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Oak Glen looks to rebound at Monarchs

September 13, 2012
By RALPH COX - Sports correspondent , The Herald-Star

MOUNDSVILLE - Smarting from their first loss of the season, the Oak Glen Golden Bears hit the road to tangle with winless John Marshall. Game time on Friday at Monarch Stadium is 7:30 p.m.

The Golden Bears took it on the chin last week when the unbeaten Indian Creek Redskins slapped the first loss of the season on them by 41-9.

"They (Indian Creek) took control of the line of scrimmage," said first-year Oak Glen coach Ian Whittington. "They came in with a good game plan and executed it."

Looking ahead to the Monarchs, Whittington said his Bears will be playing up to a much bigger school in terms of enrollment for the second straight week.

"They are big and physical," he explained. "They probably run the ball 90 percent of the time. They line up in a power-I formation and run. They show you that they are going to run and they come right at you."

The Monarchs lost to Cambridge 39-7 in the season opener then fell to Bellaire, 31-20, and to Buckeye Local, 20-6.

Fact Box

Oak Glen, 2-1

(games at 7 p.m. unless noted)

37 vs. Edison 28

45 Wellsville 0

9 Indian Creek 41

Sept. 14 at John Marshall, 7:30 p.m.

Sept 21. Catholic Central

Sept. 28 at Weir High

Oct. 5 at Tyler Consolidated

Oct. 12 at East Liverpool

Oct. 27 Pt. Pleasant, 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 2 Magnolia

Senior R. J. Kibert, who averaged six yards a carry last season, is back to lead the Monarchs offense. Fellow seniors Jacob Woods and Matt Zelic and junior Alan Miller also get the ball.

New John Marshall coach, Rick Goodrich makes no secret of wanting to run with power football.

"We have some steady kids," he said in the pre-season. "You give me a steady back, who is going to get you three yards a pop, we'll live with that.

''Right now things are not where we would like them to be. But we are progressing. I'm pleased with the effort. The kids are getting better. We are trying to improve in small measurements by doing the little things. We just need something good to happen to get these kids to play with confidence.

''I want our team to go out on the field and expect to win, not just hoping we can.''

Meanwhile, Whittington hopes to get the Golden Bear offense back on track. The Golden Bears had only 161 total yards of offense in the loss last week. After the offense exploded for big yardage games in the first two, the Redskins held the Golden Bears to 102 yards rushing and 86 of them came late in the game when Cody Tropeck came of the bench to break a long touchdown run.

"Indian Creek did a good job defensively against us, so we hope to get Bub (quarterback Bub Haddox) and our backs more on the perimeter and mix it up," said Whittington. "We want to use our speed and athleticism against John Marshall. We think that's where are advantage lies."

Whittington, whose team holds wins over Edison and Wellsville before the loss last week, said the game plan this week defensively is to stop the run, especially against the run-oriented Monarchs.

"We want to make John Marshall one dimensional with the pass, which they really don't want to do," he continued. "We want our senior defensive linemen to get into their backfield and disrupt them before they can make something happen."

Whittington said he is having tryouts this week to find a kicker to replace Josh Weltner, who was injured last week. He said junior Colten Speece will replace Weltner as the punter for the Golden Bears, but the kicking duties are up for grabs.