Dick Roll said he was looking for improvement out of his Lehman football team from week one to week two, and despite losing to Minster Friday, he didn’t hesitate when asked the verdict — “We did,” he said.
The Cavaliers fell to the unbeaten Wildcats 31-13, but made them work for it. It was just 10-0 at the half.
“It was big for us in terms of confidence,” said the Cavalier boss. “Especially defensively. I was pleased with the way we slowed down their offense, especially in the first half. The kids adjusted well and did a nice job, and I thought we gave them all they wanted. We played much better defense against them this year.”
On the flip side, however, the Cavalier offense continues to struggle, Roll said.
Albeit against arguably the two strongest teams on their schedule (Minster and Fort Recovery), the Cavaliers are averaging just 176 total yards per game. And the passing atack has yet to be a threat, with the Cavs hitting just 27 percent of their pass attempts so far.
“The offense is having some struggles,” Roll said. “It’s a work in progress. Maybe we tried to do too much too early. But last night (at practice), we threw the ball as well as we’ve have so far, and that was encouraging. We’ve done some things this week, and I think this offense is ready for a breakout game.
“We’ve played two quality teams, and it’s like I tell the kids, it isn’t like we haven’t been here before,” he said. “We’ve been 0-2 more than we’ve been 1-1 since I’ve been here, and we’ve gone on to have good seasons.”
Last week is an example — the Cavs started off 0-2, then ran the regular-season table and won two playoff games.
The Cavaliers will try to pick up their first win and some momentum heading into league play when they host the Graham Falcons Saturday night at Alexander Stadium in Piqua. It’s the only game Lehman has scheduled in Piqua this season.
The Falcons come into the contest with a 1-1 record, having lost their opener to a strong Tipp City club 56-0 before coming back to beat Springfield Catholic 12-9 last week.
Roll said the Falcons have a nice youth movement going.
“They’re young,” he said. “Their quarterback is a sophomore, their fullback is a sophomore… most of their skill kids are underclassmen. Their line has four seniors and a sophomore. And I think they’re just like us — they got better from week one to week two.”
The Falcons will use a spread offense.
“I think we’ll see things similar to what we saw in the first two weeks,” said Roll. “But they try to run the ball more, and that’s where we’ve struggled. So it’s going to be important for us to stop the run this week.
“This week will be good for our psyche if we can get that first win,” he added. “Then next week is huge — I think Upper Scioto Valley is for real.”
Reach Ken Barhorst at 937-538-4818