Golden Bears work to keep winning
CALCUTTA — The Oak Glen football team is looking to make it two wins in a row this week against rival Beaver Local.
The Golden Bears picked up their first win of the season when Oak Glen knocked off previously-unbeaten Toronto, 25-8, at Clarke Hinkle Field.
“It was a big win,” Oak Glen coach Doug Taylor said. “It is always nice to get your first win.
“By no means did we play a perfect game. We have some things to work on offense. We played well enough to come out of Toronto with a win.”
The Golden Bears (1-3) and Beavers (3-2) will meet at 7 p.m. today at Pastore Field.
“Beaver Local, it is like going from the frying pan and into the fire,” Taylor said. “They are loaded. They are loaded with athletes and speed. They like to play in space.
“They are 3-2, but they have lost to two really good football teams in Indian Valley and Salem. Their record definitely is not indicative of the team they are. They are very good.”
The Beavers lost their first two games as Indian Valley defeated Beaver Local, 41-20, and Salem came away with a 40-27 victory in week 2.
Since then, the Beavers have won three straight games. Beaver Local has defeated Linden McKinley, 42-14, East Liverpool, 65-0, and Keyser, 31-10.
“They want to get the ball to their playmakers,” Taylor said. “They do that in a number of different ways. They like to get out onto the perimeter.
“Defensively, we are going to have to tackle well in space. We are going to get as many guys as we can to the football.”
After allowing 81 points in its first two games, Beaver Local has played better defensively in the last three weeks as the Beavers have only given up 24 points in their three wins.
“Defensively, they are a normal Beaver Local team,” Taylor said. “They are aggressive. They are good up front.
“We are going to have to be gap sound. We are going to have to be better at what we do. I’m talking about execution. There are so many players where if we get a block a 3-yard run could turn into a 10-yard run or a 5-yard run could turn into a 15-yard run.
“We are going to have to get better. We are going to have to do a good job of executing. We are going to have to get off blocks and hold our blocks.”
The Golden Bears are going to have to be able to sustain drives and come away with points in order to beat the Beavers.
“We are going to have to control the ball,” Taylor said. “We are going to have to hit the play-action pass when we have it set up. We are going to have to have long drives, and we are going to have to control the clock.”
The boys from Columbiana County have the advantage in the size department.
“Size-wise, we are a small team, so everyone we play is going to be bigger than us,” Taylor said. “The biggest thing with them is just their speed. They are so fast. There is a high school coach around here who said, ‘You either have speed, or you are chasing speed.’ That is our issue.”
The Bears are going to the game dealing with some injuries.
“We have some guys nicked up,” Taylor said. “We are going to have to look at giving guys some time off. We have to get healthy. This is the halfway point of our season, and if we want to have success in the second half we are going to have to keep guys healthy. You may see guys only playing one side of the ball this week. We want to give guys a break so they can continue to heal up.”
Former Edison head coach Mike McKenzie is the head coach of the Beavers.
Beaver Local enters this week’s game in seventh place in the Ohio Division IV Region 13 rankings.