Columbiana Clippers (2-1) at Southern Indians (2-1)

With the shortened 2020 football season, the Columbiana - Southern contest this Friday night is definitely a critical game in the EOAC. The winner will keep their league title hopes alive, while also building momentum for their season heading into the playoffs in just two weeks. The loser will be all but eliminated from the race with only two scheduled weeks remaining in the scheduled regular season.

Both teams have bounced back nicely following a loss in week #1 to the two current league leaders. The Clippers loss to United 31-20, while the Indians suffered a 14-13 hard-fought set back to Leetonia on opening night.

The Indians do have more control of their destiny in this contest as they will have a date with United next week at home. The Clippers tentatively have a game scheduled at Leetonia on October 23rd, provided both teams have been eliminated from the playoffs at that point.

Following their loss to United, the Clippers have knocked off East Palestine 34-0, and Valley Christian last week 16-6. The Indians bounced back to beat their rivals at Wellsville 46-0, and then destroyed East Palestine 54-6 last week.

By scores alone, it would appear that the Indians are the more explosive of the two teams, but make no mistake about it, the Clippers will look to try to slow down the Indians highly potent offense. The Clippers will try, much like Leetonia did in week #1, to establish a pounding rushing attack to keep the Indians offense off the field. The recent emergence of fullback Mike Seeger running the ball with authority for the Clippers will aid them in their attempt to grind the clock, keeping the Southern offense on the bench.

With playmakers like receiver Brad Sloan and quarterback Josh Pratt, the Indians can score on virtually every play that they run. Sloan is both one of the top rushers and top receivers in the EOAC this season. Add in the running of Indians fullback Hunter Morris, and there is no question that opposing defenses have to pick their poison on who they try to shut down.

But as is always the case in big games, it will come down to the guys in the trenches as to who will walk away Friday night with the victory. The team that can establish their game and stay away from mistakes, will be the winner in this important week #4 EOAC battle.