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Hornets look to get jump on Vikings

COAL GROVE – Hopefully, the Coal Grove Hornets have some spring in their legs.

Thursday, September 14, 2000

COAL GROVE – Hopefully, the Coal Grove Hornets have some spring in their legs.

Hornets coach Nick Miller said his team will need to get the jump on the Vinton County Vikings Friday if they plan to snap a two-game losing streak.

"In the last two games, we were jumped on so quick, we couldn’t grind it out," Miller said. "With Vinton County, we have to jump on them and establish something on offense early. Even though we gave up a long (touchdown) pass early against Lucasville, we were able to move the ball and grind it out."

Coal Grove, 1-2, beat Lucasville Valley 24-12 to end the Indians 41-game regular season winning streak. But that was followed by lopsided losses to Gallipolis and Amanda-Clearcreek.

Miller noted that Gallipolis and Clearcreek are two of the top teams in the state in their divisions and that the level of competition has to help the Hornets improve.

"Other than Ironton (in the seventh week), we’ve seen some of the toughest competition that we’ll see all year," Miller said. "We feel like we have a very good opportunity to win the game. Our kids are getting healthier."

Health has been a problem since the first game. Leading rusher Jason Adams left the Valley game and returned to play less than a half in last week’s game.

Also out on offense was Andy Bryant, Adams’ backup. Miller said both will play this week.

"We’re hoping that having both of them in the backfield together will give us some explosiveness. We just wanted to get our two best running backs on the field at the same time," Miller said.

Vinton County, 0-3, is making some changes of its own. Travis Bethel has moved from quarterback to half back while Shade Huntley takes over as the quarterback.

"Their best player is Bethel. He also plays middle linebacker and he’s the guy who makes the big plays for them," Miller said. "Their quarterback (Huntley) throws a decent ball.

"They like to run the option and we have to shut them down. We have to keep them from pounding the ball against us. They’re bigger than us and we can’t let them control the ball and wear us down."

Coal Grove will again be without defensive back Ryan Brown who remains sidelined with a shoulder injury.