Golden Bears want to wreck Beavers’ dam
CALCUTTA — The Oak Glen football team is looking to regroup after another huge defeat, while Beaver Local is looking to get back on track following back-to-back shutouts.
The Golden Bears travel across the river for a 7 p.m. Friday night game against the rival Beavers inside Fighting Beaver Stadium.
Oak Glen enters the game on a four-game losing streak, while Beaver Local comes into the game having lost its last two games by a combined 79 points. Last week, then-winles East Fairmont defeated Oak Glen, 49-26, on the road to spoil senior night.
“They did not really do anything that surprised us,” Oak Glen (2-6) head coach Ted Arneault said. “We knew they liked to run the ball, and there are a lot of different ways to do that. They were successful doing that. They were able to impose their will on us by running the ball.”
Beaver Local enters the game coming off losses to Indian Creek and Martins Ferry. The Redskins shutout the Beavers, 38-0, two weeks ago at home, while the Purple Riders came away with a 41-0 victory last week on the road.
“They have proven they can beat quality teams,” Arneault said. “They started off well, but they have struggled the last two weeks. The last three weeks, teams have been able to expolit their pass defense. They are big and physical. There are some things I think we will be able to exploit on offense.”
Former Edison head coach Mike McKenzie is in his first season as head coach of the Beavers. McKenzie ran a spread offense while at Edison, but this year’s Beaver Local team relies more on the running game than passing.
“They do do a little bit of the spread,” Arneault said. “Their offense is a lot more condensed. They run three-back sets, two-back sets as well as running some I-formation. I know coach McKenzie likes to use the spread, but they are more of a running team.”
Beaver Local has struggled at times on defense. The Beavers have given up at least 24 points in six of their nine games.
“They have some nice linebackers. They have a good defensive line, and they also have athletes in the secondary,” Arneault said. “I think we will have a chance to expolit their pass defense.”
Beaver Local has scored at least 17 points in seven of its nine games.
The Beavers won six of their first seven games. This season, Beaver Local has defeated Wellsville (66-6), West Branch (39-36), Edison (33-6), East Liverpool (43-12), Bellaire (28-26) and Buckeye Local (55-24). Prior to the last two weeks, Beaver Local’s only other loss was in Week 3 to Linsly, 28-17, in a game played at West Liberty.
Beaver Local will mix up its defenses. The Beavers will blitz and then, at other times, they will sit back in coverage.
“They can do both,” Arneault said. “They will blitz, and they can also sit back in a zone. They can play multiple defenses.”
The Golden Bears are looking to control the ball and the clock against the Beavers.
“We need to get first downs,” Arneault said. “We need to control the clock. We have to score points.”
Oak Glen is banged up going into the game.
“I would say so,” Arneault said. “We already had two guys out for the season. Now we have five guys who are dealing with concussions. They are going to have to go through that process. We are going to have to wait and see if they are cleared. We are very thin at practice. I hope to have some of those guys back.”
After being in a position to make the playoffs earlier in the season, Beaver Local is currently in 11th place in the Ohio Division IV, Region 13 standings. Cardinal Mooney is currently in eighth place in the region, and the Cardinals are followed in the rankings by Salem and Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy. Harrison Central rounds out the top 12.
The Beavers need a lot of help to move back in the top 8.