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Hornets looking to avenge 2008 loss

COAL GROVE — When Dave Lucas looks at his scouting report of the Paint Valley Bearcats, he doesn’t point to the offense or defense or even the kicking game.

The Coal Grove Hornets’ head coach looks at the intangibles.

“They’re a good football team. We have to hang onto the ball and not makes mistakes,” said Lucas. “And we have to hit. We can’t be passive against a team like Paint Valley.”

The Hornets (1-0) hope to use those intangibles to their advantage as they look to avenge last year’s 20-13 loss to the Bearcats.

Paint Valley won its opener easily over Hamilton New Miami, 34-0. But this isn’t the same team the Hornets faced last season.

The Bearcats lost running back Gage McFadden who rushed for 1,800 yards and quarterback Matt Workman who threw for 1,200 yards.

Paint Valley will replace McFadden with the tandem of Garrett Tyree, a 5-foot-8, 150-pound junior, and senior Wes Parker who goes 5-8,175.

Taking over the quarterback spot is junior Brennen Dove (6-0, 165) who Lucas said “is a good athlete.”

“They don’t have the size in the backfield that they had last year, but their backs have good quickness and speed. They’re good players. They have a good tradition and their kids play hard.”

While the backfield isn’t as big, the opposite holds true for the line.

The key man up front is tackle Tyler Wagoner, a 6-7, 285-pound junior. Also on the interior front is 6-5, 265-pound senior Cody White and the tight end is 6-7, 200-pound junior Mike Grooms.

“They’ve probably got more size than any team we’ll see,” said Lucas. “This will be a challenge for our kids up front.”

Lucas said his team was tested in a scrimmage against Ironton that should help prepare them for the Bearcats.

“We benefited from our scrimmage with Ironton. Our linemen know they have to come off the ball,” he said.

Last week the Hornets won a wild 44-42 game over Meigs. But the Hornets had a 38-21 lead in the fourth quarter and appeared to have one drive stopped when mistakes began to hit.