Hornets look to slow Zeps in first home playoff game

Published 12:25 am Thursday, November 2, 2017

Jim Walker

COAL GROVE — There’s no place like home for the holidays.
Or the playoffs.
For the first time in school history, the Coal Grove Hornets will host a playoff game on their own field.
Coal Grove (9-1) will play host to the Shenandoah Zeps (8-2) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in the Division VI Region 23 postseason playoff quarterfinals.
“Our kids are excited. Our students are excited. It’s been a great atmosphere this week. I’m anxious for the game,” said Hornets’ coach Evan Ferguson.
But Ferguson is more concerned about what to do against the Zeps than where the game is being played.
Shenandoah is led by junior quarterback Boone Jones (6-2, 190) and senior tailback Nick Miller (6-0, 205).
“Their losses came when (Miller) was less than 100 percent or out. But he’s getting back to full strength,” said Ferguson.
“Their quarterback is a good kid. He’s a strong kid. You hear a lot about their tailback and he’s good, but their quarterback has the ability to break one. He’s their home run threat.”
The Zeps returned nine players on offense and 10 on defense this season, key reasons for their first playoff appearance since 2003.
“They deserve to be in playoffs for a reason. They do have experience. The play hard and swarm to the football on defense. They make you have good, long drives to beat them. Hopefully, we can move the ball,” said Ferguson.
But the Hornets have been blessed with six veteran seniors plus their underclassmen have gained experienced by playing a full season.
“A big part of football is who makes the least mistakes. We’ve been fortunate not to have those mistakes. Having seniors helps you not make those mistakes. Our kids have been in close games and tight situations and that helps you improve and gives you confidence,” said Ferguson.
The Hornets have been able to sustain drives this season and Ferguson knows they must continue their error-free ways in order to advance in the playoffs.
But the Zeps have an experienced defense led by junior linebacker Chase Chicak (6-0, 185), senior nose guard Christian Bond (5-11, 215) and defensive linemen Austin McPeek (5-11, 220) and Tanner Brown (6-4, 250).
McPeek is a senior and Brown a junior.
“Their nose guard is one of the better defensive linemen we’ve seen. Brown is a good defensive lineman and Chicwak plays hard and likes to create havoc,” said Ferguson.
Defense will be big for the Hornets as well against the Zeps’ offense.
“It’s going to be a big game for us defensively. Our secondary has to play a good game and cut out their short passes. We’ve worked a lot on that this year. We’ve worked on our run defense. If we can do that, I think we can have some success,” said Ferguson.
“If you’re 8-2 you’re pretty good. Our kids have to come out ready to play. It’s a playoff game so you don’t know what to expect.”

No.    Player    Pos.    Ht.    Wt.    Gr.
1    Sam Angelo    SE    6-04    205    Sr.
53    Reece York    LT    5-08    245    So.
55    Evan Friend    LG    5-07    205    Sr.
52    Trey Hicks    C    6-02    270    Sr.
50    Darin Bloomfield    RG    6-00    220    Sr.
58    Ben Compliment    RT    6-02    205    Fr.
5    Jeb Jones    TE    6-03    210    Sr.
23    Aaron Music    WB    6-01    175    Jr.
8    Nathan Harmon    QB    6-02    185    Jr.
34    Kimo Baldwin    FB    6-01    230    Sr.
12    Kyle Sites    TB    5-08    160    Jr.

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No.    Player    Pos.    Ht.    Wt.    Gr.
50    Darin Bloomfield    DE    6-00    220    Sr.
77    Josh Waulk    NG/DT    5-11    380    Sr.
52    Trey  Hicks    DT    6-02    270    Sr.
5    Jeb Jones    DE    6-03    205    Sr.
34    Kimo Baldwin    LB    6-01    230    Sr.
1    Sam Angelo    LB    6-04    205    Sr.
2    Evan Holmes    LB/CB    5-11    170    Jr.
8    Nathan Harmon    CB    6-02    185    Jr.
3    Jordan Case    CB    6-01    160    Sr.
15    Joey Workman    S    6-00    175    Sr.
23    Aaron Music    S    6-01    175    Jr.
No.    Player    Pos.    Ht.    Wt.    Gr.
21    Austin McPeek    DE    5-11    220    Sr.
65    Dalton Rice    DT    6-00    225    Jr.
59    Cash Presnell    DT    6-02    230    Sr.
64    Tanner Brown    DE    6-04    250    Jr.
3    Christian Bond    LB/NG    5-11    225    Sr.
31    Chase Chicwak    ILB    6-00    185    Jr.
22    Nick Miller    ILB    6-00    205    Sr.
10    Boone Jones    OLB    6-02    190    Jr.
1    Hunter Graham    CB    5-08    150    Sr.
32    Clint Wickander    CB    5-09    160    Sr.
25    Kendal Sherman    FS    5-08    160    So.

No.    Player    Pos.    Ht.    Wt.    Gr.
1    Hunter Graham    WR    5-08    150    Sr.
4    Ethan Wiley    FL    5-07    150    Jr.
64    Tanner Brown    LT    6-04    250    Jr.
66    Easton Hitchens    LG    6-03    280    Jr.
70    Logan Waers    C    5-11    203    So.
59    Cash Presnell    RG    6-02    230    Sr.
65    Dalton Rice    RT    6-00    225    Jr.
21    Austin McPeek    TE    5-11    220    Sr.
22    Nick Miller    RB    6-00    205    Sr.
25    Kendal Sherman    RB    5-08    160    So.
10    Boone Jones    QB    6-02    190    Jr.