While Sidney’s four-game winning streak has made big news around town, the Jackets have their focus on another streak — one they would like to break.
The competition level amps up in a huge way this week for the Yellow Jackets, who host the powerful Trotwood Madison Rams Friday night at Sidney Memorial Stadium to open Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division play.
Trotwood has owned the North for the past seven years, and comes into Friday’s game with a 32-game winning streak against division opponents.
“They’re king of the hill right now, no question,” said Sidney head coach Adam Doenges. “But our goal was to be in the middle of the GWOC race and that’s what we want to do.
If Doenges was hoping to be tested right before facing the Rams, he didn’t get his wish — the Jackets coasted to a 55-7 victory over Toledo Waite last week at home as freshman quarterback Andre Gordon scored four times in the first half and rushed for 136 yards, without playing at all in the second half.
Trotwood has been impressive in winning four of its first five games, but never moreso than against perennial power Centerville. In that game, which the Rams lost 36-33, they rushed for 493 yards. The only negative is that only one of Trotwood’s five opponents currently has a winning record (Pickerington Central).
Already, they have a running back who has gone over 1,000 yards. Raveion Hargrove, a sophomore who is 5-foot-7, 165 pounds, has 1,133 yards rushing on 101 carries so far this season. And Doenges said that while Hargrove is good, he’s helped greatly by a massive front line.
“This is more of a classic Trotwood team,” said Doenges. “Before they lost their quarterback (Messiah DeWeaver transferred to Wayne), they were able to go four and five wide and let him throw. Now they line up with a tight end and a fullback behind a huge front line and run the ball at you. Their O-line averages 6-2, 270, and then you throw a tight end and a fullback in there and it’s pretty impressive.
“They’re one of the easier teams to figure out, but one of the hardest to stop,” he added. “What they did to Centerville they’ve done to Lebanon, Sycamore, and Pickerington Central. The core of their team is that O-line. They have some real earth-movers up there.”
Doenges said the Rams are just as impressive on the other side of the ball, and are led by linebacker Roland Walder, who is 6-3, 230. He’s already committed to Kentucky for next season.
“Defensively, they’re smaller than they normally are, but they fly to the ball. They’re fast and extremely physical,” Doenges said.
Doenges knows his team has its work cut out this week it it hopes to make it five in a row.
“We’re not going to stop them, but we have to slow them down and score some points ourselves,” he said. “And if they put the ball on the ground or make an errant pass, we have to capitalize. We know Trotwood is very good, but we’re at the point where we feel we’re good, too.”
GWOC North (no division games played yet) — Sidney 4-1, Trotwood 4-1, Piqua 3-2, Vandalia 3-2, Greenville 2-3, Troy 1-4.
Reach Ken Barhorst at 937-538-4818