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Barnesville, Buckeye Trail put spotless records on the line in Old Washington

OLD WASHINGTON — Sometimes, in sports, the best medicine for a possible hangover is another game against a quality opponent.

Barnesville — fresh off a cherished victory against Meadowbrook last week in Byesville, has just that awaiting this Friday in the form of fellow 2-0, Buckeye Trail. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at the Baker Activity Complex.

“Last week was definitely a big win for us in many ways,” Shamrocks head coach Blake Allen said. “It was the first time we were able to bring that (Dowler) trophy home since I’ve been the coach and we hadn’t won there in a while. We enjoyed it Friday night, watched the film Saturday morning and moved on because we’re facing another battle this week.”

Indeed.

The Warriors are sitting at 2-0 with wins over Caldwell and Newcomerstown on the resume. However, head coach Donnie Kerns knows his team must step up its game this weekend to run its streak to three.

“Barnesville is really good on both sides of the ball … probably going to be the best team we’ve faced to date,” Kerns said. “They give you so much to prepare for and they formation you to death. They’re just a well coached team that does a lot of things well.”

The Warriors are led, on both sides of the ball, by Jack Perry. The hard-nosed linebacker has already recorded 28 tackles for the season and a couple of sacks. Offensively, he plays fullback.

When Allen and the Shamrocks began preparing for the game, it didn’t take long for them to notice Perry on film.

“Perry is a stud,” Allen said without hesitation. “He’s big and physical. He’s aggressive, so he fits the Trail defense well. Coach Kerns likes to be aggressive and bring blitzers on defense, so we’ll need to have our heads up.”

The Shamrocks’ offense has been balanced thus far with junior quarterback Ayden Hannahs serving as the catalyst. Last week, against the Colts, he accounted for four touchdowns and threw for more than 220 yards.

He’s joined in the backfield by fullback Caden Lake and Alex Meade, who is a hybrid type that figures into both the Shamrocks run and pass game.

Meade and Gage Hannahs both caught four passes last week with Hannahs accumulating 153 yards and scoring twice. Uryan Meade is also a versatile threat for the Shamrocks.

Offensively, the Warriors have handed the keys to quarterback Isaac Hickman, who is a threat with both his arm and his legs. He’s averaging better than 100 yards passing a week thus far.

Ronnie Rominger is the tailback and is also effective as a receiver. Kerns is hoping to be able to get Franko Rome and Trey McGilton more involved in the offense this week on the perimeter.

“We’re going to have to be able to throw the ball and spread them out,” Kerns said. “We’re probably not going to be able to line up and just power it right at them. They’re built to stop that.”

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