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Rivalry resumes as Hornets host RH

Whether it’s going into league play or going back on the road, it’s time to get going for the Coal Grove Hornets and Rock Hill Redmen.

Thursday, September 28, 2000

Whether it’s going into league play or going back on the road, it’s time to get going for the Coal Grove Hornets and Rock Hill Redmen.

The Hornets are anxious to start Ohio Valley Conference play, and the Redmen find themselves on the road for the third straight week as they renew a longtime rivalry Friday night.

Coal Grove hosts Rock Hill in the Hornets homecoming. Coal Grove coach Nick Miller is looking at the game only from a league perspective, not for potential playoff points.

"We’re happy to be where we are (record-wise)," Hornets coach Nick Miller said. "We were disappointed not to get a chance to play the other night (last Saturday at Columbus Bishop Ready). We haven’t looked at the playoffs as our big goal. Everyone else in the league is about the same. We feel like we have as good a chance as anyone else.

"But with only four league games, you have to be ready each night out."

Rock Hill coach Andy Hall is road weary, but he doesn’t expect another away game to effect his team’s performance.

"This is our third game in a row on the road. We’re on a four-game road swing and things aren’t going well for us on the road as of late. But we’re going into familiar territory," Hall said.

"Going to Coal Grove in the past has not been a positive thing, but we’re getting people healthy, our preparation to this point is better than last week. I think we’ll come in with a much better mentally and much-better fundamentally prepared team."

Rock Hill turned an 8-6 halftime lead into a 30-6 win last season, but Hall said the Hornets are a better team this season.

"They’re a lot more physical is year and a lot bigger," Hall said. "Being 2-2, I think they have more confidence. Coach Miller is doing a good job getting that program built back up."

Coal Grove comes into the game 2-2 while Rock Hill is 2-3. Miller believes emotions will run high.

"The kids are going to play hard. Regardless of records, this is still a big rivalry. We’re hoping pride and being our homecoming will be enough for us to be ready to play," Miller said.

Hall said both communities look forward to the game and he thinks it will be an "intense" matchup.

"The key is who can come out and set the tone first. This is a game played on a lot of emotion. The team who can jump out on top early has the advantage. Both teams have a tendency to jump on a team and keep rolling," Hall said.

Both teams have had trouble offensively this season, so the defenses are expected to dominate.

"I think it’ll be a defensive struggle. Both offenses have capabilities to put points on the board, both teams defenses have been the most consistent," Hall said. "Other than the first game, we’ve played well defensively. But Coal Grove hasn’t allowed any team to run on them. Even in their two losses, they didn’t give up many rushing yards."

Miller did praise his defensive front, but he said the key could be in the secondary which must contend with quarterback Gabe Medinger.

"Their quarterback can throw. We have to be ready for him," Miller said. "We want to make sure we don’t fall asleep and let them hurt us. We’re hoping to get some pass rush.

"You have to respect their running game. Turley was one of the tough backs . All their kids are big and run hard. But if you commit too many people to the running game, the quarterback can hurt you."