ANNA — The Anna Rockets got their first win of the season last week, but the reward is not what anyone would want — back-to-back games the next two weeks against Midwest Athletic Conference powers Coldwater and Marion Local, both 4-0.
Coldwater is up first, Friday night on the road, and the Cavaliers don’t appear to have skipped a beat since last year’s Division 5 state championship, the school’s fifth in football. They are off to a perfect start, and are atop their Divison 5 region of the computer rankings, which happens to be the same one Anna resides in.
“Obviously, that’s a really good football team,” said Anna first-year head coach Nick Marino. “For us, it’s going to be a fun challenge, and we’re going to come out and do everything we can to take the game away from them.”
The Cavaliers not only score a lot of points, they’re pretty good defensively as well, having allowed just six points so far this season against a schedule that includes Minster as well as St. Henry and 3-1 Delphos Jefferson.
“Their defense is very good,” said Marino. “They’ve been strong against everybody, and that will be the big challenge for us.”
The Rockets got a big lift offensively last week from running back Connor Rioch, who carried the ball 24 times and rushed for 174 yards.
“Connor ran the ball well,” said Marino. “We had pretty good perimeter blocking and he was able to get outside on them. I thought overall we played better from start to finish, with a little better execution. And we played well defensively, too.
The Fort Loramie Redskins look for their first win of the season Friday night at home against Hardin Northern, a school that is on the rebound so far this season with a 3-1 mark, after not playing a varsity schedule just two seasons ago.
The Redskins come in off a 28-7 loss to the Riverside Pirates (4-0) last week in a game with extenuating circumstances. Loramie learned earlier last week that starting quarterback Austin Siegel had been lost to a knee injury and would be out for the season.
Much of Loramie’s offense relied on direct snaps to running backs, and with some success. Senior Wes Puthoff carried 21 times for 94 yards, and junior Jake Ward had 11 carries and 80 yards. But without Siegel, the passing game managed just 33 yards.
And on the other side of the ball, the Redskins gave up 236 yards rushing to the Pirates.
The Redskins will face a team that likes to do the same thing as Riverside does — run the ball. So far in four games, the Polar Bears have rushed for 762 yards and thrown for 235, so it’s run first. And they are led by Wes Schlatter, who is just under 100 yards per game with 391 so far. He’s a 5-8, 160-pound senior.
Quarterback Will Poling has hit 50 percent of his 32 passes so far.