Updated Thu, Sep 29, 2011 8:35 am
It’s safe to say that no team in the MVL has been battered and beaten as much as the Crooksville Ceramics over the last two weeks. Coach Dave Rupe’s squad was outscored by an almost inconceivable 105-0 in its last two contests against MVL heavyweights Sheridan and Tri-Valley. On the bright side, Crooksville still carries a respectable 2-3 record with much calmer seas ahead.
This week, the Ceramics will head back home to try to turn things around against a red-hot Maysville team that has won three straight games, including an upset win over New Lexington. Still, the Panthers are nowhere near the level of talent on display in Thornville and Dresden, which was evidenced by a 42-14 loss to the Scotties week two.
The key for Crooksville this Friday will be getting into an offensive rhythm, which is something the Ceramics have proven they can achieve. The Ceramics put 33 points on the board against Berne Union and 53 points on the board against Miller. But the offense has not been consistent, as evidenced by the goose egg they put up each of the last two weeks. Junior Lake Channel has shown plenty of athleticism under center, but he faced a ridiculous amount of pressure from the Generals’ and Scotties’ defenses, leading to ill-advised passes and lost fumbles. Tailback Colten Gill is a tough runner who has shown quickness and bursts of speed, but he hasn’t had much room to run. It is clear that the Ceramics must win the battle in the trenches if they plan on winning the war against the Panthers.
Maysville, on the other hand, is a team with a formidable running attack. Jeremy Willison and C.J Harris both topped 100 yards rushing in a dominating 42-7 win over West Muskingum last week. Two weeks ago in the upset win over New Lexington, Willison found the end zone of a 58-yard pass from quarterback Seth Brown and broke a 41-yard run that set up another score. Willison, whose 2010 season was cut short due to injury, is one of the top running backs in the MVL. The Ceramics defense must keep an extra set of eyes on him and force coach Whit Parks and the Panthers’ offense to beat them through the air.
Crooksville and Maysville are two teams heading in opposite directions, but Friday’s game gives the Ceramics a chance to get a much-needed win and build some confidence heading down the stretch. Maysville should not underestimate the Ceramics, as they have undoubtedly played the toughest in-conference schedule thus far. The Panthers will take the field at Village Park Stadium as the favorites this Friday, but there’s a real possibility that coach Parks and his team could find themselves on the wrong side of an upset this time around.