Heavily favored New Philadelphia will be looking to get back on the winning track Friday night when the Quakers host Mount Vernon in an Ohio Cardinal Conference battle at Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
“It’s a good week for us to make sure we’re still improving,” said New Philadelphia head football coach Mike Johnson.
The Quakers are 3-2 overall and 2-1 in OCC action.
Mount Vernon is 1-4 on the season and 0-2 in conference action and is on a four-game losing streak. The Yellow Jackets were defeated 31-14 by Ashland last Friday evening. Ashland is a team New Philadelphia shut out 28-0 a week earlier.
“They (the Yellow Jackets) run it more than they pass it,” explained Johnson “They have a really good back, No. 20 (senior Jonny Askew who has rushed for 167 yards per game). He played against us last year and we’re going to have to contain him and they run it a little bit with the quarterback (junior Jake Taylor).”
New Philadelphia went on the road and sustained a 35-14 OCC setback to 3-2 Mansfield Senior team last Friday at Arlin Field. Mansfield’s only losses this season are to 5-0 Massillon and 4-1 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.
“We’re going to keep working and learn from (the Mansfield game),” said Johnson. “The thing is when you play good teams like Mansfield Senior or Steubenville it shows you those areas where you need to improve. They (Mansfield) are a good team and we did some good things, we moved the ball a little bit against them and got a couple stops against them, but just didn’t do enough to win it, and that’s what we’re trying to do — we’re trying to string together enough winning plays to end up in the win column.”
The Quakers’ top offensive players this season have been standout senior running back Etnie Richardson who is averaging 145 yards per game on the ground and has scored a team-high seven touchdowns.
Meanwhile, quarterback Keaton Fausel has completed 50-of-89 passes for 565 yards (113 per game) and six touchdowns and has rushed for 285 yards (57 yards per game) and three six-pointers. When Fausel takes to the airways, junior Pete Didonato has been his top target with 13 catches for 109 yards and Richardson has caught six passes for 65 yards and three touchdowns.
“He (Richardson) has like 725 (rushing yards) and it’s really pretty remarkable for where we’re at in the season,” praised Johnson. And Keaton (Fausel) has been doing a really good job. We didn’t throw it quite as well as we wanted to last Friday, so we’re going to try to get him going a little bit.”
The Quakers are averaging 24 points-per-game on offense and yielding 19.6 points-per-contest on defense.
“I’ve been really impressed with our defense and the success they’ve had has been excellent,” lauded Johnson. “The linebackers Zach Rothrock and Jaiden Boltz have been excellent and Jordy Delacruz, a defensive back, has been very, very good and Oscar Pastor is a nose on the defensive line and he’s one of those seniors who has stepped up.”
Mount Vernon’s only win of the season occurred in a 45-20 triumph over a 1-4 Marion Harding team in Week 1. The Yellow Jackets are averaging 20.8 points-per-game on offense and giving up 31.8 points-per-contest on the defensive side of the football.
The Quakers rolled to a 44-6 win over Mount Vernon last season and have never lost a game to the Yellow Jackets as they lead the all-time series, 4-0.
Johnson talked about the key to winning on Friday night.
“We’re going to have to try and contain the run, get out and get on them early,” said the New Philadelphia head coach. “Without a doubt (winning the line of scrimmage is key) because they like to run the ball and so do we.”
Dover at Canfield
Dover makes a trip to Mahoning County Friday night to play the defending state Division III champion Canfield Cardinals at Bob Dove Field at Cardinal Stadium at 7 p.m.
All members of the military as well as first responders will be admitted free at the Canfield-Dover football game.
The Crimson Tornadoes (2-3) sustained a 34-14 loss to once-beaten Steubenville last Friday night at Crater Stadium.
“(Big Red) played a really good football game, they didn’t turn it over or get penalties and those types of things, and in the previous weeks we had seen some of that,” said Dover head coach Dan Ifft. “There were a couple of tipped passes on third down that we should have picked and they both fell out of their hands into the other guys' (Steubenville’s) hands. That can happen, but it can’t happen against them because they’re too good. Defensively we played very hard and I thought we made them earn some things, but offensively we just couldn’t get anything mustered.”
Canfield opened the season with a 38-19 win over a 4-1 West Branch team but was beset with several key injuries in that game and suffered losses to Mansfield Senior (24-10), Olmsted Falls (42-14) and arch-rival Poland (10-7) in Weeks 2, 3 and 4 of the season. The Cardinals (2-3) defeated the Youngstown Chaney Cowboys 35-14 last week, snapping a three-game losing streak.
“They (the Cardinals) are a typical blue blood program, the defending state champ,” said Ifft. “Their kids know how to play and they play hard, they’re well coached and they expect to win. They’re not that dissimilar from us in that we’ve had (past) success, but this year, I would say we’re in odd waters for both of us, so we have to fight our way out.”
The Cardinals are led by senior running back-linebacker Danny Inglis, who runs a 4.5 40-yard dash and is an Iowa State commit.
“They’ve got a Big 12 player (Inglis) playing for them, so they’ve got some dudes,” praised Ifft. “And I think the quarterback (senior Paul Bindas) has done a nice job for them and they have a couple linemen who are really good kids. It’s typical Youngstown football, and I’m familiar with it. It’s a hard-nosed, fly around-type of football.”Canfield is averaging 27 points-per-game on offense and giving up 21.8 points-per-outing on defense.
“I have tremendous respect for Mike (Canfield head coach Mike Pavlansky),” said Ifft. “We get along real well and are coaching buddies and he puts out a great team every year. They have a lot of hard-nosed kids and they expect to win.”
Offensively the Tornadoes are led by running back JJ Barton and sophomore quarterback Jack Judkins. Judkins and Barton connected on an 11-yard scoring aerial against Steubenville and Talon Patton scored on a four-yard run.Dover is averaging 24.8 points-per-game and giving up 25.2 points-per-contest on defense.
Dover leads the all-time series with Canfield, 6-4 and has won five of the past seven games played in the series. The Tornadoes gave Canfield one of its best games in the Cardinals’ state title run in 2022 before falling 20-14 in overtime in a regular-season game at Crater Stadium.
At the midway point of the season, Ifft has been impressed with the play of several Tornadoes.
“(Lineman) Simon Lorentz has been a rock on both sides of the ball,” praised Ifft. “He never comes off the field and Daylen Clark has been playing well as is JJ Barton and I’ve got a quarterback who is coming around in Jack (Judkins). He showed extreme toughness last week and (guard) Tommy Peveto and Matt Jones, those are some of the guys who have been pretty consistent for us and Zane Mark (on defense) just makes plays.”
Ifft said winning the line of scrimmage is a key for his team on Friday night.
“It’s up front, it’s always up front,” said the Dover mentor. “They (the Cardinals) have an aggressive defensive front like Steubenville has. They do a lot of slanting and bringing linebackers and things of that nature, and if you handle it, it may leave a hole here or there, so we’ve got to be able to block them — that’s a pivotal point.”
Indian Valley at Sandy Valley
In a huge game in the Inter Valley Conference South Division, Indian Valley will venture to Sandy Valley Friday night at 7 p.m. for a showdown with the Cardinals in their league opener.
The Braves sport a 3-2 overall record but their losses have been to Dover (27-14) and to a 4-1 St. Clairsville team (24-20) last Friday.
Running back Grady Kinsey leads the Braves in rushing with an average of 100 yards per game, while quarterback Sam Carter is averaging 125 yards-per-game passing.
Meanwhile, Sandy Valley is 4-1 overall with its lone setback occurring at the hands of 5-0 Canton South, 35-27. The Cardinals are coming off an impressive 41-7 romp over a talented Malvern team, giving the Hornets their first loss of the season last weekend.
The Cardinals are led by their outstanding 6-3 senior quarterback Nick Petro who has thrown for 1,033 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushed for 527 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.Indian Valley defeated the Cardinals 61-21 last season.
Claymont at Garaway
Unbeaten Garaway will entertain the Claymont Mustangs in an Inter Valley Conference South opener Friday night. Game time is 7 p.m.
The Pirates (5-0) continue to be one of the area’s most dominant teams on both sides of the football.
Garaway posted a 44-6 win over an overmatched East Canton team last Friday.
The Pirates are averaging 38.2 points-per-game, while its defense has been the best in the area statistically. Garaway has given up just 31 points all season or 6.2 points-per-game. That includes a 28-0 shutout of a 4-1 West Muskingum team.
Running back Dillon Soehnlen leads the Pirates on the ground with an 87.2 yards-per-game average while quarterback Brady Geibel has thrown for 1,020 yards and 14 touchdowns and Jenson Garber leads all receivers with 25 catches for 450 yards and seven touchdowns.
Claymont improved its overall record to 2-3 last weekend with a 26-19 triumph over Buckeye Trail.The Mustangs’ offense is averaging 33.2 points-per-game and the defense is giving up 24.4 points-per game.Garaway leads the series with the Mustangs, 5-1, including a 56-0 win last season.
Ridgewood at Tusky Valley
A pair of 4-1 teams will clash Friday night when Ridgewood goes to Zoarville to face the Tusky Valley Trojans in their Inter Valley Conference South opener. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Ridgewood rolled to a 42-3 win over Tusky Central Catholic last Friday, while Tusky Valley did likewise in a 54-14 win over Strasburg.
The Generals’ only loss this season was to Eastern Buckeye Conference power West Branch (32-29) in Week 4, while Tusky Valley’s lone setback was to 4-1 Malvern 27-20 in Week 4 as well.
Ridgewood is averaging 32.6 points-per-game, while giving up just 12.4 points-per-game.
Tusky Valley is averaging 35.8 points-per-outing while surrendering 17 points-per-game.
Ridgewood defeated the Trojans 35-14 last season.
Malvern at Strasburg
Malvern and Strasburg will open Inter Valley Conference North action Friday night when the Hornets travel to take on the Tigers at 7 p.m.
Malvern is 4-1 on the season and coming off a 41-7 loss to Sandy Valley.
Strasburg is 1-4 on the campaign and recorded its lone win thus far in a 26-20 win over the Leetonia Bears in Week 3. The Tigers were defeated by a 54-14 final to Tusky Valley last Friday night.
Malvern is averaging 22 points-per-game offensively and giving up 17.4 points-per-game on defense.
Strasburg is averaging 10 points-per-game on offense and giving up 30.2 points-per-outing on defense.
The Tigers lost 42-0 to the Hornets last fall.
East Canton at Newcomerstown
Newcomerstown will entertain the East Canton Hornets in an IVC North contest Friday night at 7 p.m.
The Trojans check in with a 3-2 record but have dropped back-to-back contests to Barnesville (41-0) and Martins Ferry (41-31).
Meanwhile, East Canton is 1-4 on the year and recorded its lone win of the season in Week 4 over St. Thomas Aquinas (40-8).
Newcomerstown is averaging 30.4 points-per-game on offense and yielding 21.8 points-per-game on defense.
East Canton is scoring 17.8 points-per-game while giving up 28 points-per-contest.
East Canton leads the series with Newcomerstown 10-4 but the Trojans won the last meeting with the Hornets 26-20 last autumn.
Tusky Central at Buckeye Trail
Two teams looking for their first win of the season will meet Friday night at 7 p.m. when Tusky Central Catholic travels to Buckeye Trail in an IVC North game.
Tusky Central (0-5) dropped a 42-3 decision to a 4-1 Ridgewood team last week, while Buckeye Trail was defeated by Claymont, 26-19.
The Saints are averaging 5.4 points-per-game and yielding 42.8 on defense.
The Warriors are averaging 17.4 points-per-game on offense and giving up 31.2 points-per-contest on defense.
Buckeye Trail defeated the Saints 34-7 last season and leads the series, 5-1.
Conotton Valley at Caldwell
Conotton Valley will be on the road Friday when the Rockets travel to Caldwell to take on the unbeaten Redskins. Game time is 7 p.m.
The Rockets carry a 3-2 record into the meeting and are coming off two straight wins against Strasburg (20-14) and Bridgeport (46-39) last week.
Caldwell is 5-0 on the campaign and shut out Belpre last weekend, 49-0.
Conotton Valley is scoring at a 28.4 points-per-game clip and its defense is giving up 26.6 ppg.
Caldwell has been strong on both sides of the football. The Redskins are averaging 45.2 points-per-game on offense and giving up 14.6 ppg.
Caldwell has won six straight meetings in the series with the Rockets, including last year when they defeated Conotton Valley 56-8 in Bowerston. Caldwell leads the overall series with the Rockets, 11-2.
Marlington at Carrollton
Carrollton will open Eastern Buckeye Conference action Friday night when the Warriors host Marlington at Community Field at 7 p.m.
Carrollton is 2-3 at the midway point of the season and is fresh off a 41-20 win over the Akron Garfield Rams.Meanwhile, Marlington has been one of the surprises in the Eastern Buckeye Conference. The Dukes are 4-1 overall and blasted Warren JFK 49-7 last Saturday night in a road contest. Marlington’s lone loss this season was to Youngstown Chaney, 14-6.
Carrollton, which is young, is averaging 19.8 points-per-game and giving up 24.8 ppg.
Marlington is scoring at a 33.4 points-per-game clip and surrendering 17.4 ppg.
Carrollton defeated the Dukes last season by a 36-14 final and the two teams have split their past four meetings.
Fairless at Orrville
Fairless will play a PAC-7 game Friday night when the Falcons visit Orrville to take on the Red Riders. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
The Falcons are 2-3 on the season and 1-1 in the PAC 7 and are coming off a 42-35 league setback to the Northwest Indians last Friday evening.
Orrville is also 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the PAC-7. The Red Riders edged the Manchester Panthers in PAC-7 action 28-26 last Friday evening.
The Falcons, who have won two of their past three games after starting the season 0-2, are averaging 27.4 points-per-game on offense while giving up 34.6 ppg.
Orrville is scoring at a 28.8 points-per-game clip and giving up 29 points-per-contest.
Fairless has won the last two meetings with the Red Riders, including last year’s game in Navarre, 42-14.
Orrville leads the overall series with Fairless, 15-8.
Coshocton at New Lexington
Coshocton, which is still searching for its first win of the season, will visit New Lexington for a game with the Panthers at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Redskins enter Week 6 with an 0-5 ledger and were nipped 36-35 by the Morgan Raiders last Friday.
New Lexington is 2-3 and opened its season with two straight wins before dropping three straight games to John Glenn, West Muskingum and Tri-Valley (38-8) last weekend.
Coshocton is averaging 22.2 points-per-game and allowing 37 points-per-contest on defense.
New Lexington is scoring 19 points-per-game and giving up 22 points-per-outing.
New Lexington won last year’s battle with the Redskins 39-7 at Stewart Field and the two teams have split their past two meetings. Overall, Coshocton leads the series, 6-4.
Sheridan at River View
River View will entertain unbeaten Thornville Sheridan at 7 p.m. Friday night.
Sheridan is 5-0 on the season while the Black Bears (0-5) are still searching for their first triumph.
The Sheridan Generals are coming off a 14-0 showdown win over the previously unbeaten John Glenn Little Muskies, while River View dropped a 63-0 decision to the 4-1 Meadowbrook Colts last week.
River View, which has only scored 18 points in five games, is averaging 3.6 points-per-game while giving up 51.6 ppg.
Sheridan is scoring 28.4 points-per-game and giving up just 11.2 ppg.
The Generals won last year’s game with the Black Bears, 53-14. Sheridan leads the overall series, 26-6.
Wooster at West Holmes
West Holmes will host Wooster in an Ohio Cardinal Conference contest at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Knights are 3-2 on the year and 1-1 in the OCC and posted a 56-35 triumph over the Mansfield Madison Rams last weekend, while Wooster is 2-3 overall on the campaign and 1-2 in the OCC and is coming off a 42-27 conference loss to Lexington.
West Holmes is averaging 39 points-per-game but is giving up 34.2 ppg.
Wooster is scoring 22.6 points-per-game while yielding 30.8 ppg.
West Holmes has won the last two meetings with the Generals, including last year’s 48-6 decision at Follis Field.
Wooster leads the overall series with the Knights, 15-5.
This article originally appeared on York Daily Record: Week 6: New Philadelphia looks for improvement against Mount Vernon