Multiple Teams · Red Devils and Mogadore set for PTC County Clash


Record Publishing Report

PTC COUNTY FOOTBALL REPORT: CRESTWOOD, MOGADORE SET FOR KEY CLASH

By Sara Welch | Staff writer Published:

The first week of Portage Trail Conference County Division competition has finally arrived. Highlighting the Week 6 matchups, defending County Division champion Mogadore will host County newcomer and 2014 Metro Division tri-champion Crestwood.

The Red Devils and Wildcats last played each other in 2011. The game resulted in a Mogadore victory. Mogadore’s all-time record against Crestwood is 25-11-1.

Red Devils coach Pete Thompson will return to Wildcat Stadium for the first time since his career at Crestwood began four years ago.

“From the viewpoint of me stepping on their field for the first time since I started as Crestwood’s head coach to where we are now, I think our program has come leaps and bounds to be where we’re at,” Thompson said. “That’s a testament to the kids that we have and the coaching staff we put together. If you look at where things were then and where they are now, there’s a sense of pride in how far we’ve come.”

As Crestwood has grown its program, Mogadore has continued its reign of supremacy in the County Division, winning league championships in 2012 and 2013.

“We’re confident in the things we do and we’re confident that we are a little more diverse this year,” Mogadore coach Matt Adorni said. “It may take a little while, but we’ll find something we’re successful at depending on formation or whether we’re going to run more or throw more. We’ve been getting more confident on the offensive side of the ball.

“We’ve played some good football teams right in a row, as they have. We’re hoping that we’re able to make adjustments. I think the team that can make adjustments on the fly Friday night will have a little bit of an advantage.”

Coming into Week 6, both teams support a 4-1 record, so how do they stack up against each other?

STATISTICAL LEADERS

Through five games, Mogadore has been able to post pretty decent numbers. Quarterback Zeddie Pollock has completed 57-of-103 passing attempts for 933 yards with 13 touchdowns.

On the ground, the Wildcats have had a trio of contributors. Nate Alexander has rushed for 368 yards in 45 attempts with two touchdowns. Luke Cramer has rushed for 290 yards in 44 attempts with two touchdowns. Austin Williams has rushed for 201 yards in 29 attempts with four touchdowns.

The Wildcats’ receiving corps has been led by Jarad Dunn with 13 receptions for 341 yards and six touchdowns, and Andrew Barker with 12 receptions for 237 yards and four touchdowns.

Crestwood has also been able to put up good numbers through five weeks of play. Signal-caller Jordan Fabry has completed 33-of-64 attempts for 580 yards and six touchdowns.

Crestwood’s leading rusher is Logan Thut with 699 yards in 68 carries and nine touchdowns. Thut is currently averaging 10.28 yards per carry. Other top rushers are A.J. Foulkes and Michael Picone. Foulkes has 195 yards in 32 carries, and Picone has 330 yards in 38 carries.

The Red Devils’ top receivers have been Anthony Bates and Aaron Czerny. Bates has 15 catches for 311 yards with two touchdowns, and Czerny has 14 catches for 226 yards with three touchdowns.

INJURY REPORT

Mogadore will come into the competition fairly healthy will the exception of center Nick Gooden. Gooden went down with a knee injury last Friday.

“He’s going to be a game-time decision to see if he heals up this week,” Adorni said. “Overall, we’re fairly healthy for us at this point in the year.”

Last week, the Red Devils sat starting quarterback Fabry due to an ankle injury he received a week earlier. This week, Fabry is probable to make the start against Mogadore.

“We haven’t got him 100 percent cleared yet, but by all indications he should be good to go,” Thompson said. “Other than that we’re pretty healthy.”

In Fabry’s absence, Czerny stepped in and completed 9-of-10 passing attempts for 180 yards in the air along with adding 110 yards on the ground in last Friday’s win at Northwest. If Crestwood has to go to its backup, Czerny’s a solid option.

“He stepped right in and did a heck of a job for us,” Thompson said.

While Czerny was effective last week, Fabry’s return would enable him to once again be an option at receiver. In that instance, the Wildcats will have to account for Czerny in the passing game.

THOUGHTS ENTERING COUNTY DIVISION COMPETITION

Mogadore: “You know each other better than you do when you’re playing opponents like we have the last few weeks, which we haven’t played in a couple of years,” Adorni said. “In the league, they know who we are, they know our kids and these kids play each other in other sports. I think there’s less surprises in league play.”

Crestwood: “It’s been strange having five non-league games,” Thompson said. “I’ve never been in that situation as a coach and certainly our kids haven’t either. We haven’t talked a lot about league play. We’ve just taken the approach that this Friday night is the most important game on our schedule — not just because it’s Mogadore. That’s our approach every week.”

IMMEDIATE CONCERNS

Mogadore: “They’re a very good football team,” Adorni said of the Red Devils. “They don’t really have any weaknesses. I’ve watched film and tried to find weaknesses and it’s tough to find a consistent weakness on their team. You’ll think you’ll find something for a play or two on film and then it’s more of a fluke. They’re such a well-rounded team. They can throw, they can run, they play run defense well, they play pass defense well and they’re confident right now. We know coach Thompson and his staff do a great job.

“They don’t tend to beat themselves and they’re difficult to defend. They use the entire field. We’re going to have to be at our best to be able to beat them. We can’t make many mental mistakes because they are a mentally tough team. You can tell.”

Crestwood: “My biggest concern is more for us,” Thompson said. “We’ve had a bad turnover problem this year. We’ve had 15 turnovers in five games. We’re averaging three turnovers a game. I keep preaching to our kids and harping on the fact that at some point it’s going to bite us. It did in the one game — the game we lost. We’ve talked a lot already this week that we can’t go play a great team like Mogadore on the road and fumble away the ball and think that everything is going to go our way.”

EXPECTED CHALLENGES

Mogadore: “Their diversity on offense and their ability to run and pass on any play will be a challenge,” Adorni said. “They can connect on a few different kinda pass plays. They give you a lot of formations. They do a lot with motions and different sets. They force you to be thinking constantly on defense, and you hope that you don’t pull yourself down because you don’t want to get caught up thinking too much. They play fast and they have a lot of nice athletes. Their line does a nice job protecting their quarterback.

“They’re just well-rounded on offense. It’s not like we can just go in and take away one guy. They can beat you a couple different ways. They can go smash-mouth or they can run their spread package stuff, and they’re equally effective on both we feel.”

Crestwoood: “They are a fundamentally sound team and they’ve got some offensive weapons,” Thompson said. “They throw the ball more than Mogadore teams of the past. They’re very efficient in their pass game and have excellent receivers and a good quarterback as well. They jump out on film with the way in which they’re able to execute the pass game.

“Of the teams we’ve seen thus far, they are the most fundamentally sound, well-coached football team. Teams that execute fundamentals at that level are always going to give you concern in being able to compete with them.”

HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE

Mogadore: “You’re more comfortable at home and I think that’s definitely going to help this year, but they’re still going to bring a big crowd and they’re excited, as they should be,” Adorni said. “They have a good football team and they’re playing for a lot too. It’s not just league. They’re playing for playoff positioning as well. There’s a lot on the table.”

Crestwood: “It’s a tough place to play and we’re hoping that the outcome on Friday is good,” Thompson said.

NON-LEAGUE PREPARATION

Mogadore: “I think we would rather be in the league earlier,” Adorni said. “It’s difficult to find five games, but I think some of the teams in the league benefited from the schedule and they were able to find opponents they could beat and get some confidence. I think more so than in the past we’re a very confident County side coming in. This is the most teams I can remember with a winning record heading into league play. I think that’s good for the league overall. It’s just really difficult to schedule, especially Week 4 and Week 5 games.”

Crestwood: “I think both teams can probably say their schedule has prepared them for this week,” Thompson said. “If you go down their schedule they’ve played some teams that have had some playoff experience the last three or four years, and if you go down our schedule it’s the same thing. We’ve both played quality non-league schedules. I think it’s prepared us and not speaking for Matt and Mogadore, but I think it’s prepared them.”

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