The high school regular season will be halfway done when the Week 5 games come to a conclusion this weekend. All four Madison County teams still entertain ideas of a postseason run, but in order to keep those dreams alive they’ll have to find a way to keep winning games.
Not one of the four county teams has a losing record and none of them face a squad with a losing record, making for what should be a competitive week of action.
Mechanicsburg (3-1) at Madison-Plains (2-2), 7 p.m.
Heading into the week, this appears the Golden Eagles have the toughest opponent of any county school with a young but talented bunch from Mechanicsburg.
Madison-Plains High School is coming off a game in which it didn’t turn the ball over, outgained the opposition yet still lost 35-20 (at Fairbanks). The biggest reason for that was penalties. Plains shot itself in the foot with costly penalties at inopportune times. Coach Jason Hunt is looking for his team to clean those things up this week.
“The penalties really hurt us last week, we need to do a better job in that department,” he said.
The coach said even though sophomore quarterback Jarrett Vallery is progressing nicely, his team needs to get back to being dominant in the run game. In its wins this season Plains has had big team rushing performances.
“We’ve got to get back to running the ball better,” Hunt said. “We just haven’t run the ball quite as well as we did at the beginning of the season. Jarrett is a better quarterback than he was at the beginning of the season, but we need to be able to run the ball better, that starts with us holding our blocks longer.”
Mechanicsburg graduated a number of key players off its state playoff team from a year ago, but the players currently in place have proven to be pretty good themselves.
“It’s a program that plays hard, the players are well-coached and they’ve got great tradition,” Hunt said. “The players change, but their effort and attitude stays the same.”
London (4-0) at Circleville (2-2), 7 p.m.
This game will test the maturity of the state-ranked Red Raiders.
London is ranked No. 7 in the latest D-IV state poll and are coming off the high of a 38-28 victory over a strong Columbus Academy team.
Can the Red Raiders go on the road and take care of business against a team fully capable of handing them a loss?
There are games on the schedule that will truly test coach Kyle Cutler’s team the rest of the season, this is one of them.
K.J. Price has rushed for nearly 1,300 yards in just four games, he will continue to be the focal point of the offense, but will also get increased attention from opposing defenses going forward.
Jonathan Alder (3-1) at Indian Lake (3-1), 7 p.m.
The Pioneers bounced back last week, scoring a big come-from-behind victory last week at home against Benjamin Logan.
The win was the second this season in which a lackluster start by Alder needed a hefty comeback. Coach Brett Glass will be looking for a better start when his team heads up to Indian Lake.
The Lakers opened their season with three straight wins, but were crushed 41-7 last week by Springfield Shawnee.
Springfield Catholic Central (2-2) at West Jefferson (4-0), 7 p.m.
The Irish are hurting for numbers, but have managed to split their first four games.
West Jeff rolls into this game averaging more than 48 points per game. With quarterback Lance Lambert leading a potent, yet balanced scoring attack, the visiting Irish could have their hands full.
None of the previous four West Jefferson opponents have a winning record. Catholic Central would have to pull off a major upset in order for that to change after Week 5.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.