St. C., Creek to put 3-1 records on the line in Belmont Co.
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Something is bound to give Friday night in St. Clairsville.
Both the Red Devils and Indian Creek are hitting the mid-way point of the football season riding giant waves of momentum. The 3-1 combines clash this week at Red Devil Stadium with the winner gaining a huge point boost for its possible playoff chase.
However, though the points at stake are high, both Brett McLean and Andrew Connor aren’t about to get caught looking that far into the future.
“Our picture becomes more clear with each day we go to practice, but we’re still a work-in-progress each day,” McLean said. “We’ve definitely learned a lot about ourselves from the start of the season until now. We’re continuing to develop our identity.”
The Red Devils have won three games in a row since stubbing their toe in the opener at Carrollton. Victories against Meigs, Meadowbrook and Martins Ferry have followed.
“We’ve settled in a good bit since week one when we were breaking in a lot of new people,” McLean said. “We told the kids after week one that they could either hang their heads or get better. And the kids, as well as the coaches, all took responsibility and decided that game wasn’t going to (define) us. We’re all over that initial hype and we’re much more calm under pressure.”
The date with the Redskins, which is slated to kick off at 7:30, involves arguably St. Clairsville’s toughest test thus far.
Indian Creek’s success, which includes wins against Cambridge, Edison and Buckeye Local, has started with the defensive side.
“We’ve hung our hat on our defense,” Creek head coach Andrew Connor said. “Our effort has been great all season and I am very proud of the way we’re getting (a lot of) people to the ball.”
The Redskins ability to gang tackle certainly jumped out at McLean and his staff as they’ve studied the Redskins this week.
“They’re very fast on defense and they’re almost platooning,” McLean said. “They’re very aggressive and they tackle well. I saw them against East Liverpool and it was smothering.”
St. Clairsville’s offense, which has averaged 42 points a game in its three victories, is led by an impressive ground that features rugged junior Brady Kolb as the team’s top running back. He’s accumulated 488 yards and scored 5 touchdowns on 68 carries.
Kyle Storer (40-225-5td) and Justin Heatherington (17-122-TD) are also viable options.
Running the offense is junior quarterback Dustin Carrothers. He’s completed 25-of-51 passes for 489 yards and 8 touchdowns, but has been picked off five times.
Junior Craig Bober is the Red Devils’ top receiver with 12 receptions for 164 yards and 3 touchdowns. Heatherington also has three receiving touchdowns.
Indian Creek is much more balanced than it’s been in years past. Quarterback Brennan Norris has been impressive. He’s thrown for 682 yards and 3 touchdowns. When he does put the ball up, there’s a good chance someone named Eackle will catch it. Twin brothers Devin and Devon Eakle are the leaders and their cousin, Derek, also gets involved. Devin has made 21 receptions for 312 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Sophomore Trevor Fante is the team’s top rushing option. He’s gained almost 400 yards.