forfeited their Week 2 game due to low numbers. They’re averaging 261 yards per game, with most coming on the ground. Cy Starcher leads the squad with 314 rushing yards while Landon Mabe is second with 231.
The Pirates (1-3, 0-1) average 295.6 yards per game. Junior quarterback Kale Long has run for 643 yards and five touchdowns and thrown for 224 yards and two touchdowns.
Versailles at Delphos St. John’s
The Tigers rallied in the second half to earn their first MAC win under new coach Ryan Jones and will look for a second this Saturday.
Delphos St. John’s has lost three consecutive games since starting the season with a close win over Elida. The Blue Jays are averaging 212 yards and 14 points per game and are allowing an average of 319 yards and 29 points.
Versailles (2-2, 1-1 MAC) is averaging 335 yards and 28 points per game and is allowing an average of 242 yards and 24 points. Senior quarterback Ryan Martin has thrown for 653 yards and five touchdowns while Landon Henry has run for 317 yards and one touchdown.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.