Woodridge hosts East Canton tonight in a key Week 9 matchup with Portage Trail Conference Metro Division and state playoff ramifications.
The Bulldogs (6-2, 4-1) will look to rebound against the Hornets (5-3, 4-1) after losing last week to Rootstown 34-32.
“Another week and another quality opponent,” Woodridge coach Eric Ervin said. “East Canton has been where we want to go – they were league champs last year and made the playoffs. It's going to be one great game come Friday night.
“They run the ball very well out of their Flexbone Jet offense and they've got guys who can take it to the house on any given play. They've got a very good quarterback (Landon Schmidt) and wide receiver (Cody Marshall) combo and they are going to be tough to beat.”
Ervin said Woodridge trailed Rootstown (5-3, 3-2) for “pretty much the entire game.” Yet the “kids never gave up and fought to the very end. We had a chance to recover the onside kick late in the game, but it didn't work out for us.”
Ervin is hopeful that the Bulldogs defensive linemen play better tonight after struggling last week.
“One thing that really stands out from last week is the way that Rootstown pushed around our defensive front,” Ervin said. “We knew going in that they were big and physical from film, but I think their strength was one thing we did not anticipate. Being a former lineman and a line coach, I was very impressed with their front five.”
Ervin praised the efforts of two Bulldogs, in particular, Brennan Owens on defense and Anthony Kelly on offense.