IN THE NEWS: WARRIORS SET FOR MEETING WITH FISHER CATHOLIC
By Jarrod Ulrey, THISWEEKSPORTS.COM
On its way to qualifying for the Division VI playoffs last fall, the Worthington Christian football team closed the regular season on a five-game winning streak that began with a 31-21 victory at eventual Division VII playoff qualifier Fisher Catholic.
That win — which also was key in helping the Warriors earn their first MSL-Cardinal Division championship — was the fourth in a row in the series for Worthington Christian, although its 2017 victory came by forfeit after Fisher Catholic had won 24-6 when the teams met.
The Warriors play host to Fisher Catholic on Sept. 10 in the Thursday Night Lights game that will be televised on the CW Columbus.
Worthington Christian improved to 2-0 overall and in the league with a 31-0 victory Sept. 4 over Corning Miller, while the Irish lost to Grove City Christian 14-7 the same night to fall to 0-2 overall and in the league.
“I’m very excited about the relentless effort of our players,” Warriors coach Jeff Hartings said. “We’re still a work in progress when it comes to figuring out our technique, but the biggest reason we’re winning is because of our relentless effort. We beat a couple teams that are working hard to build their programs.”
Fisher Catholic went 8-3 last season but has a new coach in Luke Thimmes, a 1997 graduate who had been an assistant with the program for 17 seasons.
Numbers are low for the Irish this fall, as only 19 players came out.
Senior Colton Yeager and junior Jack Tencza both are quarterbacks for a team that has primarily used a power-running offense during the first two weeks, according to Hartings.
Fisher Catholic opened with a 44-0 loss Aug. 28 to Berne Union.
“They got beat pretty badly against Berne Union, but they had a lot of mistakes with a couple blocked punts and some turnovers, so the score wasn’t indicative of the talent,” Hartings said. “Against Grove City Christian, they could have had that game tied up and almost sent it into overtime.
“With their front eight on defense, they blitz and hit the gaps well. That could give any team trouble. They’re young and trying to figure out what identity they want to have on offense for sure, but they’re right now a power-running team with straight-ahead kind of blocking. They don’t throw the ball hardly at all.”
Against Miller, freshman quarterback Hobie Raikes completed 15 of 18 passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns, and junior wide receiver Jaiden Reynolds had nine catches for 83 yards and two scores.
Raikes also threw for three touchdowns in a 42-8 win Aug. 28 over Grove City Christian.
Senior running back Braden Anderson had 60 yards and one touchdown on 12 rushes in the opener and added a touchdown catch in Week 2.
Junior linebacker Tyler White had 1.5 tackles for loss against Miller and led the Warriors with nine tackles against Grove City Christian.
“Tyler White is a very dynamic outside linebacker, making plays in the backfield,” Hartings said. “He had a sack and a fumble and picked up a fumble this past week. Ethan Albert, Daxon Zartman and Josh Carrell along with Tyler are our linebackers, and those guys are the tone setters and are very active around the field. We’re really happy with every level of our defense.”