TORONTO - The Toronto football team stands at 0-2 and is coming off a heartbreaking 20-19 loss to Bridgeport last week. Unfortunately for the Red Knights, things get even tougher in Week 3 with 2-0 Shadyside coming to town Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff in the revamped stadium.
"It was a tough one," Toronto head coach Eric Meek said of his team's loss to Bridgeport. "Two young teams battled and it came down to the end. To their credit they won the turnover margin 3-0. I feel that was the difference in the game.
"We had a lot of yardage on offense, but should have scored more points, we were misalligned on the extra point block, and ended up on the short end by a point.
"It's disheartening but we can't feel sorry for ourselves because probably the best team on the schedule is staring us in the face."
Meek states that though his offense made strides from Week 1 to Week 2, they still have to eliminate mistakes if they are going to find the consistency they need to win games.
"What hurt us Friday were turnovers and we had a huge penalty when we were heading down on their end," he said. "(Toronto quarterback) Blaze (Glenn) actually scored and it was called back. We can't have those things. We need to improve and we will.
(games at 7 p.m. unless noted)
13 at Wellsville 42
19 at Bridgeport 20
Sept. 7 Shadyside
Sept. 14 Catholic Central
Sept. 21 Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 29 at St.JohnCentral, noon
Oct. 5 Beallsville
Oct. 13 at Conotton Valley, 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 29 Hundred, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 27 at Madonna
"I like our kids. We need to start winning sooner than later. I think as the year goes on we'll turn into a pretty decent football team."
Offensively the Red Knights have been led by the Glenn brothers, Blaze and Chez. Blaze Glenn has shown himself to be a dual threat throwing for 215 yards and two scores and rushing for 62 yards and two more touchdowns this season. Chez Glenn leads the team with 201 yards on the ground.
Charles Ross III has shown himself to be a dual threat as well, rushing for 55 yards and receiving for 58, including a 42 yard scoring grab against Bridgeport. Joey Chadwick is the team's top receiver with five catches for 63 yards and a score.
"It was good, but the problem was we only had 42 offensive plays because of turnovers," Meek said of the Red Knights' offense last week. "They did a good job keeping the ball out of our hands. (Bridgeport running back) Dallas Fields had 31 carries. Despite 332 yards on 42 plays we need to control the ball more, not turning it over, and put more points on the board."
On the other side of the ball the Red Knights face the most balanced team they've played this young season.
"They are very balanced," Meek said of the Tigers' offense. "Their quarterback can do it all. He runs well and throws well. They have a strong fullback, a quick tailback, and a talented offensive line."
In order to slwo down the vaunted Shadyside attack Toronto will have to sure up one of the most basic defensive skills.
"We have to improve on tackling," said Meek.
"We're small so we need to use good technique. We have to quit diving and grabbing. We need to wrap up tackle and gang tackle. Our defense needs to swarm to the ball.
"We felt at times we did that well in scrimmages, but we've gotten away from that. We need to quit being fancy, trying and strip, and get back to old fashioned tackling."
Meek also holds Shadyside's defense in high regards.
"Defensively they are very impressive," he said. "They held a very good Monroe Central team to seven points last week."