This week’s 9 On Your Sideline featured game of the week takes us to Mount Healthy as the Owls welcome the Ross Rams in a key Southwestern Ohio Conference tilt.
Mount Healthy has made it through the first half of the regular season without suffering a loss and will look to keep things going in a positive direction. Ross dropped three of their first four contests, but picked up a huge win in dominating fashion last week against Edgewood.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
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PLAYERS TO WATCH: Running back, Andrew Dunn finally got on track after running for just 163 yards in Ross’ first four games he exploded for 155 yards last week against Edgewood. With only 17 touches on offense, Gus Madden has had a flare for the big play with three touchdowns of 47 yards or longer. Brandon Fernandez leads the Rams with 383 all-purpose yards and four interceptions. Defensive lineman and tight end, Frank Heimkreiter was a Division II First Team All-Southwest District selection in 2011. Linemen Tyler Bridwell and Gavin Peacock, defensive back Joseph Jones along with Dunn, Madden and Fernandez were all named Second Team All-FAVC Scarlet a year ago.
Defense fuels the fire for Mount Healthy. Igniting the flame are leading tackler Jordan Lackey and twin brother Justin Lackey. The duo has combined for 84 total tackles, 4.5 sacks and each has recovered a fumble. Austin McCoy leads the Owls with 4.0 sacks and Herbert Winston has a team high, three interceptions. Classmate Eric Pringle was a First Team All-FAVC Scarlet selection at defensive back as a junior. Tyree Elliott is off to a great start with 610 yards rushing, 875 all-purpose yards and 13 total touchdowns. Quarterback Greg Green is supported by a stable of backs that include Leon Currie-Davis, Eric Davis, Havier Pitts and David Montgomery. Offensive lineman, Theodore Harris and kicker Mason Bolser were also First Team All-FAVC Scarlet members in 2011.
TEAM TRENDS: Mount Healthy has won nine games in a row dating back to last October. During that span the most points the team has allowed against them is 20. The Owls have won the last four meetings between the schools and have a 5-2 overall edge in the series. Ross is looking for their fourth consecutive winning season and sixth in the last seven years. Since 2001 Mount Healthy has been to the playoffs seven times with their only win coming in 2010. Ross has made six post-season appearances since 1993 but have yet to win in November.
ROSS’ KEYS TO VICTORY: Last week the Rams proved they could stop the run as they handled Edgewood big offensive line without any problem. The Owls present a different obstacle with their athleticism. Keeping Mount Healthy out of the end zone is priority number one as Ross has yielded 91 total points over their last three outings. Ross will need to utilize their size and power up front it will keep the Owls speed off the field on offense.
MOUNT HEALTHY’S KEYS TO VICTORY: This will be Mount Healthy’s biggest test to date. The combine record of the five teams that the Owls have beaten is 6-19. Defense has propelled this squad up to the mid-point of the season as they have given up just 33 total points. They have held the opposition to 29.8% on third and fourth down conversion attempts. Sustaining that high level of play on the defensive side of the ball is a must.
MOUNT HEALTHY 35, ROSS 17
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