In the case of the Anna Rockets and the Fort Loramie Redskins last week in the season openers, one was unable to finish while the other couldn’t get started.
Both teams played opponents that appear destined for postseason play, and were unable to come away with a victory. So they are both looking to even their early-season marks Friday night, when Anna visits 1-0 Brookville and Fort Loramie hosts 1-0 Fort Recovery.
First-year Anna head coach Nick Marino said it “wasn’t fun” last week when his Rockets let a good chance for a victory slip away against visiting Arlington. The Rockets led 14-0 in the fourth quarter, but after missing a chance to put the game away following an interception return to the enemy 20, they gave up a scoring drive, then Arlington came up with a pick-6 to tie the game up midway through the quarter.
It went to overtime and the Rockets came up empty on their first posession despite being inside the one. Arlington then kicked a field goal to win it 17-14.
“We let it get away from us,” said Marino. “They didn’t do anything tricky late in the game. It was just a couple of bad plays. We’ve got a lot of work to do on our fundamentals. It was a schematic thing last week. It was fundamentals.
Not a lot of positives came out of that game, but we were able to diagnose a lot of things we can work on. We’re still trying to find that right combination and get everything going in the right direction.”
He says the Rockets are going up against a good team Friday night.
“Brookville is good,” he said. “They have a nice fullback and a couple nice backs in general. And up front they have a couple good lineman who both play linebacker also. They play hard and run to the ball on defense, and they will try to run it down our throats on offense, and then hit us over the top.”
The Redskins went up against a juggernaut Friday night in Minster, and the Wildcats, led by an outstanding signal-caller in Josh Nixon, were too much in a 41-7 final.
“Nixon is really good,” said Whit Parks, Loramie’s coach. “Like I said last week, he’s as good as any quarterback around at any level. But we played hard. We just got beat out on the edges by some tremendous throws and catches. We were on them and Nixon still stuck it in there.
“I don’t have any problem with the way our kids played,” he added. “We got beat on some of the finesse plays, so we kinda put that one behind us.”
The Redskins have their hands full again. Fort Recovery comes to town for Loramie’s home opener (7:30 start), and the Indians are coming off a 36-0 rout of Lehman. Ironically, Lehman plays Minster this week.
“Fort Recovery is a really big football team,” said Parks. “Really huge up front. They have a good quarterback who throws and runs well. They have most of the pieces you need to be a good football team, too. Lot of very good players back from a playoff team.
“We have to figure out a way to get some points on the board,” he added. “We have to play a little better all around and clean up some things. We had a couple penalties that really hurt us last week when we were driving the ball.”
Recovery QB Caleb Martin was 17-for-28 for 170 yards last week, and two running backs, Kyle Schroer and Will Homan, rushed for over 100 yards.
Reach Ken Barhorst at 937-538-4818.