Even though his team dropped the first game of the season, East Liverpool Potters head coach Josh Ludwig did come away with some positives. Carrollton defeated the Potters 44-2 on Friday.
"In games like that one, you find out who really wants to play," said Ludwig on Saturday morning. "Our kids stayed together and played to the very end. While I wasn't pleased with the score, I was pleased that we played to the very last whistle."
An example of what Ludwig was referring to was sophomore Freddie Plum tackling a Carrollton running back in the end zone for a safety in the final minute of the game.
"Freddie wasn't going to be denied," said the Potter coach. "We had effort throughout the game. We just needed better execution."
Ludwig was pleased with the play of the interior of his offensive line, saying, "Our offensive guards and our center trapped well. They gave Austin Mayfield time to throw."
Dalton Cornman (left guard), Zach Gill (center) and Jared Yanik (right guard) comprise the Potters' interior offensive line.
Despite being down 41-0 at halftime, Ludwig reminded his charges that there were nine-and-a-half games remaining on the schedule.
"Coach (Jeff) Wright said that we needed to get more reps for the first team," said Ludwig. "We settled everyone down. It was important that we controlled our emotions and didn't just come in and start yelling."
During the second half, the Potters moved Mayfield up under center and operated out of the I-formation for much of the second half.
"We wanted to stay on the ground," said Ludwig. "Our offensive line needed to get some work on the rushing game. We also wanted to get our running backs some reps. This will help us on down the road."
After getting only one carry in the first half, tailback Kade Reynolds toted the ball seven times in the second half. The Potters only attempted one pass in the second half, running the ball on 10 of their eleven snaps.
"It's only one game. We made some mistakes at key times in the first half," said the first-year head coach. "They were the types of mistakes that a young team makes. It's time to for us to learn from our mistakes and get ready to face Indian Creek on Friday."
I really enjoyed working on the stories on the 1994 Wellsville team which made it to the state finals that we ran in the football tab. Rick Stanley invited me to the open house that was held before Wellsville's game with Toronto on Friday.
Stanley told me that there would be "light, finger food". If the spread that Joe Traina put together is "light, finger food", I can only imagine what Traina would prepare for a full-scale meal. Stanley worked very hard on putting together the open house, the recognition at the field and the post-game affair at the Sons of Italy. The players, coaches, cheerleaders and band members along with their families had a great time.
OAK GLEN WINS
Oak Glen's 17-14 last-second win over Edison Local may be just what the Golden Bears need. It was good to see Chase Hartley back at quarterback. Hartley went down with an injury last year in Week One versus Edison. HIs loss was felt for the entire season.
Shawn Troutman's play on special teams brought a smile to Golden Bears head coach Ian Whittington's face.
"Shawn was in on every play on special teams," said Whittington. "He didn't play the last two years, but he is very fast and very athletic. He did a great job for us."
While Beaver Local came up just short, losing 14-7 to Crestview, the Beavers sound like they are improved. I saw Crestview the week before in a Jamboree contest at East Liverpool, and I was impressed with Paul Cusick's young team. Since the Beavers had a legitimate opportunity to tie and possibly beat Crestview, coach Jeremy McElroy's team must be on the right path.
Friday's game at Oak Glen should be very interesting.
Former East Liverpool offensive coordinator Jason Duke is now the offensive coordinator at Edison Local. Megan Campbell, who was East Liverpool's athletic trainer in 2013-14, is now the athletic trainer at Oak Glen.