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Hornets must stop Buckeyes’ big-play offense

Coal Grove Hornets’ wide receiver Sam Angelo (left) hauls in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Nate Harmon during last week’s Division VI Region 23 48-26 semifinal win over the Southeastern Panthers. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

COAL GROVE — Stopping big plays will be big.
Coal Grove Hornets’ head football coach Evan Ferguson said the biggest key for his team against the Nelsonville-York Buckeyes on Friday in the Division VI Region 23 championship game is stopping big plays.
“Offensively, they seem to live off their speed and the big play. They usually strike a big play and if they get rolling early they continue to feed off that and it continues to build as they go,” said Ferguson who takes his team against the N-Y offense at 7:30 p.m. at Jackson High School.
“They’re a really good football team. They’re probably the best team we’ve played all year. We have to come out and play well and we can’t afford to let up.”
Coal Grove is 11-1 on the season while the Buckeyes are 12-0. The two teams have met three times including the first round of the Division IV playoffs in 1981 when N-Y held on for a 14-12 win.
The Buckeyes also won 20-13 in 1997 and 17-14 in overtime in 1998.
“I think Nelsonville is a really good football team. You look at their team and they are football players. They are in shape, they’re fast and they play with a lot of speed and enthusiasm,” said Ferguson.
The Buckeyes’ big play offense is led by senior quarterback Garrett Maiden (5-10, 165) who is a converted wide receiver.
Maiden is 100-of-177 passing for 1,846 yards and 21 touchdowns. He has thrown seven interceptions. Maiden has also rushed 103 times for 644 yards — a 6.3 average — and he has 12 touchdowns.
The Buckeyes have three top runners led by sophomore tailback Keegan Wilburn (5-10, 170) who had 1,161 yards on 146 carries for an 8.0 yards per carry average. He has scored 12 touchdowns.
“Their tailback is real fast and shifty. QB throws a good deep ball and they do a good job spreading people out and hitting their receivers.”
Senior fullback Colt Yinger (5-11, 185) has carried 104 times for 949 yards and a 9.1 average. He also has 12 touchdowns.
Wilburn has 29 catches for 589 yards and nine touchdowns. Senior Chris Cook (5-10, 160) has 23 receptions for 541 yards and four scores and senior Jonathan Richards (6-2, 170) has 18 catches for 293 yards.
Friday’s winner will advance to the state semifinals and probably play the winner of Coldwater and Maria Stein Marion Local. Ferguson is hoping the Hornets can reach the semifinals for the first time since 1990.
“We just have to take care of the football. We can’t turn the ball over against a team of this caliber,” said Ferguson.
“I’m proud of our kids. They’ve come a long way. When I got here we had some talent, but they’ve got their confidence and they haven’t quit.”
Here are the Division VI regional pairings:
Division VI Regional Finals – Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. Pairings are shown with seeds and records.
Region 21: 1 Rootstown (12-0) vs. 3 Kirtland (12-0) at Solon Stewart Field
Region 22: 1 Findlay Liberty-Benton (11-1) vs. 6 Jeromesville Hillsdale (9-3) at Tiffin Frost-Kalnow Stadium
Region 23: 1 Nelsonville-York (12-0) vs. 3 Coal Grove Dawson-Bryant (11-1) at Jackson Holzer Field at Alumni Stadium
Region 24: 4 Coldwater (9-3) vs. 2 Maria Stein Marion Local (12-0) at Sidney Memorial Stadium

COAL GROVE OFFENSE
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.

COAL GROVE DEFENSE
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.
NELSONVILLE-YORK DEFENSE
No.    Player    Pos.    Ht.    Wt.    Gr.
2    Levi Wickman    DE    6-05    230    Sr.
51    Tyler Speelman    DT    5-11    180    Sr.
70    Donovan McCollister    DT    6-03    245    Jr.
7    Brady Jones    DE    5-10    160    Sr.
25    Corbin Keplar    LB    5-10    165    Sr.
5    Ronnie Wend    LB    6-00    170    Sr.
15    Colt Yinger    LB    5-11    185    Sr.
21    Bryce Parker-Lent    LB    5-10    175    Sr.
6    Chris Cook    CB    5-10    160    Sr.
11    Shakim Williams    CB    6-01    175    Sr.
10    Jonathan Richards    FS    6-02    170    Sr.

NELSONVILLE-YORK OFFENSE
No.    Player    Pos.    Ht.    Wt.    Gr.
6    Chris Cook    SE    5-10    160    Sr.
67    Connor McQuade    LT    5-10    250    Jr.
62    Anthony Koping    LG    5-09    180    Sr.
59    Clay Hall    C    6-02    220    Jr.
53    Logan Bruce    RG    5-07    180    Sr.
70    Donovan McCollister    RT    6-03    245    Jr.
2    Levi Wickman    TE    6-05    230    Sr.
5    Ronnie Wend    WR    6-00    170    Sr.
9    Garrett Maiden    QB    5-10    165    Sr.
15    Colt Yinger    FB    5-11    185    Sr.
3    Keegan Wilburn    WR    5-10    170    So.

 

Coal Grove Hornets 2017 Results
Coal Grove     51    Buffalo, W.Va.      6
Coal Grove    38    Lucasville Valley    20
Coal Grove       6    Portsmouth West    28
Coal Grove     43    South Point     0
Coal Grove     27    Chesapeake     7
Coal Grove     19    Portsmouth     14
Coal Grove     33    Gallipolis     20
Coal Grove     28    Ironton     7
Coal Grove     29    Fairland     19
Coal Grove     28    Rock Hill     7
Playoffs
Coal Grove    7    Shenandoah    6
Coal Grove     48    Southeastern    26
Record: 11-1
Nelsonville-York Buckeyes 2017 Results
Nelsonvillle-York    21    Glouster Trimble    0
Nelsonville-York    21    Newark Catholic    14
Nelsonville-York    50    Minford    33
Nelsonville-York    49    River Valley    7
Nelsonville-York    38    Waverly    13
Nelsonville-York    49    Meigs    14
Nelsonville-York    34    Wellston    2
Nelsonville-York    35    Alexander    0
Nelsonville-York    27    Vinton County    24
Nelsonville-York    52    Athens    26
Playoffs
Nelsonville-York    34    Shadyside    0
Nelsonville-York    26    Fort Frye (OT)    20
Record: 12-0