With the Midwest Athletic Conference co-leaders in the rearview mirror, the Anna Rockets can turn their attention to building for the future. And that starts with wins.
The Rockets took it on the chin from Coldwater and Marion Local the past two weeks to drop to 1-5 on the season. Left are Delphos St. John’s, New Bremen, Minster and St. Henry.
“We know what’s left, but our full focus is on winning this week,” said coach Nick Marino.
The Rockets stay at home Friday to take on Delphos St. John’s. Both teams have very atypical 1-5 records this season, but unlike Anna, the Blue Jays still have Coldwater and Marion Local to play yet.
“They’ve put up some points this season, and they do a few things that will challenge us,” said Marino. “So we’re going to have to play well. They have a couple nice athletes they’ve scored with, and they throw the ball down the field pretty well. And on defense, they will load up the box and you have to get a hat on a hat with seven different guys.
“I think the key for us is we have to have a couple more good days of practice and be prepared for the game,” he added.
The Rockets lost 35-13 at home to Marion last week, but Marino saw some bright spots.
“The kids played hard on Friday,” he said. “And that was good to see. They played with them for a while. I think we’ve definitely made progress the last several weeks and I’m happy with that. And we’re looking forward to getting back out there Friday.”
After starting out with four losses, the Fort Loramie Redskins have bounced back with a pair of victories, both in league play to keep them in the hunt.
But coach Whit Parks, while pleased with the turnaround, cautions that “we have four tough weeks coming up.”
The Redskins mauled Waynesfield 53-8 last week for their second win in a row.
“They didn’t have many numbers,” Parks said of Waynesfield. “But we handled things the way we should, and controlled both sides of the ball. It was good to get a win and you can see the confidence level of the kids rising. And even though the competition hasn’t been what it was earlier, I feel like we’ve gotten better.”
The Redskins were forced to change things up when quarterback Austin Siegel got hurt in week four. He is out for the season.
Parks went back to the single-wing he used when he coached at Minster, and it’s paid big dividends so far.
“We threw Drew Wehrman in on a Thursday night because Austin went out on a Wednesday,” Parks recalled. “We only put in a couple plays at first, but we’ve seen him get better and better back there. Wes Puthoff is gaining a lot of yards, and our offensive line is really starting to gel.”
Puthoff, getting the ball on direct snaps, rushed for 115 yards last week to bring his season total to 495 on 85 carries. Wehrman also went over 100 yards last week, with 103 on just five carries.
“We were pretty balanced in the backfield and I like to see that,” Parks said. “We only threw the ball once and we’re going to have to be able to throw more. And it’s something we work hard on.”
Ridgemont is 2-4 on the year and averages just over 200 yards per game in total offense. But running back Cameron Smith, one of only 25 players on the roster, is having a good year. He’s rushed for 537 yards and six touchdowns so far.