Each week in the Buckeye 8, there's a game that has major implications toward the postseason.
This week's site for that one is Kettlewell Memorial Stadium in Wintersville.
The red-hot Indian Creek Redskins will play host to Harrison Central, which is trying to rebound after a bitter loss to Bellaire last Friday in Cadiz.
HARRISON?CENTRAL’S Maurtice Hython is the area’s leading rusher and will lead the Huskies into Indian Creek on Friday.
Both coaches - Andrew Connor and Justin Kropka - are stressing to their players this week that they can't get looking at the past.
The Huskies scored 28 points in the first half last week and were blanked in the final 24 minutes and fell on a last-second field goal by the Big Reds.
"I think kids get over things faster than the coaches do most of the time," Kropka said. "Our kids will be ready to play. The good and bad thing about high-school aged kids is they lose and they're ready to go again quickly, but when you win, they sometimes forget what it was that got them to that point."
The Redskins, meanwhile, are seeking their fourth win in a row since losing to St. Clairsville in Week 3. They earned a cherished victory at Martins Ferry last Friday.
"That was definitely a big win for our program," Connor said. "We were down a couple of starters, lost two more starters during the game and the kids responded. We lost the turnover battle, had some penalties, but we found a way to get it done. That's just a credit to our kids."
The Redskins made a big leap in the Division III computer rankings. They're sitting in third, while the Huskies are now holding down the eighth spot.
"We're looking at this week pretty much the same way we looked at last week," Kropka said. "We feel if we can win this week, we'll probably be in the playoffs. Creek is a really good team worth a lot of points. I just want to see us play well and play up to our potential."
Slowing the Huskies' offense - and more specifically their ground game - has been a challenge for every team. Senior tailback Maurtice Hython is the area's leading rusher with 1,367 yards and 14 touchdowns. He's been held under 100 yards just once.
Senior quarterback Rashaen Mitchell has also been solid this season. The 6-5 southpaw has thrown for 959 yards and nine touchdowns. He's also ran for 197 stripes.
Nate Maykowski and Nate Olmstead are also key contributors to the offense. Olmstead is the team's leading receiver with 17 receptions for 417 yards and four scores.
Senior standout Nick Pelegreen has proven to be a game-changer on both sides of the ball. From his tight end spot, he's caught 12 passes for 214 yards.
"We have to get as many guys to the ball as we can," Connor said. "If you try to tackle (Hython) one-on-one, he's got the advantage, so we need two two four helmets around the ball. Those are situations we'll work on this week."
The Redskins' offense starts with athletic senior quarterback Alex Young, who's been brilliant during the Skins' winning streak. He's coming off a game in which he accounted for three touchdowns.
He passed for 127 yards and ran for 60 more. He's also the placekicker, a kick returner and a standout on the defensive side.
The 'Skins offense got a boost with the return of Blake Roar in the backfield. Senior Logan Woods is also a talented ball carrier. Frankie Kamarec is one of top receivers.
for the Creek. He made seven catches last week.