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OVC championship awaits CG-Fairland winner

The question the Fairland Dragons are asking themselves isn’t what, but how.

Fairland knows what the Coal Grove Hornets are going to do when the teams meet in Friday to determine the Ohio Valley Conference championship, but it’s how they do it that is causing the greatest concerns for Dragons’ head coach Roger Snyder.

“Everyone knows Coal Grove is going to run their trapping game. The way they run their power game is what concerns us,” said Snyder.

“Regardless of how good you are, if you don’t play good technique every time, they’re going to bust one on you. We’ve had problems with that all year.”

Defense has been a problem for the Dragons who have given up an average of 24 points a game, but the offense has been able score nearly 34 points a contest. Ironically, last season Fairland beat Coal Grove 34-13.

Fairland will need that offense plus some defense to gain a share of the OVC title. The Dragons are 3-5 overall but 3-1 in the league. Coal Grove, which has clinched at least a share of the title, is 6-3 and 4-0.

If Fairland wins and South Point beats Chesapeake, the Hornets, Dragons and Pointers will share the title.

Coal Grove’s defense has allowed just 14 points a game. Coach Dave Lucas knows his team will be tested.

“They’re really quick. They execute well. They’ve got good players. They have a lot of weapons,” said Lucas.

Coal Grove has its share of weapons, but it’s the surge of the offensive line that helps the Hornets control the clock and the ball.

“It still comes back to defense. We have to play defense,” said Snyder. “We can’t let them have long drives. It’ll be a matter if we keep them off the field. If we let them have seven-, eight-, nine-minute drives, we’ll be in trouble.”

Fairland’s quick-strike ability has produced 28 touchdowns this season covering double digit yardage. Lucas said Coal Grove need ball control to limit the Dragons’ chances.

“We need to control the clock. If we can move the football, we’ll be okay. If we have trouble moving the football and they play defense, then it’ll be a problem,” said Lucas.