OHSAA Playoffs - Division VII - Region 25

Buckeye Central Bucks (1-6) VS Leetonia Bears (5-1) Friday October 16th 7:00PM

The Buckeye Central Bucks have to be entering their game against Leetonia this Friday with a lot of confidence. Last week they went into Wellsville with a 0-6 record and knocked off the Tigers 32-29 behind a steady diet of running the ball from their double-wing offense. They racked up 353 yards on the ground in that contest. So they should be able to do that again this week, right? As Lee Corso would say, "Not so fast my friends."

The Bears defense has been very tough against the run this year, leading the EOAC with just 62.67 yards allowed per game on the ground. The worse the Bears did in allowing rushing yards on the season was the 152 yards that United was able to generate in the Bears only loss on the season. Wellsville on the other hand has struggled this year stopping the run, surrendering a league worse 236.43 per game.

Bears coach Paul Hulea didn't talk to the Wellsville coaches about the game, but he definitely had his eye on the game, "We watched the game live on YSN. So we didn't talk to those guys at Wellsville."

"They are a well coached team that plays very hard. We will have our hands full," Hulea said. "I'm sure they will come in with a great deal of confidence after making the trip to Columbiana County and having success."

One player the Bears will need to stop is junior running back Kolin Rowlinson #45. Rowlinson ran for 168 yards and 2 touchdowns last week. He also recorded 5 tackles, including 2 sacks from his linebacker position. Senior running back Mason Brown #15 added 85 yards and a touchdown, while senior quarterback Brady Kerschner #7 ran for 64 yards to help power the Bucks offense. Kerschner completed just 3 of 6 passes in the game against the Tigers for 44 yards. But 2 of those 3 completions went for touchdowns, one from 15 yards and the other from 18 yards.

There is little doubt that the Bears will try to establish their own form of a pounding running game behind standout tailback Marco Ferry. Ferry has had two weeks to rest and heal after getting a bit banged up during the regular season. How healthy and how hard he can run the ball will go a long way in how successful the Bears will be Friday night.

Coach Hulea, despite his many years of coaching admitted he was unsure what the effect of having a bye week will have on his team, "Not sure about the bye week. This is the first one I have gone through as a high school coach."

With both teams squarely focused on establishing their style of rushing the ball, keeping it away from the opponents and wearing down the defenses, the guys up front will determine who wins this game. The team that can establish the line of scrimmage will have a big advantage in the out come of this game.

Hulea pointed to the key to the game simply, "As always, taking care of the football and playing with great passion."