Lehman came up short last week at Upper Scioto Valley in an attempt to get off on the right foot in the Northwest Central Conference after losing two of its three non-league games.
So the Cavaliers can ill-afford another setback in league play, and that means they need a victory Friday night when they again go on the road, this time to Lima Perry.
Perry comes in with Roll’s praise and respect, but not much in the win-loss category. Like the Cavaliers, the Commodores are 1-3 on the season.
Perry lost to Troy Christian to open the season, 49-0, then lost to Allen East, 36-7, and Ayersville, 28-13. Last week, the Commodores opened NWCC play with a 56-7 win over Ridgemont. The three teams Perry has lost to are a combined 10-1.
“They had a tough go of it early,” said Roll. “But this is a game we should compete in. I said these three games (starting with last week) were important, so we need to get this one.”
Roll said Perry runs an offense similar to Lehman, and has excellent skill people, starting with three-year starter Plummie Gardner at quarterback.
“He’s a good quarterback and he’s still only a junior,” said Roll. “They have good athletes and pretty much everybody back from last year.”
Gardner has thrown 85 passes already this season and completed 45 for 53 percent. His completions have gone for 556 yards, an average of 139 yards per game. He’s thrown for six touchdowns and had three passes picked off.
He is also the team’s leading rusher, although the average is just 45 yards per game and 180 overall.
His favorite target is John Hairston, who has caught 17 passes for 254 yards and three of the six touchdowns. Brandon Neal has caught 11 passes so far.
“We need to contain Gardner and put some pressure on him,” said Roll. “And we can’t give him the big play.”
The Cavs practiced most of last week not knowing whether quarterback Stephen Monnin would be able to go. He played, and did well, hitting 22 of 42 passes for 336 yards and three touchdowns.
“He played but he’s not 100 percent,” said Roll. “We can’t do the things we want to do with him, like run. We can’t do our read option… We’ve had to change the way the offense is run.”
Monnin’s big night passing made a star out of 5-foot-9, 145-pound receiver Brandon Barhorst, who had 11 receptions for 169 yards, an average of 154 yards per catch.
“We played pretty well, but we had some turnovers at inopportune times,” said Roll. “We threw a pick-six and another pick going in. We have to eliminate those kinds of mistakes.”
Reach Ken Barhorst at 937-538-4818