Teams look to improve in Week 2

By Justin Miller -

Graham’s Lane Thompson carries the ball against Tippecanoe during last week’s game. Also pictured are Falcons Forest Hyden (60) and Gage Braun (15).

Brenda Burns | Urbana Daily Citizen

Urbana came back to beat London a week ago, but the Hillclimbers and Coach Jon Daniels don’t want to have to be in that position this week against visiting Stebbins.

“I don’t think we played a very disciplined game last Friday. I thought we played hard, but discipline was a little bit of an issue. Facing a triple option offense, you better have that down,” Daniels said.

The game Friday night will be Urbana’s first at home and is also offering free admission to anyone wearing Urbana Hillclimbers gear. There will also be inductions into the George Scott Ring of Honor

““It should be a big week for us this week. I know the community event that’s going on is going to be great,” Daniels said. “We’re hoping that the atmosphere is going to be a good one. We’re kinda fired up about that.”

The Stebbins attack is definitely one where the Hillclimbers will have to be attacking and disciplined, but the Urbana scout team has been doing an excellent job in practice.

“It’s difficult to replicate. But we’ve got some great guys that have bought into our scout team this year. And those guys are important to us as our guys out there on Friday,” Daniels said. “We hope with some practice and due diligence that we’ll be able to get prepared by Friday.”

At Graham, the Falcons are hoping to bounce back after a trouncing by Tippecanoe when they roll into Springfield to play Catholic Central.

“They had a great game against Greenon. We have certain games marked on our calendars. Last year was one to remember. We’re just hoping we don’t have to throw a Hail Mary again,” GHS Coach AJ Woods said. The Falcons won on the final play from scrimmage against the Irish last season.

The bright lights have been a lot for the youthful Falcons to handle so far.

“We had some missed tackles that we’ve got to clean up. Our motto is 11 silver bullets to the football. You want to try your best to achieve that. Your hustle is one thing you can always control. We have a lot of inexperience. Last week was the first time that a lot of these kids got to play in a varsity game. But the effort is there and the kids are working hard,” Woods said. “I’m never going to fault the kids’ effort when they play like that, no matter what the outcome. It makes me very proud to be the coach at Graham.”

At West Liberty-Salem, Coach Dan McGill is excited to be at home for the first time this week against Benjamin Logan after his team had to travel to Valley View twice last week due to lightning.

““I like where my offense is at right now. The kids took the challenge personally and have executed on a high level,” McGill said. “(Ben Logan) can score points in bunches. They have a really talented quarterback and some good skill guys. They’re probably not going to get shut out by anybody. You better outscore them.”

The only difficulty the Tigers have had early is in special teams, where the lack of live repetitions during scrimmages can show early in the season.

“We have some issues there that we’re going to clean up and work on. And defensively, we just need to communicate a little bit better. We gave up some big plays just because of communication breakdowns,” McGill said.

At Triad, Coach Joe Cardinal and his Cardinals got whacked by Indian Lake in the opener, but the team is looking to clean a few things up on the road at North Union this week.

“(North Union) gets after it offensively and defensively. Going on the road, that’ll be new for us. We’re excited,” Cardinal said. ““We had a bunch of mental errors last week. And we’ve got to get our guys to get lower at the ball.”

Still, there is hope for the Triad faithful.

“Our linebacker play was pretty good. Those guys read their keys well and got where they were supposed to get to,” Cardinal said. “And our quarterback play was solid. Obviously, it didn’t go the way we wanted it to go, but he hung in there and still made some nice plays.”

At Mechanicsburg, the Indians played slow for about six minutes before they rumbled to a win over West Jefferson. The boys in purple and gold will be looking for a similar result against Riverside – a Pirates’ squad that made the playoffs last season.

“Whenever you play Riverside, you’re going to play some tough hard-nosed kids. They don’t care who we are or where we’re from. They’re going to fight like crazy,” M’burg Coach Kurt Forrest said. “DeGraff and Mechanicsburg, there’s a lot of similarities in the towns and the cultures. It’s going to be fun to get them back on the field together.”

The Indians gave up some big plays here and there against the Roughriders, but it’s nothing that Forrest doesn’t think the team can fix.

“Just having a complete understanding of everything you’re doing. It’s very simple in theory, but it’s very difficult in execution. If you’re not minding your Ps and Qs, you’re going to give up a big chunk of yards,” Forrest said. “Momentum is everything in the world. You’ve got to focus on the next thing coming. But when you’re dealing with 15-, 16-, 17-year-old kids, momentum and emotions are everything.”

Graham’s Lane Thompson carries the ball against Tippecanoe during last week’s game. Also pictured are Falcons Forest Hyden (60) and Gage Braun (15).’s Lane Thompson carries the ball against Tippecanoe during last week’s game. Also pictured are Falcons Forest Hyden (60) and Gage Braun (15). Brenda Burns | Urbana Daily Citizen

By Justin Miller

Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.

Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.

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